Although former Miss USA winner Rima Fakih comes from a Shia Muslim family, she said it was only when she went to a U.S. university that she connected with her Muslim roots. Reports are that she recently changed faiths to Christianity. Some people believe it is due to marriage arrangements with Wassim Salibi, who is a wealthy music producer and Maronite (Catholic) Christian. Fakih was believed to be the first Muslim to win the title when she was crowned Miss USA in 2010.
A large majority of Muslim social media users were infuriated by the 30-year-old starlet's decision to follow Jesus, and assured her the switch will "send her straight to Hell," according to Albawaba.
"When I went to the University of Michigan, because there's more of a Muslim community, my dad wanted me to learn more about Islam. I didn't know much about Ramadan and other holidays, and my dad wanted me to take that opportunity and learn," Fakih told Albawaba.
However, Fakih didn't appear to have associated herself with just the one religion throughout her life.
In a 2010 interview with the Huffington Post, Rima said she came from "more of a spiritual family."
Further, she said, "Religion really doesn't define me or my family. My family's been very liberal, and we appreciate all different kinds of religions."
Her family is a mixture of different religions and different ethnicities. Her brother-in-law is Christian, and he and her sister baptized their two sons. She said she also has an uncle who converted to Christianity, and he's a priest now.
Rima, who attended Catholic school growing up, said her family went to church on Easter. "We always had a Christmas tree, and every year we go the Radio City Christmas Show, and watch 'The Miracle on 34th Street.' But we celebrate some of the Islamic holidays as well," she explains.
Fakih was born in Sour, Lebanon, and immigrated to Queens, N.Y. in 1993. She graduated from St. John's Preparatory School in 2003 at the age of 17. After graduation, Fakih moved to Dearborn, Mich., and began a mentoring program for children. At the University of Michigan, she earned her bachelor's degree in economics, with a minor in business administration.
Fakih and Salibi reportedly will be married in Lebanon on May 15.