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. Dear Readers,

    Jonathan Turley makes solid arguments and gives thoughtful analys.

    Before you make up your mind about Rima Fikah’s win and the meaning of Muslim woman winning a beauty pageant, check out my hot ticked item Op-Ed pieace:

    “Will Miss Arab USA rebrand America and its Muslims?”


    Nemat Sadat

  2. André Kenji

    “The spelling bee was infiltrated by the Hindus.”


    (and the home-schoolers)

  3. 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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