Miss USA Rima Fakih instantly became the center of controversy after she won the crown last weekend, thanks to some of her stripper pole champion photos.
That wasn’t enough to get her title stripped, however, and her reign has begun. Much to the dismay of some critics upset about her Muslim/Arab background.
While the contestant herself has spoken little about this, stressing that her family observes both Muslim and Christian holidays, others have been very vocal.
Daniel Pipes, who publishes a right-leaning blog on Middle Eastern affairs, pointed to a supposed “surprising frequency of Muslims winning beauty pageants.”
While “they are all attractive,” Pipes, a former board member of the U.S. Institute for Peace, said they “make me suspect an odd form of affirmative action.”
Pipes didn’t theorize how shadowy beauty-pageant fixers might be greasing the skids for Rima Fakih or contestants, but other political bloggers went further.
Did Miss USA Rima Fakih benefit from political correctness?
“Miss Hezbollah is now Miss USA,” declared conservative radio talk show host Debbie Schlussel, saying Fakih’s Lebanese relatives had ties to the terrorist group.
Schlussel also said Fakih received financial backing from Hezbollah supporter Imad Hamad and wrote her off to a “politically correct, Islamo-pandering climate.”
Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin saw a conspiracy, too – though generic rather than Muslim-specific this time. Malkin mocked Fakih as “gaffetastic.”
While Fakih bungled her answer about birth control, runner-up Morgan Elizabeth Woolard of Oklahoma was asked for her views on Arizona’s immigration law.
That question drew boos from the crowd before the judge – actor Oscar Nunez of The Office – could even finish getting it out, but Woolard handled it very well.
Still, Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson suggested that Woolard’s conservative-leaning informed opinion cause the judges to exercise political correctness.
Is that why Fakih won the crown over a blonde from Oklahoma? She will keep her crown regardless, but the controversy continues to swirl regarding her victory.