The following are excerpts from an interview with Dr. Kifah Al-Ramali of the Gaza Islamic University, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on December 23, 2009.
Interviewer: The beauty queen of Palestine – the ideological reality and the Islamic perspective.
Interviewer: How can a [Muslim] accept this Arab, his Palestinian, his Muslim sister participating in such contests? Where did these contests come from, and what future do they have? Why is the Islamic response [to these contests] so inaudible, and why do the Islamic scholars keep silent?
Dr. Kifah Al-Ramali: With regard to the issue of the Palestinian beauty queen, if a real study was conducted into where it came from – this [contest], the Miss Universe contests, and so on – I expect [we would find] that it originated from the countries of the West. These enemies are trying to invade the [Islamic] nation. They are invading it ideologically – either by means of arguments and debates, or by imposing destructive notions on [Muslim] society. That is the most dangerous thing, because society becomes accustomed to these notions. The third type of invasion is military invasion, which has the least influence on us.
Dr. Kifah Al-Ramali: The enemies of Allah have studied the mentality of the Muslims, and have studied what harms their religion and their faith. They have studied how to infiltrate our society. First, they intervened in women's [issues]. This is because they know that the prophet Muhammad said: "The greatest temptation for men is women." Women are the greatest temptation. They know what weapon to use to fight [Muslim] society. Allah sowed in men the attraction to women, and vice versa. Then, Islam regulated these matters, according to the shari'a laws. Along came the enemies of Allah, and the most important thing [for them] was to remove the women's hijab. They removed her hijab, then they removed her modesty, her purity, her sense of shame, and so on. They are doing this step by step. The enemies of Allah study the mentalities and do not approach any issue before studying it. If we return to recent history, in the 1960's and 1970's, there was no hijab or anything. Palestinian women would leave half-naked. The Palestinian scene was dominated by Marxist ideology. But with the grace of God, along came the Islamic awakening, and restored women's modesty and honor. It is Islam that created this kind of woman.
Interviewer: Who is the real Palestinian beauty queen?
Dr. Kifah Al-Ramali: The real Palestinian beauty queen is the Jihad-fighting mother, the mother who perseveres and endures the siege, the mother who says: We will suffer hunger, but we will not bow down, the mother who sacrificed martyrs and demonstrated forbearance. She is the wife of the martyr, who left her in the prime of life, with her children, yet she says: I will persevere, and I will raise my children to be mujahideen. She is the mother who has lost her husband, her sons, her daughters, her home and her shelter, yet she displays forbearance. She is the queen of the women of the world in its entirety, not just of Palestine.