Thursday, May 20, 2010

Celebration of beauty?

The world is a buzz, once again with a woman at the centre of the sensationalism. The recently crowned Miss USA 2010 is being hailed as the “first Muslim Miss USA” and many people regard this as a victory. I will not go into the contradictions that this involves; the implications are obvious enough to have many eye brows raised. The whole idea of a beauty pageant in itself is ridiculously exploitative, and instead of celebrate a woman’s beauty, it turns her into this object of adoration and lust. Below all the glitz and glamour, how many people really take ‘beauty queens’ seriously? But that’s not a concern here; most people already understand the absurdity of beauty pageants.

This has got me thinking though, at this point and time in life, amidst the banning of the niqab and burqa in more than one European country; I don’t believe it is a coincidence that this woman with Arab- Lebanese roots becomes crowned as Miss USA.

The sad thing is that once again a woman has being used in the game of politics, and it’s even sadder that she is oblivious to this, happily smiling waving and jumping for joy , celebrating her title as a beauty queen. Crowning this Arab woman as Miss USA, is telling the world, ‘hey look, she’s a Muslim, and she’s liberated, beautiful and sexy”, and the point this is making is basically, “you see, Muslim women don’t need to cover up their beauty, it can also be celebrated”. Really, think about it, why else would they make such a big deal of this?

It plays well within the current political climate doesn’t it? While they’re plotting and planning, banning the veil and burqa, fining women for dressing how they want to (which is blatantly preposterous and nobody does anything about it), here emerges the first Muslim Miss USA, and she definitely isn’t wearing any burqa, veil or even headscarf. So what this does is strengthen their argument against the veil, seemingly making it as if religion has nothing to do with the veil and someone can be a Muslim without all that “covering up”.

Using women for bigger agenda’s is not something new. If you study historical events you will see that this is commonplace. Women are always regarded as weaker human beings who can be exploited and used in many ways to get men to succumb. In this case, it’s just being candy coated so it looks good on the outside and nobody will question it.

So for those people who see this as evidence that America is definitely “the land of the free”, where people of all faiths are embraced and where diversity is celebrated in all spheres, even beauty pageants, I urge you to think again. In my opinion this is nothing more but a socio-political tactic, a woman once again being used as a pawn in the great game. It’s really saddening to see that in so-called modern times, such archaic methods are still being employed.

Nevertheless, there are those people who have not been fooled by the deception and illusion that we are currently being fed; those that can see through the hidden agendas and who wishes not to celebrate false victories. Those who understand real truth and real beauty will understand exactly what I’m trying to say here.



  1. Salam wa alaykum!

    I couldnt agree with you more. When I first heard about her winning I became curious to find out more because of her name.I haven't come accross many articles that go deep into analyzing her faith. Really,she can believe what she wants, practice how she wishes, but of course the media says "hey its a brown=woman she represents" Islam and that is far as they go.

    I never even made the connection with the burqa ban and this win but I am so glad you mentioned it! What a coincindence.

    It just sucks to know that there are so many accomplished Muslim women like Dalia Mogahed who are doing amazing things and they barely get a day's attention in the media other then for their controversy.

    The only time people seem concerned about beauty pageants is when there is nothing better to watch on tv, if the winner is brown, or if she screws up her title by getting involved in some unbecoming behavour. Why care beyond that?

  2. Wa alaykumus salaam

    You are right, it is very dissapointing that Muslim women who are contributing so much are regarded negatively, but if they were given positive exposure then peoples arguments against Islam would not be valid because it would be obvious that Muslims are positie citizens who do not want violence, etc. In any case, Allah Almighty always brings the truth out and He will reward efforts of those who do good, there is no better reward.

    You are also right about people not even bothering about someones faith or how they practice Islam, as long as someone has a Muslim sounding name and has some link to Islam, they begin to call them Muslim, this is all part of the plan to separate Muslims and divide us into "moderate" and "extreme".

    How do you feel about the ban on niqab and burqa, its really sad to think that they would go to such lengths just to stop Muslim women from dressing how they want to. May Allah be with us all, Insha'Allah.

    Jazakallah Khayr for your comment, hope that you enjoy this blog, and your comments are always welcomed

    May Allah shower His peace and Blessings upon you and all the Muslims

  3. Salam wa alaykum,

    I really enjoy your posts sister and your perspective. May Allah bless you also. I just saw uploaded video of a niqabi from france on the ban. She said I will take it off since its the law,and under her niqab she was wearing a medical mask. She then explained how it still covered her face and that the law couldnt stop her from doing this.

    Number 1 I dont like it when they call the Niqab a burqa. Maybe I need to do my research but in my opinion the burqa is attributed to the blue (and other colored) garbs that many women in Afghanistan wore. I think calling a niqab a burqa pulls certain images associated with forced oppression (taliban...even though many women wore it before the Taliban enforced it).

    Number 2 I think it is ridiculous, how can you have freedom of expression, or a secular society when you force a certain group to adhere to certain rules. There is nothing different from this law and the religious police say in Iran.

    Number 3, it seems that most of anyone who is for this thing has never even sat down and just talked with a Muslim woman. And if they had the opportunity they wont do it. They dont care to.

    I think it all has to do with basic understanding of humanity. We are losing our ability to do that, Muslims and non-muslims.

    One thing I do believe is that I dont think anything like that could ever pass here in the states and for that I am thankful.

  4. Alhamdulila, I am glad that you like my posts. Its nice to hear people's opinions as well:)

    You are right, people do lack basic human understanding, and if they had to talk to someone wearing niqab then their perceptions would definitely change.

    Insha'Allah we pray that nothing like that gets passed in our countries, I am in South Africa and Alhamdulila we are also free to practice Islam here, women can even wear niqab at university (and yes there is a big difference between niqab and burqa but people dont even seem to care about finding that out).

    I can't imagine what its like for our fellow Muslim sisters in countries like France or Germany, May Allah make things easy for them.

    Well, jazakallah khayr for your valuable input, its always welcome!

  5. Salaam wa alaykum zarina!

    just found your blog and really loving your entries. thanks so much for this post, i couldn't agree with you any more! mashallah you have presented such a valuable and well thought out perspective on the matter rather than just hilight the controversy. pleasure to read :)

  6. Jazakallah Khayr Zahra, hope you continue to enjoy reading, look forward to hearing your comments:)