Sunday, August 04, 2013

Muslim Miss Malaysia World Finalists Banned From Competition

Malaysia considers itself a moderate Muslim nation but it still adheres to a 1996 fatwa banning women from participating in beauty queen pageants. As a result, four Muslim women who were vying for a spot at the Miss World 2013 competition in Bali were not allowed to compete in the Miss Malaysia World pageant finals.

Pageant organiser Datuk Anna Lim said the Federal Territories Islamic Department (Jawi) informed her of its decision yesterday.

“Jawi director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali called me to confirm that the women cannot take part in the pageant,” Lim said.

“While the other finalists are geared for the contest, the Muslim women are left with shattered dreams. I took one look at Sara (Amelia Bernard) when she walked in today and I knew the poor girl was stressed by the controversy.

Apparently, it was a last minute decision that left the four girls devastated.

Sara, one of the contestants who was met by The Malay Mail yesterday, said she was upset with the entire fiasco.

After attending the pageant week programme at Corus Hotel, she was visibly disappointed by the outcome.

“I am sad I cannot join the others as I have always dreamt of being a beauty queen, but I have to accept the decision.”

The 20-year-old, who was the only contestant present as a guest during the training session which started yesterday, said she has yet to decide on her next course of action.

Sara had to deactivate her Facebook account because of the nasty comments she was receiving from Muslim hardliners. She believes it's because she was more vocal about her disappointment with the decision.

Sara, along with Wafa Johanna De Korte, Miera Sheikh, Kathrina Ridzuan and Sara Amelia Bernard were the four 'disqualified' Muslim finalists.

Not only were their dreams shattered at the last minute (since they somehow reached the finals without being banned), they are now also being investigated for 'insulting Islam', after criticizing the decision.

Even though there will be no bikini section during the competition, in order to not offend Indonesia- the host country- there is still a dearth of Muslim countries participating.

Sources: ABNexcess, The Malay Mail Online

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