20-year-old Shaima Kassem Abd ar-Rahman from Kirkuk, who won last week the title of «Miss Iraq», told reporters that receives threatening phone calls. According to her one of the callers stated that it is obliged to join the Caliphate «Islamic state», and in case of refusal will be kidnapped and murdered.
Family members of Simi heard such threats before, two of her cousins served in the police force, were killed by militants.
A student of the economic faculty Shaima Kasem tries not to draw attention to the threat of Islamists, saying he was happy to be the first «Miss Iraq» for the last 44 years. In an interview with American TV channel NBC News she said she will continue to fight for the rights of Iraqi women, what obstacles arose in the way: «I want to prove that Iraqi women should take their rightful place in society that she has the same rights as men. I’m not afraid of anything, because I believe that not doing anything wrong».
The final show of the national beauty contest «Miss Iraq» was postponed from October to December due to dissatisfaction with religious communities and threats against the participants. During this time the number of candidates for the crown of the first beauty of the country decreased from 200 to 10. Iraqi Shias accused the organizers of the competition in «Freemasonry» and «aiding Zionism». Sunnis sympathetic to the «Islamic state», was threatened with the massacre participants.
However, despite threats and harsh criticism from the Islamists, the final show was held. Although at the last moment two finalists refused to participate in the competition because of the threats.
This is the first Iraqi beauty contest held by the standards of Miss World and Miss Universe, after 1972. The winner can represent Iraq in international competitions.
The first and last time the representative of Iraq participated in the contest «Miss universe» in 1972. It was Wijdan Burhan ad-DIN Suleiman. The competition then took place in Puerto Rico on the background of the extremely tense international situation: two months before the show there was a terrorist attack at the hotel where «Miss USA», shortly before the militants of the «Japanese red army» that operated in collusion with the leadership of the «Popular front for the liberation of Palestine», killed dozens of people in Israel’s international airport in Lod (now the airport of a name Ben-Gurion). Because of threats of terrorists, Lebanon has refused from participation in the contest, and the Lebanese Dahlia Rizk, winner of the title «Miss universe 1971» did not go to the ceremony of the coronation of his successor – Australian Kerry Anne wells.
The Muslim community of Iraq condemned Wijdan Suliman for participating in «satanic» contest, and since then, Iraqi beauty never appeared at the international beauty contests, with the exception of modest contests «Miss Arab world», held in Egypt.
The organizers of the «Miss Iraq’s 2015» I wanted to break this «tradition», but faced stiff resistance from religious clerics.
According to one of the organizers and judges of the contest «Miss Iraq» fashion designer of the Shonan Kamel, every effort was made to «adapt» the rules of the contest to the norms of religious morality. Instead of show in swimsuits in Basra is planned for the catwalk in modest long skirts and traditional costumes. But, to match the standards of international competitions, the organizers do not allow the appearance of the participants on the podium in Muslim headscarves – the face must be open.
Kamel stressed the importance of compliance with international competition standards, designed to demonstrate to the world the civility of the Iraqi society. He is sure that such contests «give hope that life in Iraq will continue.»