This is why we need to see a lot more Muslim women in Australian mainstream media.

On Saturday, sociologist Susan Carland wrote a powerful opinion piece for The Saturday Paper

In the article, Carland argues the recent treatment of Muslim activist and author Yassmin Abdel-Magied feels eerily similar to the way people tested for witches during the Middle Ages.

“If they floated,” she writes, “they were found to be witches and were executed. If they sank, their innocence was proved – but they also generally drowned.”

Carland argues Abdel-Magied has been thrown into the water by the Australian media – and sink or swim – the outcome will be the same.

Of course, the furore began last Monday night, when Abdel-Magied appeared on Q&A alongside Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie. The 25-year-old, who works as an engineer, author, television and radio presenter and advocate, challenged Lambie’s views on Sharia law, and controversially said, “Islam to me, is the most feminist religion.”

Listen to Susan Carland on the Nitty Gritty Committee. (Post continues after audio.)

Ever since, she’s been the centre of intense media criticism, as well as a near-30,000 strong petition to sack her from the ABC.

Given Carland’s powerful defence of Abdel-Magied, and her standing as a significant voice for the local Muslim community, Daily Mail Australia chose to write about her opinion piece.

Personally, I was glad to see more attention being drawn to her argument – but then, I noticed something.

The photo included of Susan Carland looked decidedly unlike Susan Carland.

Image via The Daily Mail/Getty,

I did a double take.

The photo was clearly labelled 'Susan Carland.'

However, this woman's name is Anisa Buckley, and she's a Business Development Manager and PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne.

Image via The Daily Mail/Getty.

In the comments section below the story, one reader who presumably didn't pick up on the publication's error has written, "Sick of reading academic susan carland. She got a phd in women in islam. Hardly useful to the real world."

Sick of her... but can't recognise her face. Interesting.

susan carland yassmin abdel-magied
L-R: Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Susan Carland.

It's not the first time the media has confused people of the same ethnic minority. In fact, Carland's husband Waleed Aly was once mistaken for comedian Nazeem Hussain in a TV column announcing the new host of The Project. 

Errors like these speak volumes, and this time in particular, the mistake has made it painfully clear that we need to hear and see Muslim women far more often in the media.