Former Miss Iraq may have citizenship rescinded over Israel ties

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Former Miss Iraq may have citizenship rescinded over Israel ties

Sub group of Iraq's parliament may take action against Sarah Idan, the country's 2017 contestant in the pageant, after her speech at the UNHRC

Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, left, and Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posing for a photo on Gandelsman’s Instagram page. (Instagram) 

Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, left, and Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posing for a photo on Gandelsman’s Instagram page. (Instagram) Via JTA

A sub-group of the Iraqi parliament has debated whether to rescind the citizenship of Miss Universe Iraq 2017 for her criticism of the country and comments on Israel.

It follows last month’s appearance before the UN Human Rights Council of Sarah Idan, whose photo with her friend Miss Israel during the 2017 competition went viral.

Idan later received death threats and has been living in the United States ever since, saying she could “no longer return to my homeland” and calling out the Iraqi authorities for “failing to condemn the threats or allow my freedom of speech”.

She further told the UNHRC that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was “deeply rooted in the belief systems of Muslim countries, which are antisemitic,” adding: “For advocating peace I’m called a traitor.”

Idan used the podium to denounce Hamas as well as “biased” Arab media reports, adding: “I’d like to remind Arab countries that today you share more common interests with Israel than the terrorist militias.”

This week Baghdad Today reported that the Parliamentary Security and Defence Committee had debated calls to have Idan stripped of her citizenship.

Ali al-Ghanmi, a member of the committee, spoke about Idan’s comments at the UN, saying Iraqi authorities “must determine whether this crime requires the withdrawal of [Idan’s] citizenship”.

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