On the 26th of April I posted an article criticising the political agendas and the rise of consumer products that surround ANZAC Day. In this piece I never once disrespected the ANZAC soldiers that were killed in warfare, nor did I preach political ideologies of my own. This article was also ready to be posted on ANZAC day itself, but was reserved until April 26th in respect for people that may be mourning their fallen ancestors.
Yassmin Abdel-Magied, an ABC Muslim spokesperson, did not grant this same respect. On ANZAC Day, Abdel-Magied posted,
This created a monumental uproar as over 12,444 citizens have since signed a petition for her position at the ABC to be terminated. This only comes a few months after Abdel-Magied again caused controversy on the political panel show Q&A. She was involved in a public spat with Senator Jacqui Lambie over the use of Sharia Law in Australia, which led her to infamously state that Islam is the ‘most feminist religion in the world’.
Video courtesy of ABC’s Q&A
Australian politicians have also come out in arms against Abdel-Magied since the post. Liberal senator Eric Abetz personally asked the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to remove Abdel-Magied from the board for Australian-Arab Relations, stating that she was ‘unfit for the job and lacked judgment’. The ABC quickly released a statement washing their hands of the post, stating that Abdel-Magied’s opinions and behaviours outside of the ABC is none of their business and do not represent their own views.
Abdel-Magied has since taken down her post, editing the original to simply say ‘lest we forget’, but the damage is already done. She posted a very weak apology in the aftermath saying that, ‘It was brought to my attention that my last post was disrespectful, and for that, I apologise unreservedly’. This apology reminds me of a pubescent boy with a black fringe covering his eyes, kicking the dirt beneath him, murmuring ‘I guess I’m sorry you were offended’, which is a fitting comparison to Abdel-Magied’s own immature behaviour.
Eric Abetz is correct in his opinion of Abdel-Magied. She seems to completely lack an understanding of human behaviour and what is and is not acceptable. The horrendous nature of this post had to be ‘brought to her attention’! It baffles me to understand how such a prominent member of the Australian-Muslim community could not see the insensitivity of her post. It was irresponsible, especially since her position is to specifically promote Australian and Arab relations, which are at an all time low. Furthermore, how could she not expect Australian citizens to be outraged at the notion of widespread Sharia Law throughout the country?
There is a pattern of behaviour here. This behaviour is obvious attention seeking, coming from seeds of insecurity. Even the Muslim community has come out against Abdel-Magied. A Muslim leader, Abbas Aly said that he was struggling to deal with Abdel-Magied’s comments and that he was ‘at a loss’. Aly labeled her as ‘damaging towards the Islamic community’ and accused her of ‘seeking publicity’.
Perhaps it would have been more appropriate for Abdel-Magied to tweet ‘lest we forget’ the countless Muslim women who are in abusive relationships with violent Muslim men (but only as a last resort). Lest we forget how a Muslim woman is considered half the worth of a Muslim man in the Arab world. Lest we forget all of the Muslim women who are deemed stupid and worthless just for being female or how they do not share the same divorce rights as Muslim men. Lest we forget the legal forced marriage and rape of under-aged countless Muslim girls and lest we forget the worrying problem of in-breeding in the Islamic world. How is that for the ‘most feminist religion in the world’?
Granted, the problems on Nauru and Manus island are serious. This was not the time or the place to herald yourself as a saviour of the people. Yassmin Abdel-Magied, before you criticise Australia on ANZAC day or publically take part in al-Taqiyaa on national television, take a moment to have a look in your own back yard first.