Somali-American teenager first contestant to wear hijab, burkini in Miss Minnesota USA Pageant
Halima Aden will be the first woman to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant while wearing a hijab and burkini. Ms Aden, 19, a Somali-American in the northern state, won a competition over the weekend sending her to the semi-finals.
Her presence in the competition comes at a time when Muslim representation is important in the US. In the wake of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, the Southern Poverty Law Centre has received hundreds of reports of Islamophobic hate crimes and harassment. Mr Trump campaigned on hardline anti-Muslim rhetoric throughout candidacy.
But Ms Aden hopes that her appearance in the pageant will help in the fight against negative stereotypes of Muslim people in the US.
″The people that are doing bad things, they don’t represent an entire group,″ she told ABC 7. ″I feel like I’m here to bust those misconceptions and stereotypes of Muslim women.″ (The Independent)
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