May 21st, 2010
09:19 PM ET

Miss USA says 'American' is her preferred label

"Religion does not identify me," Miss USA Rima Fakih tells CNN.

Rima Fakih's beauty pageant sash declares that she is Miss USA, but journalists want to find other labels for her.

Questions about Fakih's ethnic and religious identity have been nearly as frequent as questions about photos of her dancing against a stripper's pole.

"I'd like to say I'm American first, and I am an Arab-American," Fakih said. "I am Lebanese-American, and I am Muslim-American."

Fakih, 24, was born in Lebanon, but her family moved to New York when she was 7 years old. She later moved to Michigan, where she went to college.

The rarity of a woman born in the Middle East representing the United States in the Miss Universe pageant spurred internet buzz. One rumor was that Fakih had family connections to Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite group that the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization.

"Absolutely not," Fakih told CNN's Octavia Nasr. "That is a stereotype and a prejudiced statement made by only one reporter who had made that title before I was crowned Miss USA."

The blogger's accusation "was completely made up out of her own prejudiced mind," she said.

Contrary to some reports, she said, her family did not live in Southern Lebanon, the hub of Hezbollah.

"We lived in the mountain area of Lebanon, which is predominantly Christian-based," she said. "The majority of my family is diverse. It's Muslim and Christian."

Fakih said religion should not be a question for Miss USA winners.

"Religion does not identify me, I would like to say that," she said. "My family is more of a spiritual family rather than religious. We've never been religious, we've been never known to be religious, and on top of everything, we celebrate Christmas."

Fakih attended a Catholic high school in New York, she said.

"We are Muslim," she said. "However, we appreciate and admire all faiths."

The reaction to Fakih's selection was cause for celebration for many in Lebanon, a country she visited just a few months ago.

"I want them to know that the United States is not what they see on TV," she said. "It is still a country of freedom and opportunity."

Fakih said she has been invited to visit Lebanon and meet with leaders there, including President Michel Suleiman.

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Filed under: Lebanon • Showbiz • U.S.
soundoff (450 Responses)
  1. BreakingNewsBlog.us

    .
    very beautiful girl, also, she resembles a famous Italian model
    .
    http://l.yimg.com/eur.yimg.com/ng/mo/trendy/20080626/18/2423059940-inzaghi-senior-alessia-ventura-passione.jpg
    .

    May 21, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Exposo

      An Italian model who is probably also part Arab.

      May 21, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Purplehayes

      No, that's Sandra Bullock, man.

      May 21, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Lighten up. She American leave it at that and I must said, in my opinion, she's the most stunningly beautiful Miss USA that's ever won the pagent, bar none. WOW, she takes your breath away!!!!!!! And incidentally, I was born in the USA and am of English, Scottish, Irish, & Cherokee decent.

      May 21, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phantom

      To all of you who claim yourselves Americans! Remember that you great grandfathers where refugees at one point of time. They came from Europe stole the land owned by Indians and settled. Well now, the wheels are turning: Black American President, who middle name is Hussein after the grandson of Prophet Muhamad PBUH and MIss USA is an ARAB who migrated when she was 7.

      Soon enough your grand children will speak spanish. Also Remember this that Montreal Canadiens will beat the Flyers wHAHWHAHEWHAHWHAHWAAA.

      BTW i think Miss America is ugly and she doesn't have the characteristics of BEAUTY. You can go skiing on her nose and her eyes are tiny! What Happened to Beauty my friends?

      May 22, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • fatewins

      she beautiful shez talented why talk abt where she comes from...

      go beuaty go!

      May 22, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Deployed Decoy

      "I'd like to say I'm American first, and I am an Arab-American," Fakih said. "I am Lebanese-American, and I am Muslim-American." Excuse me? In her own words she is American FIRST. to me that means American-Arab, American-Muslim (no such thing as that is a religion not heritage), ect. No one calls me Irish/German/French and 1/32 American Indian-American. Thus she and every other LEGAL American is just that American. Get over it people with calling folks African or Mexican Americans. Now if she is really proud of her heritage and wants to show it off. I dare her to come to Kuwait and do a little pole dancing and live to tell the story.

      May 22, 2010 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Ralph

      Having traveled the world for 37 years, know all ethnic peoples and would have to say this this LADY Cindy
      is a class act that all People of Muslim faith could follow to enjjoy a wonderful life that is only achievable in the
      Old USA and to hear her said she is an AMERICAN is truely admirable. My blood lines go back to Germany
      in the 1700's & each generation as built on the previous. Admirable to say the least with hope that she goes
      far. God Bless.....P.S. My primary Doctor is Lebaonese, 2nd is Pakastani, dentist is Vietnamese. Gods blessed all.

      May 22, 2010 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Deployed Decoy

      PS: I suggested she pole dance in Kuwait because according to the US Dept of State Kuwait is safer than Detroit. Lebenon is a war zone according to DoS, with a 20% pay increase for those special Staes folks. Kuwait on the otherhand gives the US military MILLIONS every year to protect their slave trade state. Look it up at the USA Kuwait Embassy site under TIP. But I also agree she has assimulated. Just like why back in Idaho I awlays take TWO Mormans fishing with me, they watch each other. If I just take one,he drinks all my beer. It will be 125 today with blowing and drifting poop in the air here in Kuwait. I still invite her over to the Hard Rock for a little pole dancing.

      May 22, 2010 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Spaced

      As many men would think, I think she is "hot". Also, if she is willing to blow off the psycho religious population and do this pageant, then she is deserving to be Miss USA. That is what USA supposedly was about. We are suppose to be melting pot here. Therefore, you leave your issues at the border and you assimilate into the USA.

      May 22, 2010 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      She the American Pole Dancer! Not much more. Shows how the moral fabric of the USA is being deluited by the lack of morals of those that would subvert us. For her to get away with what an "American" Girl could never had gotten away with, that smacks of Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action is when your not held to the standards of others due to some flaw. The only qualification for Affrimative action is that your not an White American, every one else qualifiys.

      May 22, 2010 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Deployed Decoy

      JO (way below) Yep I agree. Show me her papers. I mean that USA Passport and right to call herself American, not a Green Card. Part of this is IF she is a full up American, she will have renounced her Lebenonsee citizenship when she turned 18 in the great land of America.

      May 22, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Uknowit

      She is much more beautiful than Miss Oklahoma...Miss Oklahoma tan looked fake and her face is way too long.

      May 22, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • A Nguyen

      This is USA, the best country on this universe. The one sure thing about USA is that It would never intentionally crown a racist or a terrorist. Nearly all crowned Miss USA have done many good things not only for the USA, but also for the peaceful world.

      May 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • CivilUS

      Dear Phantom.....HUH??? What exactly did you just say? Stop with the chemicals so late at night.

      May 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Honesto

      With that look, DON'T GO TO ARIZONA!!

      May 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • kim ogesby

      America America why do we allways want to put lables on people we do not understand. Frist Miss USA is a human then as she said an American who won out right to be Miss USA it is done now no take backs. Get use to it.

      May 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♥Miss USA

      For all of those who have nothing nice to say: Go look in the mirror before you judge anyone. Let Miss USA do what she's been doing best already, representing the United States of America-Land of the Free. We have a wonderful diversity of people on this land and we should embrace that. We also have a tremedous diversity of people fighting for our land that the general public are not aware of. We shouldn't judge people by their religion, race OR ethnicity. Be happy for her and let HER make a difference. Good Luck to you Miss USA and Congrats!!
      Born and raised in MI-now fighing for our freedom

      May 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • anonymous

      Beauty is very subjective. I dont think she is beauthiful. There are many more beautiful girls. I think that miss USA should be and american girl, and not Arab-American. What we are comming too.

      May 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • abe

      leave her alone, she won. she's much prettier than all those girls anyways. dark hair beautiful body. i think its just to much jealousy here..so what if she's from lebanon, she raise here. and carry on the us culture...damn racist....

      May 23, 2010 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Tommy White

      she is a mix of everything bad

      May 23, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • G C Moore

      America is no longer exists.............RIP. She died of Political Correctness.

      May 23, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sergio D. Monterroso

      She is definetely American, didn't you see her stripping? Her roots are gone, she is the product of American society.

      May 24, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. Katrina Hunter

    It is sad that I live in a country where my children (10 and 5), born here, feel such hatered directed towards them because of their names, where their father was born and the unfortunate idiotic choices of others. My 5 year old daughter recently asked me if "all arabs are bad...." and if it made her bad too. I am glad that she finally has someone to look up to and admire....someone like her..... an American-Arab American from a muslim background. Congratulations and good luck you are a welcome change that this country needs

    May 21, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doud

      The same discrimination you speak of happends all over the world and to be honest it happends in arab countries way more often then it does in North America and Europe

      May 22, 2010 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Smiths29

      Doud, But America has a lot more to protect people from discrimination than those other countries probably. I think Katrina may be feeling that when other groups get a second look Arabs get a third.

      May 22, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
    • acornwebworks

      I am so very sorry your family, particularly your children, have to face such mean-spiriteded bigotry. Please continue to reassure your kids that countless people don't feel that way and they, themselves, have nothing to be ashamed of. That they should be very proud of themselves and not worry at all about what mean people say.

      Frankly, I think we ought to come up with a new term: Hateful-Americans.

      May 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • white

      no matter where you come from if your not white you're being discriminated against.Well don't worry because Europeans are land stealers and are'nt any better than anyone else.

      May 22, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • mms55

      amen!

      May 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Caral from SoCal

      Katrina, please know there are many who are aware that this is a problem and are actively educating our children to think otherwise. As Martin Luther King dreamed, we can help fulfill..that a man will be judged by his character and not his skin (or heritage).

      May 23, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • barbara philpot

      i dont think anyone burt an american should be miss usa, she is not an american she is arab. and for your kids u should be back in your own county. how do u exlpect usa people to like the ones that are trying to kill our people and hate the usa. get a life where u belong and it isnt here

      May 23, 2010 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Nonmuslimwhitegirl

      Barbara, She left Lebanon at 7. She may well be a citizen of the USA as if it should matter. I doubt she's trying to kill anyone. Besides the fact that if she is a citizen she is one of "us Americans", she sounds a lot less hateful than you.

      May 23, 2010 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • KaidensMommi09

      Barbara-

      It is people like you that make people like me sick to my stomach! Just out of curiousity... What is YOUR ethnic backround? And don't try to tell me that you are just American because that is a crock. I myself am Irish, Russian, and Cherokee Indian... America is a melting pot! We are all immigrants and you can't tell me any different! Maybe you need to have a coming to Jesus yourself especially when you are telling someone who has innocent CHILDREN to go back to their own country... um they were born here you idiot!

      Katrina- I know it's difficult when your children are old enough to understand that there is hatred in this world and they are in the line of fire. I apologize for our ignorant friends out there! As a mother myelf I understand that we have other things to worry about besides our children being harassed about their ethnicity. We all grew up as being the "fat" kid or the "nerd" or maybe you were popular... stereotyping is built into our DNA... and it is also nature vs nurture. Our idiot of a friend Barbara obviously wasn't hugged enough as a child and secretly hates herself. When your daughter asks you if she is bad because of her backround... Just smile and tell her it makes her even more special!

      August 24, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Homer S

    Well said Rima. Beautiful, charming, sweet, and witty. Congrats.

    May 21, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Exposo

    Funny thing about these beauty queens is you take off the makeup and they still look like babies!

    May 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Akhtar

    I find it pathetic that she seems soo apolagetic about her faith

    May 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justbhappy

      She can think for herself and doesn't need someone like you to define her. Does that bother you; you extremist zealot.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • j

      I didn't see it as apologetic at all. She was making a statement about the way she practices her faith. I totally get it, because that's how I am- a Christian, but more spiritual than religious.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Homer S

      If you have watched her interviews, she never was apologetic. She said she was a Muslim, but explained that her family is not a strict conservative Muslim, and that she shares Christians their holidays, which is NOT a non-Muslim, that is unless you are a fundamentalist Wahabi.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Exposo

      That's not a problem!
      She's making her attackers look like a
      bunch of petty, hateful troublemakers!

      May 21, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • AntiWar

      She is just showing 'Respect' to all faiths. You need to GIVE respect in order to GET respect.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trev

      Beautiful lady, well said – people are bigger than religion, not the other way around. It doesn't have to define you. You Sir are also free to let it define you, should you be such a mindless lemming,

      May 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fatima Shabbir

      I find it pathetic that she calls herself a Muslim and then acknowledges that she celebrates Christmas and walks around less than half naked. I am an American born Muslim convert and I consider myself to have quite an open mind, however I was livid at the fact that she would call Muslims who are distressed by her actions, because they are outright not Islamic, "Stupid". Yeah, everyone has the right to practice as they wish or not to at all, but to wear the crown of Miss USA and brand observant Muslims, not conservative, Observant Muslims, who do know and value the rules of our religion stupid, well, that isn't very congenial or even American, now is it!

      May 21, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • RmZ

      "Fatima Shabbir" not all muslims are still living in the 600's. I know it kills and makes you boil inside (literally) to see someone practicing their faith without having to look like a Ninja. You enjoy the animals being treated better than you woman. I bet you really enjoy also your husband having 3 more wives.

      People with visions in faith like yours scare me bcz you take not the essence of a religion but the rules and regulations that were said 1200 years ago in the deserts of the Gulf. If you believe in freedon in whiich you live in (America) then you wouldn't judge somone according to how they look. If you feel so strongly about being a Ninja you should join the tribes in the desert they still exist and even Macca would be a wonderfull place for you to be.

      One more thing I wonder if in the Holly city of Mecca we are allowed to practive our different faiths and wear bekinis since we let you do your thing in America even in the Vetican.

      France has finally got it right (no 7ijab/berkas) if you are in Roma you do what the romans do...

      May 22, 2010 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Muhammad

      I agree. Religion is and should be an identifying characteristic of a person. And if you are sincere about your conviction to that religious belief.. shouldn't it be your primary identifier? After all it is your connection with your creator and whom you worship! If a person loves his job, cars, toys, food, culture or anything more than his creator... doesn't that really signify that value is placed on those things more than your creator? How would a persons wife feel if her husband loved something or someone else more than she? IF an American were not compelled to identify himself with America... would he be called un-American? I think that's what we do here when we feel someone goes against American Values or ideologies. I think that's what we would call Americans who were apologetic about being Americans.

      May 22, 2010 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Amal

      She isn't apologetic but she is likely sick of hearing about it. She is gorgeous and proof that you can be anything you want in the U.S. regardless of ethnic background. You just have to work for it. 🙂

      May 22, 2010 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Canadian777

      Congratulations to all Americans, the American dream is still alive -

      May 22, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • nnc

      aktar,
      go back to pakistan, orthodox mind, try to leave in 21 st century. these is america. leave and think like america

      May 22, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AntiWar

    That's really well said. We have African American President, Arab American Miss USA........etc.
    The point is 'American' means 'The Tradition of Rewarding Hardwork & Talent.' Sooner or Later everyone has the story of 'The American.'

    May 21, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • rico488

      Well said, I like your take.

      May 22, 2010 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • BrianCNN

      Adding "hyphens" only diminishes any hard work that went into achieving something because it shows that the success has to be qualified or explained somehow.

      May 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nidal Issa

    Rima,

    Congratulations and we are all very proud of you as Lebanese and Americans. Finally a positive that actually gets publicised about Lebanon! May god bless you, Lebanon, and this great coutry that allows such dreams to come true.

    Mabrouk!

    May 21, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Homer S

      Well said. As a fellow Lebanese-American, you have echoed my exact sentiments.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trev

      Lebanon a beautiful country, beautiful people Muslim or Christian. Religious zealots beware you are far outnumbered by reason and love.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sven Smitty

    I like bananas. But I lost my pants 🙁

    May 21, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Very Happy

    The fact that she distinguishes herself as "American" first, instead of Lebanese or Arab-American is so refreshing when our country insists on putting hyphens before the word American if you don't look like the stereotypical white American. If you live in this country and embrace the life you lead here, you are no longer an "insert ethnicity here"-American, you are just an American. The "hyphen" is the biggest barrier between the many different cultures in our nation, because it insinuates that the person is different or alien, when in fact we are all human and in this together. Bravo Rima...Bravo!

    May 21, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • AntiWar

      You made me realize 'THE AMERICAN'.
      Thank you

      May 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Homer S

      It is not about stereotypes, it is about who you are and your background. As a naturilzed American, I don't get offended when people ask where I am from (based on my accent). I chose to become American because I love this nation, but I cannot deny or neglect where I was born and raised, the same way other American remain pround of their heritage (southern, new yorker, etc...) even after they relocate within this land.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • neo

      but then you have people who go on "african-american" but when you ask them if they will ever will go there, or ever had been there. they'd rather get shot like 50cents.

      racist? maybe. true? absolutely

      and she is a gorgeous american btw

      i'd definitelly would take her out just for a conversation

      May 21, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      First off, she is very beautiful and makes well thought-out comments that best represents our country. That being said, I have no problems with hyphens. Though I can trace my families roots here for many centuries, I'm pretty proud of being of more than one race. I love it when people ask me what's my "ethnicity" but can't stand it when they ask me my "nationality". I hope we can get past thes false perceptions of what it means to be American.

      May 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy

      Anyone who lives in the United States and call themselves anything other than just plain American on a regular basis is a racist. If you don't want to be an American, leave it's that simple. By the way I am of American Indian descent. I in know way feel I belong here anymore than anyone who loves this country and call themselves American. The past about what happened to my ancestors or anyone else is over. So let's all get over it and be Americans and get along.

      May 22, 2010 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Kam

      All this anger about hyphenation is really just anger directed at black people for remind people of their true origins. Otherwise I have no clue why what someone else calls themself causes a problem. I don't care if some white person calls them self Caucasian even though their not from the Caucusus mountains, or even "white" when they really don't have white skin. An African-American is an American, an Italian-American is an American. If you don't get this I wonder if you have a hard time chewing gum and walking at the same time. (And don't even bring up that overused Teddy Roosevelt quote.) If you don't understand the need for the hyphen, perhaps you should ask someone why they choose to do it instead of relying on some tired stereotypes or unfounded anger.

      May 22, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mark

    Who cares people!!!!! She's smart and hot!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trev

      LOL great point! But people who aren't either of those love to blather on about other nonsense, is she this is she that, what does it mean. It don´t mean jack, relax and unwind with a beer and a bacon sandwich on a Sunday instead of going to Church or Mosque.

      May 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. hamada

    I have seen plenty of more pretty women on my subway to work. This is all a gimmick. she is just an average or 6/10 girl

    May 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Homer S

      You are one funny dude.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Purplehayes

      Wow! I'd never get off the subway... Where do you work hamada?

      I'd definitely give her 10/10.

      May 21, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • hamada007

      Purplehayes, perhaps you are one of her other people from Lebanon or middle east but there is no way she is going to get more than 6 out of 10 compared to all the pretty women out there in US

      May 22, 2010 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Trev

      Agree totally, I was on that subway, surrounded by ladies straight off a James Bond movie set, they seemed quite interested in me, almost flirtatious, oh wait that was a dream. I´m sure your experience was real life,

      May 22, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • marley

      There are many faces of beauty, what's beautiful to someone else may not be to you. Winning a Miss America pageant is not based completely on looks moron. She is a very intelligent, well-spoken American woman and is very deserving of her crown. If truth be known, I'm sure you could NEVER come close to even having someone of her stature in your company! Go eat your frozen dinners and play ur computer games.

      May 22, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny Sapp

      This is great news because maybe I have a chance with her as an average.

      May 23, 2010 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. an american muslim woman

    As an American muslim woman, who wears a head scarf, I am really happy for Rima. I am also a very spiritual person like her, eventhough I follow islamic rules closely, I believe all religions lead to God. It is nice to know that after 9/11 a person named Barack Hessein (even though I know that he is a christian) can become president and a muslim woman can become Miss USA. I used to worry about raising my kids in a country where my faith is so misunderstood, however, stories like this make me feel so proud of my this country. God bless America and its beautiful loving people.

    May 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Painful Deceptions

      Totally Agree with positive comments. Wish those few very vocal prejudice people wake up to the reality and realize that no matter how much they use their mass media for propaganda against Muslims inside and outside America, majority of Americans are open minded, kind hearted, generous and smart people and do not give a dime to the propaganda of mass media to portray all Muslims as monsters

      May 22, 2010 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
    • suggestion to muslim girl

      don't wears a head scarf, and leave freely these is america not pakistan. lets u r daughter leave without scarf. All people here is nice only muslim people looks women as a meat.

      May 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • mob

      don't wear head scarf. dont force u r daughterto also for scarf. leave free and enjoy american life these is america not pakistan. Good people leave here, only muslim man look girl as a meat

      May 22, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nonmuslim

      Where did Pakistan come from in the replies?? And the only people who have ever objectified women are from Pakistan? Please. I love how Pakistan comes into comments on a story about an American Lebanese girl who was crowned Miss USA.

      May 22, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • The real Joe the Plumber

      I am not one to support teh meat market parade that is these so called beauty contests. Having said that however, I find many of the comments about the young lady's ethnicity and religious background very troubling. Oneserious problem we have is that when we have a problem with certain people or countries we tend to demonize them so when we kill them in our wars, we don't feel too bad, because after all, they are evil. This of course is now reflected in the way we treat Mexicans, Arabs, etc. We used to treat Jews the same way and to some extent we still do. The truth is the White race is atually a minority in the total world population. That of course, means nothing and everything. Beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder and as always, real beauty is inside.

      May 22, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Three Dog Mama

    It is nice to see Miss USA drop a label. Our country has turned into how do we label someone? Well you know what? If we were all blind and couldn't see the other person, we wouldn't have a race label, i.e., Arab American, Chinese American, African American, Vietnamese American. You get the picture. A friend filled out the license to carry a concealed weapon, and she scratched out everything and wrote – HUMAN. I don't look at the outside of a person, I look at what is in that person's heart. What is in that person's heart is much more important then the outside.

    May 21, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • neo

      If i could see into peoples hearts there wouldn't be a pure heart within this planet thats older than 5 years old. Guaranteed.

      And those who say they pure? BS

      May 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. hii

    She does not make sense... How are you going to be MUSLIM and celebrate Christmas? Muslims dont celebrate Christmas, they celebrate Eid. And she went to a cathloic school....... she does not know what she is saying

    May 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coaster

      Reread the article, slower this time. Then read the comments. You'll get it.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • an american muslim woman

      Muslims do belive in Jesus as a prophet. I know some muslims (not a lot) who do celebrate christmas. I personally feel that muslims can justify celebrating christmas because Jesus is a very important figure in Islam. We celebrate prophet Mohd's birthday so why not Jesus'es. However, we may not celebrate it like chrisitans do, we will not go the church or drink but I don't think there is anything wrong with exchanging gift with the family and getting together for a family barbeque. I know many muslim women who have gone to catholic schools, their parents wanted them to attend all girl schools.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • neo

      anyone trolls alot?

      May 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomCom

      She said she was spiritual, not religious

      May 21, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • sssimon

      Snort! What? Do you actually think that Christmas is a Christian holiday?

      Bahahahahaha!

      May 22, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • nashir ahmed

      she is damm...lost she need a life...i don't see any beauty at all with her...she is damm ugly i c million of better looking girl then her every day and top of it she don't know what she is saying. she is talking like a mix vegetable. i will throw up on her...yakky

      May 22, 2010 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      Who cares if she is a religious Muslim or not? Who cares if she celebrates Christmas? Why should we care? I am more concerned if she is a naturalized American. It would seem odd if a US Permanent Resident (non-American) was Miss USA. And, regardless of whether she is naturalized or a US Permanent Resident; it would seem she can practice religion in whatever fashion she chooses. That's the purpose of the Bill of Rights. And, as for the pole dancing: pretty tame. I have seen more sensual pole dancing on CSI! American is a philosophy; a state of mind. One does not need to be white, nor Judeo-Christian to be American. However, one should be a naturalized or native-born citizen to claim the nationality of American; and therefore be crowned Miss USA.

      May 22, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. Thorrsman

    She seems to be the All American girl at that. Good for her. And really, good for America as well. I was hoping that she would take this course. Now if some others would just accept her as she is instead of trying to force her into the mold that THEY think she should fit...

    May 21, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
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