Devout Muslim Wins Prom Queen near San Bernardino

Zarifeh Shalabi (Facebook)

Just 15 miles from the site of the San Bernardino shooting, which took the lives of 14 in December, a public high school in Fontana, California chose a devout Muslim young lady as their prom queen.

“You know it’s not typical you would see every day for a girl with a hijab to win prom queen,” Zarifeh Shalabi told local ABC News affiliate ABC 7.

Shalabi reportedly wore a traditional Muslim dress with a beaded hijab to Summit High School’s prom, which took place on Tuesday, April 19. It was also her 18th birthday.

However, it apparently took some convincing for her parents to allow her to attend the prom, considering her strict Muslim upbringing, which does not allow premarital relations between unmarried men and women. Her mother reportedly agreed to allow Shalabi to attend after it was decided that she and her female friends would attend their prom single and as a group of female friends.

She and five other girls were in the running for the crown. Shalabi’s friends campaigned for her by wearing hijabs and brightly-colored green neon t-shirts in a show of solidarity. According to the New York Times, on the day of the school election for prom queen, her friends also carried balloons printed with “Don’t be a baddie, vote for the hijabi” on them.

One of her friends told ABC 7 that part of the reason for the push was because they wanted to show that not all Muslims are terrorists.

“Especially with San Bernardino being so close, just to see we are all not like that,” Rosamaria Lopez reportedly said. “We don’t discriminate against anybody, any religion, we accept each other for who we are.”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz


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