Looking for Cheesecake in the Muslim World


Craig Malisow has an odd story in the Houston Press; Pakistani-American Mariyah Moten participated in a Miss Bikini World shoot in China, and let herself be photographed with a Pakistani flag. She graced the cover of a cheesecake calender. And while Malisow tries to sex the story up, the point seems to be… no one cared.

As Miss Canada Pakistan founder Sonia Ahmed says, "They have opened up the women' s rights, and women are now free to do what they want and dress how they want, and represent Pakistan in whichever way they feel they want to represent Pakistan. It's becoming more secular."

After the firestorm over Moten, Ahmed says, she's entered contestants in four pageants without a peep from Pakistani officials. She says it's part of a cultural shift that, at times, can be confusing.

"The majority right now is a modern and liberal government," she says. "The people are now confused…thinking, 'OK, we were once upon a time very Islamic, now we've got to be modern. So if we're going to tell everyone that we're Islamic, are we going to be the bad people?'"

This is, of course, the most promising news you could apply to the future of Iraq in quite a while.

UPDATE: Nick Gillespie noted Moten last year, when it appeared as though the model and her deep thoughts might actually prove controversial.