At age 25, Esma Voloder, a Muslim, has won the Miss Australia beauty pageant and will now be going on to compete for the title of Miss World.
Voloder, a criminal profiler by trade, was born in a refugee camp after her parents had escaped the Bosnian War. Remembering her parents’ struggle in the face of her recent victory, Voloder says she is grateful. “I have this opportunity that they didn’t,” she says. However, not everyone is happy with Voloder’s win. “We have had lots of calls, people saying terrible things,” Deborah Miller, national director of Miss World Australia, revealed. “People have said: ‘How did you let a Muslim win?’” Though Miller believes Voloder represents a new multicultural Australia, she received backlash just hours after Voloder was crowned.
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