A Nigerian, Obabiyi Aisha Ajibola, was crowned winner of a beauty pageant exclusively for Muslim women in Indonesia on Wednesday.
After a show in front of an audience of mainly religious scholars and devout Muslims, a panel of judges picked Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola from Nigeria as the winner of the Muslimah World pageant.
Upon hearing her name, the 21-year-old, a student of the University of Lagos, knelt down and prayed, then wept as she recited a Koranic verse.
She said it was “thanks to almighty Allah” that she had won the contest. She received 25 million rupiah ($2,200) and trips to Mecca and India as prizes.
Hosted by Dewi Sandra, an Indonesian actress and pop star who recently hung up her racy dresses for a headscarf, the pageant featured both Muslim and pop music performances, including one about modesty, a trait the judges sought in the winner.
More than 500 contestants competed in online rounds to get to the Muslimah World final in Indonesia, one of which involved the contenders comparing stories of how they came to wear the headscarf.
The contest was first held in 2011 under a different name and was only open to Indonesians, but after the media began comparing it to Miss World, it was rebranded as a Muslim alternative to the world-famous pageant. Because of its popularity, organisers accepted foreign contestants this year for the first time, with Iran, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Nigeria and Indonesia represented.
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