Woman Charged with Threatening to Slit Throat of Muslim Sister
Sister Mariam Veiszadeh has received a string of threats online from a number of various cyber-bullies who are flamboyantly supporting the so-called Reclaim Australia movement and spewing racial and religious hatred. She is being attacked for her brilliant work as an activist bringing the difficulties that Muslims face in this country to light. The following article was posted by the Sydney Morning Herald:
A Reclaim Australia supporter has been charged with threatening to slit the throat of a prominent Sydney lawyer and campaigner against Islamophobia. Mariam Veiszadeh reported the online threat to NSW Police, who last week charged a mother-of-three from Guildford with using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend.
In a private message sent to Ms Veiszadeh on Facebook, the 37-year-old woman allegedly said she would “find you and hunt you down”.
Ms Veiszadeh says she has been subjected to shocking online abuse. Photo: Supplied
“Watch as we come for you in your sleep [and] cut your throat as you do [to] the animals you torment,” said the rambling message sent at 11.06pm on July 12. It allegedly included a threat to “kill your family for you to see [and] kill your uncle which is now your husband”.
Ms Veiszadeh requested that Fairfax Media not publish the woman’s name because she was concerned about vilifying her children, but she said she decided to report the incident as a deterrent to those who think they can get away with cyber-bullying.
Fairfax Media has seen a private message Paul Barnes sent Ms Veiszadeh on Sunday. Photo: Facebook
The woman started an online petition in February calling for the banning of Muslim head scarves and stricter immigration laws concerning Muslims only. In it, she called on people to join her at the Reclaim Australia rally in Sydney on July 19, a week after she allegedly sent the message to Ms Veiszadeh. Her Facebook profiles show an increasing interest in opposing Islam and she recently voiced her support for Reclaim Australia rallies in Newcastle and Cairns, as well as campaigns to ban halal certification and “Islamisation”. She will appear in Hornsby Local Court on September 8.
Ms Veiszadeh, founder of the Islamophobia Register, said she is often inundated with abusive and vile social media messages when she speaks out about what she believes are incidents of bigotry and Islamophobia in Australia.
Fairfax Media has seen a private message Ms Veiszadeh received on Sunday via Facebook from a Reclaim Australia supporter and anti-Islam campaigner, Paul Barnes, who said, “count your days”. Mr Barnes’ Facebook profile says he is 68 years old and helped to organise a recent rally in Darwin.
In February, Queensland woman Jay-Leighsa Victoria Bauman was sentenced to 180 hours of community service after sending a string of threatening messages to Ms Veiszadeh. Ms Bauman said she was “not scared of a bit of judgment” and would refuse to stay silent.
Ms Veiszadeh told Fairfax Media she believes prejudice, bigotry and far-right extremism is “flourishing” due to the “current political landscape”. “Our government’s ongoing silence about the Reclaim Australia movement and the rise in far-right extremist organisations, is deafening,” she said.
She said movements like Reclaim Australia have been gaining momentum and sprouting “vitriol, preaching hatred and ultimately inciting violence towards Australian Muslims”.
“These threats issued against me are proof of it,” she said.
NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas recently told a University of Western Sydney conference that police were confronting problems arising from extremism, discrimination and racial tension. He said community engagement efforts and multi-cultural strategies had been stepped up.