The Internet is a dangerous place for Mariam Veiszadeh right now. It’s where death threats lurk and vile messages appear faster than they can be deleted.
CNN It all began with Marian’s Tweet against a patriotic T-shirt being sold by Woolworths. Last October, Veiszadeh posted an image of a T-shirt for sale in Woolworths, one of Australia’s biggest retailers, which showed the Australian flag with the words “If you don’t love it, leave.”
— Mariam Veiszadeh (@MariamVeiszadeh) October 13, 2014
She called the shirt “bigoted,” a flood of complaints followed and the shirt was withdrawn from sale. Woolworths apologized and blamed an ordering error, saying it “should never have been on our shelves.”
You can still buy this shirt online here: Australian Native
That could have been the end of it. However, three months later, the Australian Defence League (ADL) — a right-wing group that’s calling for Islam to be banned in Australia — posted Veiszadeh’s tweet on its Facebook site, along with another one she posted saying “Everyone is entitled to dress as they please,” with the title “Hypocrisy Much?”
The post attracted dozens of offensive comments. Abusive tweets followed but the campaign took a more sinister — and organized — twist when the Twittersphere began to attack her personally. “Leave now before we behead your mother and bury you all with pigs…” said one tweet from an account, which has since been suspended. Many of the messages include extremely offensive hashtags.
The post, in part, justifies the attack as revenge for the prosecution of a 22-year-old woman from Ipswich, in the Australian state of Queensland. The woman allegedly sent a stream of invective to Veiszadeh, calling her a tramp, whore, “rag head” and other offensive names.
Veiszadeh, an Australian lawyer and founder of the Islamophobia Register, which tracks instances of abuse against Muslims, knows exactly why she’s being targeted. “The reality is people don’t abuse me just because I’m a woman or because my name is Mariam or because I’m Middle-Eastern. They abuse me because I have a scarf on my head and because I’m a Muslim,” Veiszadeh told CNN.
The Australian Racial Discrimination Act does not cover attacks on a person based on their religious beliefs. That’s covered by state laws, which vary from state to state. Veiszadeh said in New South Wales, where most of Australia’s Muslims live, there’s no law to cover Muslims who are abused on the basis of their religion.
There is also a counter campaign where leftist dhimmis like ‘SmellyCat’ who don’t know that Islam is NOT a race can Tweet their support for anti-Australian bigots like Marian: