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Controversial Australia Day Billboard with Girls in Hijabs Raises Over $150,000

Australia Day billboard with girls in hijabs was removed after threats.

More than $150,000 has been collected through a crowdfunding campaign calling to get a particular photograph of two girls on billboards commemorating an Australia Day event. The photograph was earlier removed from a billboard installed on a Melbourne freeway after racists threats were sent to the billboard company. The photo, taken during the Docklands celebration in 2016, was one of many advertising an Australia Day event.

Controversial Australia Day Billboards with Girls in Hijabs Raises Over $150,000.[/tweetthis]

The crowdfunding campaign was started by Campaign Edge, an advertising agency. The creative director of the firm, Dee Madigan, said it was to counter the bigoted reaction. She pointed out that a large number of photographs were installed, but the ire of the racists were directed only towards the photograph showing two young girls in hijabs. It was an irony, she said, that the same people are alleging Muslims do not assimilate into Australian society. Donations came fast, with money pouring in at a rate of $100 per minute. Donations came from both Jewish and Muslim organizations, along with individual contributions. Unions and politicians also contributed.

The original target of $20,000 has been increased to $200,000. The campaign reach has also become broader, with excess funds being scheduled to be sent to indigenous groups. After due discussions with Asylum Seeker Resource Center, it is fixed that the extra money will be diverted to IndigenousX, and independent media platform and Children's Ground, a non-profit organization.

Muslims, however, are divided on this issue. They point out that Islamophobia, which this campaign actually targets, cannot be battled without fighting white supremacy in the world's biggest island. The campaign, a number of Muslims say, indirectly supports the oppression of aboriginal people. The people of the Torres Strait Islands were also attacked. They said the campaign legitimizes systemic oppression of one certain group, while token including the other.

Australian Muslim communities are spoonfed the concept of respectability politics. They are taught that better integration into Western values and assimilating western beliefs will protect them from identity politics. As a consequence, Islamophobia will cease to exist. Gestures and symbols are utilized to achieve this kind of politics. The hijab is colored white, blue and red, and worn by smiling faces to gloss over the repulsive nature of racism. The Australian state, many Muslims of the country say, is on the day of mourning for the aboriginal population.


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