A 27-year-old Muslim woman from London, competing in the Miss Universe Great Britain beauty pageant, refused to compete in the swimsuit competition if she was forced to wear a bikini, which conflicted with her religious beliefs.
During an interview with Metro UK, Muna Jama told reporters: “I wouldn’t wear a bikini to the beach, so I’m not going to wear one in a competition to score points.”
Despite a time-honored tradition of contestants sporting skimpy swimsuits during that portion of the beauty pageant, pageant officials caved under pressure to Jama’s demands to honor her strict Islamic religion, which frowns upon women wearing revealing clothing, and instead allowed her to dress more modestly for the bikini contest.
After a long negotiation, officials agreed to change the rules on her behalf, perhaps out of fear that by not succumbing, the organization would face public ridicule or be deemed “racist.”
Jama re-entered the pageant for the second time. She had previously retracted her application two years ago because of the swimsuit round.
Earlier this week, she made history as the first contestant to wear a brightly colored, full-length kaftan, which she also wore for her official competition photo shoot.
As expected, liberals across the nation and abroad took to social media to celebrate her victory. “A true inspiration – in a day and age when they call it freedom, to restrict you to wear more clothes when the real oppression is to make women strip down to a bikini to “score points,” one person commented. Another person wrote, “Keep it up girl you’re now an inspiration to everyone by respecting our religion. God bless you.”
She, too, even posted a reaction to the historical moment on Instagram.
“This moment has proved that I am capable of almost anything I set my mind to and limitations is a status waiting to be changed. I thank everyone who stood beside me and believed in my vision.”
The statuesque model later posted a second picture after the competition and credited the moment as proof that “I am capable of almost anything I set my mind to and limitations is [sic] a status waiting to be changed.”
It takes bravery, emotional resilience and most importantly surrounding yourself with strong minded people who are prepared to make great sacrifices to welcome permanent and positive change. I may not be able to unwrite a moment in my life but I know a moment will never define me. I will always rise above your expectations and pushed past your limitations. You are what you say you are, and your imaginations can be your worst enemy unless you overcome your fears. Be careful of what you think of others because it’s a reflection of what you are. Work at being a better person, and one day we can welcome a better World. . . This moment has proved that I am capable of almost anything I set my mind to and limitations is a status waiting to be changed. I thank everyone who stood beside me and believed in my vision. 🙏🙌❤😘😙😘😍🙆😊💓 . . #missuniverse #mugb2017 #missuniversegb #fear #migrant #refugee #positive #change #love #modelling #friends #family #girls #pageant #empowerment #inspiration #inspire #aspire #history #munajama #caftan #kaftan #stage #london #dubai #love #indonesia #malaysia @missuniversegb Photographer @leedarephotography
Help me congratulate the outstanding and beautiful Anna Burdzy as Miss Universe Great Britain 2017 👑❤🎊🎉🎊🎉🎉, I’m proud to have come this far with the pleasure to share the stage with all these incredible women! ❤ for this I feel like a winner 🙏💋 thank you for following me on my journey, it wouldn’t have been the same without your encouraging messages, constant support and nonstop love that I was able to make history for the first time ever! Thank you 🙏😘💪💕💕 . . . mugb2017 #missuniversegb #cardiff #threecountries #blacksash #Mercurecardiffhollandhouse #missuniversegb #missuniversecardiff
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