Within a month of becoming Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, started receiving death threats on social media after she posted a selfie with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, taken during the Miss Universe Pageant.
Idan was criticized in Iraq after she posted the selfie which was also posted by Miss Israel on her account.
The caption of Idan’s post reads: "Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel."
Idan told the CNN that she was asked to take the photo down by the organizer of Miss Iraq contest just six days before the pageant. The organization warned her that she would be stripped of the title if she did not comply.
She said she was also being threatened online because she wore a bikini in the initial stage of the competitions.
However, it was the selfie with Miss Israel that caused her serious trouble since Iraq and Israel do not have any official diplomatic relations.
Idan has refused to delete or take down the photo. Later in another post, she wrote on the social media site in Arabic: “I want to stress that the purpose of the picture was only to express hope and desire for peace between the two countries.
“[The photo] does not signal support for the government of Israel and does not mean I agree or accept its policies in the Arab homeland.”
She added that she apologised to all those who considered the photo to be harmful to the Palestinian cause, the Times of Israel reports.