Stereotyping is leading to terror, says first Muslim Miss England Last updated at 10:34am on 31st August 2006
The first Muslim to be crowned Miss England has warned that stereotyping members of her community is leading some towards extremism.
Hammasa Kohistani made history last year when she was chosen to represent England in the Miss World pageant.
But one year on, the 19-year-old student from Hounslow feels that winning the coveted beauty title last September was a "sugar coatingÃ® for Muslims who have become more alienated in the past 12 months.
She said: "The attitude towards Muslims has got worse over the year. Also the Muslims' attitude to British people has got worse.
"Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway. It will take a long time for communities to start mixing in more.
"People may feel I am just a sugar coating on the situation. I am a symbol to show it's not really that bad.
Miss Kohistani said: "Tony Blair addressed Muslims in particular, telling them that they need to sort out the problem within. That was a huge stereotype of the Islamic community. Even the more moderate Muslims have been stereotyped negatively and feel they have to take actions to prove themselves.
She said that moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves? Prove themselves to be what? Terrorists? Yeah that'll really endear them to the rest of the population. So that means that if you divide the immigrant Muslim population into three groups, radical jihadists, moderate Muslims, and Western assimilated Muslims, that two thirds of them cannot be trusted not to become terrorists? Tony Blair was exactly right in saying that it's the entire Muslim community, not just a token few, who needs to verypubliclyy condemn these extremists in their midst. Only then will the non-Muslim community in which they reside begin to see them as allies in the war on Islamofascism. If they continue to sit on their hands and say nothing when terrorists strike, they will be rightly viewed as terrorist sympathasizers, and treated accordingly.