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Miss World Australia faces attacks for being Muslim

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NC Monitoring Desk

Esma Voloder, Australia’s first Muslim Miss World Australia, has faced a torrent of attacks for being Muslim. According to Miss World Australia’s national director, the organisation has been ‘bombarded’ with calls and messages for ‘letting a Muslim win’. “We have had lots of calls, people saying terrible things,” Deborah Miller, the national director of Miss World Australia, said to the Daily Telegraph. “People have said: ‘How did you let a Muslim win?’. We believe Esma is a strong woman and represents a multicultural Australia.” Responding to the criticism, Voloder said she hoped to break down barriers and the ignorance of her critics. “I forgive them … I feel it comes from a lack of understanding,” said Voloder, according to the Daily Telegraph. “I am hoping to break down the barriers by just being me.” WHO IS VOLODER Voloder, 25, was born in a refugee camp following the Bosnian war before migrating to Melbourne, Australia with her family as a child. “I want [Australians] to know we’re just people,” said Voloder following her victory to an Australian television channel when asked about being a former refugee. “We’re people from around the world, and obviously there has to be quite a strong reason for people to need to leave their country.” Asked about being a Muslim, Voloder said that Islam is often misconstrued in statements to the Daily Mail. “A lot of things have been misconstrued about Islam,” said Voloder, who works as a criminal profiler, to the Daily Mail. “‘I feel that a category has been created that is not really what the Quran actually promotes. I believe Islam is about peace, unity, prosperity and inclusion.”

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