PETALING JAYA: Australia’s newly crowned Miss World Esma Voloder says she “forgives” those hankering for her replacement due to her religion that they claim does not accurately represent their nation.
According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, Voloder referred to her critics as “hurtful” people but said she forgave them all the same as they were ill-informed.
“I forgive them … I feel it comes from a lack of understanding,” she was quoted as saying yesterday while adding that life was too short for “negativity”.
“I am hoping to break down the barriers by just being me,” Voloder, 25, said.
Meanwhile Miss World Australia national director Deborah Miller told the The Daily Telegraph that since Voloder’s win last Friday, her office had been inundated with “awful and mean” demands that another beauty queen be crowned instead.
“We have had lots of calls, people saying terrible things,” Miller said.
“People have said: ‘How did you let a Muslim win?’. We believe Esma is a strong woman and represents a multicultural Australia.”
Voloder has rationalised however that many people “fall into a trap of believing what they are told”, but that despite the criticism, she was determined to win the global Miss World title for Australia.
According to a report in UK’s Daily Mail, Voloder and her family escaped a refugee camp in the midst of the Bosnian war over two decades ago.
The beauty queen now wants to use her title to help dispel the prevalent misconceptions about her religion.
“The Islam that I know, that is in the Koran, I don’t associate that with any acts that are occurring around the world.
“People tend to blame religion for the atrocities that are happening, but if we do that we take responsibility away from the individuals,” she said.