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Print Email Details Published on Monday, 24 July 2017 13:45
Esma Voloder landed on the shores of Australia as a young Muslim war refugee fleeing the war in Bosnia.
Voloder, came to Australia with her family after escaping a refugee camp when she was five months old, had grown up to realise her full potential, not just as a beautiful young woman but also excelled academically to become a criminal profiler in Melbourne.
Winning a string of beauty titles since her teen, having won Miss Teen Australia in 2008, she hit the big leagues with her high profile win as Miss World Australia last Friday along with a AUD$68,000 pearl-encrusted crown and international fame.
However, since her win was announced the Miss World Australia pageant organisers have received demeaning phone calls asking "how did you let a Muslim win?".
“We have had lots of calls, people saying terrible things,” the organisation's national director Deborah Miller told The Daily Telegraph.
However, Voloder is taking her newfound fame and infamy in her stride, showing how the Islamaphobic comments have not made her afraid of the limelight.
In an interview with The Morning Show, Voloder said that her parents’ experience as refugees has helped her to “exercise my gratefulness for the fact that I have this opportunity that they didn’t”, The Independent quotes her in replying to the criticism.
“Life is too short for negativity.
“I am hoping to break down the barriers by just being me," the 25-year-old said.
Addressing the haters who were unhappy about a Muslim representing Australia, she showed that her own understanding of her upbringing and faith is not shaken by the haters.
“A lot of things have been misconstrued about Islam.
“I feel that a category has been created that is not really what the Quran actually promotes. I believe Islam is about peace, unity, prosperity and inclusion.
“The Islam that I know, that is in the Koran, I don't associate that with any acts that are occurring around the world,” Voloder said after accepting the crown last Friday.
“People tend to blame religion for the atrocities that are happening, but if we do that we take responsibility away from the individuals,” she added philosophically.
Many people can “fall into a trap into a trap of believing what they are told,” she said that the negative press will not prevent her from travelling to China to put up her best effort to represent Australia for the Miss World title in November.
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