First Muslim Wins "Miss England" Contest

September 5, 2005

Source: The Telegraph

On September 5, 2005 The Telegraph reported, "An 18-year-old student who was born in Uzbekistan has become the first Muslim to be crowned Miss England. Hammasa Kohistani, who has divided the Islamic community, beat 39 other competitors in a two-day final at Liverpool's Olympia Theatre. She was crowned Miss England on Saturday night and will travel to China for the final in December, when she could win £55,000. Miss Kohistani, of Uxbridge, west London, said: 'I'm making history and I'm very happy. Hopefully I won't be the last Muslim girl to take home the title.' Before the Miss England final Islamic leaders in the North-West urged all four Muslim entrants to withdraw from the contest as they would be compromising the teachings of the Koran by showing naked flesh. Miss Kohistani said in response to the criticism: "I don't think I have done anything wrong. I have the utmost respect for the strong beliefs of the religious leaders." However, she said other people also had the right to their own views and she hoped people would respect her for her decisions."