A Miss World contestant, Fiji's Koini Vakaloloma poses for a photo as she waits backstage prior to a rehearsal for the final ceremony at the Ordos Stadium Arena in the inner Mongolian city of Ordos on Aug. 17, 2012.
CREDIT: ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images
Associated Press Release
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Miss World organizers have axed the famed bikinis from this year's pageant, replacing them with conservative beach sarongs amid mounting protests from hardline Muslim groups.
Indonesia will host the 2013 Miss World competition in the country's resort island of Bali and the capital, Jakarta, in September.
Adjie S. Soeratmadjie, one of the local organizers, said Thursday that all contestants will be required to wear Bali's traditional long sarongs instead of the sexy bikinis that are traditionally part of the competition.
He said the London-based Miss World Organization has agreed to the request out of respect for the traditional customs and values of Indonesia.
Most Muslims in Indonesia, the world's most populous Islamic country, are moderate, but a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.