A young Muslim lady is vowing to continue to speak out against anti-Islam protesters, despite an encounter at a Reclaim Australia rally last month that left her feeling “disappointed” and “heartbroken”.
Twenty-year-old Afghan refugee Rahila Haidari had planned to join friends at the anti-racism side of the rally in Perth final month but changed her mind at the final minute.
“The whole night I was considering ‘these men and women are against Muslims, but why?’,” Ms Haidari mentioned.
“I in fact went there to join the other side but then ahead of I got to the other side I thought, ‘why not just hear some of the motives why these folks are against Muslims just before I go there?'”
Ms Haidari was rapidly met by numerous members of the United Patriots Front who asked if she would go over her religion with them.
“They stated do you agree with freedom? And I said, ‘yes I do’,” Ms Haidari told 7.30.
“The subsequent exciting question that they asked was ‘would you contact oneself a Muslim first or an Australian first?
“I mentioned ‘I would call myself an Australian first’ and they have been surprised, they stated ‘why? Aren’t you a proud Muslim?’ I said, ‘I am a proud Muslim.
“The cause I would contact myself Australian 1st is because [the] Australian constitution gives me the freedom to practise my religion and that’s why I respect this country, that is why I am here nowadays.”
‘Hatred’ spread in online post of her photograph
Ms Haidari mentioned she was pleased with how the conversation had gone but when the group later posted a photograph of her on its Facebook page telling their supporters they had “educated” her, she was horrified.
“I was disappointed really, I was truly disappointed,” she mentioned.
“The quantity of hatred coming from that post, the comments were just heartbreaking, some of them were actually threatening, ‘wait till she walks outside and she gets her scarf pulled off’ and that breaks my heart.”
Ms Haidari mentioned she regretted confronting the protesters at the time but that she would do it again if she had the chance.
“If the require arises then I would,” she mentioned.
“If I really feel that they want to be educated a lot more, then I would go for it.”
It might make me really feel undesirable for 1 or two days but then at the finish, I am the person who would not tolerate the injustice and go out there and say, hey, this is not proper.
Afgan refugee Rahila Haidari
Ms Haidari was born in the war-ravaged Uruzgan province in Afghanistan and as a six-year-old defied the Taliban by dressing up as a boy to go to school.
“They had genuinely strict punishment for me,” she mentioned.
“They mentioned either we have to take her life or my dad had to send me somewhere that I couldn’t come back or couldn’t see my loved ones any longer so that I overlook that education is for girls.”
She was sent to Pakistan exactly where her loved ones later joined her just before ultimately fleeing to Australia.
“[I had heard] Australia is so peaceful, it really is a nation of love, everyone cares about men and women, you have every single appropriate there, you can go to college so I couldn’t wait to be honest, I could not wait to come here,” she mentioned.
Ms Haidari stated even though the recent anti-Islam rallies had made her query that image, she loved Australia and her encounter at the Reclaim Australia rally only strengthened her resolve to speak to folks about her culture and religion.
“Practically nothing scares me actually,” she stated.
“It may well make me really feel undesirable for a single or two days but then at the end, I’m the particular person who would not tolerate the injustice and go out there and say, hey, this is not right.”
Subjects: religion-and-beliefs, islam, multiculturalism, race-relations, australia, perth-6000, pakistan, afghanistan