JAKARTA (Reuters) – A militant Islamic group has filed a police report against Indonesia’s Miss Universe candidate accusing her of indecency, a lawyer for the organization said on Tuesday.
Nadine Chandrawinata’s participation in the contest and display of her body in a swimsuit there “is actually insulting for Indonesian dignity and women”, Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) attorney Sugito told Reuters.
Chandrawinata did not make it to the finals of the Sunday competition in Los Angeles, which was won by Miss Puerto Rico, but she had drawn heavy media coverage in Indonesia, partly because of her mixed Indonesian-German parentage and Eurasian looks.
Sugito said FPI had also filed complaints against four people involved in sponsoring and organizing Chandrawinata’s participation.
“I am worried that Nadine is only victim of their ambition,” he said.
Under Indonesian law, police would have to investigate whether there was sufficient evidence for a case under the complaint, and if so, turn their findings over to prosecutors for a decision on whether it merited going to court.
The offences involved carry potential sentences ranging from two to six years in jail, Sugito said, adding that the posing requirements of the competition offended the standards not just of Islam but other religions.
A government decree against participation in beauty contests issued when strongman Suharto was president is still technically in effect in Indonesia, although in practice it has been disregarded since he lost power in 1998.
Some 85 percent of Indonesia’s 220 million people follow Islam, making it the world’s most populous Muslim country.
Although most Indonesian Muslims are considered relatively moderate and the government is officially secular, hardline groups are becoming increasingly vocal and visible.
The result has been a tug-of-war in Indonesian politics over how much religious values should be reflected in law.
FPI has filed complaints with the police on other issues previously, while critics say it encourages such vigilante tactics as attacking bars selling alcohol during the Muslim fasting period.
An April protest organized by FPI against the Indonesian edition of Playboy magazine was marked by rock throwing and vandalism.