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Muslim beauty queen responds to hate in the most elegant way

Eve Dugdale

Published: Updated:

When somebody insults you, what’s your initial reaction?

Do you cry or get angry? Start a war of words or even go a step further and think of the worst insult you can throw back?

When Miss World Australia was targeted by haters recently, she did none of the above and instead chose to meet negativity with fierce positivity.

The 2017 winner Esma Voloder was responding to those who claim she is not representative of the country because of her Muslim beliefs.

A post shared by ESMA VOLODER (@esmavoloder) on

While fighting fire with fire could have been easy for the 25-year-old model, she instead told Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph: “I forgive them… I feel it comes from a lack of understanding.”

She added that life was “too short” for negativity and said that she was “hoping to break down the barriers just by being me.”

Born in a refugee camp during the Bosnian war, Voloder’s family relocated to Australia when she was just a few months old. The beauty queen went on to earn a degree in psychology and now works as a criminal profiler in Melbourne.

Nevertheless, since she was crowned Miss World Australia last month, the organization has received numerous “awful and mean” calls demanding the choice be revoked, according to the organization’s national director Deborah Miller.

She told The Telegraph: “We have had lots of calls, people saying terrible things.

“People have said: ‘How did you let a Muslim win?’. We believe Esma is a strong woman and represents a multicultural Australia.”

A post shared by ESMA VOLODER (@esmavoloder) on

There’s no doubting Voloder has worked hard to get to where she is so the idea she should be attacked for her faith is ridiculous.

But it’s brains over beauty that are now making the model stand out from the crowd. After accepting the crown recently, she said: “A lot of things have been misconstrued about Islam.

“I feel that a category has been created that is not really what the Quran actually promotes. I believe Islam is about peace, unity, prosperity and inclusion.

“The Islam that I know, that is in the Quran, I don't associate that with any acts that are occurring around the world.

“People tend to blame religion for the atrocities that are happening, but if we do that we take responsibility away from the individuals.”

A post shared by ESMA VOLODER (@esmavoloder) on

But was she right not to fight back to those trying to bring her down?

She may not have got angry but don’t assume she hasn’t fought back, says Saudi-based PR executive Asma.

“The way she has responded is wonderful!” she says.

“Her detractors want her to lower herself to their level. For one it shows them that she has been hurt by their words and two, they want to make her out to be a bad person. Prejudiced people would believe her responding with anger or bitterness would be a reflection of Islam. To have kept her decorum and instead made out that she pities them is the best way to respond.”

UK-based Laura Prichard echoes Asma’s sentiments.

A post shared by ESMA VOLODER (@esmavoloder) on

She says: “Spending any part of your life and energy angry, bitter or trying to justify or prove yourself to others is a complete waste of energy. You get one life so live it to the full and try to ignore everyone who tries to bring negativity your way. It's so powerful living like this and I wish I could live like this all the time. Well done to her!”

Fellow Brit Kate Brietholz adds: “How this lady has responded to these narrow minded idiots is all I've heard of this story and my first thought was that she's responding perfectly.

“Good on her for understanding that there are fearful, ignorant people, and that they will learn from her dignified, powerful approach to life.”

You stay classy Miss Australia!