Just when we thought she had embarrassed herself out of the public eye, she’s back. Australia’s worst perpetrator of identity politics Yassmin Abdel-Magied this week announced her comeback. She is the public figure no one asked for, employed by the ABC as an occasional presenter and appointed to be a promoter of Australia by Julie Bishop it seems, for the sole reason that she filled the diversity quota as a hijab wearing Muslim woman of color.
Given this it didn’t take long for her to start making ludicrous public statements. First it was her claim on Q&A in February that Islam was “the most feminist religion”, an absurd proposition given the treatment of women in Islamic countries and the epidemic of child marriages and female genital mutilation in the Islamic community here in Australia.
This made her an object of ridicule but it was her insensitive ANZAC tweet which really enraged ordinary Australians stating, “Lest We Forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine)”. Following this the program she presented for the ABC Australia Wide was quietly axed, apparently as part of a network restructure. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said it best by saying her firing was “good start” to an ABC cleanout.
Then she couldn’t help herself again as The Australian broke the story a couple of weeks ago that when she was on a panel at the Australian National University’s leadership forum she stated Australians needed to accept that we lived on stolen land, and in response to a question agreed western style democracy may not be the best form of government because it is not inclusive of minorities like her.
Government backbencher Eric Abetz spoke for a lot of us when he suggested to her “perhaps she should stop being a drain on the taxpayer and move to one of these Arab dictatorships that are so welcoming of women”. It is quite ungrateful to constantly criticise modern Australia as it is the nation which has provided her with every opportunity to succeed (more than she would have had in Sudan).
Now this week she has announced her return to the public eye with an op-ed in the Guardian Australia claiming that free speech must be extended to all. She also in typical leftist style sulked on Facebook that she was traumatised by the “deeply racist” criticism of her conduct, and that laying low had been a mistake.
Her piece in the Guardian once again shows that the left misunderstands the meaning of free speech. Her reasoning was that Australia’s Parliament is not as racially, gender or culturally diverse as the nation’s population as a whole. But she seems to forget that Australia’s Parliament is democratically elected and all Australian citizens no matter their race, gender or class (she claimed we need more poor people in Parliament) have a chance to vote and have their say.
She backed up her recent comments about democracy in Australia not working by citing a Edelman’s 2017 trust survey where only 11% of Australians think our system of government is working. Not many people would dispute that, but that by no means says that Australians would agree with Yassmin’s solutions for fixing Australia, quite the contrary.
She claims that the ridicule she suffered for her remarks was because free speech is not given the same respect when it comes from people from minorities. She claims that those in power feel threatened when someone like her from outside the established enter the public debate. She calls for free speech to apply equally to everyone.
The reason Yassmin has been subject to such fierce criticism is because she has made ludicrous statements, it should be noted that nobody who criticised her said she was not entitled to her free speech. But free speech does not mean your speech has to be respected, your ideas are subject to the same scrutiny as everyone’s else. It is interesting that leftists demand that Yassmin’s speech be respected yet these were the same people who mocked and ridiculed Margaret Court’s views on homosexuality and same sex marriage.
Plus, Yassmin has hardly been cowered into silence, or banished from public life, although she would like to claim so. She had this op-ed piece published on a major Australian news website, not many Australians have such a platform. She has not had to move house due to threats to her personal safety (unlike some right-wing journalists) and no, mean words on the internet do not count as threats to safety, it happens to commentators on all sides.
It would appear that Yassmin just can’t handle the fact that her ideas and views and been widely rejected by the majority of the Australian people. She has no claim to the fact that she is being silenced. If she can’t handle the intense criticism of her views then maybe she could go back to the engineering profession. Most Australians would agree that she could probably make a better contribution to Australia in that field.
If Yassmin really cared about free speech she would call for the repeal of Section 18C but I doubt that will happen. So Yassmin you free to keep saying what you like, but take note we will be here to continue to criticise your warped view of our society. Deal with it, the rest of us do.