Miss USA: Does it matter if she's Arab-American?

Commentators on the Right say Rima Fakih's pageant crown is a sign of political correctness gone awry. Is that crazy?

For the first time, a Muslim has been crowned Miss USA. There was rejoicing in Arab American communities, but, as The Washington Post reports, some conservatives are calling Rima Fakih "a politically correct 'affirmative action' pick" whose victory sets a bad precedent. There have even been suggestions that Fakih — whose parents immigrated from Lebanon — has family ties to the terrorist group Hezbollah. Was it a mistake to name Fakih as the new Miss USA? (Watch Rima Fakih take home the title)

Fakih's win is a victory for terrorists: "It's a sad day in America" when Fakih can win this pageant without denouncing her family's terrorist ties, says journalist Debbie Schlussel in her blog. But it's "predictable," given the overly PC "Islamo-pandering" cultural climate in the U.S. today. Extremist Muslim groups will doubtless use her win as propaganda — "Hezbollah is laughing at us, tonight."

"Miss Hezbollah Rima Fakih Wins Miss USA; Rigged for Muslims?"

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Who cares about Miss USA's religious beliefs? First off, Fakih attended a Catholic high school, says George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley in his blog. But, either way, her beliefs are irrelevant. "I do not look to Miss Oklahoma as a source of legal or policy wisdom" — so why worry about Fakih's ideals? And "if Hezbollah planned to gain some advantage by winning the Miss USA competition, they are more desperate than I thought."

"Crowning of Arab-American as Miss USA unleashes torrent of attacks from the right"

Clearly, the judges made a P.C. choice: It's obvious that political correctness is behind Fakih's win, says Michelle Malkin in her blog. She was a complete mess on stage, tripping over her gown and, at one point, referring to birth control pills as a "controlled substance." Huh? "Imagine if those words had come out of the mouth of Carrie Prejean or Sarah Palin." Liberals would still be laughing.

"A gaffetastic new Miss USA"

The far Right's reaction highlights an ugly reality: The "plainly disproportionate" reaction of neo-conservatives to Fakih's selection, says Adam Serwer at The American Prospect, only proves that "these people aren't worried about terrorism" as much as "they're offended by the idea of Muslims being integrated into the most mundane and banal aspects of American society."

"The right's reaction to the new Miss USA"

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