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Miss Headscarf Pageant

They've Got Beauty Covered — the Miss Headscarf Pageant

A Danish television station held a “Miss Headscarf 2008” beauty contest to show “cool Muslim women who often make up a very fashion-conscious and style-confident part of the Danish street scene.” The hope behind the pageant was to quell the controversy over calls for a ban on Islamic dress in public and foster healthy debate.

One behind the pageant says, "We would like to contact all the Muslim women who are seldom heard in the debate but are often just as preoccupied with fashion and beauty as other women." Entrants in the pageant don't have to be Muslim, they just need to submit a photo of themselves wearing a headscarf. One of the contestants in her video says, "It's about the time the media talked to us, and not about us all the time."

Not everyone thinks it's a great idea. To see why not, the BBC video of the story, and the winner,


This idea is widely criticized by Islamic traditionalists, one of whom, a spokesman for the Islamic Society, said: “I strongly advise the girls to shun the competition," and went on to compare the women competing to nuns competing in a beauty pageant. This is the second conflict Danish media has had with Islamist fundamentalism since 2005 when a newspaper depicted the image of the prophet Mohammed, which sparked outrage and the threats of attack. The winner of the controversial contest is 18-year-old Huda Falah.

Can a contest like this foster healthy debate and a greater understanding of women in the faith? Does the very notion of the pageant go against their religion?


Join The Conversation
XSofieX XSofieX 9 years
NO Denmark does not have a death wish, do you??? Seriously please remember that not all Danes makes these decisions only a limited few, and this is just an attempt to include modern young muslim girls in such activities. Shouldn't we try to help the next generation of muslim girl in a way that they are comfortable insteac of always refering to traditional and islamist interpretations of the headscarf etc? Most muslims are religious but not fanatics and let the girls be girls rather than making a big deal out of everything! By the way if the guys are still talking about the cartoons you obviously did not understand the true meaning behind them. Please look it up before you judge
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
stephley!!! :rofl:
stephley stephley 9 years
Probably a book of cartoons they can't publish.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I heard Salmon Rushdie is running for office there.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
Yeah, but what would I win??? ;-)
stephley stephley 9 years
Get to Denmark Martini, you might win something!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
You know, when I married my husband, one of his friends gave me a book that is all about different ways to wrap a headscarf and "style" it. I will never forget that one of them basically was like an oragami crane or something on top of your head...needless to say, that book has sat on a shelf....
stephley stephley 9 years
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Get ready for this... I agree with you, Stephley. To me, on the surface, it seems like a harmless and possibly good idea. However, I can definitely see how people of strong faith would be offended by this. Lilkimbo agree with Stephley. Mark this day in your calendars.
stephley stephley 9 years
Does Denmark have a collective death wish? There's no way this is going to go over well. I can understand the idea, and from my personal perspective it seems respectful of women who wear the scarves, but it would be like a fancy church hat competition for Catholic women (years ago, head covering in church was standard) - fun for the ladies, but totally missing the church's purpose.
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