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Miss Malaysia Finalists Were Disqualified for What?!

Islamic law pulls the plug on four beauty pageant contestants

Four finalists for the Miss Malaysia World beauty pageant -- Sara Amelia Bernard, Wafa Johanna De Korte, Miera Sheikh and Kathrina Ridzuan -- have been unceremoniously banned from the competition after a bigwig decided that, due to their Muslim heritage, their participation is "sinful."

Federal Territories mufti Datuk Wan Zahidi Wan Teh, the bigwig in question, based his ruling on findings from a 1996 Administration of Islamic Laws Act and the pageant organizer, Datuk Anna Lim, was forced to yank the girls from the competition.

"I disqualified the girls because he (Wan Zahidi) posted a comment online saying that these girls are doing something illegal and against the Muslim law," said Lim, who maintains that she has never seen a copy of the rule before and wonders why, "If Miss World pageant can be held in Muslim countries such as Indonesia, it cannot be so in Malaysia?"

Naturally, the DQ'd women, who range in age from 19-23, are disappointed by the ruling. "I was so excited that Muslim women are able to represent our country at one of the largest international competitions," Wafa Johanna De Korte said in an interview. "We were told that all Malay girls will be wearing sports attire in the Malaysian finals and that the swimsuit section was taken out of the whole competition in the Miss World finals."

Lim, the organizer who remains flummoxed by the situation, says that unfortunately the decision has been made and that now, "the competition will go on as usual, and we are very excited about presenting the best beauty pageant for our non-Muslim finalists."

Does this seem like an unfair ruling to you? Or, should the women have known that participating was treading a thin line? (To learn more about the pageant, and see the contestants, you can click on over to the Miss Malaysia World Facebook page.)


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