Hijabi beauty queen from Morecambe rises above racists

Rojmina Patel is a finalist in the Miss Lancashire competition and is hoping to win it. She wears a hijab and wants to use Miss Lancaster and the platform of the beauty competition to raise awareness.
Rojmina Patel is a finalist in the Miss Lancashire competition and is hoping to win it. She wears a hijab and wants to use Miss Lancaster and the platform of the beauty competition to raise awareness.

A beauty queen from Morecambe who wears a hijab has had racist insults hurled at her since wearing the headscarf.

Rojmina Patel, 23, from Westminster Road, Morecambe, who is a former pupil of Heysham High Sports College, is a finalist in Miss Lancashire 2017 and only a few months ago decided to wear a hijab headscarf.

But Rojmina has been shocked and upset at the racist comments she has received when she has her headscarf on.

She said: “I never wanted to wear it before but I needed a platform to raise awareness.

“People have treated me so badly, they say ‘why are you putting it on? People have said to me when I’m wearing my hijab ‘do you like curry’ and things like that. It’s harsh and it upset me. People’s opinion about me changed.

“It’s just the hijab making them say these kind of things. It’s my choice though. I wanted to do it for myself.”

Rojmina came to Morecambe from India with her family in 2007 and attended Heysham High Sports College until leaving school.

She has also taught abroad in Saudi Arabia and New York, before coming back to Morecambe and working in the family business, a garage on Regent Road.

She said: “When I told my parents they said ‘why do I have to be the first Muslim hijabi woman to compete in Miss Lancashire?.But I said this is something I want to do. It’s a right to wear a headscarf, If I don’t who else will?”

She said: “The next event for Miss Lancashire is on November 3 and the finals start in London on December 3. I’ve come a long way and I deserve to win. I really appreciate everyone’s support but people need to learn to accept me.”

National Hate Crime Awareness week runs from Saturday October 14 and Saturday October 21. For an anti-Muslim incident tell MAMA on 0800 456 1226.