The former Miss Iraq who sparked outrage when she posed with Miss Israel is now facing being stripped of her citizenship for calling for peace between Israel and Palestine in a UN speech.
Former beauty queen and Iraqi-American national Sarah Idan sparked fury after she gave the controversial speech at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland last month.
She told delegates: “I’d like to remind Arab countries that today you share more common interests with Israel than the terrorist militias. Negotiating peace for both states isn’t betraying the Arab cause, but a vital step to end conflict and suffering for all.”
She added: “The issue between Arabs and Israelis goes beyond policy disagreements. It’s deeply rooted in the belief systems taught in Muslim countries, which are anti-Semitic.”
The speech led to Iraqi lawmakers discussing the possibility of stripping her citizenship when they met on 9th July.
Iraqi MP Ali al-Ghanmi called for the beauty to be stripped of her citizenship following her controversial comments.
Iraqi MP Ali al-Ghanmi told local media: “What Sarah Idan is doing is punishable by law and I call on the authorities to act accordingly.”
He added: “If the authorities were to enforce the law, [Idan] would be stripped of her Iraqi citizenship and banned from entering the country.”
Al-Ghanmi discussed the possibility in parliament with other lawmakers, according to media. It is currently unclear if they plan to move forward with the motion.
Many Arab countries have tense relations with Israel and some refuse to recognise its existence as result of the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people.
Speaking at the UNHCR and in an apparent reference to the death threats she received after posting a photo of herself on her social media profile alongside Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, at the 2017 Miss Universe pageant, she added: “Why did the Iraqi government fail to condemn the threats, or allow my freedom of speech? (sic)”
The 29-year-old has also criticised the Hamas group and called them a “terrorist organisation.”
Idan, who says she is an Iraqi-American citizen, was appointed an Ambassador for Peace by the monitoring NGO UN Watch and reportedly received rape and death threats after posting the 2017 photo to social media.
Idan worked alongside American troops in Iraq as a linguist and translator when she was 18 years old.
After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Idan and her family moved to Syria for a few years before moving back to Iraq. She later moved to the United States to study music and currently lives in Los Angeles.
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