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THE PUNCH -Nigerian wins World Muslim beauty contest


Aisha Ajibola

A 21-year-old Nigerian woman, Aisha Ajibola, has emerged the winner of a beauty pageant that is exclusively for Muslims in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, on Wednesday.

She was chosen among 20 contestants from six countries to wear the crown in the 2013 Muslimah World beauty pageant, ahead of the controversial Miss World event scheduled to take place in the same country in a few weeks from now.

According to a report monitored online, all the 20 finalists in the contest were covered from head to toe during the event. They were required to wear headscarves, stroll up and down and do a catwalk in elaborately embroidered dresses and stilettos before an audience comprising religious scholars and other devout Muslims.

A panel of judges chose the winner on the basis of how well she recited Quranic verses and her views on Islam in the modern world.

In post event interview, the organisers of the pageant, which was held in a shopping mall in Jakarta, said it was designed primarily to challenge the idea of beauty as expressed by the Miss World pageant.

Also, the founder of the pageant, Eka Shanti, said the timing of the event was intended to show that there were alternative role models for Muslim women around the world.

In recent time, thousands of Indonesian Muslims took to the streets to protest the hosting of the Miss World pageant in the country. The protesters had denounced the contest as erotic and burnt effigies of the organisers to register their anger.

The government had been moved by the protests to order the organisers to move the pageant to the Island of Bali, also in the country.

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