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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Druze beauty contestant drops out after death threats

Angelina Fares, the Druze contestant in the Miss Israel pageant, has dropped out of the competition after last week's attempted honor killing.
Accompanied by her mother, Dalia, Sheikh Tarif and a pageant administrator, Angelina held a press conference at a Druze center in the village of Julis and announced her withdrawal from the pageant.

Tarif spoke first: "The Druze have a red line too, we are for progress and advancement and technology alongside maintaining chastity and honor. There are many ways to integrate into society while keeping to tradition and values. If we do not preserve ourselves, the values will crumble and what will we be left with? Angelina prevented the defilement of the community's honor."

Angelina explained mournfully that she feels whole with the decision made by the community leaders. "I didn't want to or mean to offend anyone, certainly not the Druze community and its values," she said," life is more important to me."

"It's a very difficult feeling, I innocently wanted to fulfill a dream; I had a dream of being a beauty queen and representing Israel and women with honor. I was shocked when I heard about the plan to kill me. I've been severally traumatized, I didn't know anything (of it) and was surprised," she said.
While there are plenty of ways to honor Israel and women besides beauty contests, it is a shame that she dropped out because of threats to her life rather than her own reasons, and that no one in her community supported her.

Once again, terror wins.

UPDATE: It was unusually hard for me to find a picture of Angelina, but here is one that seems to be from the press conference, from Al Watan: