Aussie woman speaks in defense of Islam and Muslims

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SHAFAQNA – Amid increasing Islamophobic trends in the west, a non-Muslim Aussie woman has been praised for defending a Muslim wearing hijab from the harassment of an attacker.

She described hijab as part of the woman’s modesty.

“She wears it for herself, OK? She wears it because she wants to be modest with her body, not because of people like you who are going to sit there and disrespect her.” Stacey Eden said.

Ms. Stacey Eden, who has been championed from all angles as a hero against racial or religious vilification, stood up to defend a Muslim woman harassed for wearing hijab in a train.

An older woman was abusing an unidentified Muslim woman and the man sat next to her of being an ISIS supporter because she was wearing a hijab.

Ms. Eden, from Sydney, said the alleged tirade began “a good ten minutes” before she started filming the woman, later uploading the video on to her Facebook page.

The said incident happened on Wednesday as the unnamed passenger asked the woman, who sat with a pram on the opposite side of the train, “why do you wear it [a hijab] for a man that marries a six year-old girl?”

This made Ms. Eden to quickly come to her rescue by defending the Muslim woman.

As if that was not enough, the woman continued despite her interjection, saying:

“Your kids behead people in Syria. […] Read the newspapers, 148 people, Christians, murdered in Kenya. They’re killing each other in Syria.”

Ms. Eden intervened again telling her furiously: “Don’t sit there disrespecting someone that has nothing to do with it. Have some respect. If you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.”

Praising the good conduct displayed by Eden, Mariam Veiszadeh, of the Islamophobia Register Australia, told the Sydney Morning Herald she was heartened by Ms. Eden’s stand.

“We hope that her actions inspire others to stand up against racial or religious vilification,” she said.

“We’re not in the midst of an imaginary backlash, Islamophobia is very much real and you can see from the video it has devastating consequences for Muslim women.”

The excited Ms. Eden revealed “I didn’t realize how something so small would end up becoming so important,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

“I genuinely have tears in my eyes at the messages people have sent me.”

Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.

In post 9/11-era, Australian Muslims have been haunted with suspicion and have had their patriotism questioned.

A 2007 poll taken by the Issues Deliberation Australia (IDA) think-tank found that Australians basically see Islam as a threat to the Australian way of life.

A recent governmental report revealed that Muslims are facing deep-seated Islamophobia and race-based treatment like never before.

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