Yassmin Abdel-Magied has sparked outrage with her outspoken statements in the past having famously sharing a Lest We Forget post on Facebook on ANZAC Day, urging people to remember people suffering on Manus Island, in Syria and in Palestine.
And now she’s sparked debate once again, this time appearing to mock Aussies for their fear of gangs, with an outspoken message on Twitter. The activist and author, who once dubbed herself “Australia’s most publicly hated Muslim”, poked fun at fears over rising African gang violence in Victoria.
She shared a short video of a character from TV show Scrubs laughing, and wrote alongside it: “All these aussies outraged about ‘gangs’, acting like they’re not descendant of actual convicts lol.”
It follows a spate of violence in Victoria and Melbourne throughout December and January, which has been linked to African migrant gangs – amid an ongoing debate over the leniency of the state’s bail system.
Twitter users immediately responded in anger, with one writing: “Oh you’re so witty. If only you cared about the victims as much as you care about making cheap shots,” while another added: “I understand that everyone has a right to free speech but u are really pushing ur luck. Don’t disrespect Australia and it’s people, very foolish move [SIC].”
After coming under fire for her tweet, Abdel-Magied later insisted she was joking and added: “I mean JOKES OBVIOUSLY MUSLIMS DON’T HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR OMG SHARIA.” She went on to say: “Every so often I feel like I need to wear a T-shirt that says ‘Muslims have a sense of humour’.”
Just days ago, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told Sydney radio station 2GB that “people are scared to go out at restaurants of a night time because they’re followed home by these gangs, home invasions, and cars are stolen”.
Meanwhile Abdel-Magied previously sparked shock when she appeared on The Project, only to describe Australia as being like an “abusive guy”.
“You love a lot of things about them but they hurt you deep,” she said at the time. “So what do you do? What do you tell people? Do you tell them about the great times you had, how you were grateful for all the good stuff or tell them they traumatised you in a way that you’ll never be the same for?”
The activist’s long been in the spotlight, having published an autobiography, presented an ABC television program, participated on multiple boards of activist and community groups, and appeared as a guest speaker on Q&A, The Drum and other shows. But she raised the hackles of some Australians when she told then-senator Jackie Lambie on Q&A that “Islam is the most feminist religion”.