The family of Miss Iraq have been forced to flee the country after the beauty queen posted selfies with Miss Israel.
The Miss Universe Pageant contestant Sarah Idan was criticised in her homeland after she posted photos on social media with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman.
During the competition, held in Las Vegas last month, the two beauty queens uploaded images of themselves on their respective Instagram accounts.
Miss Idan captioned the photo: “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.”
Both images received more than 5,000 likes each, but also attracted abusive comments.
The family of the beauty queen, who lives in the United States, left Iraq after receiving death threats over the photo of the two women, Ms Idan confirmed to The Independent.
She did not say where they had gone, or how long they thought they would have to remain in hiding.
Pictures of Miss Idan posing in a bikini also posted on social media further exacerbated bad feeling in Iraq.
“The two of those things together caused a mess for her back home where people made threats against her and her family that if she didn’t return home and take down the photos, they would remove her [Miss Iraq] title, that they would kill her,” Ms Gandelsman told Israeli TV.
While Miss Idan has not removed the photo, she defended the post on the social media site in Arabic.
She wrote: “I want to stress that the purpose of the picture was only to express hope and desire for peace between the two countries.”
The 27-year-old added 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”.
And she went on to say she apologised “to all those who consider [the picture] harmful to the Palestinian cause”, the Times of Israel reported.
Two former Miss Lebanons, Saly Griege and Amanda Hanna, faced calls to be stripped of their titles after being linked to Israel.
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