Absence of Arab contestants in Miss Universe -- does it have meaning?

The Miss Universe Contest last night had 84 contestants and only two from Arab countries, Egypt and Lebanon.

Click to see full list:

There are 22 Arab countries and only two fielded candidates? What does it say about the Arab World? I think it says that religious extremists continue to dominate and intimidate and threaten secular Muslims and Arab Christians.

I think that the purpose of the contest is insignificant and has nothing to do with "higher morality" and instead has everything to do with the absence of freedom and extremist religious intimidation. Past Arab country entrants have been threatened and dropped from the contest. Many Arab countries are afraid to field a contestant. What's wrong with secular Muslims and Christian Arabs having the RIGHT to live their lives without fear from the religious maniacs?

I'm going to make this a topic this week on radio beginning this morning at 9 am Chicago Central Time at

You can email comments and I will read them to Chicago listeners.

ray hanania

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my friend,

It as if the Arab world treasure its beauty, I guess you saw more beautiful Arab woman then I did, but even with my smaller experience I know that the Arab world hold treasure.

There is something in the "protection" of the culture that I see value in, it is in some sense hold some kind of respect and put the "flesh" element of us human in intimate environment and not expose it and abuse it as we do in the West.

But I think that these are stressful culture elements that also relate to some kind of kindness and hospitality we experience in the Arab culture.

I guess that it will brake down the more it come with contact with the west and the "freedom" values of the western cultures will slowly eat up the arab culture till some kind of balance where the communities who dictate these culture codes will lose their power, as the religious Jews and the religious Christians.

we can see in the west that we still have strong conservative communities of Christians who fight abortion and liberal values. same in Israel with the orthodox communities and I guess this will be in few generations the conditions in the Arab world.
Here is my column in the Jerusalem Post on the absence of more Arab contestants in the Miss Universe Pageant. I think that 2 of 22 Arab nation's fielded candidates suggests that the Arab World is being consumed by religious fanaticism and that soon the Secular Arab will be gone.

Ray Hanania

Click here to read story in JPost
10th of talkback reply in JP, i found it very poignant

Women's freedom gained on a cattle market?
Honestly... to say that pageants' contests are "where string bikinis replace car bombs and women are truly free" made me laugh out loud. Is a woman free because she's flashing a stupid smile and showing her butt in public? Or is she free when she can study, work and choose her husband freely? Is women's freedom dependant on their beauty? Does that mean obese but smart women are slaves, or what? And could we please have a picture in "The Jerusalen Post" of the guy who wrote this pitiful story ina bikini, so that he's truly free?
Allegra - Israel (08/26/2009 12:09)
And the same question can be asked: Are women free when they are forced to wear a berqa or are given "the choice" to wear a berqa. The fact of wearing a bikini is not in and of itself the issue. It is the CHOICE that are denied to women that is in fact the issue of freedom. If chosing to wear a berqa as religious fanatics insist is a sign of freedom then why shouldn't women be allowed to chose to wear a bikini and participate in a contest where female beauty -- rather than the ugliness of the human race -- is showcased. The Middle East can use a lot more of the former than the latter.


Your last comment made me think.

I think we both have positive relation with the Woman perspective and think that release woman from old heritage constrains can help the human race, and the arab world progress to a more free and balanced reality.

This is why woman liberation is so important, I think it helped the western culture development and it can help. and we can see that culture who are still "constrain: woman have other constrains as education, poverty, bad governance etc. freeing the woman within us help us human to be more whole.

but with that, I think that some of the Miss Universe Contest promote some values of consumerism and actually was important for the western woman liberation, but may not needed for the Arab and other constrained societies liberation.

Having woman free to study, express themselves, work and be independent to raise their kids and have free relationship is what we seek, while the woman who use her outer figure and obsessed with consuming goods and use her beauty may distract many woman, as I see it in ISrael and in the west.

so again, should the Arab path to woman liberation go through the western route? it may be a different route and as a non-arab as I am I cannot suggest what is the Arab society route to woman liberation, but it can be Arab way and not western way.
Not reparenm in English ... smiles

I'm new to the site, I hope to be able to help.

Is that when talking of women, we are not talking about us men, the final, surely we are talking about human beings, the value of a human being as a whole.

Posted this text in the microenterprises can reflect a little about the culture that we are being taken (and even dragged) to live, it is global, in a media culture, globalization, which also lack the freedom to another and not only to himself.

"Our time is marked by an accumulation of wealth, growing. Many people are eager for money and possessions. Coupling its value to the model of car you own or the brand of clothes they wear. Children are also victims of it. At school, they become the target of mockery when wear sneakers, cheap and simple clothes that do not meet the standards of the mall. And it seems that their self-esteem is so low, seeking acceptance, using expensive objects of fashion. This shows that so little trust in themselves, they need symbols of status external to hide "(Ansel Grun," Beatitudes, the Way to a Happy Life).

This brief description of a contemplative monk, depicts the harsh reality of consumerism, planted in the hearts of all, starting with children. We live in a world marked by the tags and labels, sometimes made in the backyard for those earning a pittance to make, and the store, you pay what is worth, just because there is printed a letter, symbol, mark an agreed the media, an important character.

Unfortunately consumerism eats each one of us. We ask then, what to do? I did get a response in a text, written in years, 153 to 205 of the Christian era.

"The goods are in our hands as tools, as instruments of which withdrew good use, if we can manipulate them. Nature's riches, slaves and not women. Destroy it, not our property, but the greed ... There is no gain to drop the money that you have if you continue to be rich in unbridled desires. Here's how the Lord sees the use of external goods. We must not undo the money that allows us to live, but the forces that lead us to use it .... ill have to purify our souls, that is. make it poor and naked, in this state hear the call of the Savior: "Come, follow me." (This text is the theologian Clement of Alexandria who lived from 153 to 205).

The human heart is insatiable, have cravings, feelings of all kinds, and worst of all that we continually thinking, plotting, coordinating, doing everything to quench them. Satisfied now, settles down, becomes calm, and suddenly realizes that "I did not need it," "could live without spending this or that," because I took this financial commitment now?

How many headaches, and stress, not to use the head, the reason, the feature makes us different from other beings. As Clement said: do not destroy property, but greed. People fed up, fully sated, are never fully realized. Happiness is to live free, be free in the face of the material that falsely promise happiness.

Thus, this first beatitude is a path to freedom and true happiness. At the same time this beatitude is addressed to all those who have nothing in their hands, they feel powerless before God, and place all hope in Him.

Indeed, in this world where the poor have not only lost material things, but their dignity, we must look to the beatitude of the poor in spirit that we find the face of happiness and the following phrase: "for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them" . Kingdom of Heaven is like saying the Kingdom of God, that is, the place where God lives, reigns lives. The poor in spirit renounce power and dominion of all, to let God rule in your own heart.

Hevenu Shalom Alechem!



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