April 14th, 2011
04:26 PM ET

Muslim beauty contestant faces critics on all sides, she says

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Manchester, England (CNN) - Shanna Bukhari gets some pretty nasty messages through Facebook, she says. They call her a "dirty Muslim." They say England is a "white nationality country" and she shouldn't be allowed to represent it.

But that's just what she hopes to do at the Miss Universe beauty contest this year. If the Manchester, England-based fashion model wins the British contest next month, Bukhari will become the first Muslim to represent Britain at the international contest.

The idea isn't going down well with everyone - Bukhari says she has gotten hate mail from across the board.

"I've had racists, I've had a minority from Muslim community, I've had it from all religions and all communities that dislike what I'm doing," she said.

The most upsetting messages, she said, are video links suggesting she should be murdered.

Since she started getting threats, she has made a point of never being alone, and a private security firm guards her when she appears at charity events, she said.

Some of the abuse she gets is based on a misunderstanding, she said.

"I am not representing Islam and I am not the one that brought my religion into this," Bukhari said. "The minority out there should not use my religion to attack me."

She's not planning to wear a bikini, she said, explaining that her swimsuit will be a one-piece topped with a sarong.

"I don't think I would be comfortable wearing a bikini," she said.

Bukhari says she's a good Muslim.

"This competition does not define me as a person. It doesn't make me any less of a Muslim being in a pageant like this," she said. "Pageants like this are happening in Muslim countries as well."

And a British woman shouldn't have to defend herself from the sort of criticism she's getting from a few Muslims, she argued.

"We live in a Western society and there is a minority out there who is trying to dictate and control others... they need to start accepting England as a whole and treat it as their country."

One of her critics agrees with her on that point.

"As much as I may oppose the way a certain person dresses, I think it's important that people should have the right to dress the way they want to dress," said Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Manchester-based Muslim youth organization working to build cross-community understanding.

But, although he says Shanna Bukhari may have a right to enter a beauty contest he says she should not.

"Islam is very clear that women should dress in a modest way and guard their modesty, and certainly as a liberal Muslim myself, I do believe that she should do just that."

He objects to pageants "where women have to be paraded and idolized as sexual objects," and dismisses the argument that pageant winners do a lot of charity work.

"You can promote peace without having the title Mrs Universe or Mrs UK for that matter," he said.

Despite his objections to beauty contests, Shafiq says he bears Bukhari no ill will.

"I totally condemn the death threats she may have received and the hate mail she may have received," he said. "I've opposed her but it doesn't mean I'm full of hatred and I wish her well."

More people back Shanna Bukhari's quest to be Miss Universe than oppose it, she said.

"I've had so much support from all over, not just the United Kingdom ... Hong Kong, China, Pakistan, India, many Muslim countries - it's way more than the hate that I've received," she said.

On the streets of Manchester, where she lives, not a single person who spoke to CNN objected to what Bukhari was doing.

"Whether you're Muslim or whatever your religion is, you should be entitled to do what you like. You should be allowed to do it regardless of your religion," said David Yates.

"Why not?" asked Priya Baghani, who is not Muslim. "In Manchester there are a lot of Muslims, so that might be representative of this community, so why not?"

Several women wearing headscarves declined to answer CNN's questions about Bukhari.

But one of the world's best-known Muslim beauty queens is backing her.

Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih is both the first Arab-American and the first Muslim to win that title. She sought out Bukhari after hearing her story to offer advice and a gift.

"Be fearless, be proud of who you are and no matter what anyone tells you by using religion as a tool against you, don't let that affect you," she said.

"I sent Shanna a bracelet just like mine," Fakih said, jangling a wrist covered with good luck charms, "and I hope it's going to keep her safe."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Culture wars • Europe • Islam • Muslim • United Kingdom

soundoff (1,004 Responses)
  1. Leta

    Funny, I never heard anyone have a problem with white South African women competing in any of the pageants!! What's the difference?

    April 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  2. TED




    April 14, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Drew

      Well I appreciate the sentiment but everyone is different and has different ideas of what they would and wouldn't want "done unto them." This seems to be the problem

      April 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Nauman

      Worship is not a need Ted, worship is love.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  3. RR

    I'd tap it.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  4. galileo

    All religion is evil. Its man attempting to take gods authority by writing and claiming its gods word. If the devil wanted to destroy humanity he could not have picked a better way to do it. If you believe in that crap. God Bless this woman. She has guts, looks and brains. I wish her well. I was Born and raised catholic. Still a christian but do not need YOU to tell me how God wants me to live.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Nauman

      Yeh, nobody needs to tell you how God wants you to live, you already know so much

      April 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  5. Sobee Willowski

    Take both of the virulent sides, and make them enjoy a honeymoon together, on camera. White racists and fundamentalist Muslims need to be married to one another, forcefully

    April 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  6. Carl LaFong

    Plenty of racsim on both sides to go around. What the f$%# difference does her religion make?

    April 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  7. desiinus

    As long as she is wearing a modest dress, and as long as her parents or her husband are ok, we all should be ok. Those guys who are threatening her may be doing so in ignorance or hatred.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  8. Alan

    @ Think about this. ......I'm not sure that replacing "Jews" where "Islam" was, is comparable. We are not talking apples and apples Jews are a people and Islam is an religious ideology. It is the teachings of Islam and not the people that make Nikos scared. Remember he didn't say he didn't trust Muslims he said Islam. If you read the Koran it lets you know that unless you believe, you are dirt an infidel to be treated in whatever fashion the followers see fit. These teachings in the hands of unenlightened people is a cause for great concern and will continue to be for some time in the future.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Nauman

      Alan I disagree with you that 'These teachings in the hands of unenlightened people is a cause for great concern and will continue to be for some time in the future'.
      These people and what they say or believe (or don't believe) in is all insignificant. They are blind and deaf and are worst than animals. they don't and can't harm the din of Allah

      April 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  9. Sam

    She tries just to mislead people, gain sympathy and get selected based on sympathy rather than based on beauty. Sorry gal , we are not stupid!!!!!!!

    My problem is that she is just UGLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

    April 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  10. isac0014

    First off, it is terrible that she is receiving such hates from all sides, however your choice of religion is a choice. If she wants to do something that is not accepted by her religion then she is not being a Muslim. I don't understand why people say they are something, but do not live by its standards. She lives in England, when last I checked was a country where you have a personal choice to belong to whatever faith you do. I grew up in a certain religion but did not agree with it when I got older and hence I do not identify with it. Do not say you are a cat when you act like a rabbit – that is my point.
    I do not understand why some people want to change a religion into being what they want it to be and not just change their religious beliefs if they do not see it fit to follow the faith truly. That said, I am sure she can denounce her so-called Muslim faith and become what she feels is right for her.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Drew

      Thats a pretty good point; I always find it strange when people who claim to be Christians don't believe in the divinity of Christ. It seems a little lazy and hypocritical to "pick and choose" in this manner. This is coming from someone not affiliated with any religion, BTW.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • חֲנוֹךְ

      Ever heard of the Lutheran Reformation? Maybe Islam needs a Martin Luther.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Nauman

      Couldn't agree more. If you can't follow the code of a religion just leave it, simple as that. Islam, the way it has been defined by God is the simplest but most difficult code to follow, and we muslims just love the way it is.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • isac0014

      It makes me sick to see how people think in general. Does anyone know what a religion is? Do we know why there are so many different types of christian religions out there? Being in a religion allows you to be with those who have the same, exact beliefs as you do according to whatever scripture you follow. You cannot be a Roman Catholic and not believe in Mother Mary, because that makes you not a Roman Catholic, so dont call yourself one – go join a religion that believes in the same thing as you.Reformation of any religion creates a new one or destroys the old religion entirely.
      This is why we have so many judgmental self-righteous idiots out there who dont think about what they are actually saying. And to those who just listen to one-sided views about any religion and not even know what they are taking about is just a retarded as a dog licking it's own ass.

      April 15, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  11. eastwood1379@gmail.com

    These damn Muslims keep moving into our countries and destroying us white folk.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • isac0014

      such an ignorant retard.

      April 15, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  12. Ken

    Islam is evil, plain and simple. This is just one more example of the powers that be trying to run it down the throat of the western world. This lady isn't ugly but she is no where near the best the UK has to offer. No way.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Nauman

      Islam is not evil Ken, it's the only one way that will save you, after a few years (or moments) of this life. Your western world will not be there when you will be brought in front of your creator..very soon..just hang in there and wait.
      God bless you

      April 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Drew

      You think that "they" are trying to shove Islam down our throats through a beauty pageant? How could that possibly be, especially when many conservative and even some moderate Muslims disapprove intensely of such pageants?

      April 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Stephen

      All religion is evil. It uses the empty threat of otherworldly power to enforce the rules and desires of whoever is in charge at the start of that religion. Religion is slavery of the mind.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Drew

      There are lots of ways of enslaving the mind, Stephen. For some, religion can be slavery and for others it can be freedom

      April 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Stephen

      There is nothing free about living a lie.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Drew

      You have literally no idea what is a lie and neither does anyone else.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Stephen

      I know that if there is a higher power out there, odds are that no one on earth is right about what it is.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Drew

      Well thats what I mean really, odds are none of us are right about ANYTHING. We don't even know for sure if there is a "right" i.e. some sort of objective truth.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Stephen

      Exactly. Therefor any religion is a fabrication created by man to control you.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Drew

      Well it could be but so could science, politics, history and really anything else.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Stephen

      All of those, when done correctly, require evidence. A lack of evidence is a fundamental component to religion.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Drew

      Well the idea of "evidence" rests on the supposition that we can observe things objectively, but this is sort of a "leap of faith" itself. We have no reason to believe that the information we gather from our senses is objective, and indeed we know that our senses can deceive us

      April 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Stephen

      Of course, but there is a big difference between "see for yourself and draw your own conclusions" and "believe or be punished by the king of all cosmos."

      April 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Drew

      Thats certainly true, all I'm saying is that some people might find fulfillment through religious faith, but it should certainly be an individual exploration. Obviously a blind obeisance to religious organizations can be problematic.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • wzrd1

      Indeed, so you ascribe to the notion that the US first amendment should be repealed AND you have the nerve to speak?
      "The powers that be" insist on following the law, call it politically correct, your type usually does when you want to break the law. WE law abiding citizens call you a scofflaw and even criminal.
      Religious freedom is guaranteed in the UK *AND* the US. Get used to it.
      If you don't like it, move to China. You'd fit in well over there.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Nauman

      @ Stephen, or anyone who has this confusion. Do you ever try to realize why some people believe in God? You can't see God, so you call following him a slavery of mind?

      April 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Stephen

      Believe whatever you want. That is your right, and I have no problem with that right. Just know that it's no more valid than believing in anything else that can't be proven and for which there is no evidence.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Ken

      Islam is evil. When you cut childrens throats. When you strap bombs to yourself. When you fly planes into buildings. When you behead the unbelievers you're evil. What turnip truck did you fall off?

      April 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Drew

      Good point Nauman, you put it much more eloquently and effectively than I was able to. I would say that Stephen perhaps fails to realize that materialism and empiricism can be just as mind-enslaving as any religion

      April 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Stephen

      Actually, Nauman, I didn't argue that there was no god. I stated that religion is slavery of the mind because it is created by man for the purposes of control. I did not say that about belief in a higher power.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Drew

      "Gotta serve someone"-Bob Dylan

      April 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Stephen

      Then serve your fellow man.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Drew

      Thats true. Although one could almost make the argument (and I'm not making it) that if there is no god then humans aren't worth anymore than animals.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Nauman

      @Stephen.. fair enough. If belief in a higher power is valid, then there is evidence as well..,not man made but real evidence. Keep your mind and heart open and you will reach the truth one day. for logical people like yourself, you will have to find it yourself, if you consider it important..

      April 14, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Nauman

      No muslim can cut childrens throats, neither can he kill innocent people. Those who strap bombes and commit suicide and kill others are out of Islam as well. Islam does not allow you to behead unbelievers either unless you are in a state of war with them (in a battle field). Those who hijack planes or destroy them into buildings are not muslims either.
      You are looking at wrong doers not the religion of Islam itself. How can a muslim even think about killing someone?

      April 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • foxfascism

      @Drew, its funny that you don't consider it a possibility that maybe we humans aren't any different or more important than other animals. Obviously a human being, being naturally egoistic in nature, considers himself more important, or on a higher plane than other animals. If there is a such thing as racism could there also be a such thing as specism? Are humans really the most important animal or is all life equally important? Is the intelligent consciousness of a human being more impressive then the infinity of our Universe? Should we worship the sun since that is where most of the elements on this planet come from? You guys have to think outside of the box that is society and religion otherwise what good is this "intelligence" that you are blessed with.

      April 15, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • Dontworry

      Who knows.....remember when obama demanded that NASA reach out to the muslims....what did he mean by that? Share our rocket and satellite technology with them? Putting a muslim in a pageant who is definitely not the most beautiful woman in Britain is shoving islam down our throats....

      April 15, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  13. Turp Griswald

    So much beauty. So much hatred. So much sadness.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  14. Eric

    Stay strong Shanna. i think it is great what you are doing. Prove them all wrong!!

    April 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  15. Fernt

    a touch light on the eye shadow.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Jones Foyer

      My thoughts exactly. She's doing multi-coat application with a base coat of primer. If you need that much, you don't have a lot of confidence in your natural beauty.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • wzrd1

      It could also be an effect of the camera. It DOES see in slightly different bands than the human eye sees. CCD cameras are more near infrared sensitive.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  16. Nikos

    I do my best to give all Muslims the benefit of the doubt and I think you should do as you please. I am not a racist or a bigot but I DO NOT AND WILL NOT TRUST Islam, they are the ones you need to fear. Islam is an evil ideology that encompasses one's life and actions- this is not the definition of a religion. That si the true shame of Islam, and one last note I do not Agree that this extremist view is among a very tiny fraction of Islam, I feel it is much more widespread then that. She should fear her fellow muslims not the evil non followers of Islam. Danish Cartoonist, South Park, Koran burner, honor deaths, and on and on and on..............................

    April 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Think about this

      "I am not a racist or a bigot but I DO NOT AND WILL NOT TRUST Jews." Yeah, just change one word and the reality of your statement becomes obvious.

      April 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • g

      Their behaviour has made it impossible and foolhardy to ever trust them. But of course they will call the race card.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Edward

      @ think about this- The difference is between muslim and Islam. So you should talk about the difference between Jews and zionism. Otherwise, you are mixing apples and oranges.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • חֲנוֹךְ

      Think about this: Everyone is a racist and a bigot at some point, even those that call others one. We all have our prejudices, sometimes with good reason. That doesn't condone groups like the Klan, Black Panthers or Muslim Brotherhood that take prejudice to the level of pure evil; but people have a legitimate reason to have issue with Islam at this time.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Nauman

      Islam is nothing but peace, it's just that the evil forces it is up against create a sharp contrast. Let me correct those who have a confusion here,'there is no such thing as moderate islam or muslims. every muslim who is a true believer in God is a fundamentalist and loves his faith.' And those who have adopted to kill innocent people in the name of Islam are not amongst muslims. Shauna should not fear her fellow muslims because she does not have any..
      Blindness of eye is better than blindness of heart

      April 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • BG

      @ Nauman

      "Let me correct those who have a confusion..."

      That's ok. There's no confusion.


      April 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Jmgone

      @ Think about this

      "I am not a racist or a bigot but I DO NOT AND WILL NOT TRUST Jews." Yeah, just change one word and the reality of your statement becomes obvious.


      Your statement rings hollow. You change Islam to Jews and you get the a completely set of emotions based on facts and actions. If you had a choice that your life’s actions be judged by so called leaders (Imams and Rabbis') with the consequences of that religions philosophy of today to dictate what happen to you next, I for one would rather be judged by Rabbis. For fear would strike me knowing what the outcome would be if Islam judged me. Especially if I am gay. So again I say your play on words are hollow and Nikos is absolutely RIGHT to feel and say the words... "I am not a racist or a bigot but I DO NOT AND WILL NOT TRUST "Islam"

      April 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • wzrd1

      Nikos, you betray yourself with your own words. First claiming to not be racist and giving the benefit of the doubt and in the VERY NEXT SENTENCE, you contradict yourself.
      Now, either two personalities are sharing one post, in which case I highly recommend you seek professional mental health assistance OR you are full of crap.
      I'm leaning toward the latter.
      IF such things as you claim were true and a substantial number of Muslims WERE extremists, your point would be proven, as the authors of the works you listed would ALL be dead. Oops, they're alive and well.
      IF what you claim is true, the US and UK would be missing a substantial amount of their population, due to a religious war in the streets. Again, facts not in evidence, indeed, the reverse is true.
      I spent nearly 5 years deployed in Muslim nations as part of our war effort. The vast majority REALLY don't care. They do their obligatory prayer. They go to the Mosque on the right day and the rest is life in general. Go to work, come home, clean up, eat dinner, play with the kids, go to bed, rinse and repeat. They have no time or inclination for such nonsense you ascribe to them.
      If the reverse were true, the US would've been defeated on day on in Afghanistan, as the population FAR outnumber our troops.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Jmgone

      Your words betray you. In fact they're silly. You don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to dispensing medical advice or professing to be a BS meter. Dispensing BS, now that seems to be your forte in this instance. As for your gist that numerical numbers alone would defeat the US and on day one no less, disregarding technological superiority, air power, best training in the world of the US military personnel lends to the notion that you were simply a below than average soldier/civilian in the war effort. Thank goodness you represent a very, very small percentage of the whole.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Dontworry

      I dont think anyone trusts muslims ....they will bomb your kids just to kill one other muslim ....

      April 15, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • al

      i am not a racist but i dont trust whites, haha lol your such a racist.

      April 15, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Richk

      I constantly get a kick out of people who bash Islam exclusively, but somehow manage to defend the other 2 abhorable Abrahamic religions. Wake up morons, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism ALL have caused their fair share of bloodshed. What a bunch of hypocritical short-term memory sufferers...

      April 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  17. Zippy

    Hey I gotta give her credit . . . she is an expert at generating publicity. She is the only contestant in that pageant that I have heard anything about. In these days of Paris Hilton, the Kardasians and Anna Nicole Smith, talent is not required at all to be famous. Do anything to get attention, keep getting in front of cameras (preferably getting out of the car with no panties under her short skirt), and soon she will have her own reality show and fashion line.

    This is a modern star being born.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  18. Maher

    Shanna Bukhari we really so proud of U
    don't ever given up

    April 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  19. Reality

    Well she could always become an agnostic. Hmmm, that will not work either considering that many imams demand that apostates be put to death. What a "religion"!!!!

    To wit:

    "Sunni hadith

    Some Sunni Hadiths sanction the death penalty for apostasy. the Examples of such passages in the Sahih al-Bukhari include Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:83:17, Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:52:260, Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:84:57, Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:84:58 and Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:89:271.

    The two most popular Hadiths usually cited by orthodox Islamic clerics to support the death penalty for apostates are:
    "Allah's Apostle said, "The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal se-xual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims."Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:83:17 "Whoever changed his (Islamic) religion, then kill him" Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:84:57
    Shia hadith

    Some Shia Hadiths also sanction the death penalty for apostasy, for instance, one of the shia Imams has been asked about a Muslim who has converted to Christianity, he answered "he should be killed not called to repent", and when asked about a Christian converting to Islam then converting back to Christianity, he answered "he should be given the chance to repent, otherwise killed" (Al-Kafi 7:257 | 10), (Men la Yahthuruh Al-Faqeeh (Whom an Islamic Cleric is not attending) 3:91 | 341), and (Tahtheeb Al-Ahkam (Rectification of the Rules) 10:140 | 554).[35]"

    April 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • muslim

      Ok somone correct me if I am wrong. Sahih al-Bukhari is not Quran. Muslims around the world follows Sahih al-Bukhari, but Quran.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • wzrd1

      It's explicitly stated that apostasy demands a death sentence in the Old Testament and was only halted in the late 1600's in England and Europe.

      As for Hadith, not all follow one particular version of Hadith. There are 6 primary sources for each of a like number of groups.
      Even so, she IS in the UK. Just like if she was in the US, she is under SECULAR LAW, hence is fully protected.

      So, this kafir can only say, masha'allah!

      April 14, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Bernard

      Congratulations you gave a description of two men and are comparing it to this woman under the falacy that there are "two kinds of Muslims" with unimind complexes.

      Have you ever been to a church? Find a congregation of 50 people and you will have 50 different interpretations of the bible. Even if they are all of the same denomination.

      She can come up with her own interpretation of what a good Muslim and follow it. You don't have the authority to decide what a "true" Muslim is for other people. No one does.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:36 am |
    • Reality

      Islam typically gives women almost no rights and treats them like fodder for the male species as so bluntly noted by Aya-an Hi-rsi Ali in her autobiography, In-fidel.-------------

      "Thus begins the extraordinary story of a woman born into a family of desert nomads, circu-mcised as a child, educated by radical imams in Kenya and Saudi Arabia, taught to believe that if she uncovered her hair, terrible tragedies would ensue. It's a story that, with a few different twists, really could have led to a wretched life and a lonely death, as her grandmother warned. But instead, Hi-rsi Ali escaped – and transformed herself into an internationally renowned spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women."

      ref: Washington Post book review.

      some excerpts:

      "Some of the Saudi women in our neighborhood were regularly be-aten by their husbands. You could hear them at night. Their scre-ams resounded across the courtyards. "No! Please! By Allah!"

      "The Pakistanis were Muslims but they too had cas-tes. The Untou-chable girls, both Indian and Pakistani were darker skin. The others would not play with them because they were unt-ouchable. We thought that was funny because of course they were tou-chable: we to-uched them see? but also hor-rifying to think of yourself as un-touchable, des-picable to the human race."

      "Between October 2004 and May 2005, eleven Muslim girls were ki-lled by their families in just two regions (there are 20 regions in Holland). After that, people stopped telling me I was exa-ggerating."

      "The kind on thinking I saw in Saudi Arabia and among the Brotherhood of Kenya and Som-alia, is incompatible with human rights and liberal values. It preserves the feu-dal mind-set based on tr-ibal concepts of honor and shame. It rests on self-deception, hypro-cricy, and double standards. It relies on the technologial advances of the West while pretending to ignore their origin in Western thinking. This mind-set makes the transition to modernity very painful for all who practice Islam".

      So when a Muslim woman like Shanna Bukhari defies the imams, the results are typically not in her favor.

      April 15, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  20. Quag


    April 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Monte

      Almost 100 percent of the time, religion has nothing to do with God or worship, it is just a social club or gang wrapped in fake devotion to some deity. Look at the history of religion, just a bunch of murderers, robbers, racists you name it, doing what they do "for God, or with his blessing".
      I give some of you credit, you have a form of Godly devotion, but in most cases, you will drop it and slaughter ANYONE that disagrees with you, or that your current leaders tell you to, and of course, you will be doing it with "God's" blessing.
      General's always say, "You can not have a great war without "Christians".
      Islam, Hindu, Buddhists, Mormon's, Catholic's
      If your religion condones war, if is not from God. If you threaten someone like this woman, you are not from God. If your religion would not remove you or discipline you for doing so, it is not from God.

      April 15, 2011 at 11:15 am |
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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.