Nigerian wins Muslim-only beauty pageant in Jakarta

Last Updated 19 September 2013, 16:40 IST

A 21-year-old Nigerian woman has been crowned the winner of an exclusive beauty pageant for Muslims in Indonesia, securing USD 2,200 and trips to Mecca and India.

Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola won the 'World Muslimah 2013' title yesterday at a glittering show held in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

Twenty finalists showed off Islamic fashions and worked to demonstrate religious values during the contest.

The pageant was held before the upcoming Miss World competition, which has drawn protests from hard-line Indonesian Muslim groups.

Finalists in World Muslimah were chosen from more than 500 who took part in an online selection process, the BBC reported.

One of the rounds involved contenders comparing stories of how they came to wear the hijab (Muslim headscarf) - a requirement for all those taking part.

The finalists hailed from countries including Bangladesh, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria and Brunei.

In the run-up to the final, contestants underwent three days of "spiritual training", waking before dawn to pray together and to study the Koran.

Ajibola cried and recited a verse from the Koran when her name was called as the winner. She was awarded 25 million rupiah (USD 2,200) and trips to Mecca and India.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Islamic country.

The Miss World grand final had been scheduled for September 28 at a venue near Jakarta, but is now being held in Hindu-majority Bali after strong protests by Islamic groups.

Miss World organisers have criticised the Indonesian government for not supporting the event, the report said.

(Published 19 September 2013, 16:14 IST)

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