So only a week after the huge “controversy” of a Hijab clad woman making it in one of the pages of a “Back to school” Target cataologue here in Australia, we find that another “stir” has been kicked by that ever so confronting Hijab again- this time in the form of an Australia Day ad that was originally showcased in Melbourne, Australia in a digital ad display.
The image is that of two young smiling girls, proudly clutching on to the Australian flag with their matching blue and white Hijab and clothing to fit the theme of our endearing colours. Yet these girls were not paid to put on a fake smile for the cameras in order to get paid by their talent agencies, these girls were ACTUAL attendees of last years Australia Day Celebrations here in Melbourne, Australia.
When this ad first appeared it was part of a larger Australia Day ad campaign that included people of ALL walks of life and it was not an ad that promoted exclusion, it actually was part of an ad that had a much larger and broader scope of people representing this beautiful country. When right wing groups saw this particular ad they immediately made complaints, calling the ad “UnAustralian” and a “Misrepresentation” of all things Australian.
Not only that- the company that put up the advertisement called QMS – recieved threats, some of which were serious enough to cause them to actually take down this advertisement and this was a very short term win for the right wing xenophobes who celebrated the ad take-down and in the meanwhile attacked these two young girls with vile comments.
Yet only a week after the ad was taken down a Gofundme page was made in order to bring back these ads and bring them back with a vengeance.! Instead of one humble sign off a road in Melbourne we find that over $100,000 has been raised in order to get these ads put up in EVERY capital city in Australia. That’ll show them!
People need to understand that even though you may disagree on children having a Hijab on – we see that parents that do put their children in headscarves are not committing a crime. Just like parents that take their prepubescent girls to model shows in makeup and scandalous clothing are not committing a crime. That is the point, if it were a crime your outcry would be heard, yet seeming that it is not then its a non argument at this point.
Now let us come back to the crux of this article, why on Earth would these two lovely girls be causing such a stir here in Australia? Is it a genuine concern in any way shape or form? Absolutely not and the evidence that we have points to one clear observation- this has nothing to do with addressing a genuine concern and everything to do with bigotry.
How can i take my point home? Well let me refer you to an interview with former tv presenter Prue Macsween who was on national television today and made the following statement about this ad campaign. “‘We are getting sick of bending over backwards to include Muslims.”
Wait what? So one minute Muslims are not assimilating, so they need to shape up or quite literally ship out. Yet when Muslims are ACTUALLY attending Australia day rallies with flags and big smiles you scream that you are sick of bending over backwards to include them? Wow Prue, imagine how the Muslims themselves must actually feel.
Here they are on January 26th, enjoying a barbeque, waving the flag and spending their day with their fellow Australians of all races and religions and even then you still kick up a stink and tell them to stop making you “bend over backwards” to include them.
Well shock horror Prue and Co…You don’t have to bend over backwards at all. All you need to do is look at the ad and see their lovely smiles and their clear pride for this country and say “Yes, these are Australians!”. The end. The proof that bigotry is playing a major role in the outcry to this ad is the mere fact that they are darned if they do and darned if they don’t.
Assimilation is the key word that the right wingers like to throw around in order to prove that Muslims cannot be trusted. Well out here, in the real Australia, we are a diverse nation with people from all walks of life and yes- 3% of them are Muslim. Big or small, relevant or irrelevant Muslims are a PART of the Australian framework and there is nothing wrong for ads to make show of this reality, love it or hate it – this is the Australia that we live in.
To have politicians make an outcry of this ad and bringing negative attention to two young innocent girls is shocking. The Senator of Tasmania Jacqui Lambie shared this picture and made the statement “What the??? Where’s the bbq, the bikini babe, the hot Aussie male, and the beer? What is going on??”
Yes Jacqui, because Australian stereotypes we see on tacky tourism postcards in souvenir shops are a “true reflection” of what a true Australian is. Many Aussies don’t eat meat Jacqui. The Bikini Babe has been seen in pretty much every Australian ad campaign i can think of – think “where the bloody hell are ya?” and why subjugate Australian males based on their “hotness” are us average buggers now not Aussie enough Jacqui? It’s not like you exactly fit the definition of a Bikini Babe yourself!
You see this is the clear issue, these people that make such statements are political figures in our country and their caricature of what an Australian is really proves what a satirical view they have of this country and its people, stuck far beyond the stage of Crocodile Dundee! Australia has changed dramatically in the course of 200 years and each time it has adapted to succeed and we need to take this step together as one nation.
When you see Muslims celebrating Australia day please do not label them as UnAustralian and make yourself the victim by claiming you are being forced to “include them”. How about when Muslims try and assimilate and include themselves you embrace that? Otherwise my only logical conclusion is that the problem is not the Muslims themselves but clearly you and if you’re part of the problem you never will be part of the solution.