Cover Version

by Mark Steyn

The Miss World contest is being held in Indonesia this weekend, and the usual excitable chappies are not happy about it:

Protestors from the Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia demonstrated in the central Java city of Yogyakarta with its spokeswoman saying “Miss World is not welcome in Indonesia at all”.

Miss World contestants were again ridiculed today with around 300 members of the radical Islamic Defenders Front gathering in the capital, holding signs that read “Miss World is a whore contest”.

Similar objections in Nigeria in 2002 led to anti–Miss World riots that left over 200 people dead. It also led me to write a piece that, if you’re interested, is preserved between hard covers in my book Lights Out. It was about a “Muslim-friendly Miss World”:

I glanced at my watch. “For crying out loud, when are they going to raise the curtain?”

“They have raised the curtain… Those are the girls.”

I peered closer at the shapeless line of cloth, and he was right: there they all were, from Miss Afghanistan to Miss Zionist Entity.

I sighed. “How long till the swimsuit round?”

“This is the swimsuit round.”

Etc. But these days the difference between satire and reality is about a decade — if you’re lucky. Australia’s ABC reports:

Indonesia will hold a pageant exclusively for Muslims, The Muslimah World contest, in rivalry to the Miss World beauty contest.

The Muslimah World contest’s founder Eka Shanti says the Muslimah World contest to be held on Wednesday in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, is “Islam’s answer to Miss World”…

The 20 Muslimah World finalists were chosen from more than 500 who took part in online rounds, reciting Koranic verses and telling stories of how they came to wear the Islamic headscarf, a requirement for the pageant.

Can’t wait for Perez Hilton’s gay marriage question. Blazing Cat Fur has a picture of the favorite getting into her swimwear.


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