Row over selfie: Miss Iraq forced to leave country for photo with Miss Israel
Sarah Idan was threatened to take down a selfie with her Israeli counterpart Adar Gandelsman. She was also reportedly told that she would be stripped of her title and killed if she did not.world Updated: Dec 16, 2017 19:25 IST
Miss Iraq Sarah Idan and her family had to leave Baghdad after the beauty queen received death threats over a selfie with Miss Israel in Tokyo last month, according to media reports.
Speaking to an Israeli news channel, Adar Gandelsman said 27-yerar-old Idan was threatened to take down the photo. She was also reportedly told that she would be stripped of her title and killed if she did not. “Out of fear, they left Iraq at least until the situation calms down,” Gandelsman said.
It was not immediately known where Idan and her family had relocated to.
In Japan for the Miss Universe contest, Idan and the 20-year-old Gandelsman clicked a selfie that was posted on Instagram with the title, “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel”.
Their message of harmony did not go down well with many in Iraq, which has a historical animosity with Jewish Israel. Fresh tension gripped West Asia after US President Donald Trump announced Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the shifting of his embassy in the historic city earlier this month.
Gandelsman said she had been in contact with, asserting her “friend” did not regret the decision to share the photo. “She did it so that people can understand that it’s possible to live together,” she said.
Idan too took to Twitter to confirm the death threats and said she was “not the first” or the last person to “face prosecution over a matter of personal freedom”. “Millions of Iraqi women live in fear. #FreeIraqiWomen,” she tweeted Saturday.
She, however, denied allegations that her photo with Gandelsman signaled support for the Israel government and its policies concerning the Arab world.