Amidst racial tensions, running high in England in the post 7/7 period, a Muslim teenager with central Asian roots and a British accent has been crowned Miss England. Hammasa Kohistani, 18, born in the Uzbek capital Tashkent after her parents had to flee Afghanistan, was selected from a group of 40 entrants. There were as many as four Muslim contestants among the 20 finalists, including Miss Nottingham Sarah Mendly, a 23-year-old Iraqi Muslim who had been the four-to-one favourite to win the contest. Asked about her feelings at being the first Muslim Miss England, Kohistani said: “I’m very happy. Hopefully, I won’t be the last.” The brunette new ‘Miss England’ noticeably stood out from other English contestants, said commentators, not because of her ethnicity and religion but because, unlike other British youngsters, she speaks five languages other than English, including Russian and Persian. Sociologists charting multi-cultural UK’s slow transformation into a rainbow nation said her win underlined the role of the beauty contest as a marker of social transformation.