LONDON – A Kyrgyz beauty queen has decided to don the hijab, revealing the news to her 211,000 Instagram followers.
“Yes, I decided to cover myself and it is my own choice,” Aikol Alikzhanova wrote in a recent Instagram post, where she posed in her headscarf, The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday, October 5.
“I am very happy and pleased with it! Let’s be kinder towards each other and learn what respect is.”
The former Miss Kyrgyzstan revealed that she will be wearing hijab on a daily basis.
Alikzhanova, 25, who was crowned Miss Kyrgyzstan in 2014, has posted pictures of her new look on social media.
She added that she was happy, urging her followers to support her decision.
Nevertheless, her decision to don hijab has prompted a lively debate online.
Many questioned the authenticity of her decision with one commenter writing: “An example for many girls who cannot decide (religions)!”
Others argued that although they supported her religion they did not agree with her decision to wear a hijab with another writing: ‘It is not necessary though it is not our nationality’.
Despite some negative comments, Aikol was met with plenty of support.
“I fully support you. This is a very determined and courageous act. It is not easy to drop everything and wear the hijab,” one follower wrote.
Aikol says she feels comfortable in her new look and believes her critics simply do not understand religion.
“I feel happy, my family is supporting me. I did not think that I would get so much support with more than 10,000 likes within 24 hours. The majority of comments were those of support,” she said.
Aspiring to be a film actress, Aikol said she would only consider roles that allowed her to wear a hijab.
Otherwise, she will devote herself to charity and to creating fashionable clothes for Muslim girls who, like her, choose to cover their bodies.