Crowning of Arab-American As Miss USA Unleashes Torrent of Attacks From the Right

Miss Michigan Rima Fakih, 24, made history this week as the first Arab-American to win the Miss USA competition, here.

The extreme right has gone ballistic –painting Fakih as a mole for Hamas and part of some Islamic threat despite her appearing in a bikini and contradicting most conservative Islamic mores — including new allegations that she won a stripper contest, here.

One commentator put it this way:

It’s a sad day in America but a very predictable one, given the politically correct, Islamo-pandering climate in which we’re mired. The Hezbollah-supporting Shi’ite Muslim, Miss Michigan Rima Fakih–whose bid for the pageant was financed by an Islamic terrorist and immigration fraud perpetrator–won the Miss USA contest. I was on top of this story before anyone, telling you about who Fakih is and her extremist and deadly ties.

Another site laid out how Fakih is prancing around in a bikini to pursue her agenda of imposing strict limitations on women:

Rima Fakih, Miss Michigan USA, who will compete in Sunday Night’s pageant broadcast on NBC, is a Dearbornistan Shi’ite Muslim who is a supporter of Hezbollah and used the pageant name at a forum promoting Islamic subjugation of women. She was born in the Hezbollah stronghold of Srifa in South Lebanon, which Israel was forced to attack in the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war because it was a site of Hezbollah weaponry. Her devout Muslim family comes from the Hezbollah-controlled South Lebanon. Intelligence sources confirm that at least three of Fakih’s relatives are currently top officials in Hezbollah and that at least eight Fakih family members were Hezbollah terrorists killed by the Israelis in past Israel-Lebanese wars and interventions. Some of her family members were originally in Harakat Amal [the Shi’ite Amal militia], which is now essentially a part of Hezbollah. There’s a reason that even Al-Manar TV–Hezbollah’s official TV network–is high on Fakih in the Miss USA pageant.

It is not clear if it is an Arab conspiracy or a 9-11 Truther conspiracy or some Islamic stripper conspiracy. Then again she could just be a beautiful woman who happens to be Arab-American.

It is a sad commentary on our contemporary politics that an Arab-American cannot simply win such a pageant without unleashing such a torrent of hateful conspiracy theories. I do not even like such pageants but it is astonishing how little it takes to vent such anger and prejudice. Of course, even a scarf on a donut commercial in enough to trigger a national boycott today, here.

Rima Fakih was raised in Dearborn with her parents and her younger brother, Rami. She attended St. John’s Catholic School High Foundation and graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with her Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Business Administration.

I have no idea (nor do I care) what the views of this woman might be — nor do I see the relevance. The runner-up, Miss Oklahoma, was asked about her views on the controversial Arizona immigration law and said that she supported the law, here. While I believe the reasonable suspicion provision will unleash discriminatory enforcement, I do not look to Miss Oklahoma as a source of legal or policy wisdom.

As with the Prejean controversy, it continues to amaze me that people inject politics (and frankly substance) in this beauty contest. Usually it is an effort to elevate the competition but at times it is an effort to paint the contestants in a darker light. If Hezbollah planned to gain some advantage by winning the Miss USA competition, they are more desperate than I thought. Next they will be targeting the USA Spelling Bee.

64 thoughts on “Crowning of Arab-American As Miss USA Unleashes Torrent of Attacks From the Right

  1. Come on man she is beautiful. Leave her alone. I doubt that they could attack the…… Ok, again this is just BULL SHIT.

  2. While I find pageants themselves about as interesting as cattle auctions (and a good deal similar), I stand in figurative awe at the sheer amount of xenophobes the right musters every time any ethnic group succeeds.

  3. ‘The 24-year-old brunette from Michigan beat out four blondes and 46 other women for the 2010 Miss USA title after nearly stumbling in her evening gown.’

    yesssssssssss!

    ..so we can FINALLY put to rest that silly belief that blondes have more fun!………..

    [ hehehhehe…’cause they don’t;)]

  4. I’m curious as to the conspiracy nuts’ view of the end game of the operation–So a mole wins the Miss USA title and then?

  5. Sigh. This is what happens when you have entirely too much time on your hands, and have absolutely nothing better to do.

    These right wingnuts really ought to find something to occupy their time, like seeking the hemp they need for their obvious mental deficiencies.

  6. Oops! “like seeking the HELP they need …”

    Well, now that I think about it, they could probably use a little “hemp” as well – would mellow them WAY out.

  7. […] Jonathan Turley pretty much sums up how I feel: It is a sad commentary on our contemporary politics that an Arab-American cannot simply win such a pageant without unleashing such a torrent of hateful conspiracy theories. I do not even like such pageants but it is astonishing how little it takes to vent such anger and prejudice. Of course, even a scarf on a donut commercial in enough to trigger a national boycott today, here. […]

  8. Would many of these right wing nut jobs also be fundamentalist christians I wonder?

    Also would she not also be getting the same torrent of hatred and abuse from fundamentalists of the religeon that she is accused of being a one woman sleeper cell for?

    I think I can see a pattern emerging…..

  9. […] Today’s episode: certain segments of the blogosphere go completely off the rails because a hot (if somewhat confused) woman won the obnoxious, contrived, Trump-infested spectacle that is the Miss USA contest. Well, more accurately, they’re wetting themselves because the hot woman in question is an Arab-American Muslim. Doug Mataconis reviews some of the resulting outrage, as does Jonathan Turley. […]

  10. IF THERE IS ANY QUESTION AS TO THE NEW MISS USA’S SUPPORT OF, OR ANY CONNECTION TO THE TERRORIST GROUP HEZBOLLAH WHY NOT ASK HER OUTRIGHT WHAT HER VIEWS ARE ON THE SUBJECT. AFTER ALL, IF SHE PUBLICLY DENOUNCES THE TERRORIST ORGANIZATION, THIS SHOULD DISTLL ANY DOUBTS THAT THIS NEW ROLE MODEL FOR MILLIONS OF YOUNG GIRLS AN WOMEN HAS. IF SHE REFUSES TO DENOUNCE HEZBOLLAH, OR THEIR TERRORIST WAYS, THEN SERIOUS QUESTIONS AS TO WHERE THIS WOMEN’S LOYALTIES LIE SHOULD BE BROUGHT INTO QUESTION AND HER WEARING THE CROWN SHOULD BE RECONSIDERED.

  11. I agree with this article, but in fairness, Mr. Turley, it was the judge, not the contestants (and not the reactionaries) who injected politics into this pageant.

  12. Guilt by association is so lame. Of course this will be making its way through the left-wing blogosphere as an example of how horrible and hateful all conservatives are, just like the behavior of nuts on the left toward Carrie Prejean was used to tar everyone on the left. A few commenters, mainly on sites no one has ever heard of, make some ridiculous accusations. So f’ing what? All it proves is that there are idiots out there. This is no more indicative of the “right” than Markos “There isn’t a jew I don’t hate” Moulitsas’s cheering of the deaths of American citizens in Iraq is indicative of the left.

  13. Please understand, everyone, that the vast majority of us right-of-center folk cringe at this kind of thing. Same as the yahoos screaming that “Machete” is designed to cause a race war… listen closely and you’ll hear a loud “ugh!” coming from the mainstream right.

  14. Does anyone think an individual affiliated with Hamas would parade around half-naked in a bikini for millions to see? That action alone probably resulted in some Hamas-associated cleric issuing a fatwa calling for her death.

  15. “She attended St. John’s Catholic School High Foundation”

    Not sure a devout muslim would attend a catholic high school much less parade around in front of cameras half naked, but I could be mistaken.

  16. “@BARRY SHAPIRO:

    Your caps lock key seems to be jammed.”

    I don’t think that his keyboard is the only thing “jammed”!!

  17. “IF SHE REFUSES TO DENOUNCE HEZBOLLAH, OR THEIR TERRORIST WAYS, THEN SERIOUS QUESTIONS AS TO WHERE THIS WOMEN’S LOYALTIES LIE SHOULD BE BROUGHT INTO QUESTION AND HER WEARING THE CROWN SHOULD BE RECONSIDERED.”

    Dude, it’s a beauty pagent.

    and let’s be real, it’s not like she posed nekkid or something….

  18. Torrents? Really?? Your blog is the first I’ve ever seen of this connection. I must be reading the wrong blogs for senseless connection-making and conspiracy…or did I read the right one?

  19. Umm…

    I just feel the need to point out that while you claim a ‘torrent of attacks from the right’ you posted two links, both of which had the same author (although on different websites.)

    So… in this blog one author with a conspiracy theory is equivalent to a torrent of attacks from an entire wing of political thought?

  20. Ok; look I’m Italian 100% and one side high Italian Royalty so I have final word on this topic!

    This Girl is Gorgeous and Stacked!

    What do these right wing wasp jerks, know about any of this…Cabish..?

  21. @Ron Moses

    You know, I want to believe you. The problem is the listening closely part. I can’t hear from where I’m sitting! Maybe the problem is that this sort of loony sh*t never gets smacked down by anyone on the right with a voice loud enough to be heard.

  22. @ rweaver

    You will notice that when a ridiculous conspiracy theory (such as the birther theory, or truther theory) gains any traction that it is refuted by leadership on both the right and the left.

    However when one loon (Debbie Schlussel) writes a couple of articles that are completely ridiculous, why would right wing leadership give any credit to her ideas by commenting on them?

    This is the first I’ve heard of Debbie, so I doubt she is some sort of ‘right wing icon’. She is more likely a conspiracy theorist and a loon.

    So my question is, does the democratic leadership publicly denounce EVERY TIME a SINGLE left wing loon makes a ridiculous statement?

    I can answer that for you – OF COURSE NOT. It is a foolish waste of time. Just like it would be for right wing leadership to spend time worrying about the opinions of ONE internet author with a wild theory.

    Comments (agree or disagree) are appreciated.

  23. Well I think we’d all like to join *her* sleeper cell, wouldn’t we, gents?

    Here is the AP on her Lebanese background:

    The Lebanese immigrant who won the Miss USA 2010 pageant comes from a family that stood out for its tolerance in a religiously divided country, relatives said Monday.

    Rima Fakih, 24, was born into a powerful Shiite family in a village in southern Lebanon that was heavily bombed during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war. But she and her sister said the family celebrates both Muslim and Christian faiths and prefer to be referred to as Lebanese, Arabs or Arab-Americans.

    “We don’t take sides and this is strange in a country like Lebanon,” Rana Fakih said, referring to the civil war that was mainly between Muslims and Christians

    Rima Fakih of Dearborn, Michigan, beat out 50 other women to take the 2010 Miss USA title Sunday night at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, despite nearly stumbling in her evening gown.

    Her sister said the new Miss USA was born in their southern village of Srifa, near the port-city of Tyre, after her parents could not reach their home near Beirut because of heavy fighting during the 1975-90 civil war.

    She then attended the Catholic Saint Rita school near Beirut and immigrated with her family to the U.S. in 1993. She was raised in New York, where she attended another Catholic school, and the family moved to Michigan in 2003. The sisters have two brothers, Rabih and Rami, Rana Fakih said.

  24. mhw 1, May 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Arab or Moslem or whatever, this woman is far too skinny to be a model body for women of her age.
    __________________________

    oh I so agree…..

    ~Woosty’s still a Voluptuous Cat ;)

  25. Don’t care who won, they’re both gorgeous. I do care who the jerk was who asked a contestant’s political views. It was no more helpful than if they had asked the eventual winner how she felt about Israel, and was about as hostile.

  26. Sadly..pipes, schlussel, and company, are the source of many americans “knowledge” on Islam and arabs.
    Hopefully this will help people check their sources a little more thoroughly when they criticize all-things muslims or arab in the future.
    i have been in this country my whole life as a muslim and an arab, i never once saw a contradiction between being Arab/muslim and being a patriotic american. However, my whole life people like these sh*theads have been questioning our loyalty for years.
    WE F*cking Love america!, and the new miss USA is as American as you can get.

  27. Jonathon Turley, you are as bad as the people you are complaining about. That Jawa Report post about this all being a “Zionist conspiracy” was meant as sarcasm, which would have been pretty obvious if you had really bothered to read it. The only person I’ve seen with a major blog making a big deal out of this is in fact Debbie Schlussel. All the others are small, relatively unknown blogs written by obscure bloggers who mainly link to Miss Schlussel as their “source”.

    Until I see otherwise, I have to say its really a stretch to compare the reaction of mostly obscure right-wing blogs to the visceral reaction from both the mainstream left and hard left towards Carie Prejean. Had Miss Oklahoma won the contest, the left would have been even more strident in their hate speech towards her.

    If this post is meant to excoriate the right in general, its a massive fail.

  28. From article: “As with the Prejean controversy, it continues to amaze me that people inject politics (and frankly substance) in this beauty contest.”
    —–

    Exactly. It’s about making money for Mr. Trump and the sponsors and T&A for the viewers. I’m amazed the Pageant even bothers with the expense of an audio track :-)

  29. mespo727272

    While I find pageants themselves about as interesting as cattle auctions (and a good deal similar), I stand in figurative awe at the sheer amount of xenophobes the right musters every time any ethnic group succeeds.

    ============================================================

    Bingo

  30. Didn’t watch the Miss U.S.A. pagent, my question and feel free to chime in IS..Were political questions asked of all of these stunning women, in particular by Oscar Nunez?

    BTW, extremists regardless of political stripe are a danger.

  31. OK. A woman with a funny sounding name, who isn’t snowy white wins a beauty pageant and conservatives get all bent out of shape.

    What’s next. How many non whites non Christian cultures don’t use toilet paper??

    Beauty pagents are a big “Yawn”.
    Getting upset about them is an even bigger Yawn.

    People are getting shot in the streets of Bangkok

  32. mespo727272: “I stand in figurative awe at the sheer amount of
    xenophobes the right musters every time any ethnic group succeeds.”

    “Sheer amount”? There are two examples given, one by a blogger with very little – or no – readership, based on the lack of comments there, and the other with 370 comments about her views, most of them negative.

    Yeah, it’s sheer alright. As in practically invisible…

  33. By the way, that “other site” you mention in the post? The blog named “Give Us Liberty”? Wanna take a good guess as to who the author of that blog is, or at least who the author is of the post about Miss Fakih?

    Thaaat’s right, the author is also-Debbie Schlossel.

  34. PatrickKelley
    1, May 17, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    So, are you saying Jonathan Turley just took down an army of ONE? That’s some “sheer amount” right there, I tells ya…

    I’ve read some pretty far-right blogs, and even they don’t like Debbie Schlossel. Fer chrissake, even nicedoggie.net can’t stand her, and he’s as right as a turn on red.

    FIGHT THE POWER, JONATHAN!!! AGAINST THE TORRENT OF ATTACKS!!!11!!

    Meanwhile, at the Kos Kidz’ ranch…

  35. Michelle Malkin also said that Obama was behind the choice. He’s a secret supporter of Islamo-fascism, yuh know. It wasn’t just Schlussel.

  36. @ rafflaw

    I’ve never been to a Tea Party but I am a supporter.

    I have posted already what I think of it.

    This article is meant only to slander right-wingers. The ‘Torrent of Attacks’ claimed comes from a single author, who is little known, and not respected.

    I think Rima Fakih is beautiful and deserves her title. I do wonder if Ms. Oklahoma’s answer to the question about states rights hurt her chances, as she was far ahead of Ms. Michigan going into Q&A, however I don’t for a second question the merits of Ms. Fakih in her victory. She is clearly deserving of the title.

    So there you have it, from a right-wing teabagger.

    There are crazy people on all sides of the political spectrum. Why is it that so many times people on the left find the most fringe, lunatic right-winger and then try to attribute that view to main-stream right wingers?

    Instead of sensationalizing and trying to villanize, why don’t you try to argue the merits of your views?

    Could it be because progressive ideology is quickly failing all over the world?

  37. […] Jonathan Turley: It is a sad commentary on our contemporary politics that an Arab-American cannot simply win such a pageant without unleashing such a torrent of hateful conspiracy theories. I do not even like such pageants but it is astonishing how little it takes to vent such anger and prejudice. Of course, even a scarf on a donut commercial in enough to trigger a national boycott today, here. […]

  38. it is unfair to ask contestants about the Arizona law. it is too controversial and has little to do the pageant. it would be better to test knowledge of what is going on in the world of science, space, history, etc. than to ask opinion on such subjects.

    KEEP LOOKING UP!!

    PSALM 40:4

    PSALM 20:4

  39. “Torrent”? You’re joking, right? You cited a couple of nearly invisible websites. Wow, color me impressed with this wall of hate from the “right wing”.

    You mentioned the Prejean episode. I suggest you review what happened there to see what a wall of hate looks like.

  40. david:

    “I think Rima Fakih is beautiful and deserves her title. I do wonder if Ms. Oklahoma’s answer to the question about states rights hurt her chances, as she was far ahead of Ms. Michigan going into Q&A, however I don’t for a second question the merits of Ms. Fakih in her victory. She is clearly deserving of the title.

    So there you have it, from a right-wing teabagger.”

    **********************

    What we don’t have from you is the intellectual honesty to condemn an outright xenophobe who shares your opinions. That is the vileness of the right. Not that they don’t have valid arguments to make, but that they cede their advocacy to the lunatics who are its face: Beck, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Coulter, Schlussel,Stossel, … and the clown car just keeps on emptying. Please note our contempt on this thread for those who DO agree with us, if they are guilty of dishonesty (Blumenthal), timidity (Obama) or hypocrisy (Reid), occasional stupidity (Biden)or betrayal of principle (Holder).

  41. Of course she has an agenda! She won a beauty contest. I’m sure she’ll be the next GOP VP Running Mate… oh wait, you have to come in second to do that.

    Geez, I have no idea how she’s going to take over the government and impose her agenda on us.

    But we know it can be done… Behold the Mavericky One!

    Until Palin came along, we had no idea how deadly Beauty Contestants could be.

  42. First, I adopt mespo’s comments on this issue. Second, it is refreshing to have a Miss America who actually knows where Lebanon is located. Third, if she is an example of the future of radical Islam for women, I’m not particularly worried. Finally, the outrage on the right is partly fueled by conservative views of these pageants as quintessentially “American” tributes to a particular ideal of womanhood: a submissive, beautiful, reasonably but not aggressively intelligent, helpmate who is both dutifully sexual and dutifully maternal. In other words, they’re pissed because a Carrie Prejean clone didn’t make it this year.

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