NEWLY crowned Miss World Australia Esma Voloder has fired back at "hurtful" people who claim the Muslim woman does not represent our nation, saying: "Life if too short for negativity".
"I forgive them ... I feel it comes from a lack of understanding," the 25-year-old said yesterday.
"I am hoping to break down the barriers by just being me."
Miss World Australia national director Deborah Miller has told The Daily Telegraph that since Ms Voloder was crowned last Friday, the organisation had fielded many "awful and mean" calls demanding she be replaced.
"We have had lots of calls, people saying terrible things," Ms Miller said.
"People have said: 'How did you let a Muslim win?'. We believe Esma is a strong woman and represents a multicultural Australia."
Ms Voloder said many people "fall into a trap of believing what they are told" but they would not detract her from trying to win the global Miss World title.
Originally published as Muslim beauty queen targeted