According to Daily Mail Australia, a 25-year-old Muslim woman who fled the Bosnian refugee camp where she spent time as a baby has been crowned Miss World Australia 2017.
Esma Voloder is creating headlines with her positive reinforcement of Islam. “I believe Islam is about peace, unity, prosperity, and inclusion.” according to Esma Voloder.
Currently the world is experiencing Islamophobia and hate crimes, Voloder is using her title to break these kinds of phobias.
In 2008, Esma moved to Australia when she was just five-months-old and won the title of Miss Teen Australia. She has competed in a number of pageants. She also has pursued fashion and modeling, but according to her education is her top most priority.
The young beauty has a degree in psychology and currently works as a criminal profiler.
After winning Miss World Australia she wrote in a post on Instagram that “Thank you, Australia for giving me a home and opportunity to do well,”
Voloder practices Islam and hopes she can use her new found platform to help people and understand the faith better, Daily Mail Australia reported.
She was reported as saying
“The Islam that I know, that is in the Quran, I don’t associate that with any acts that are occurring around the world,”
At the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne Esma took home the $68,000 pearl-encrusted crown after competing against girls from across the nation on Friday.
Voloder said a lot has been misunderstood about Islam.
“People tend to blame religion for the atrocities that are happening, but if we do that we take responsibility away from the individuals.”
Voloder and Somali-American model Halima Aden, who at 19 years of age, rose to fame last year after competing in a US beauty pageant wearing a hijab and a burkini, have both represented Muslim women on international forums.
Aden was also born in a refugee camp. At the age of six, she moved to Minnesota. She has since made a contract with IMG Models. She became the first ever hijabi cover star for Allure magazine recently.
The Bosnian beauty said she hopes she can inspire and make unity with her platform.
‘Despite what your personal beliefs are, if we all believe in what is good, we can work together and make this world a beautiful and livable place while we are here.’
Voloder will go on to compete in the 2017 Miss World finals in China at the end of the year.