21-year-old UNILAG Student Wins World Muslim Beauty Pageant In Indonesia

Obabiyi Aisha Ajibola being crowned as Muslimah World
Obabiyi Aisha Ajibola being crowned as Muslimah World

Obabiyi Aisha Ajibola, tearfully prayed and recited Koranic verses as she won a world beauty pageant exclusively for Muslim women in the Indonesian capital Wednesday, a riposte to the Miss World contest that has sparked hardline anger.

The 20 finalists, who were all required to wear headscarves, put on a glittering show for the final of Muslimah World, strolling up and down a catwalk in elaborately embroidered dresses and stilettos.

But the contestants from six countries were covered from head to foot, and as well as beauty they were judged on how well they recited Koranic verses and their views on Islam in the modern world.

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.
While the event in a Jakarta shopping mall paled in comparison to Miss World on the resort island of Bali, in which scores of contestants are competing, Ajibola was nevertheless overwhelmed.

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.
Ajibola told AFP before the final that the event “was not really about competition”.

“We’re just trying to show the world that Islam is beautiful,” she said.

Organisers said the pageant challenged the idea of beauty put forward by the British-run Miss World pageant, and also showed that opposition to the event could be expressed non-violently.

Eka Shanti, who founded the pageant three years ago after losing her job as a TV news anchor for refusing to remove her headscarf, bills the contest as “Islam’s answer to Miss World”.

“This year we deliberately held our event just before the Miss World final to show that there are alternative role models for Muslim women,” she told AFP.

“But it’s about more than Miss World. Muslim women are increasingly working in the entertainment industry in a sexually explicit way, and they become role models, which is a concern.”

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.

The pageant, which also featured bright Indonesian Islamic designer wear, is a starkly different way of protesting Miss World than the approach taken by Islamic radicals.

Snowballing protest movement

Thousands have taken to the streets in Indonesia in recent weeks to protest Miss World, denouncing the contest as “pornography” and burning effigies of the organisers.

Despite a pledge by Miss World organisers to drop the famous bikini round, radical anger was not appeased and the protest movement snowballed.

The government eventually bowed to pressure and ordered the whole pageant be moved to the Hindu-majority island of Bali, where it opened on September 8.

Later rounds and the September 28 final were to be held in and around Jakarta, where there is considerable hardline influence.

But there are still fears that extremists may target the event — the US, British and Australian embassies in Jakarta have warned their nationals in recent days of the potential for radical attacks.

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, Shanti said, 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.

26 Comments

    • Fool, why won’t she be ugly to you since ur girls openly flaunt their breast in ur churches anyhow for the sake of civilisation…..moron tell me where in ur bible God permits ur girls in dressiing that way……follow God’s instruction and leave what belongs to the world to b for the world….grow up

  • All thank due to Almighty Allah, the beginner & the end, Am always proud of Muslim ladies for thier mode of dressing. Thank God we have that.

  • congrats Ajibola nd 10ks 4 making us pride

    @ charles: muslims beaty pageant is not all about senseless exposure of physical appearances but intelligences nd meaningful understanding of our religous creeds, u better kip ur fingers crossed!!

    • Any muslim without Creed, he’s just like a blind man. He will b tarnishing the good image of Islam, he will b comparing him/her self with other pple that doesn’t have religion. That is y u see nowadays a muslim believer is dressing, eating, drinking and behaving like unbeliever. Those are de kind of muslims only answering muslims but they don’t have “CREED”. U can never b a good muslim without Islamic knowledge. congratulations Aisha Ajibola i commend your effort, and i pray that may Allah SWT continue to guide and protect you to the right path not of those who go astray. Ameen.

      • am in total agreement with you in your statement and i cut ” May Allah (SWT) guide her and the organiser to the the right path because the path they took is not right” and i am in disagreement with your view especially about “CREED” Qur’an and Hadith are the yardstick and guidance for muslims if someone can show her beauty to the so called panel of judges to scrutinise her and show the modern world. while in the Qur’an she recites and cry Chapter 33:53 spells out her modesty. then this act is un islamic. May Allah let them understand their mistakes and repent.

        • AAisha do you think the participant and organisers are portraying the image of islam?. if you do please improvise your thought and consult islamic book for more detail on the role of women and their modesty in ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE (Qur’an and Hadith)

  • sww.islam as a religion was sent 2 mankind as a guide 4rm His creator.it provides a yardstick wt which every actions are judged whether correct or otherwise.no doubt ‘world beauty peageant’ is antithetic 2 d essence of islam.so,it’s nt a compulsn on islam 2 always at all cost create an alternative 2 all actions of man or other faiths.wht was organised in Jarkata is nothing but a disguised imitatn of d kuffar.women in islam are well honoured&nt objects of lustful display or sexual adverts.may Allah continue 2 guide us.

  • sww.islam as a religion was sent 2 mankind as a guide 4rm His creator.it provides a yardstick wt which every actions are judged whether correct or otherwise.no doubt ‘world beauty peageant’ is antithetic 2 d essence of islam.so,it’s nt a compulsn on islam 2 always at all cost create an alternative 2 all actions of man or other faiths.wht was organised in Jarkata is nothing but a disguised imitatn of d kuffar.women in islam are well honoured&nt objects of lustful display or sexual adverts.may Allah continue 2 guide us.

  • Am not a muslim but I must commend the organizers of this event. We must learn a thing or two for the expansion of God Kingdom and move on. Kodus

  • Brothers and sisters I recently listen to a confession made by a muslin brother that converted to Christian. Muslim serves Satan d devil. He confessed it with his mouth. if u ar intersted in listing to it add me up on bbm 21C1C91B. Secondly I still commend the organizers for their decent but I must advise all of u to join the true God and savior of the World. Our Lord JESUS.

  • I so much agree with sadiq eventhough I’m a christian. If only they(the muslims) can exhibit decent character just as they exhibit decent dressing. Sadiq does v a point; Christians, improve on ur dressing habits according to the bible: Muslims, exhibit decent character as u exhibit decent dressing cos attitude is life and stop killing christians

  • Tolerance does not mean compromise. Tolerance is the ability to accept others and their world view without necessarily supporting them. The ‘islamic beauty pageant’ is a wonderful idea; but it will be preferable if it is presented on its own merit rather than as a reply to the world pageant. In fact,

  • Tolerance does not mean compromise. Tolerance is the ability to accept others and their world view without necessarily supporting them. The ‘islamic beauty pageant’ is a wonderful idea; but it will be preferable if it is presented on its own merit rather than as a reply to the world pageant.

  • Let me tell you brothers n sisters in ISLAM, there is notin like beauty pageant in islam dont make the devil deceive u, distance ur self from such act, the devil has promise to mislead the world from the left,right,up,down and from EVERY where u dont expect, except those that follow ALLAH.

  • Dis is totally unislamic,women in islam are of modesty,they are not 2 display demselve except for der hubby,rememba wot d prophet said that will should not follow d path of jew nor christain,islam respect women a lot,they are not goods to be display, May Allah forgive you aisha and the organizers[amin]

    • Is beauty pagaent the path of the Jew or Christian? Be guided young man before you incure the wrath of the living GOD for saying what you do not know

  • On behalf of myself and the entire Nigerian muslims I give thanks to Allah the perfect Creator for you.Almighty Allah has used you and other ladies to show the whole world that A lady can be described”BEAUTIFUL”without exposing 97.75% of her breast that is meant to be exposed to her husband and babies only.CONGRATULATIONS!

  • The program is a welcome idea and a really commendable one. However organisers should never forget the basis for the program in the future such that modest designs will be forever maintained. May Allah reward the organisers. And may He increases iman and ibadah in the world. Amin.

  • Congrats to Aisha. The main point here nw is y do we like takin a swipe at each odaz religion. Non of us is pefect and any better. We often claim to read the Bible and Qur’an, yet we often seem to operate without full understand. The two Holy Books say alot of things but we often pick the one which is convenient to us and ill interpreted to suit our mallicious bid. Search your selfs people. What make any one thinks they are better tthan others. Selah!!¡¡

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