More than 1,000 Islamic hardliners protest against the Miss World beauty contest in Indonesia ahead of its weekend opening, denouncing the pageant as “smut and pornography.” Opposition to the contest in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation intensifies in the past week, with demonstrators and some officials calling for the event to be scrapped. Organizers have already scrapped the bikini round, but it fails to appease hardliners, with Thursday’s protest the biggest yet. Some 800 men and women from the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia hardline group march to the headquarters of MNC media group, which will broadcast the event and is the local organizer, brandishing banners that read “MNC: spreading smut and pornography” and “Miss World: pageant of deviation.” Despite growing opposition to the event, the organizers insist the event would be respectful to Indonesian culture. The Miss World contest begins Sunday on the resort island of Bali.
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