The beauty queen speaking to NBC News said she was determined to show her confidence because she wasn't doing anything wrong.
'I want to prove that the Iraqi woman has her own existence in society, she has her rights like men. I am afraid of nothing, because I am confident that what I am doing is not wrong.'
According to Reuters, at least two young women had pulled out of the contest after receiving death threats. And organisers dropped the swimsuit section of the competition and postponed the televised finale in an attempt to deflect some of the criticism from religious hardliners and conservative tribal leaders who said such pageants are un-Islamic and threatened public morality.
The first and last time Iraq participated in a major international beauty pageant was in 1972 when Wijdan Burhan al-Deen represented the country at the Miss Universe contest.