Disqualified finalists may compete

So says the title of the latest article in The Star on the Miss Malaysia World saga. It gives you the impression that the 4 Muslim contestants have already been cleared to participate in the pageant, doesn’t it?


After all, when the priest tells the groom “You may kiss the bride”, he really means “go ahead and kiss her”, not “Hmm… maybe you can. I’ll consider it and let you know”.

If you go on and read the actual article, you’ll find that what the director of JAWI said is actually the latter, i.e.

“I have not made a decision yet. But I will be announcing the decision to the public sometime next week,

I know newspaper editors have to be economical with the number of words they put into their headlines, but surely a misleading headline is so much worse than a long one.

Anyway, if I were one of the Muslim contestants, I wouldn’t be holding my breath. The chances of the final decision being in their favour are minute. Taking part in beauty pageants, be it in a bikini or a sarong, is clearly haram in Islam. The well-known verse 31 of surah An-Nur says so pretty emphatically. But the real killer is the fact that the fatwa has been gazetted and is effectively law.

I really don’t see how the Jawi director can come back and say anything but “No”. In fact I think he should have said so right there and then at the meeting.

Update 5am, 28-7-2013:

It seems that the article’s headline has now been changed to “Disqualified finalists may yet compete in Miss Malaysia World pageant”, which makes it somewhat less misleading. The headline on the front page, though, hasn’t (I’ve inserted the screen cap above). Sloppy.


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