Controversial Australia Day billboard removed

A billboard in Melbourne has caused outrage for featuring two women wearing hijabs in a campaign to promote Australia Day.
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The billboard has sparked outrage. Image: Twitter

A billboard in Melbourne has caused outrage for featuring two women wearing hijabs in a campaign to promote Australia Day.

The electronic billboard has a slide show of different Australians from a number of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, but it was the shot of the two Muslim women that sparked debate.

Despite the fact that there have been muslim people living in the country for year, many said it was “un-Australian” to put them on the ad and demanded the whole thing be taken down.

Social media was alight with people airing their grievance and saying the national holiday should be depicted through photos of people having barbecues or swimming at the beach.

Many claimed it was “PC rubbish” and demanded Victoria’s Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott remove it.

Others though, were quick to jump on the defence pointing out the ad featured a number of other culturally-mixed Australians asked why the Muslim women were deemed so offensive.

It appears the backlash became too great for QMS, the company responsible for the ad, who announced they would remove it today.

“Anyone who considers this a victory needs a refresher on the true meaning of Australia Day,” said Minister Scott.

“It is about bringing people together and celebrating the diversity which makes this state and this country great.

“It’s very disappointing to see a small minority attacking proud Australians for their love of their country.”

It’s not the first time something like this has caused an issue, but it seems to crop up time and time again.

Many people recognise there are plenty of Muslims in Australia who consider the country their home and love the culture and way of life.

However, the millions of hardworking, taxpaying Aussie Muslims are being tarnished by the actions of an extreme minority.

So where do we draw the line?

Do you think this ad wrong and PC? Or is it an accurate representation of Australia?

  1. Guy Flavell  

    The ad is quite offensive in my view and should be removed. Bugger the PC idiots … this is an insult.
    It is just NOT reflective of average Australians and should have shown both a ‘whitey’ and an indigenous Australian.

    • Jude Power  

      The depiction of muslim women (actual photo’s from last year’s australia day where they held ausralian flags) was only PART of the display. “Average Australians” come in many races, religions, colours and clothing.

    • Grace  

      Afghan Muslims have been in this country probably a lot longer than your family.

      • Guy Flavell  

        My family arrived in Melbourne in 1839, so there you smartie !!!

    • Greg Hills  

      Sorry, but you are out of touch. The billboard as a whole, is very reflective of our proud, multi-cultural background.
      As for the young Muslim girls, they look lovely in their colourful Hijabs and enthusiastically waving our Australian Flag.
      You really must be a bigot and paranoid if you see anything offensive in this billboard. Not all Australians are from the old Anglo-Saxon heritage.
      The point of the billboard is to celebrate Australia Day in our traditional way, but involving ALL Australians!
      Get over it.

  2. Denise Gerrie  

    When did the average Australian women wear a head scarf! Sorry but not truly representative of an Australian woman,

    • Jude Power  

      Non muslim australian women used to wear headscarves only a few decades ago and the average australian woman could be any colour, race or religion and wear anything on her head: that’s called DIVERSITY and is one of this country’s strengths, except in the eyes of bigoted xenophobes

    • Grace  

      It’s actually “woman” and no, you are correct; most Australian women don’t wear the scarf, but some do and that’s okay.

    • Barbara Williams  

      According to our PM only 10% of Australian’s wear hijabs!!!! So why feature them on Australia Day Poster!!!!! Go figure!!!! Take it down feature!!

  3. DAVID MARTIN  

    We are all part of the community including Muslims ,however if you asked the Majority would wish that they were placed last on the immigration list because although they are only2% of the population they must because of their religeon marry their own kind and so take much longer to assimilate and will always identify themselves differently .We don’t need people to identify themselves differently but be the same as us . We should abandon the total non discriminatory approach to immigration and take anyone from anywhere based on whether they will assimilate not just accept anyone

    • Jude Power  

      Why do people who come here from other countries have to be “the same as us”? It’s a pity white invaders didn’t follow this advice in relation to the Indigenous people!

    • Greg Hills  

      Your claim that they must marry their own kind may be true at present, but over time, that will change naturally.
      Once the kids assimilate through our school system, they will want to be the same as all the other kids.
      There will be nothing the parents or their Church can do about that. They will have to change too!

  4. A graham  

    I must confess that I was surprised and a little worried by this billboard. Australia is NOT a Muslim country and hopefully never will be but that being said any ad for Australia should reflect all Australians not just a minority. So yes it should be taken down.

    • Jude Power  

      Get your facts correct before you comment: this was only PART of a series of images of australians from different backgrounds and did in fact reflect all australians.

      • Guy Flavell  

        Jude, ABSOLUTE RUBBISH !!! PC wallies like you think the two Malaysian women represented
        on this ONE sign was reflective of Australian women … I don’t think so Dearie. I’m sure you’re
        not that stupid and were just ‘stirring the pot’.

  5. LD  

    I would be offended by it, we are not muslims, and while there are people of muslim religious beliefs living here they are not the majority of the population. There should be a mix of all cultures that call Australia home, all nations and our indigenous people. Sick of political correctness. I would have demanded it be taken down too.

    • LD  

      Further to that, the article that refers to millions of aussie muslims, there are not that many here, less than 500,000 or 2.2% of the population. So how about correcting your millions statement.

  6. Jo Carson  

    WHY do people comment without reading? Or is it a lack of comprehension which I see?

    • LD  

      I did read it, I comprehended it, it’s a scrolling billboard depicting Australians – BUT Australians do not wear religious garb, unless they are in a religious order, like nuns and priests. I would have found it just as offensive if it were two Buddhist monks in robes. We are not defined by our religion but by our culture, that is the Australian way of life. Hijabs, niquabs, burkas, chadors or dupattas have no place in Australia….unless they want to wear it in their own homes….

      • Guy Flavell  

        Well said LD. Golly, all the left-wing PC loonies are out in force over this one.
        I would describe them as ‘UnAustralian’ and they should be treated with the total derision
        a tiny, tiny group of demented fools truly deserve.

    • Jude Power  

      Are you expecting bigots to be anything other than intellectually lazy?

      • Guy Flavell  

        Jude, stop now as your comments have become offensive and abusive. Even your PC mates must be rolling their eyes in horror.

    • Diandra  

      Oh….I read it. No need to sugar coat it. It does not represent Australia.

  7. Carol McEwing-Anderson  

    I have to agree with Jo.
    I remember when Australia had the White Australian Policy.
    I’m proud to be able to say that New Zealand is a multicultural nation. I’m sad that my grandchildren are being raised in, as I see it, a nation that is becoming more and more racist.

    • Elise  

      Would you care to elucidate how being critical of a religion, i.e. Islam makes one “racist”? Perhaps you would welcome that your granddaughters, down the track, are forced to wear the restrictive Islamic garb showcased in the ad in question? Once islamization reaches a certain level in Australia, it will no doubt be peddled as “un-Australian” if women don’t dress in the manner dictated by Islamic fundamentalists. SJW’s virtue-signalling is the ultimate arrogance, and an exhibition of self-congratulatory moral superiority. Is that what you are, Carol McEwing-Anderson?

  8. Shirley  

    I would not find it offensive. The real Australian is the Aborigines. The rest of us are migrants and we are a variety of colours and creeds. We need to recognise and celebrate the differences in races and creeds that make Australia what it is today.

  9. Dianne Evans  

    I am more offended by the people who objected we are a country of races from all around the world and I see nothing wrong with the add as it was. People are so nasty about other races we are all a hodge lodge and so long as people are good does not matter what religion they are.

  10. Phil Spencer  

    Reading the above comments it strikes me how UN-Australian they are and the people making them are UN-Australian themselves!

    • Carmel  

      What does the term UN-Australian Mean? If you are classified with that term what nationally are You?

    • Diandra  

      Lol…….”UN Australian” ? I am guessing you are saying United Nation Australian.

  11. Diandra  

    So glad that is down. WHAT AN INSULT TO AUSTRALIAN CULTURE. SO OFFENSIVE.
    THIS IS NOT AUSTRALIAN! To accept this is to lose our culture. NO WAY JOSE’.

    • Troy  

      On the contrary, dear, to not accept it is to lose your culture because Muslims have been part of Australia’s multicultural society when you were still in diapers. Now you’re all trying to change the rules.

      • Diandra  

        I think people need to get Into the real world and take off their rose coloured glasses. This poster does not represent Australia Day!!!

  12. john williams  

    So where were the ‘millions” of aussie muslims when the last census was done? as per the second last paragraph?

    • Diandra  

      Well I do not know but went out to Western Sydney 2weeks back and felt like I was in the Middle East. No Aussies…..all Muslim. None of them work. All sitting around in coffee shops. 12,000 on their way and on the news this morning , 1/2 of that number will be settled in Western Sydney. There are no jobs for them. And yet…..the Government are stripping pensions of the elderly.

      • Guy Flavell  

        We should be just so thankful we don’t live in Germany. 1000 odd young German women
        sexually assaulted on NYE 2016 by these Islamic ‘refugees’. Come on Australia, WE DON’T WANT
        ANY MORE OF THIS SCUM and their abhorrent Sharia laws allowed into our country !!!

        • Diandra  

          Yes…..we need to stop bringing them in. Our prisons are full of them. Our economy cannot sustain them. We do not have multiple wives. We do not condone female mutilation. We do not marry off young girls to old men. We do not degrade women by covering them up except for their eyes. And the list goes on and on.

          • totally agree with you. It is time the government listened to the AUSTRALIAN people, enough is enough. we keep forking out money for them, and yet we don’t have enough for our own people, who have paid taxes over the years, and now having some of it taken away, because the government can not afford to pay them. If they want to live like that, then stay in your own country, we do not want this type of religion here, multiple wives, marrying you children off to old men, mutilating young women, this is NOT the AUSTRALIAN way, and never will be.

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