First Miss Headscarf contest in Denmark

a muslim girl poses for the cameraOn Tuesday, an Iraqi-born student was named the winner of Denmark’s Miss Headscarf 2008. According to AFP, an 18-year-old won the controversial prize.

There were 46 candidates in the competition but Huda Falah came out first. The jury, which was made up of two people, awarded Falah the prize because of “her blue headscarf and her beautiful, irresistible style.”

Danish public broadcasters DR launched the first Islamic beauty pageant in the country on their youth website but the contest has been criticised by political figures who fear the contest will make an garment which is considered oppressive by many seem fashionable.

Falah does not believe this to be the case. She says Islamic women in Denmark are free to choose to wear the headscarf. She herself made the choice when she was nine.

“It’s a free country and the freedom of choice is there whether or not to wear a headscarf,” she said.

“A woman is like a diamond, and you don’t just show off a diamond to everyone,” she added.

Denmark’s relationship with Islam has been a difficult one this year as the country was recently the subject of a suicide attack. The Danish embassy in Pakistan was bombed earlier this month, many believe in response to the reprinting of a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed in newspapers in Denmark.