Muslim radicals and the government itself may prevent Erica Robin, who won Miss Pakistan Universe, to compete in November’s Global Miss Universe.
by Massimo Introvigne
We at “Bitter Winter” are no specialists of international beauty pageants, but those who are seem to agree that in November’s Global Miss Universe in El Salvador Pakistan will have a serious candidate, Erica Robin, who just won Miss Universe Pakistan. Unless she does not compete at all.
Beauty, a good career as a model, a college degree in Business Administration, an unimpeachable reputation: Erica Robin has everything. Except for one small detail: she is a Christian and does not hide it.
Islamic radical parties have protested that a Miss Universe Pakistan pageant was held in the first place, claiming beauty pageants in general are against Islam. However, as many netizens have noted, there have been other beauty pageants in the Pakistan and never has the protest been so loud.
Finally, the cat came out of the bag when conservative Muslim critics, including Mohammad Taqi Usmani, a leading intellectual of the conservative Deobandi school, regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on sharia, stated that Christian Erica Robin “cannot represent Pakistan.”
As it usually happens, the Pakistani government proved to be more scared of possible fundamentalist street protests than of international criticism, and promptly announced that the country’s intelligence will investigate the pageant and how it happened that Robin won—read that the secret services should have found a way to prevent it. Now the model may be prevented from competing in El Salvador.
A familiar scheme repeated itself: something not to the taste of Islamic radicals happens, they threaten street protests, and the government humors them.