Further to my comment about the relative earnings of Whites and ethnic minorities in this country, I should admit that, not only were four out of the forty entrants in this year’s Miss England Muslims, but, of them, the winner herself was born in Tashkent of Afghan parents who fled Afghanistan in 1980. The favourite to win, Sarah Mendly, was a refugee from Saddam Hussein. I am shocked, shocked to see these young and talented women flee oppression in their own countries only to become victims of this sexist and exploitative “competition”. “Islamic leaders” are also disturbed:

Hashim Sulaiman, of the Liverpool Islamic Institute, said: “There is no way a Muslim girl should be playing any part in this competition, because it is unlawful. The ladies in that contest are always very scantily dressed and the only part of the body that should be on display are the face, the hands and the feet.

“I would like [Sarah Mendly] to withdraw from the contest immediately. I do not know what she was thinking in entering in the first place and I do not know what her parents were thinking when they allowed her to do so.”

Other Muslim clerics agreed that beauty pageants are outlawed under the tenets of their faith. But they were less unwelcoming to the four Muslims among the forty finalists.

Akbar Ali, chairman of the Islamic Society of Liverpool, said that a Muslim winning the competition would be regarded by many as the first step towards breaking down this religious barrier. He said: “Beauty pageants generally are not permissible under Islamic law.”

Abdul Hamid, the vice-chairman of the Lancashire Board of Mosques, said that if Miss Mendly took part she would immediately cast herself out of the “circle of Islam”. He said: “It is simply not right for her to take part in this competition as a Muslim, because by entering she forsakes her faith. She has said she won’t wear a bikini, only a swimsuit, but what difference does that make? She will still be exposing her flesh in a beauty contest.”

Besides Dilay Topuzoglu and Sonia Hassanien, other non-Muslim finalists with suspiciously foreign-sounding names and swarthy skin include Peace Blessing Oybio and Emily Okelo. Once again the global reach of cheesy 70s retro threatens the purity of virgin ladies in this country, whatever their origins.

[On the plus-side, judging by her picture on the front of the Miss England homepage, last year’s winner looks like she could teach Kate Moss a thing or two about healthy eating.]