Imagine putting on your shirt every morning only to wonder if you’re going to be asked to take it off; or why you wear a shirt if some women’s shirts are chosen by their husbands – do you really want to condone that behaviour by wearing one too?
Imagine wearing a shirt only to be bombarded with messages about how your shirt is un-Australian and oppressive.
It would be ludicrous for a piece of fabric to cause so much outrage – but that’s the reality for hijabi women in Australia.
For some reason, I’m supposed to be okay with being told by mostly angry, middle-aged white men to take some of my clothes off.
I’ve worn a hijab for most of my life. I was 11 when I first started wearing it and can remember the freeing feeling that came with wearing it for the first time. I felt like I had joined this really cool club.
These days, it gives me even more - control over my identity and the image that I portray. I just don’t know where I’d be if I was forced to take my hijab off.
The controversy surrounding the Australia Day billboard featuring two Muslim girls who happen to be celebrating their Australian identity in a hijab is incredibly frustrating for me to watch. Muslims are told to integrate into society and be ‘more Australian’.
Yet somehow, when we do exactly that, our actions are offensive – our mere presence is offensive.
Susan Carland talks about her muslim conversion. Post continues below.
And why? Are we really offended those little girls celebrated their Australian identity on Australia day? How un-Australian of them!