Richard Sears, Daily Mail (London), September 19, 2013
British contestants have been warned of violent threats from Islamic extremists during this year’s Miss World contest in Indonesia.
The British, US and Australian Embassies in Jakarta have warned the contestants that extremist groups may be planning to use violence to disrupt the pageant, which is running until September 28.
The competition was moved from the capital on Java where the majority of residents are Muslim to Bali.
The British Embassy warned:‘local Islamist vigilante groups have threatened to hold large-scale demonstrations to disrupt the Miss World pageant.’
‘Extremist groups may also be planning to attack the event’.
Britain is represented by three contestants–Kirsty Heslewood from England, Gabrielle Shaw from Wales and Meagan Green from Northern Ireland.
With a history of terror attacks on foreign visitors – including the horrific 2002 Bali bombings when 202 people were killed – the warnings are being taken seriously by the Miss World organisers.
Extra security has been brought in to guard the venue in the Noosa Dua region of the holiday island following weeks of protest which denounced the competition as ‘pornography’.
Despite the demonstrations a beauty contest for Muslim women has been held peacefully in Bali, with 21-year-old Miss Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola from Nigeria, being declared the winner.
Contestants modeled Islamic fashions and answered questions to demonstrate their knowledge of the Koran and other religious values.
The finalists for World Muslimah were chosen from more than 500 women who took part in an online selection process.
Among the rounds, competitors were asked to relate how they came to wear the Muslim headscarf, the hijab.
When her name was called as the winner, Miss Ajibola fell to her knees and recited a verse from the Koran.
Her prize includes a trip to Mecca.