Monday, August 28, 2006

Allah's Enemy... a lovely 16-year-old Australian girl.

Ayten Ahmet, a Muslim teenager from Melbourne, has advanced to the final round of competition to become one of two representatives from Victoria to the Miss Teen Australia pageant. This action has infuriated Muslim leaders in that Australian state.

A spokesman for Melbourne cleric Sheik Mohammed Omran last week branded the competition, which involves swimsuit parades, as a "slur on Islam". And Victorian Islamic leader Yasser Soliman said the contest did not conform with the teachings of the Koran.

But fortunately, her family is that rarest of breeds: the moderate, assimilated Muslim:
Parents Salih and Sarah Ahmet said their daughter was a typical teenager, and her faith was irrelevant to the contest.


Mr Ahmet said the family respected their religion, but his daughter was entitled to participate.

"We are not flying any flags, we are Australians first and foremost," Mr Ahmet said. "We live in a democracy, we respect the religion as well, and they are good kids and come from a good upbringing."

Some leaders in the Muslim community have backed away from Sheik Omran's comments, and this is to their credit. They really ought to be running away furiously from the comments, but every journey begins with a first step.

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