Beauty queens have had a rough time over the past week. The world gasped in horror as Miss Colombia was forced to remove her crown after being mistakenly named Miss Universe, and soon afterwards, news hit that Miss Puerto Rico was forced to give up her title after tweeting her true feelings about Islam.
As unfortunate as both stories were however, they both pale in comparison to what Miss Iraq is currently having to endure. On Saturday, Shaima Qassem Abdulrahman, a 20-year-old economics student, was the first woman to be crowned as Miss Iraq since 1972.
But several days after being crowned, Abdulrahman received a menacing phone call demanding that she had to join the ranks of ISIS, or the terror group would kidnap her.
Due to backlash, 15 of the contestants had to drop out of the competition, with one other woman besides Abdulrahman being directly threatened with her life. The young woman’s parents had initially banned her from participating, but after some time, she was able to convince them to let her compete.
“In the past I heard that such contests used to be held in Baghdad — I dreamed of being a part of one of these contests,” she said in an interview with NBC. She went on to say that the people of Iraq were “badly in need of such cultural activities” following the political turmoil the country has seen in recent times.
The article originally appeared on NewsFoxes