How a Muslim lawyer brought down a movement of hate

What could have been a story that ended with hate speech sent in the direction of the Australian Muslim community actually resulted in a community coming together to celebrate diversity and religious freedom.

Mariam Veiszadeh is a Muslim community advocate, lawyer and an ambassador for Welcome to Australia, which invites policy and social change through providing a positive voice about the cultural diversity of Australia. She also created the #WISH campaign, which stands for Women In Solidarity (with) Hijabs, used to show support for the Australian Muslim community and curb Islamophobia.

“Every time we share these images, the response that we get from everybody is just amazing,” Veiszadeh told the ABC about the impact sharing photos of women wearing hijabs had on social media.

“Not only do Australian Muslim women appreciate it, everybody is incredibly grateful that this mere gesture of sharing photos has a much broader impact on the community.”

Veiszadeh is doing amazing things in the general community. But today she was hit with vile hate speech, threats and abuse via her Twitter page as a result of an article written by a white supremacist website.

“We need to flood this towelhead subhuman vermin with as much racial and religious abuse as we possibly can,” the website announced, sharing a link to Veiszadeh’s Twitter account.

But Veiszadeh’s response was perfect.

And that’s exactly what they did. The hashtag #IStandWithMariam has been trending on Twitter since, with the dialogue quickly turning to a celebration of diversity in Australia.

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