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Miss Muslim 2008 Says Beauty Contest Does Not Contradict Islam

KAZAN, Tatarstan -- The winner of the Miss Muslim 2008 beauty contest held in the Russian republic of Tatarstan last week says that such contests do not contradict the teachings of Islam.

Gulina Shahivaliyeva told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service that Muslims should use modern trends such as beauty contests as a way to attract more people to the Islamic faith.

Tatarstan's Mufti Office and the Union of Muslim Women of Tatarstan organized the contest.

Nine finalists displayed their knowledge of Tatar culture, history, and traditions, while also showing Tatar folk clothes in lieu of a swimsuit competition.

Shahivalieva is studying to be a teacher at the Tatar Teacher Training University.

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