A MUSLIM woman with a talent for baking is being credited 2015 Great British Bake Off champion, made Britain more tolerant of Islam, after she won a popular reality television show competition.
More than 14 million Brits tuned out to watch the 30-year-old Nadiya Hussain, mum of three, crowning as ‘2015 Great British Bake Off’ champion, after 11 weeks of baking trials.
British Prime Minister David Cameron jumped on the Bake Off bandwagon last week, saying that he loved the show and wanted Mrs Hussain to win because “she is so cool under pressure”.
Even the British Finance Minister George Osborne got in on the act, tweeting his support for the 4ft 11’ cake baker from Leeds in northern England.
Go Nadiya!! A brilliant Great British Bake Off final. — George Osborne (@George Osborne)
From early on in the series, Mrs Hussain stood out on the show for her sense of humour, myriad of facial expressions and mouth watering creations, which included fizzy pop cheesecakes and Eclair Mountains in the shape of nuns.
Cultural commentators have marvelled at how a religious woman wearing a hijab managed to win over the judges, and the British people.
Mrs Hussain says she is acutely aware that some people may find her appearance and religion confronting.
“I was a bit nervous that people would look at me, a Muslim in a headscarf, and wonder if I could bake,” she told the Radio Times.
“I hope that week by week people have realized that I can bake — and just because I’m not a stereotypical British person, it doesn’t mean that I am not into bunting, cake and tea. I’m just as British as anyone else.”
Husain’s passion for baking started from an early age, inspired by her school teacher. “I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can’t do it. I’m never gonna say ‘maybe’. I’m never gonna say ‘I don’t think I can’. I will say I can and I will.” she said following her win.
Others celebrated her victory as an example of female empowerment. Her husband, Abdul, a technical manager at a computer company, had encouraged her to apply to the show and to pursue her passion.