Muslim Miss Universe Contestant Refuses to Wear Bikini, Makes History

Here’s what Muna Jama wore in the bikini segment of Miss Universe GB last week

You do not need to look twice to know that London-based Somali Muna Jama is not your typical beauty pageant contestant.

When she hit the stage in the Miss Universe Great Britain pageant finals late last week, the 27-year-old Muslim decided to ditch the bikini and opt for a kaftan – a variant of the robe or tunic – during the swimwear segment.

Jama thus became the first-ever Miss Universe GB contestant to not wear a swimsuit.

I wouldn’t wear a bikini to a beach, so I’m not going to wear one in a competition to score points,” Jama explained to media.

The businesswoman had been invited to take part in Miss Universe GB, a qualifier for the Miss Universe pageant, two years ago. She decided against competing at the time, as the pageant did not permit alternatives for the bikini and Jama felt uncomfortable with the idea of baring her skin for the swimwear section.

This year, Jama decided to take part in the 2017 pageant – on her own terms. Refusing to compromise her beliefs for the competition, Jama successfully petitioned to cover up in the swimwear segment.

Miss Universe GB organizers agreed to her request, and Jama made it to the pageant’s finals.

While contestants showcased typical bikinis, Jama took the stage in a kaftan that covered most of her body. She looked absolutely stunning, nonetheless, accessorizing her colorful kaftan with black platform heels, a sparkly choker and hoop earrings.

While Jama did not win the bid to represent GB in the global Miss Universe pageant, she definitely made history.

This moment has proved that I am capable of almost anything I set my mind to and limitations is a status waiting to be changed,” she wrote on Instagram.

It takes bravery, emotional resilience and most importantly surrounding yourself with strong minded people who are prepared to make great sacrifices to welcome permanent and positive change. I may not be able to unwrite a moment in my life but I know a moment will never define me. I will always rise above your expectations and pushed past your limitations. You are what you say you are, and your imaginations can be your worst enemy unless you overcome your fears. Be careful of what you think of others because it’s a reflection of what you are. Work at being a better person, and one day we can welcome a better World. . . This moment has proved that I am capable of almost anything I set my mind to and limitations is a status waiting to be changed. I thank everyone who stood beside me and believed in my vision. 🙏🙌❤😘😙😘😍🙆😊💓 . . #missuniverse #mugb2017 #missuniversegb #fear #migrant #refugee #positive #change #love #modelling #friends #family #girls #pageant #empowerment #inspiration #inspire #aspire #history #munajama #caftan #kaftan #stage #london #dubai #love #indonesia #malaysia @missuniversegb Photographer @leedarephotography

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She also encouraged her followers to stay true to their beliefs, writing, “There is no doubt if you uphold your beliefs and worship, you uphold your principles, you uphold the right mindset, and remain forever thankful, sit back and watch God almighty give you new opportunities and another chance.”

Jama has thus joined the ranks of women who have defied the norms and opted for less revealing attire during bikini rounds of beauty pageants.

Late last year, Somali-American Halima Aden, who wears the Islamic hijab, became the first-ever Miss USA hopeful to compete in a hijab and a burkini, the full-body swimsuit.

The Sun reports that Jama partook in the pageant to raise awareness on her humanitarian work, which mostly revolves around illegal migration and child abuse in Africa.

Jama has co-founded Cloudless Research, a start-up that tackles child abuse and the migrant crisis.

She describes her work by saying, “We aim to reduce the number of victims channelling the Mediterranean Sea through education and encouraging new legislations in the country of origin,” according to The Independent.

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