First Miss Iraq in 4 decades receives ISIS threats days after winning crown

After winning the first Miss Iraq beauty pageant held in four decades, Shayma Qassim, 20, received a threatening phone call Tuesday telling her to join the Islamic State or risk being kidnapped by the terrorists.

Shayma Qassim
Shayma Qassim / Image source:

She won the event Saturday, which qualifies her to compete in the Miss Universe pageant scheduled to be held in Thailand in March, 2016, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday, citing the Kuwaiti daily al-Watan.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the pageant and its participants had been besieged by threats almost from the outset:

The pageant’s televised finale, originally set for October 1, had been moved back to December after threats by tribal leaders opposed to young women from their families taking part.

At least two young women pulled out of the contest after receiving death threats, and the swimsuit section of the competition had to be dropped, organizers said.


Islamic State militants, who are fundamentalist Sunni Muslims who believe women should be completely covered, control approximately one-third of Iraq, primarily in the northern provinces.

It didn’t take long for the news to hit social media.

Here’s footage taken from the event via NBC News.


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