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Muslim Beauty Queen Uproar.
August 27, 2006 3:22 PM   Subscribe

Ayten Ahmet is a 16 year old girl who wants to win the Miss Teen Australia Beauty pageant [some links here possibly NSFW]. The problem is some of Australia's Muslim leaders, such as Melbourne cleric Sheik Mohammed Omran, have branded her entry into the competition as a "slur on Islam". Ayten doesn't know what all the fuss is about, saying "As long as you present yourself well, respect yourself and respect others, that's what's important. Religion's not an issue." [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
This is probably just another lame beauty pageant faux controversy designed to promote one contestant's chances of winning over the others (it's happened before) but if that's really what this is, then isn't the real slur on Islam its use as a way to stir this 'controversy' in the first place?
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:22 PM on August 27, 2006


I can imagine what certain Christians leaders would think of the kind of attire young Christian girls might wear, were they to enter beauty pageants.

I can also imagine that most people, including the contestant, would completely ignore them and chalk it down to "typical Christian wowserism", instead of reporting it in The Australian.

Come on, ignore the stupid people! It's not that hard!
posted by Jimbob at 3:53 PM on August 27, 2006


I hate Christianity. But I really hate Islam.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 4:01 PM on August 27, 2006


IMHO, now's a good time for everyone to learn how things work in a non-theocracy.

Ms. Ahmet is certainly entitled to do as she pleases regarding participating in the pageant. But she should realize that it most likely will affect her participation (which may be minimal anyway) in the organized religious community of Muslims. She's a tad disingenuous if she thinks a swimsuit competition is going to fly.

As for the imam, he is entitled to his opinion. Any threats or physical harm from the imam or his flunkies and the perpetrators should be shown the door out of the country or the door to a jail cell. Period.
posted by bim at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2006


Young girl wants to behave like a young girl.
Young girl happens to be a Muslim.
Random Muslim cleric says 'Oooh, naughty.'
World goes apeshit.

This is such a non-fucking issue. If we replaced every instance of the word Muslim/Islam with Christian, nobody would give two fucks.
posted by cheaily at 4:14 PM on August 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


I wonder if he has denounced suicide bombers too. Surely they are a worse slur on islam.
posted by milkwood at 4:18 PM on August 27, 2006


Islam is still stuck where Xtianity was about five to eight centuries ago (except for certain parts of the South and Midwest in the US). They're having a terrible time with "be in the world but not of the world" -- it's a 200-way balancing act.

I knew an imam at a mosque in an American university town a long time ago. He was much more concerned about how the kids in his madrassah treated one another within their community and whether they behaved properly among the larger Western community than getting bent out of shape about Westernized trappings. From what friends told me, he was really good about focusing on Allah and the Prophet's teachings, peace be upon him, and not so much on whether the girls were wearing jeans and makeup to classes. He'd grown up in Lebanon before all the craziness that started in the '70s, though, so he was pretty liberal by current standards -- he was more into praising the young women who chose to dress modestly than condemning the ones who wanted to fit in with their American classmates.

If he's still around, I can imagine some of his co-religionists would probably want to stone him or something.
posted by pax digita at 4:22 PM on August 27, 2006


Maybe this is the "slur on Islam" the sheik was worried about.
posted by Guy Smiley at 4:24 PM on August 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


World goes apeshit? Near as I can tell it's merited two little tiny articles in the Australian papers.
posted by furiousthought at 4:26 PM on August 27, 2006


"[S]ome of Australia's Muslim leaders, such as Melbourne cleric Sheik Mohammed Omran, have branded her entry into the competition as a 'slur on Islam'."

The most useful thing about all this hubbub is that it shows which is better written, The Australian or the Herald Sun. According to the Australian, the cleric says that her participation is a slur on Islam. According to the Herald Sun, the cleric says that the competition itself is a slur on Islam, as in "last year? When there were no Muslims participating? Yeah, that's right, still a slur on Islam."
posted by Bugbread at 4:33 PM on August 27, 2006


Guy Smiley, that pig will haunt my dreams.
posted by ®@ at 4:45 PM on August 27, 2006


Googling has revealed that Sheik Mohammed Omran is the Fred Nile (Americans, read "Jerry Falwell") of Islam in Australia. So why are we so shocked and surprised again?
posted by Jimbob at 4:59 PM on August 27, 2006


Are the Ahmet family Turkish (their names sound Turkish to be ignorant ears)? Would I be wrong to read this as relaxed semi-secular Turks vs non-Turkish fundies?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:02 PM on August 27, 2006


Are the Ahmet family Turkish (their names sound Turkish to be ignorant ears)? Would I be wrong to read this as relaxed semi-secular Turks vs non-Turkish fundies?

Yes. As the third link in the OP points out, the family is of Turkish descent...and is currently attending a Catholic school. They don't sound real hard core Muslim, do they?
posted by bim at 5:19 PM on August 27, 2006


Indeed, bim. All the more reason to suggest that this is all little more than some thinly veiled attempt to promote either the girl or the pageant (or both).
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:29 PM on August 27, 2006


It might just be loud-mouthed self-promotion on the part of the cleric.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:33 PM on August 27, 2006


Christians have some pretty silly parts of their bible as well that speak out at all kinds of normal American activities, but thankfully most people in the western world put their secular sense of morality before their christian one. If they didn't, we'd still have crusades and public stonings. We just need to help the muslim world develop its own secular morality.
posted by Citizen Premier at 5:50 PM on August 27, 2006


I wonder if he has denounced suicide bombers too. Surely they are a worse slur on islam.

I know the whole suicide bomber thing has really lowered my opinion of Islam and hampered my ability to feel completely safe with muslims in my own community, as much as I realize it's unfair.

Unfortunately I'm being totally serious. It makes me sad to say it, but I am also serious.
posted by illovich at 6:02 PM on August 27, 2006


the Miss Teen Australia Beauty pageant [some links here possibly NSFW]

Um, it's a teen pageant. It better all be work safe, unless for some reason looking at a chick in a dress can get you fired.

Oh, and by the way, is anything on metafilter *really* work safe? I mean, if you're caught slacking off, isn't that automatically NSFW?
posted by Deathalicious at 6:11 PM on August 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


She's dead.
posted by MonkMojo at 6:16 PM on August 27, 2006


MonkMojo writes "She's dead."

Holy shit. Do you have a link for that? Was it foul play, or an accident?
posted by mr_roboto at 6:25 PM on August 27, 2006


I think MonkMojo meant something to the effect of "Man, she's toast.", not "I read this afternoon that she got run over by an ice cream truck".
posted by unreason at 6:34 PM on August 27, 2006


Indeed, bim. All the more reason to suggest that this is all little more than some thinly veiled attempt to promote either the girl or the pageant (or both).

Effigy -- I don't see why you would draw the inference that there's self promotion for whoever from this uproar. :)
posted by bim at 6:41 PM on August 27, 2006


Oh, and by the way, is anything on metafilter *really* work safe? I mean, if you're caught slacking off, isn't that automatically NSFW?

If the powers that be fired everyone who did a little internet surfing during the day, there would be no one left to do any work.

Everything in moderation, IMHO.
posted by bim at 7:05 PM on August 27, 2006


I think the larger question is: precisely what the fuck isn't a slur on Islam to these people?
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 7:28 PM on August 27, 2006


Sherene Hassan, executive committee member of the Islamic Council of Victoria, said Sheik Omran's comments were unfair. "He is entitled to his opinion, but people should be aware he does not represent the mainstream Muslim community," Ms Hassan said.

Amen to that.

I bet a lot of Christian pastors in this country probably say the same thing about beauty pageants. Nobody makes overreaching statements about Christians when that happens.
posted by laz-e-boy at 7:55 PM on August 27, 2006


And another fuck-off-drama

who cares about all this shit anyway?
posted by zouhair at 8:05 PM on August 27, 2006


Good thing she didn't draw a cartoon depicting Mohammed or anything.
posted by bshort at 8:36 PM on August 27, 2006


pax digita: I regretfully disagree with your remark that Muslims are where Christians were centuries ago. I think these whacky hard-line Muslims are in fact where Christianity will be in a couple of decades.
posted by kfx at 8:53 PM on August 27, 2006


I should clarify that I mean the whacky hard-line Muslims are where the whacky hard-line Christians will be in a few decades, if not sooner. There will always be a larger population of people that just amble along, rubbing shoulders with people whose views are radically different without kicking up a fuss.
posted by kfx at 8:54 PM on August 27, 2006


Teen beauty contests aren't a slur on Islam, they're a slur on humanity.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:10 PM on August 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


So in a nutshell:

Allowing teenage muslim girls to enter beauty pageant: Evil.

Allowing teenage muslim girls to burn to death: A-ok!
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:15 PM on August 27, 2006


bim: I have family friends whose daughters went to Catholic schools (in Brisbane) and they're pretty devout Muslims. It might be a cultural thing though - said daughters are Bangladeshi, and Muslims differ according to geographic location.

She's not the first one hit with this; it's precisely this sort of edict that has barred Malay Muslims in Malaysia from entering beauty contests. (I don't know if this applies to Muslims of other ethnicities.) So now, any Miss Malaysia is defintely NOT Malay - they can't even join minor contests.

(interestingly enough, Singapore fielded a Malay Muslim contestant to Miss Universe one time and received no controversy. And it looks like this year's Miss Egypt may be Muslim too.
posted by divabat at 10:17 PM on August 27, 2006


All the more reason to suggest that this is all little more than some thinly veiled attempt to promote either the girl or the pageant (or both).

Or the Holy War on Terror.

Both The Australian & The Herald Sun are Murdoch propaganda rags, aren't they?
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:02 PM on August 27, 2006


I was in India once at the time they were hosting Miss Universe. This caused quite a bit of grief to the country's traditionalists - women dress and behave very modestly there - but as if the entire concept of a beauty pageant wasn't terrible enough, the swimsuit section of the contest was way beyond the pale.

They had to move it to the Seychelles because Indian feminists & Hindu fundamentalists were threatening to indulge in the country's favourite form of batshitinsane protest: self-immolation.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:07 PM on August 27, 2006


I know the whole suicide bomber thing has really lowered my opinion of Islam and hampered my ability to feel completely safe with muslims in my own community, as much as I realize it's unfair.

Where do you live, Iraq?
posted by delmoi at 12:29 AM on August 28, 2006


kfx, eh, maybe you're right...I seem to recall getting some vague sense that Islam went through a sort of golden age where they didn't kill anybody they differed with, whereas, at least in the West, the church got all freaky with Inquisitions and witchhunts. I think Islam's gotten along rather better with Eastern Xtianity, though. Didn't an Orthodox monastery grant sanctuary to Mohammed at one point?

I think the weirdness in contemporary Xtianity is largely an American thing, although the Church in Africa seems to have collective bug up its @$$ about homosexuality while apparently looking the other way on extramartial heterosex and AIDS.

I can understand how you're (mis?)perceiving Xtianity as getting more fundie and puritanical, but really, it's been worse in the US in the past and now it's mostly acting nutso (a) in contrast to an increasingly secular contemporary American society and (b) enjoying, in the last 20 years or so, political power out of all proportion to its representation among American population, because these two groups (religious conservatives and political right-wingers) are two groups that love a good old-fashioned power trip.

laz-e-boy:
Nobody makes overreaching statements about Christians when that happens.

You're new around here, aren't you? :o)
posted by pax digita at 7:18 AM on August 28, 2006


I'd hit it. Then ask it questions, a lot of them.
posted by econous at 12:05 PM on August 28, 2006


Same shit, different year.
posted by verisimilitude at 5:44 PM on August 28, 2006


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