Winner of last Saturday’s contest in Algiers, Khadija Benhamou has been the target of a number of racist attacks on social networks because of her skin colour.
For the first time since its creation in the 80s, a candidate from the south of the country, the city of Adrar, has won the contest, which took place at the Algerian National Theater. She is also the first Miss Algeria of a somewhat darker skin tone.
Not long after her appointment, a torrent of racist comments started emerging on social networks. Some comparing her to black football players, others questioning whether she was really Algerian. We’ll spare you the rest of the nasty comments that we’ve seen on social media, she has since gained a large support from Algerians condemning the treatment she’s received, support from a number of national newspapers was also expressed.
Khadija does not seem very impressed by the comments made at her expense, interviewed on the Algerian channel El Djazairia a day after her victory, she dismissed her criticism: “I do not pay attention to social networks, I trust God to guide those who criticise me and protect those who encourage me”.
For some, this controversy highlights the existence of racism within Algerian society and the lack government action. Others have argued that the abuse was a result of an unfair win when compared to her competitors.