A model who wants to become the first Muslim to represent the UK in Miss Universe has defended her decision to enter.

Shanna Bukhari, 24, has been sent racist and abusive messages since making it into the beauty contest’s UK final, as Muslim groups have accused her of disrespecting Islam.

Shanna, who lives in Manchester, thinks Muslims living in the UK should be allowed to enjoy a western lifestyle.

She told the BBC: “[I get] comments like, ‘You’re not a Muslim because you’re doing this’ and it’s like, this competition does not make me a bad Muslim at all.

“So it does hurt me to think that people are thinking like that.”

In one of the rounds of the competition, Shanna will have to wear swimwear, a move that has angered Muslim groups.

Mohammed Shafiq from Ramadhan Foundation, a group that works with young Muslims in the UK doesn’t think Shanna should take part in the competition.

He told BBC Newsbeat “Islam is very clear that a woman should dress modestly and we do not believe that parading yourself in a bikini is appropriate,” he said.

“We are clear that we find what she’s doing distasteful. Lots of women find these [competitions] degrading.”

Shanna said she will be wearing a one-piece swimming costume and a sarong, rather than a bikini.

Shanna says her family in Pakistan is supportive of her choice to enter Miss Universe.