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Hammasa Kohistani

7 July 06 12:31 GMT

We turned to a young British Muslim - the first Muslim Miss England, Hammasa Kohistani - for her Take Of The Week.

" Being the first Muslim Miss England, there was a lot of pressure on me to try and impress both the Islamic community and the Western.

However, what people failed to realise is that many Islamic countries participate in the Miss World pageant; it's just that I was criticised a lot more because I was representing England.

Due to the Western lifestyle of Britain, Muslims feel a lot more pressured to stick to their old customs and traditions than their true identity, making them so much more conservative than the Muslims in an Islamic country.

Since the events of 7/7, it hasn't been easy to be a British Muslim.

Rooting out extremism

So many people are stereotyping us now negatively. A good example of that would be the Forest Gate raid. Now that forces more moderate Muslims to turn into extremists.

Tony Blair asked us Muslims this week to try and root out extremism. But when certain individuals in the Muslim community are trying to force their extremist view, it makes it very hard for us.


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