1. The World Muslimah is “Islam’s answer to Miss World,” according to Eka Shanti, who founded the Indonesian beauty pageant in 2011 after losing her job as a TV news anchor for refusing to remove her headscarf, Agence France-Presse reported.
More than 500 Muslim women from Iran, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Nigeria, and Indonesia competed in an initial contest online. Twenty finalists were chosen to participate in the final round held in Indonesia on Sept. 18.
The finalists from six countries cat-walked in their hijabs before an audience of Islamic scholars and devout Muslims in a shopping mall in Jakarta. They were judged not only on beauty but also on traits of modesty and piety, how well they recited Koranic verses, and their views on Islam in the modern world.
The Miss World contest, which started on Sept. 8, incited weeks of protest in host country Indonesia with some denouncing the contest as “pornography” and burning effigies of the organizers.
The government was forced to move the entire contest to the Hindu-majority island of Bali where the finals will be held on Sept. 28.
Organizers of the World Muslimah wanted to show that opposition to the Miss World event could be expressed nonviolently.
4. Here’s what World Muslimah 2013 looked like:
21-year-old Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola from Nigeria was crowned the winner of World Muslimah 2013.
Upon winning, she dropped to her knees, wept and recited Koranic verses.
Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola of Nigeria is crowned.
A contestant walks the ramp in the grand final of World Muslimah 2013.
Members of the audience pose for a photo during the contest.
Contestants on stage during the World Muslimah final.
Sufi dancers perform during the World Muslimah contest.
Contestants of the World Muslimah pageant prepare backstage for the grand final of the contest.
A contestant waiting backstage holds a copy of the Koran.
Contestant Naznin Sultana of Bangladesh prepares backstage for the finale.
Contestants (from left to right) Dayangku Rabiatul Adawiyah of Brunei, Futri Virginia of Indonesia, Aisha Aderonkie Adeshina of Nigeria, and Masoumeh Ebrahimi of Iran.
Rehearsals for the final of the World Muslimah contest.
Indonesian World Muslimah pageant contestant Putri Puspita Wardani during rehearsals.
Contestants of the World Muslimah contest (second row, wearing sashes) and members of the Indonesian Hijabers community, a female Muslim community whose members wear headscarves, take part in a fun walk in Jakarta on Sept. 15, 2013.