Miss Australia 2017 has responded to ‘hurtful’ religiously-aggravated hatred, directed at her because she is Muslim.
Esma Voloder was crowned Miss World Australia last Friday, in Melbourne. Since, the organisation has received numerous ‘awful and mean’ calls demanding the choice be revoked and claiming Voloder is not representative of the country because of her Muslim beliefs.
The 25-year-old Bosnian-Australian actress has since responded to those disgraceful accusations with maturity and grace.
She told the Australian paper, The Daily Telegraph:
Life if too short for negativity. I forgive them… I feel it comes from a lack of understanding.
I am hoping to break down the barriers by just being me.
Voloder was born in a refugee camp after her parents escaped the Bosnian war. The family then relocated to Australia. She has gone on to earn a degree in psychology and is currently working as a criminal profiler in Melbourne.
She also moonlights as an anti-bullying ambassador for BullyZero.
Deborah Miller, Miss World Australia’s national director, told The Daily Telegraph that the organisation had fielded many “awful and mean” calls demanding Ms Voloder be replaced.
We have had lots of calls, people saying terrible things. People have said: ‘How did you let a Muslim win?’. We believe Esma is a strong woman and represents a multicultural Australia.
Esma might be the most beautiful woman in Australia on the surface, but her true beauty lies in her ability to overcome ignorance and rise above hatred.