Miss Iraq Sarah Idan’s family has been forced to flee their country after they received death threats over a viral selfie featuring their daughter with Miss Israel during the Miss Universe pageant last month.
The outrage happened as Iraq does not recognise Israel and the two nations have no diplomatic relations whatsoever. Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman said that Idan’s family was not only being harassed over the photo but also on their daughter’s pose in a bikini during the pageant.
“People made threats against her (Ms Idan) and her family that if she didn’t return home and take down the photos, they would remove her title, (and) that they would kill her… Out of fear, they left Iraq at least until the situation calms down,” Gandelsman was quoted as saying by The Jewish Chronicle.
Gandelsman also added that the two remained friends even after the pageant ended. Idan currently lives in the US.
The photo posted by Idan was captioned “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.” Idan reportedly told Gandelsman that she had “no regrets” about posting the photo on her Instagram.
Idan’s tweet more or less confirms the threats her family received:
— Sarai (Sarah Idan) (@grrrciara) December 15, 2017
Last month, Idan had apologised to those who thought she was expressing her support for the Israeli government. “This picture doesn’t mean I support the Israeli government or its policies towards Arab countries. I apologise to everyone who saw it as an insult to the Palestinian cause – this was not its purpose,” she had said in a statement in Arabic.