Suong Nguyen was ‘scared’ of woman in niqab before racist attack, court told

August 14 2017 – 5:53PM
Stephanie Gardiner

Suong Nguyen was “scared” of a woman wearing a niqab when she banged on her car door, told her to take off her mask, and called her a terrorist.

The victim, Semaa Abdulwali, filmed the racist attack in the car park at Macquarie University on January 20, and the footage was watched by millions of people when her husband Ramzy Alamudi posted it online.

Nguyen was on Monday handed good behaviour bonds and a fine, after pleading guilty to intimidation and causing damage.

Magistrate Suzanne Seagrave said Nguyen displayed an “unexplainable prejudice that has no place whatsoever in our multicultural society”.


Suong Thao Nguyen during a racist rant outside Macquarie University in January 2017.

Suong Thao Nguyen during a racist rant outside Macquarie University in January 2017. Photo: Facebook

“It appeared to have been triggered by Mrs Abdulwali’s apparel, something that Ms Nguyen immediately resented and was angered by,” the magistrate said.

“The motive was prejudice against people of a particular faith.”

Nguyen’s lawyer, Andrew Tiedt, said the university had banned her from campus, and the incident had shattered her family life.

He said Nguyen wanted to express her remorse to the victims, who watched on as she banged on their windows, yelled, and paced around the front of their car.


Semaa Abdulwali filmed as Suong Thao Nguyen banged on her car door.

Semaa Abdulwali filmed as Suong Thao Nguyen banged on her car door. Photo: Facebook

“She regrets what she did … and says she understands the distress and fear it would have caused,” Mr Tiedt said.

“She’s sure they’ve been through quite an ordeal through this process.”

Suong Nguyen covers her face as she leaves court on Monday.

Suong Nguyen covers her face as she leaves court on Monday. Photo: Supplied

Mr Tiedt said there was no excuse for Ms Nguyen’s actions.

“There’s an unjustified, but growing fear of the Muslim community and that isn’t in any way justifying what occurred.

“She was scared, she was afraid of them, then completely overreacted.”

He said Nguyen was recognised on the street after the video of the attack was widely shared.

“This has been a horrific six months for her and that’s by her own making.

“It seems everyone in Sydney has seen the video … that’s a stain on Ms Nguyen’s character.

“It’s unpleasant conduct to the extreme … she knows she did the wrong thing.”

Police prosecutor Ernest Chan said the victims were subjected to a prolonged and disturbing rant that was “unfounded racial and religious prejudice”.

Nguyen’s actions were motivated by hatred, he said.

“This is an incident that will have life-long impacts on both victims.”

Ms Seagrave handed Nguyen a two-year good behaviour bond for the intimidation charge, fined her $750, and ordered she be supervised by Community Corrections.

The magistrate said Nguyen must obey any directions to go into anger management counselling.

She was also handed a one-year good behaviour bond for the damage charge, to be served at the same time, and to pay $817 for damage to the couple’s car.


Read More

WATCH: Woman Charged After Fkd Racist Tirade Against Couple At Macq Uni

Student sentenced over racist attack on Muslim woman caught on film

Razer-sharp – Helen Razer nails the bigots

Helen Razer is a well-known writer and newspaper columnist.

Like so many of us she has Muslim friends, mostly women, who were targeted and harassed by hateful bigots. So she wrote a response.

We loved her powerful response to the tide of Islamophobia that is both encouraged by and threatens to overwhelm social media.

And we remind people that there is an enormous gap between critiques of all religions and vicious, ignorant and violent attacks on the adherents of minority faiths. We also note that attacks on Islam by bigots are usually gendered attacks by the same cowardly morons who would figure as perpetrators of misogynist attacks on women generally.



Read more

SBS guide to dealing with anti-Muslim arguments

Capt Shindy versus the Fascists: extreme, ill-informed fringe group menaces pioneering naval officer

You may recall we recently republished a Daily Telegraph article on the groundbreaking work of RAN Captain Mona Shindy in her role as Chief of Navy’s Strategic Adviser on Islamic Cultural Affairs.

However this is but one of Capt. Shindy’s many achievements after 26 years of service in the ADF. Last year she was named as 2015 Telstra NSW Businesswoman of the Year. She was on active service during the 2003 Iraq War. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree and is Head of the Guided Missile Frigate System Program Office. In the 2015 Australia Day Honours she was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross.

Conspicuous Service Cross

The CSC is awarded only for outstanding devotion to duty, or outstanding achievement in the application of exceptional skills, judgment or dedication, in non-warlike situations.

So it was with a good deal of concern that we read this report in today’s Guardian dealing with the sudden removal of the Navy’s Islamic Twitter account (@navyislamic).


And how and why was the Twitter account removed?

“The head of the ALA (Australian Liberty Alliance), Debbie Robinson, who has previously described Islam as “a dangerous ideology” incompatible with Western society, wrote to the chief of the Australian defence force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, on 10 December asking the navy to distance itself from the account or delete it.

“It is completely unacceptable for an official defence Twitter account to criticise any registered political party in Australia,” Robinson said in a press release.”

We have a number of posts detailing anti-Muslim extremist Debbie Robinson’s work.

We also went through them and through the MSM carefully trying to find an achievement – any achievement – to mention.

All we could find in the MSM was that she was married to an orthopaedic surgeon, a notion we find quaintly Mad Men in its 1950s aspirational tone.

And hubby is a tad shy about his political leanings but it seems he too does have some association with Fascist foreigner Geert Wilders’s latest offshore embryonic party branch (see Perth Now)

We’d like to think that newly minted Defence Minister Marise Payne may not have been informed of this preremptory response. In case she was not you can contact her via the links  here


Uncharted waters – meet Captain Mona Shindy


WHEN Captain Mona Shindy climbed aboard HMAS Canberra to test missiles in the Pacific, a locker had to be converted into a sleeping quarters to accommodate her.

Never before had an active Australian warship carried women. But aged 23 and launching what would become a 26-year career with the Navy, this was just the first hurdle of a trailblazer.

Already she had a University degree in the blokey domain of engineering. Weapons engineer. And if this were not unusual enough, Captain Shindy happens to be Muslim, and for most of her career in the navy, has been a mother

Australian Navy Captain Mona Shindy

On board HMAS Canberra Captain Shindy and her two female room-mates were like celebrities, and not all of it was positive publicity.

“We were an absolute novelty and people knew our every movement, what we got up to and where we were. Overall the experience was a positive experience but there certainly were times that were quite challenging,” Captain Shindy says

“Most female engineers in any work environment _ you really do have to work that little bit harder initially to prove your worth, to demonstrate your competence to really be accepted fully as valued member and a real contributor to the team.”

Then came the challenge of Ramadan, and explaining as a young sublieutenant that she was fasting and would appreciate a meal being put aside for her.

The response was along the lines of: “You’ll eat with everyone else, or you just won’t.” Which left her “the middle of the ocean with a few cans of tuna”.

The response was along the lines of: “You’ll eat with everyone else, or you just won’t.” Which left her “the middle of the ocean with a few cans of tuna”.

Once the right ranking officer was made aware of the problem, a solution was soon found.

Accolade…Telstra NSW Business Woman of the Year. Picture: Christian Gilles

Anger was never an option.

“My first reaction is to empathise, rather than get angry, and to try and be part of the solution and work on the education piece, through engagement and interaction and just being professional about what I do and delivering professional outcomes and results. In the end, people respect that.”

It’s an attitude that has delivered her to the pinnacle of her career, recognised this week when she was named NSW Telstra Business Woman of the Year. As Director Littoral Warfare and Maritime Support, Captain Shindy advises the Government on the best way to spend billions of dollars on replacement tankers, ships, patrol boats — almost everything except submarines.

She was previously charged with turning around the Fast Frigate System Program Office, from an inefficient organisation with adversarial stakeholder relationships, to a collaborative culture with performance-based contracts. And she shaved 30 per cent in costs from a $130 million budget.

“People were happy at the end of the tenure, ships were leaving the wharf on time with all the maintenance done, when initially they weren’t.”

Soon after her first tour of duty on HMAS Canberra, Captain Shindy married and had a daughter, now 20 and a son, 18, who finished his HSC on Wednesday. Their happy accident followed a decade later in the form of another daughter, now 11.

Captain Mona Shindy at Garden Island Navy Base in Sydney. Picture: Toby Zerna

The job has required service on ships for two-year durations, with time away ranging from two to six months.

“But six months in anyone’s language for a mother with two young children and a young family, is a very significant sacrifice.

“I’m not going to dress it up. It was tough.”

It could not have happened without an extended family backing her up. Crucial were her mother — “who in many ways acted as a pseudo mother for my children sometimes when I was away” — and husband, who has taken many career breaks.

“For me, the only thing that made it easier is knowing that those kids had just as much love and support from those that were with them than I could have given them myself.”

Her family migrated from Egypt when she was three.

“The moment my parents migrated to Australia, they were determined to feel as Australian as anyone else.” She holds the position of Chief of Navy’s Strategic Adviser on Islamic Cultural Affairs, for which she was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in this year’s Australia Day honours for her work bridging cultural divides.

Cpt Shindy is a weapons engineer with 26 years experience. Picture: Toby Zerna

It is her aim to encourage more Muslims to join the defence force — around 100 of the 45000 defence force personnel identify as Muslim, 27 of them in the Navy.

“There’s lots of Australian Muslims who feel very hurt … by previous military campaigns that our defence forces have been on that have I guess resulted in discomfort and difficulty …. where those campaigns have occurred that have caused ramifications for a lot of innocent people.”

She says terrorist attacks which have hijacked aspects of religious teachings to justify those behaviours have created “fear and uncertainty for others who are non-Muslims”.

“For some people that gets looked at as the whole Muslim community,” Captain Shindy says. Some young Muslims see this in black and white “us and them” terms.

“They don’t have the maturity necessarily to see the greys and to understand that this is not everyone that has those views about you. That erodes confidence for those kids.”

There’s lots of Australian Muslims who feel very hurt … by previous military campaigns that our defence forces have been on

Her message to them is this: “You can be a proud Australian that loves everything about this great nation and still love your roots and love where you came from and straddle both worlds and both communities. That’s how I live my life and I like to help other people find their way in living those two things.”

And she can cite her own experience, including active service at the start of the 2003 Iraq War.

“It’s always tough, when you go anywhere, whether that’s Iraq or not. They were difficult times, they were interesting times I think for the whole nation.

“We are an instrument of our democratically elected government and I think that’s something that is very much accepted, understood and part of the contract that I personally have with my organisation. That’s my role, that’s what I signed up to do.”

Read more

Perth TNT truck driver filmed launching a racist attack on woman

Western Australia
October 16, 2015         9:13pm

A PERTH motorist has uploaded a shocking video of a road rage incident in which she is racially abused and intimidated by a TNT courier driver.

The video which is just over one-minute long was recorded on Thursday and uploaded to the TNT — The People Network Facebook page on Friday morning.

The footage shows the truck driver leaning into the woman’s car through her open driver’s window and swearing in her face.

At one point he asks her: “What f***ing land are you from?”.

He then goes on to ask her if she is “f***ing Arab or something”.

He also asks if she is a “f***ing Muslim c*** are ya?”.


The man also hit his fist on the woman’s windscreen.Source:Supplied

The truck driver puts up his middle finger to the woman he has verbally attacked.Source:Supplied











In posts to her Facebook page and the TNT’s Facebook page the woman said the driver’s “big truck” had “rear ended” her two-door Holden Astra “several times” before the recorded confrontation.

In the video the confrontation quickly gets heated with the man calling the woman a number of sexist expletives.

The exchange lasts some time before the man walks away from the car making rude hand gestures.

But before the video stops, he returns to the woman’s car and smacks his fist on the glass of her front window.

She posted underneath the video on the company’s page: “I have damages to my car that require compensation”.

A TNT spokeswoman confirmed to PerthNow they were aware of the video “depicting one of its drivers” involved in the altercation.

“TNT is investigating the matter and is in the process of contacting the driver involved and will take appropriate action,” she said.

“TNT Australia expects its entire staff to behave in a courteous and professional manner at all times.”

In the woman’s posts to Facebook she said TNT have called her and been told their investigators are onto it.

“TNT definitely know about it,” she said on her Facebook page.

“Have lots of people calling me today to deal with this but TNT have been really good and I’m just trying to sort my thoughts and my processes out.

“Paperwork and affidavits to organise and notarise docs etc.

“Thanks for the lovely messages.”

PerthNow has contacted the woman who uploaded the video for comment.
Originally published as ‘What f***ing land are you from?


Police hunt Logan anti-Islam abuser who exposed backside to woman


September 24, 2015 – 1:14PM

Kim Stephens Journalist

A Muslim woman told police she was subjected to a sustained anti-Islamic tirade outside a Logan shopping centre on Wednesday, during which time she captured the man on video baring his backside at her and her two young children.

The woman reported the incident to the Islamophobia Register Australia, an online site dedicated to exposing incidents of anti-Islamic abuse, after saying two calls to police for help went unanswered.

Site organiser Mariam Veiszadeh said she spoke to the angered woman in the wake of the attack, who told her the tirade continued for more than half an hour, during which time her calls to police were not responded to.

The man police are searching for over a sustained anti-Islam tirade on a Logan woman. Photo: Supplied

At the urging of Ms Veiszadeh, an advocate for Australian Muslims and a lawyer, the woman then went to Logan police to report the abuse in person.

A Queensland Police Service spokesman said police attended the shopping centre car park after the second call but could not locate the woman.

They are now searching for the man.

A still from the video taken by a Muslim woman at a Logan car park on Wednesday. Photo: Supplied

The woman told Daily Mail Australia the man hurled multiple obscenities at her, accusing her of terrorism and being unemployed, as she sat in her car waiting for her husband with her two children, aged five and eight.

She was wearing a niqab, which exposed only her eyes.

The German woman, a teacher, converted to Islam 16 years ago, Ms Veiszadeh said.

The man police are searching for. Photo: Supplied

“She felt the need to continue to explain to me, ‘I can’t believe he said I’m unemployed and makes such assumptions – I’m an educated woman, I’m a teacher,'” Ms Veiszadeh said.

“She responded to him by saying, ‘I am not unemployed and I am European’.

“Something that really angered her was that the hatred had so many stereotypical assumptions embedded in it.

Mariam Veiszadeh. Photo:

“She also made reference to her stepson being in the ADF and he puts his life at risk for Australians to fight for this country and yet she gets racist and Islamophobic abuse hurled at her on the streets.”

Ms Veiszadeh said the woman had also been upset that a number of witnesses did not intervene to stop the abuse.

“It’s quite concerning when this man was clearly abusing her, no one came to her defence,” Ms Veiszadeh said.

“People sitting in the front were indifferent or went along with it and it was only after he left people approached her.

“I appreciate Logan police station had serious matters to deal with but this is yet another example of complaints regarding an assault targeting an Australian Muslim woman not being taken seriously by authorities.”

Ms Veiszadeh said women wearing the visible symbols of their faith were increasingly bearing the brunt of racist and Islamophobic public attacks, often in the presence of children.

“It’s incredibly worrying that the vast majority of reports being submitted to the Register are of verbal and physical abuse directed at Australian Muslim women, with a large number happening in the presence of young children,” she said.

“This woman is particularly concerned about the devastating impact this incident has had on her children. How do you even begin to explain Islamophobia to your five-year-old child?”



Why Bigotry Thrives Under Our Current Government

Guest Post Ramio1983

Let me say briefly, I never voted for Tony Abbott. Yet I also do not blame people that did. When the Australian Labor Government fell on its knees and made an embarrassment of itself from its rise of Julia Gillard and fall of Kevin Rudd, we all were keen on a new leadership. Someone we could trust and a government that was solid with the interests of not only Australians in mind but society and the world as a whole.

An elected government could quickly change the demographic of the nation and i have noticed this with the current Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. I have been alive for just over 30 years in this country and there are many things I notice about the climate of the population. Sometimes people will mirror the sentiments of their leader, yet what is evident is the low lives of society that remained dormant for many years have suddenly risen with this new government and never have the bigots felt so confident to come out and offend our current social climate.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made some questionable decisions.

Let me give you an example. Years ago under many other Australian governments I had never heard of groups like Reclaim Australia or the Australian Defence League.

These are borderline Fascist neo-Nazis that hate all things immigrant. So far this year there have been “rallies” in many major Australian cities conducted by these nationalistic groups that were thankfully challenged by other groups in public squares. Yet these protests turned violent and another one is planned this month in July 2015.

These “protests” were attended by people with swastikas on their heads and clear affiliation with other groups that are high on the crazy scale. Even though these protests were violent and full of hate, we barely heard about them in the media. Yet when a bunch of Australian Muslims ran around spewing their disgust in a distasteful matter about Prophet Muhammad cartoons, we barely heard the end of it. The bottom line is the bigots feel protected by this government to come out of their dungeons and to cause civil unrest- like members of the Australian Defence League going to a mosque and taunting people whilst they mind their own business after prayer services.

Groups like the Australian Defence League feel protected by this current government.

Why are people surprised by former Olympian Dawn Fraser telling misbehaving tennis players to “Go back to where their parents came from”? This was the language many people were afraid to speak of with other governments that held stronger stances against stereotypes and xenophobia. Yet under Tony Abbott, people are not only taking aim but firing away with their derogatory comments about their fellow inhabitants in this nation.

Why are people so surprised when we have a government minister on public television telling Australian born and bred citizens that were accused of terrorism but acquitted of those claims “I’d be happy to look you straight in the eye and say that I‘d be pleased to be part of the Government that would say that you were out of the country. I would sleep very soundly at night with that point of view.”

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs openly tells an Australian Citizen to get out of Australia on public television.

This was before Zaky Mallah said that oh so shocking quote about ISIS yet nobody blinked an eye when we had a Parliamentary Secretary actively telling an Australian citizen who was NOT charged with terrorism that he would “like him [permanently] out of the country“. Again such brazen comments made with a daring confidence highlights something to me, due to the current political climate we are in and seeing how our current Government views its minorities, immigrants and Indigenous Australians, we find that never before have we seen such an influx of nationalistic, paranoid and power-obsessed political figures and citizens come out from the dark.

This attitude of mine does not come out of thin air. I did not suddenly wake up and say I hate this government and what it stands for, yet it is a series of progressive decisions made by our government and its reaction from the Australian public of which I see where the problem lies. Sometimes the people are a reflection of the government and sadly my fellow Australians are mirroring this Parliament’s shortsightedness and I think we need to make changes- fast!

Another nail in the coffin was the recent decision by the Australian Government to shut up Australian workers in foreign detention camps where “illegal” immigrants are currently being held, including children. The Tony Abbott government recently made a new rule claiming that all doctors, hospital workers, guards and other staff have no rights in reporting bad behaviours in these detention camps. That is right, if human rights abuses are being conducted (and there is evidence to suggest that they clearly are) the government has paralysed the right of these Australian citizens to report the cruelty with the lurking threat of two years gaol for such a “crime”.

Our government no longer allows workers in out detention centres to report misconduct or abuse- instead they face jail.

Not only that, our current government has also allowed meat-headed “guards” in these detention centres who have a clear hatred for immigrants and xenophobic attitudes. Recent evidence has shown that many of these guards carry anti-immigrant tattoos, make hateful social media posts and display open sentiments of intolerance including photos with the infamous political bigot Pauline Hanson. These guards that the Australian Government has entrusted with these vulnerable people LOATHE them. Yet the most horrific fact about this situation is that the guards’ alleged abuse of these people cannot be reported. It is illegal to report them! Obviously there is something to hide. Such laws are being passed and Australia is letting it happen.

These issues will now even filter down to our schools and education system here in Australia. The impending threat of 0.02% of the Australian Muslim population (100 from 500,000 who went to join ISIS) has now reared its ugly head into our schools. The Australian Government is trying to implement a new “Jihadi Watch” scheme in our schools where teachers and students are taught on how to “spot” a Jihadi among their midst. Apparently if a fellow student “gets in trouble” or “argues with people of different ideologies” or “drifts away from their friends” this constitutes suspicious behaviour that would leave that student singled out and watched by fellow students and teachers. That’s odd that they formulate general “naughty” behaviour in school to Jihadi links. They might need to actually reconsider what a Jihadi actually is.

Our government proposed “Jihadi Watch” schemes in our schools where kids can be reported as potential terrorists by fellow students and teachers.

Just think about that for a moment, if one day Sarah at school decides to wear a hijab and Abdul decides to grow his beard, then their friends distance themselves from them and their teachers and fellow students ostracise them as potential terrorists- how on Earth would that be productive to our current social condition? How do you expect to counter terrorism by making almost anyone a suspect? It’s absolute nonsense. Will our schools then introduce “Domestic Violence Watch” schemes or “Drug addict schemes” or “Alcohol fuelled Violence” schemes? ALL of these examples pose a much bigger threat to Australians, yet there is no government initiative against them on a federal level.

The voice of the reasonable like us is suddenly being muffled by these flag waving bigots holding up scary signs with words like “Halal” and “Sharia” whilst they start protests, vandalise mosques, send death threats and degrade fellow citizens. Which is why Sydney and Melbourne are holding COUNTER Rallies against these groups of hate. The No To Racism, No To Facism and No To Islamophobia counter rally will be held at Martin Place, Sydney on July 19th.

Our Detention Centre “Guards” posing with right wing politician Pauline Hanson at an Anti Islam rally

Remember this is a COUNTER rally against hate.
It was never a rally that was meant to exist. Yet it is about time we respond to this rush of ignorance in our beautiful country and we cannot allow them to take the microphone and become the spokesmen and women of Australia. We cannot change the government right now, yet when that moment comes ladies and gentlemen we must make a change. Australia cannot afford such leadership, nor such a following.

Peace, Salam!:-)

Originally posted here

Good Samaritan assaulted after standing up for Muslim women


May 26, 2015 – 4:35PM

Tammy Mills

A commuter was assaulted after he stood up for three Muslim women who were subject to a vile racial and bigoted attack on a packed Melbourne train.

Jason Cias, 36, was travelling home from work in the city on the Craigieburn-bound train on Friday, May 15, when he saw two tradesmen vilifying three women – one older and two who appeared to be in their 20s – who were wearing headscarves.

The train had pulled out of Melbourne Central station about 3.15pm when the unprovoked abuse began after one of the younger women sat next to the tradesmen.

An image taken by a passenger on the train. Photo: Supplied

“One of them made reference to her headscarf, saying ‘You shouldn’t be wearing that shit in Australia’,” Mr Cias said.

Mr Cias said the young woman tried to put the men in their place, asking them what their problem was, and it sparked a heated exchange.

He said the older of the women appeared to try to calm the situation in Arabic, which was met with yet another barb from the men.

“The comment was, ‘You shouldn’t be speaking that shit in Australia’,” Mr Cias said.

The women got off the train at North Melbourne and it was when one of the men called after them ‘I’ll f—ing smash ya’ that Mr Cias stepped in.

“I said to the guy, ‘Mate, they’re women’. The implication there was you don’t threaten people, particularly women,” he said.

Mr Cias said he was told to mind his own business before one of the men stood over him and punched him to his left cheek.

“Even though the guy stood up and was acting aggressively, I didn’t expect to get punched. After that I walked towards him and grabbed his collar and held him at arm’s length and told him I would be laying charges,” he said.

The men moved to another carriage when another commuter intervened and separated them. Mr Cias got off the train at Kensington with two witnesses, including Katie Parker, 28, who captured part of the assault on video and rang police.

“It was awful to witness that sort of violence in the middle of the day … Jason just said one sentence calmly and he [the attacker] was really aggressive at the drop of a hat for no logical reason,” Ms Parker said.

Police met Mr Cias and the witnesses near Kensington station, taking statements and copies of the video and images of the offenders.

Mr Cias, who suffered bruising and swelling but no long-term injuries, said he would change only one thing about what he did.

“I would have liked to have said something earlier. That’s probably my only thing … but I certainly wouldn’t change what I did, I don’t agree with that behaviour,” he said.

“Whether it’s Islamic women or whoever, it’s just not right they can abuse people like that. No one should be doing that to anyone regardless of race or gender or religious creed.”

Flemington police are investigating the racial abuse and the assault and urged anyone with information to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report to


I call myself an Australian

Reblogged from gimpled -a thirty day project connecting life with thoughts with words (with insomnia)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Image description - a map of Australia has a series of primary coloured pins placed upon it to symbolise diversity.

My parents arrived in this country on a boat, and yet I call myself an Australian.

As a disabled woman, I am in a minority group, yet I call myself an Australian.

But according to racist pages promoting a new rally – the ‘Reclaim Australia Rally’ – ‘patriotic Australians’ need to stand together and stop the minorities from changing our country. They’re marching in April to tell the rest of Australia that they don’t want halal certification, burqas and the teaching of Islam in government schools. In short, they don’t want Muslims in our country, and they don’t want our country to change to suit them.

3,306 likes in Perth, and another 500 or so in Bunbury. One in almost every state. It saddens me, because this is the message to anyone who is different – ‘we will not tolerate diversity’.

My parents arrived on the ‘right kind of boat’. They were ten pound Poms, and my father was skilled and the right shade of white. He was Dutch, and his peers were self described ‘wogs’ and ‘dings’ – people from Italy or Greece or Malta, paid to come to this country under the Skilled Migrant program. Nowadays, being of Italian or Greek descent is unremarkable – but all the kids with salami sandwiches, back in the day, were teased relentlessly. I’m a first generation migrant, but nobody ever told me to go away because my very British mother bought Polo mints and held tea parties. No Aboriginal person ever told me that I should leave their country because I was white. Nobody ever told me what I ate or wore or did was wrong, or bad.

We will not tolerate diversity.

‘We don’t want to change the country to accommodate their needs’, they say, and I feel uneasy. Because there is no reason that ‘they’ need halal – but there is also no reason that ‘they’ need steps, no reason they need to adjust their teaching in schools to accommodate differences. There is no reason ‘they’ should make things accessible and available to others, because we are a minority. Yet we disabled people lobby for change – change for a minority group. We will only ever be 20 percent of the population. Why should ‘they’ tolerate us and not them? Why should ‘they’ change? Why should ‘they’ tolerate difference, let alone embrace and welcome it?

‘They’ – the intolerant – are not just the rednecks from down the street. Facebook has a neat way of throwing up an algorithm that allows you to see the comments from your friends first. From the ‘Reclaim Australia – Perth’ page, a comment by one of our former Scout parents, a staunch Christian woman –

‘Putting one or two or fifty in prison doesn’t prevent their being replaced. They have to be removed from the country, every Islamic man, woman and child. As long as one Muslim remains there will be someone with intent on seeking the Islamic state agenda.’


And these views, from others –

‘Islam is islam, the quran is the quran. No such thing as moderate Muslim.’

‘That is true, and only because the tenets of islam teach them to do these very things! The fact that the majority of muslims choose not to openly engage in jihad against non-believers, simply means they are not good muslims. Those who do engage in jihad are the ones who follow the qur’an and hadiths very closely.’

And I think about my yesterday afternoon, which was spent with my friend and her mother. She always feeds me too much and I regard her as my own mother. We talked about each having six children (she with four girls, me with four boys) and breastfeeding and how wonderfully hot the weather was. I told her that I couldn’t wear a hijab and long sleeves, I would roast, and she unbuttoned her dress to show me the light cotton wear underneath. I would still roast, I told her, and she smiled. Family talk, more offers of baklava, and I went home, and slept, and woke to these posts.

I spent my yesterday morning talking to people, including an Aboriginal artist who chatted easily with me about country, and his mob and mine, and painting styles and cultural traditions in Aboriginal art. I’m as white as the driven snow, but I’m still accepted as Australian by our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, the original owners of this land. We invaded this country, and brought our culture with us – my culture included, there is a fish and chip shop on every corner, teapots in every store. I went to my friend’s house, then home to sleep, and woke to these posts.

I am almost in tears.

They horrify me, those posts, the idea of a rally against difference. This is not the Australia I was born into. This is not the Australia I signed up for. I believe in an Australia where you can embrace diversity and still be a patriot. An Australia where it does not matter what other people wear and what they eat.

A few months ago, there was a campaign to boycott Vegemite on the premise that it has halal certification. I forwarded the comments to Vegemite, including the accusations that they were ‘funding terrorism’. They emailed me back. So the last word on this, for me, goes to Vegemite, who state that they are against racism and bigotry and disrespect. For me, THAT is Australian.

Vegemite’s response re halal certification, 2014:

The AFIC symbol has been present on some of our products, including Vegemite, for some time now and we are proud to make products that can be enjoyed by people of different backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicity. We are also proud of locally manufacturing our products, many of which are exported to markets throughout South East Asia. Our export sales are an essential part of business, and crucial to preserving investment and employment at our manufacturing sites in Australia.

One of the main reasons for the AFIC Halal symbol on our packaging is to assist people of Muslim faith, both here in Australia and across our export markets, to identify our products as including ingredients that meet their consumption requirements.
Further, we wish to advise the Vegemite formulation has not altered nor does the product contain any ingredients from animals. Halal certification warrants that, in accordance with Islamic law, the yeast has been processed to ensure the product is alcohol free.

The inclusion of the AFIC Halal symbol is not intended to offend any member of the public of any cultural or religious belief. We do not believe that it promotes one religion over another rather it simply provides people of Muslim faith with information about the food choices they make. Following other consumer inquiries, we have written formally to the AFIC in order to seek clarification on its business activities. In response, the AFIC provided us with verbal and written assurances that it is not engaged in unlawful activities. As such, we have confidence in AFIC as a reputable organisation. We pay a blanket administration fee that covers the certification of a number of our products. This cost is not a tax and is not attributed to a particular product or brand, therefore consumers don’t pay more for a Halal certified product versus a non-certified product.

As a business, we are founded upon values of integrity and respect and take a strong stance against any individual or campaign promoting racism, bigotry and disrespect.

We hope this addresses your questions and any concerns you might have. We produce products that bring joy and pleasure to millions of people across the world every day, and we look forward to continuing this tradition.

Posted by Sam Connor at 4:02 PM

Rita Panahi, You Have A Serious Problem.


Rita Panahi, a pop-up journalist that magically appeared in the news scene recently made an article titled “Islam, you have a very serious problem“. Her facebook name is “Miss Judgement” and indeed she is an opinionated woman and proud. Yet as the famous saying goes and pardon my French here- “Opinions are like arse holes- everybody has one“.

Our Friend “Miss Judgement” claims herself to be a writer for the Daily Telegraph. Yes, the Rupert Murdoch run newspaper who’s CEO recently claimed that all Muslims should be responsible for the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, whether they were peaceful or not. That’d be as ridiculous as me claiming Rita Panahi is responsible and must apologize for her CEO’s ridiculous tweets including the fact that during the Sydney Siege Attack, instead of praying for the victims and wishing them safety and security he boasted about how The…

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