Monday, April 10, 2006

Freedom on the march!

Iraq's Beauty Queen Resigns After Four Days

Pageant Winner Cites Threats by Religious Extremists

Iraq's newly crowned beauty queen, Tamar Goregian, has decided to step down -- just four days after her election, making this the shortest reign in the pageant's 60-year history.

On April 9, the 23-year-old, who was the first Armenian Iraqi to win the Miss Iraq pageant, announced her resignation after receiving threats by a group of religious extremists who referred to her as "the queen of infidels" for participating in the contest....

Pageant organizers had hoped to pass the crown to the runner-up, or "Maiden of Beauty," Mona Hilmi, an Iraqi Sunni Muslim. One of the organizers said she was "equally intelligent and beautiful."

However, the second and third runners-up also withdrew from the competition for security concerns. They had not received specific threats.

Miss Teen Iraq, Silva Shahakian, a Christian, accepted the title....

Interesting that the pageant has been held for sixty years. I know that at least one right-winger (you know who you are) is going to jump on me for saying this, but this is just a reminder that Iraq before the war was Cuba, not Darfur -- a repressive regime that was unspeakably brutal to certain people, but not hell on earth.

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