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Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 11:36 UK

Aceh outrage over Miss Indonesia

By Karishma Vaswani
BBC News, Jakarta

Qori Sandioriva crowned Miss Indonesia on 9 October 2009
More controversy is expected when Ms Sandioriva takes part in Miss Universe

Clerics in Indonesia's conservative Muslim province of Aceh say they are outraged that an Acehnese woman has won the title of Miss Indonesia.

Qori Sandioriva, 18, won the Miss Indonesia title on Friday, beating 37 other contestants for the crown.

The clerics say that by failing to wear a veil during the competition she has betrayed her Acehnese roots and brought shame to the province.

Aceh has special autonomy in Indonesia and has implemented partial Sharia law.

It is the only province in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, that follows these laws.

Qori Sandioriva was born in Jakarta but has an Acehnese mother. Thanks to her mother's connection to the province she was able to enter the competition as Miss Aceh.

But Islamic clerics in Aceh say she has misrepresented her region.

They say she should have worn a veil during the competition, in keeping with the traditions of her mother's province.

Teung-ku Faisal Ali, the secretary general of Aceh's Ulama Association, told the BBC that anyone who represents Aceh must uphold the province's values.

He said Qori Sandioriva did not wear a veil during the competition and therefore did not represent the Acehnese people, who have strong Islamic faith and values.

When asked about not wearing a veil during the competition, Ms Sandiorova said she believed hair is beauty, and that she is proud of beauty.

The controversy is likely to return next year when she goes on to compete in the Miss Universe contest where she will have to don a swimsuit as part of the pageant.



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