Aspirant Muslim Miss Universe rebuffs critics | Pakistan Today

Aspirant Muslim Miss Universe rebuffs critics

LONDON – Shanna Bukhari became the first Muslim to represent Britain in 2011 Miss Universe contest to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Bukhari, 24-year-old who was born to Pakistani parents in Blackburn, announced her ambition last week to become the first Muslim to represent Great Britain at the beauty contest. She also got the unique distinction for being criticised both by Muslims and far right British people for her decision to participate in the beauty competition.
She told media that she receives around 300 messages a day on her Facebook page, a handful of which are abusive. Most of the negative comments have come from a minority of Muslim men.
“I get people saying, ‘you’re not a Muslim’ and ‘you’re using religion to get attention’. I said they were the ones bringing religion into it. I’m not representing Islam; I just want to represent my country, and of that I am very proud. They are trying to control me, using religion as a tool to attack.”
One Facebook message calls her a “dirty Muslim” and asks why she is representing Britain “when you don’t even belong here”. Bukhari said, “I actually replied to him in a very calm manner because I’m not one to retaliate, my family taught me to rationalise rather than react. Then I thought ‘why can’t I represent Britain?’ I was born here and am proud to be British. My parents are from Pakistan but I am not going to represent Pakistan as this is my country.”
Shanna Bukhari, an English literature graduate said that she is encouraged by the support she received from people from Spain, the Middle East, Pakistan, India and China. Most supporters say she represents not just a role model for Muslim women, but for all those who refuse to be cowed by bullies.

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