Religious groups in Indonesia have come out to denounce a transgender beauty pageant Miss Queen that took place in Bali last month, with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) saying that the gender minority are "a disgrace."
Miss Queen Indonesia named Instagram celebrity Millen Cyrus as its winner last Thursday, garnering various reactions from Indonesians all over social media. It appears that Millen's victory and the pageant itself created enough of a buzz, which has prompted unsolicited statements from religious groups.
Utang Ranuwijaya, who heads the research department at MUI, told reporters yesterday that events like Miss Queen should be prohibited in Indonesia. The council had previously issued a fatwa (religious edict) declaring transgender people and the act of transitioning haram, or forbidden for Muslims.
"The behavior of people like this shows that they have mental disorders that must be cured, not competed or performed in public," Utang said. "...The act of transgender [people] is a disgrace, not an achievement."
A conservative Muslim group named Persatuan Islam (Persis) echoed the sentiment, highlighting that the Miss Queen beauty pageant illustrates freedom going "too far."
"Miss Queen Indonesia event where transgender [people] compete is not progress and freedom, but a civilization turned upside down and freedom that went too far," Ustaz Jeje Zaenudin, vice chairman of Persis, was quoted as saying.
As for Millen, the beauty queen is set to represent Indonesia at the 2022 Miss Queen International in Pattaya, Thailand.