Saturday, 15 July 2017

In defence of a progressive Muslim woman ... thank you Julia Baird

Yassmin Abdel-Magied left Australia after being hounded in the media and on social media for her comments on Australia Day. Photo: SBS

The article extracted below is by Julia Baird - well-known ABC broadcaster and feminist.

Blog Editor's note: The caption above in bold accompanied the photo of Ms Abdel-Magied. The Editor queries if this is correct and reference should be to Anzac Day, a rather sacred day on the Australian calendar.  Read more about the controversy here. In addition, you will find her TED talk on the head scarf at the same link.  Also please note, that the politicians mentioned in this article are on the conservative side of national politics in Australia.  Reference to Manus and Nauru relates to two islands outside Australia, the first is in Papua New Guinea and the second is an independent nation.  To many Australians - perhaps not a majority - Ms Abdel-Magied's statement would be seen as fair comment. Manus and Nauru are places outside Australia where Australia houses undocumented refugees.  Australia has a harsh "turn back the boats" policy.  Find out more here.
"In Australia, a lone woman
is being crucified by the Press
at any given moment."
Cast out, he wrote,
"… she goes down, overwhelmed
in the feasting grins of pressmen
and Press women …"
Then, "After the feeding frenzy
Sometimes a ruefully balanced last lick
Precedes the next selection."
Not much has changed – though thanks to social media, the abuse is broader, more intense and intrusive, more sustained. Not so much a firing squad with timed attacks as constant assault by drone and sniper, air, land and sea.
In 1997, when Murray wrote his poem, it was Lindy Chamberlain, grieving mother who would not cry on cue. 

Yet another Blog Editor's Note:

Why should there have been such an uproar
over Yasmin's statements?

Many Australians query the semi-religious sentiments
surrounding Anzac Day.
In 1958, Alan Seymour wrote a play, The One Day of the Year.
The play queried the manner of the celebration 
with intergenerational conflict and memory as its background.
The play was a huge success and is an Australian classic.

For consideration:
Why shouldn't people from other nations and cultural backgrounds
critique our traditions?
And will we not own up to our military misdeeds -
which, as in any conflict, do occur?

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