Rima Fakih: The Beauty Pageant Scholar and The Arabs

Arabs were elated a short time ago; 24 year old Rima Fakih – the first Lebanese American, the first Arab American, the first Muslim, and the first immigrant to win the Miss USA title – Fakih seemingly established the foundation for ‘victory’ according to the acclimatized Arab community.

The tight-knit hamlet of Arabs, stemming from Egypt to England, were grinning from ear to ear and it is all thanks to what they called a “historic victory” in the curvaceous shape of an Arab woman.

Fakih, in keeping with the indiscretion of the inane online polity, paved the way for the Arabs – with her crown came the breaking of a new dawn, the coming of change. You can almost hear the animated sound of ululations once more.

In light of such an aberrant occasion Ms. Fakih once stated that her acquisition, embodied in the form of a beauty pageant, would exhibit that “…there are Arabs that are caring, that are good people, and who love the country they live in. I think it would make the Arab image a more positive one.” The mainstream view of the Arab people would be castrated, made void and questionable due to this bold achievement; Rima was evidently our one-way-ticket to adulation.

Arabs have certainly come a long way. From strategic achievements against the Roman Byzantine forces to creating the largest bowl of Hummus we now have Rima to add to our ever expanding list of ‘victories’.

Victory no longer means the redemption of our lands in spite of brutal foreign occupation, no, we are instead making it permissible to capture the soul of the Western military machine one high-heel at a time.

Recently Ms. Fakih has used her fundamentally nefarious platform to stigmatize Muslims; yes, who would have seen this coming?

In an interview with Inside Edition Fakih was asked about the “Ground Zero” Mosque – She stated that “…it shouldn’t be so close to the World Trade Center. We should be more concerned with the tragedy than religion.”

I assume Rima, who is now busy practicing for the ‘Miss Universe Pageant’, is not at all concerned about the thousands upon thousands of 9/11’s conducted, promoted and orchestrated by the United States of America; Her crown seems to be on a bit too tight.

And of course, the masses applaud her for not only being “beautiful” but for having an “…intelligent opinion about the Ground Zero Mosque.”, one comment reads.

Her beauty somehow makes it permissible to hold an opinion contrary to US Law and common sense.

But this is the overwhelming fulfillment praised by the Arabs; Rima Fakih’s vacuous accomplishment , which comes in the form of a misogynistic ‘beauty contest’, and the acclaim which the Arab populace has laced with the empty ‘victory’ has made me realize how far we have fallen as a people.

Victory is when we take back Al Aqsa. Victory is when we free our Iraqi mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters of Western occupation. Victory is when we redeem every tear shed by those made orphans under Western imperialism.

Qais Nawwaf said it best:

In light of the US occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, I believe the main political objective of Arabs living in the west generally and the US specifically ought to be disruption of, and eventually putting a halt to, the war machine that has devastated and exhausted the lives of innocent millions. Arab-Americans are in an ideal position to demand this. They live in the belly of the beast, and they are in no need to be educated on the fundamentals of the realities of war and occupation, at least in comparison to the general American public the majority of which is frequently found unable to find Afghanistan and Iraq on a map. Arab and Muslim-Americans’ perpetual quest for acceptance, pursued with disregard for the responsibility of seriously opposing the wars and occupations, brings to mind Malcolm X’s statement addressing African-American involvement in opposing war on Congolese: “they’re able to take these hired killers, put them in American planes, with American bombs, and drop them on African villages, blowing to bits Black men, Black women, Black children, Black babies, and you Black people sitting over here cool like it doesn’t even involve you. You’re a fool. They’ll do it to them today, and do it to you tomorrow. Because you and I and they are all the same.”

Rima Fakih, regardless of her origin and her religious ties, is someone to be vehemently admonished. Muslims and nonMuslims should be rebuking all those who align themselves with xenophobia, Islamophobia and any individual who blatantly disregards religious/irreligious freedom.

Fakih may be a ‘beauty queen’ but her subjective ‘beauty’ only goes so far and it certainly does not make up for her other shortcoming, especially in terms of intellect and logic; she is using her platform to further promote the mainstream mantra – that Muslims are not to be accepted into society.

Fakih in Arabic means “scholar”, ironically; There is a phrase in my native Arabic – “Laysa Kul’i Fakih b Fakih” which translates as “Not every scholar is a scholar”. This rings most true, especially when applying it to Rima Fakih.

This is a special contribution to Ikhras by Ms. Roqayah Chamseddine, a Lebanese-American humanitarian activist. She is a an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science/Pre-Law and Journalism. She was a member of the Gaza Freedom March last December in Cairo.

  11 comments for “Rima Fakih: The Beauty Pageant Scholar and The Arabs

  1. DrM
    August 24, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    Asalamu Aliakum Roqayah!

    Glad to have you back in action! Whatever happened with your original “frustrated Arab’s diary” blog? I’m glad to see you contributing to Ikhras. As for Fakih, any surprise that someone who climbed the colonial dancing pole to fame would hold such views? I don’t know a single Arab or Muslim was cared when Fakih won Trump’s tramp parade.
    Anyway, as for the whole “Ground Zero mosque” nonsense, forget the community center, build a masjid with tall minarets to teach the haters a lesson. Even if anyone is still dumb enough to believe that Muslims did 9/11, this manufactured outrage is still not justified. I have a post in the works which will expose the players and their agendas. It should be entertaining and a kick to the ribs of Judeofascists, tea party trailer trash, and last but not least, house Arabs and Muslims.

  2. steve
    August 24, 2010 at 6:45 AM

    Can’t someone tell that poor woman that “beauty queens” generally do better when they stay quiet?! Thanks for this brilliant article!

  3. George
    August 23, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    Well done Ms. Roqayah on a most excellent and well-argued essay.

  4. August 23, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    More evidence that I hang with an elite crowd; not one of my Arab friends applauded Fakih’s crowning ;)

  5. Salman
    August 23, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    I would be so happy if some Arab girl could throw a pair of size 10 shoes or a pie at her to tell her just what average practicing and political Arabs and Muslims think of her and her “accomplishment”.

  6. August 23, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    Someone tell me again why she’s supposed to be our champion? I’m really sick of people treating her as some sorta savior for Arab and Muslim Americans. I bet many of her supporters are shocked that she agreed that our first amendment rights should be pushed aside for the sake of ‘sensitivity’. As Muslims and Arabs, we need to not stoop so low and consider a woman to be a role model for our girls just because she’s managed to climb her way to fame. Congrats to Rima for achieving the success I’m sure she worked hard for but the last thing we need is another apologetic Arab.

  7. Moustafa
    August 23, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    Thank you! Just if there were 2 Roqayah’s in this world!

  8. Faith
    August 23, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    Please, do tell who is being served by building a mosque at the site where Moslem extremists killed thousands of innocents. Do you think this is sending any sort of “We will not yield to your terroristic acts” message to those extremists, or rather, is it giving them permission to make a massacre site their stomping grounds? Taking this into consideration, why on earth are you condemning a woman for expressing her unbiased opinion on the matter? This is not a matter of religion, but more so a matter of human rights and a long-standing American motto: “Don’t tread on me.” It is ludicrous to erect any worship site on the remains of a slaughterhouse, no matter the religion.

    • August 23, 2010 at 3:38 PM

      Hello Faith,
      I happen to be the author of this blog post; I will do my best in terms of dissecting your highly flawed, uneducated argument against the “Ground Zero” Mosque.

      Your entire premise is based on the assumption that the Park51 Community Center is a religious house of worship, it is not.
      The Community center has a swimming pool, stations for classes to be held, community unites which are all inclusive (open to the religious and irreligious) and a prayer room; the prayer room is not just for Muslims, mind you.

      Have you read the Park51 website? I highly doubt it.

      In terms of your emotive “…it is ludicrous to erect any worship site on the remains of a slaughterhouse…” – I wonder if you mind that slaughterhouses are being created where worship sites once were (i.e. Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine et al)?

      The application of your flawed argument only benefits the occupiers, the subjugators, the slave-master, the American imperialists.

      It is laughable that you bring up the Gadsden Flag motto (i.e. “Don’t Tread on Me”) because not only was this replaced by the current US Flag but the Gadsden motto was used in defense of civil liberties.
      Religious freedom is one of those freedoms, whether the right wing conservative populace of nationalist America like it or not.

      It is pathetic that so many Americans go on and on about their nationalistic history yet refuse to acknowledge the opinions of the American gods they pretend to worship. Take for example, Thomas Jefferson:

      The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson, proclaimed:

      “[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

      No man, includes (whether you like it or not) Muslims.

  9. August 23, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    So nice to see an article from Roqayah after such a long time. Whatever happened to her blog? It went offline all of a sudden.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.