CANBERRA – An Australian niqabi woman has shared how she reacted to hate with love and good character after a woman shouted at her to get out of the country while she was shopping.
“She told me how could you ever be allowed in this place with this thing on your face,” the Muslim woman told Ilm Feed in an interview.
“I don’t know what got into me, I just had to give her a hug. I said, ‘sister can I please give you a hug.’ And I just gave her a hug. I hugged her and it was amazing how she just burst out crying on my shoulder. She just cried and cried and cried her heart out,” the Muslim woman continued.
“And then I just lifted up my niqab and I told her, ‘sister, I’m not doing this out of oppression, I’m doing this out of my own choice’ and she started crying even more.”
Asking the assaulter ‘why so upset?’ She told the Muslim woman she “have just saw a documentary in the morning about how Muslim women are forced and oppressed to wear hijab and this thing on the face.”
The Muslim woman replied “that’s exactly why you have so much hate, because you are watching biased materials on media.”
According to the Muslim woman, the assailant apologized and hugged her.
“It’s amazing what good manners can do, it’s amazing what good character can do. It’s absolutely amazing what just a hug and smile can do. Loosen up, loosen up and have good character,” she said.
Estimates of the prevalence of anti-Muslim sentiment in Australia differ. A large-scale poll published in 2011 found that 48.6% of Australians had a negative opinion of Islam.
Another survey published in 2014 found that a quarter of Australians held anti-Muslim views; this incidence was five times higher than that for any other religion.
The latter survey also found that 27% of Muslim Australians have experienced discrimination, which was also the highest of any of the religions covered in the study.
A poll conducted by the University of South Australia’s International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding released in 2016 found that 10% of Australians have hostile attitudes towards Muslims.
A few years ago, the Council for the Prevention of Islamophobia Inc was established by the Islamic Research and Educational Academy in Melbourne, Australia.