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.
— Mariam Veiszadeh (@MariamVeiszadeh) February 23, 2015
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.
#IStandWithMariam because diversity is beautiful and no one deserves to be harassed by mindless fools.
— Steph Vel (@stephvel) February 23, 2015
#IStandWithMariam and I'm grateful for her ideas and commitment to justice. Australia is a much better place because of people like her.
— Les Thomas (@Les_Thomas) February 23, 2015
— ms jawad (@iraqi_mind) February 25, 2015
To freedom of religion and racial diversity. And a society that celebrates cultural diversity: #IStandWithMariam
— Ali Chehelnabi (@ali_abiko) February 23, 2015
— Nicholas Tuohy (@nicktuohy) February 24, 2015