You’ve probably seen Woolworths in the news over the last couple of days because of a t-shirt a couple of its stores were selling. (Pictured above… with my alterations.) You may even be thinking it’s not particularly racist. (Although if you are, you’re probably a born-and-bred anglo Aussie.) But it is racist, and here’s why…
It targets Aussie Muslims
Thanks to our government’s concerted effort to work people into an anti-Muslim fear-frenzy, women wearing ‘Muslim-looking’ head coverings are now being abused in the streets. One was even bashed and thrown from a moving train. And to top things off, the government has now decreed that burqa-wearers must be segregated in parliament. Not surprisingly, Australian Muslims are unhappy (and scared) about this treatment, and they’re speaking out.
This shirt is a response to that situation – the burqas and the complaints. Someone thought they could make a quick buck by tapping into the frenzy.
But Aussie Muslims love Australia too
People who want to wear a burqa, aren’t saying they don’t love Australia. They’re simply saying they want to wear a burqa. Likewise, Australians who choose to follow Islam or practice customs from their ancestral homeland aren’t saying they don’t love Australia. They’re just saying they like Islam and some stuff about their ancestral homeland.
Even if they complain
Even if a Muslim complains about how they’re treated, they can still love Australia.
Hell, you probably complain about the roads, the hospitals, the schools and having to pay taxes, and I’m sure you still love Australia. No-one questions your right to complain, or tells you to leave the country. And when compared to being bashed then thrown from a moving train, your complaints are pretty trivial. So why would we tell other people to leave when they have very good justification for complaining?
And even if they don’t think we should be at war with ISIS
Similarly, people who criticise Australia’s involvement in America’s war on ISIS aren’t saying they don’t love Australia. They’re just saying the war is politically motivated, hypocritical and likely to fail.
I say those same things, and I still love Australia. More importantly, no-one’s telling me to leave.
It denies Aussie Muslims the same rights the rest of us enjoy
So although the shirt says “If you don’t love it, leave”, what it really means is, “If you wear a burqa, leave”. “If you complain about our poor treatment of you (or anything else), leave”. And “If you want to remain in any way true to your religion and culture (while harming no-one), leave”.
There’s no question about it: This is racist. It denies Aussie Muslims the right to the freedoms that
all most of the rest of us take for granted.
EDIT: Here’s a much better t-shirt
Jane (in the comments below) designed this t-shirt. I like it much better! 🙂