May 17th, 2010
09:11 AM ET

The Muslim Miss USA/Carrie Prejean Connection

Rima Fakih, a Muslim, was crowned Miss USA last night.

With last year's pageant kerfuffle over Carrie Prejean's announced opposition to gay marriage - a position she said is grounded in her Christian faith - the Las Vegas event is now officially a staging ground  for pressing national discussions about religion in American life.

Frequently portrayed in a negative light in the media, many Muslims are embracing Fakih's crowning, an unmistakable symbol of Islam as part of the American mainstream.

There's an ironic note here: Muslims are generally socially conservative and many are uneasy with all the exposed flesh that beauty pageants entail, as the Detroit Free Press noted in a recent profile of the Dearborn-based Fakih.

In that regard, Fakih's faith community isn't very different from Prejean's. Each woman's Miss USA appearance saw modest religious folk - Muslims and evangelical Christians, respectively - standing shoulder to shoulder with Donald Trump and the Vegas crowd.

Kind of odd - and very American.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Culture & Science • Islam

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Tommie Denker

    Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, excellent blog! Thanks!

    September 21, 2011 at 4:03 am |
  2. plumber fullerton

    Hey which you very much for the article, it absolutely was very and beneficial study! I'll be back again afterwards for certain.

    July 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  3. Can Crusher ·

    Carrier Prejean is not that pretty but she has a very perfect body `

    November 7, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  4. Eyelet Curtains 

    i would have to agree that Carrie Prejean has a great body but her face is not that pretty at all–`

    October 18, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  5. ybs

    Christians will sing a different "separation of church & state" tune when "Allah akbar" replaces "in god we trust!"

    The U.S. is the greatest nation on earth! Let's learn from past religious persecutions & strive for true "separation of church & state" now - before it's too late!

    August 14, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  6. Brandon Carter

    I've seen Carrie Prejean in person and i would have to say that she is just average looking",-

    August 12, 2010 at 7:29 am |
  7. patrickvwarren

    Just very sad,",i guess those involved) r bletter

    June 25, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  8. eRtwngr

    Had they asked her for an opinion on gay "Marriage", divorce laws, abortion or polygamy I wonder if she would have won.

    May 19, 2010 at 6:29 am |
  9. Randy

    Secularists just love "believers" who don't take their faith seriously enough to let it actually affect the way they behave.

    May 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  10. kw

    Muslim? Really? And, she was involved in a strip act recently? She doesn't look like any Muslim woman I have ever seen in Europe. In Muslim countries she would be 'stoned to death'....by her FATHER or BROTHER. Most Muslim women cover themselves from head to toe in public and disdain others who expose themselves. She is nominal Muslim at best

    May 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • TheMendicantBias

      Muslims in Europe are much different from Muslims in Canada and the United States, and even Muslims in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, India and Turkey.

      Those 5 countries + Canada and the USA have the most moderate muslims and the most muslims over-all.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  11. Important question for Miss Fakih on murderous Hezbolla

    Carrie Prejean was ambushed with a politically loaded question, yet she responded true to her beliefs. Miss Louisiana was also ambushed with a politically loaded question and she also responded true to her beliefs. Why didn't anyone ask Lebanese-born Shiite Miss Fakih to comment on Lebanese (mostly) Shiite Hezbolla? They have successfully attacked and killed US soldiers and citizens, not to speak of other nationalities. Would she have responded true to her beliefs? And would that have sabotaged her chances of winning Miss America? Or was the result predetermined?

    May 18, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • Jay Fakhuri

      C'mon, are you seriously trying to make the Lebanese look like a band of terrorists? Israel have killed plenty of more people. Who do you think is responsible for the Holocaust going on in Gaza?

      May 19, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  12. FreemonSandlewould

    Hey come on guys.... this is the subbornation of Islam although the libs at this beauty context think its a jab at conservatives!

    Cue the lib theme song ........ Dumb dumb dumb dum dum!

    May 18, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  13. Diana Cline

    Let not your heart be troubled; "The World is unfolding as it should."

    May 18, 2010 at 8:17 am |
  14. Average Joe

    Herb is exactly right. I wonder if the liberal judges voted for her BECAUSE she was muslim. The woman can't even walk in a long dress and can't answer a question coherently but she wins Miss USA? C'mon.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  15. LadyA

    Pole dance loving Rima has no class, no matter what her religion. Also, Trump will do anything to keep this silly dinosaur of a pageant in the news.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  16. Stacy

    Both Carrie an New Miss USA are from orthodox religious backgrounds...yet the sex tape and pole dance respectively in each of their past reveals how dishonest and hypocritical many of them are.Just goes to shw,in thisnew age nobody especially those seeking fame can keep the public blindfolded for long.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:06 am |
  17. Herb Calhoun

    The USA pageant used to be entertaining years ago,...it's now just a political platform. Test the political winds and you most likely can predict the winner.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:36 am |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.