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Halima Aden, Muslim girl dressed in hijab and burkini contests for Miss Minnesota USA

Halima Aden, Muslim girl dressed in hijab and burkini contests for Miss Minnesota USA

A Muslim girl contested in the Miss Minnesota USA competition.

This was on Saturday and nineteen-year-old Halima Aden is pictured on stage during the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in a “burkini,” a bathing suit covering her from neck to wrist to ankle.

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Halima made it to the semifinal round of 15 on Sunday, but didn’t advance to the final five. Her swimsuit stood in sharp contrast with the other 44 women, most of whom donned revealing bikinis during the pageant’s signature swimwear segment.

Aden, who wore a headscarf with the burkini, said she entered the competition to break barriers for Muslim women and counter the prevalent notion that they are oppressed. She hoped to be a role model for girls who felt that wearing the hijab might hold them back.

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Before the contest, reports say Halima reassured her community members, some of whom were anxious about the idea of her modeling, that she would not compromise her religious principles to compete.

The winner of the pageant was to go on to the national stage to represent the entire state of Minnesota in the Miss USA Competition.

Halima’s biggest inspiration, her mother Rukia, had moved her family to Minnesota from a Kenyan refugee camp 12 years ago, when Aden was 7.

After the pageant, Halima Aden said she’s gotten thank-yous from parents and young girls who have been bullied.

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