Muslim activist and television host Yassmin Abdel-Magied has courted controversy with an Anzac Day Facebook post suggesting Australians should also remember the suffering on Manus Island and Nauru, and in Syria and Palestine.
The response was immediate and predictable.
“Your nasty followers who attacked anyone who told you so are just as traitorous,” Terri Dunn wrote.
“Today means a lot to true Australians, myself included and you over stepped the line, so disrespectful,” Shana Bloomer said.
Pete Bland wrote: “Disrespectful is an understatement Yassmin.”
“While I don’t expect you to go and buy a digger a beer today, I really do hope you’ll go educate yourself and show some respect for the people who died to give you the privileges you enjoy today. If you can’t learn and appreciate their sacrifices, please do find somewhere else to live.”
Amid the online vitriol, some suggested she leave Australia.
The usual suspects lined up to criticise her. Significantly, all old, white, conservative, Christian and male. It’s ironic that Yassmin Abdel-Magied is young, brown, radical, Muslim and female.
What Bazza, Tazza, and Azza don’t seem to realise is that freedom of speech is about allowing people to say things that may upset you and what Yassmin Abdel-Magied said may have been, in many peoples’ eyes, only as offensive as this:
But perhaps, while we are all feeling so outraged, we should consider the nature of the argument rather than the nature of the individual. On ANZAC Day, we remember those who gave their lives in the service of the country. Their sacrifices have meant that we live in a country where there have been no civil wars and only one foreign invasion.
Yassmin Abdel-Magied is suggesting that on Anzac Day it might be appropriate to remember those people whose countries have been ravaged by foreign invasions in which Australian and New Zealand troops have taken part and who are now refugees.
It’s an idea worth considering.