.
.
.
.

Moroccan Model hopes to become first Muslim Miss Italy

A model of Moroccan origin, who has hopes of becoming the first Muslim Miss Italy, has slammed critics who accused her of insulting Islam

Published: Updated:

A model of Moroccan origin, who has hopes of becoming the first Muslim Miss Italy, has slammed critics who accused her of insulting Islam and in some cases even sent her abuse and threats via social media, British daily The Telegraph has reported.

Ahlam El Brinis, who was born in the northern Veneto region to Moroccan parents, described her critics as “ridiculous people with too much time on their hands,” and she added that “religion is in the heart, not in the choice of clothes you wear.”

The model was criticized following her decision to participate in Italy’s beauty pageant due to take place next month.
According to the report, critics accused her of disgracing Islam by posing in bikinis and underwear.

“There have been insults but there have been far more messages of encouragement, both from friends and people I have never met,” the 20-year-old told La Repubblica newspaper in a quote sited by The Telegraph. “Religion should have nothing to do with a beauty contest.”

She regards herself as a non-practicing Muslim, but says she respects Islam but does not want to be defined by it. She has stated that she feels entirely Italian, having been born and raised in the northern city of Padua.

“My parents came to the Veneto region more than 20 years ago and I was born in Padua hospital. I went to a nursery school run by nuns, where my mum worked as a cook. My family is Muslim but they have always been guided by Western values.”

The topic has sparked a national debate in Italy about immigration, identity and racial intolerance, with some critics reportedly furious that a “black” contestant should win the competition.