Facebook 'harasser' gets 180 hours for 'rag head' rant

Jay-Leighsa Bauman arrives at Ipswich Magistrates Court in March (SBS/Stefan Armbruster) Source: SBS

A Queensland woman has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service for a barrage of social media abuse towards prominent Australian Muslim woman Mariam Veiszadeh.

A Queensland woman has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service for a barrage of social media abuse towards a prominent Australian Muslim woman.

Jay-Leighsa Bauman was charged with 'using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence' for anti-Islamic comments towards community advocate Mariam Veiszadeh in early January.

Twenty-two-year-old Bauman’s tweets included describing Ms Veiszadeh as a “rag head”, “dirty Islamic scum” and to go back to her “dirty sand dune country”.

Last year Ms Veiszadeh, a lawyer, criticised a Woolworths store in Cairns on Twitter for allegedly selling a singlet printed with “Love it or leave” and an Australian flag.

“I am relieved that the matter is finally over,” Ms Veiszadeh said in a statement to SBS World News.

“I’ve been quite anxious about the entire ordeal given that many bigoted and white supremacist groups have been falsely claiming that I got Bauman arrested and were using this as a means to generate further vitriol against me and fellow Australian Muslims.”

“The incident itself and the barrage of abuse which it subsequently triggered has been incredibly testing and, the entire ordeal, harrowing."

Australian Defence League posted the tweet to its thousands of Facebook followers, it was picked up by a right-wing group in the US, and she was then subjected to a torrent of social media abuse, including from Bauman.

Social media trolls posted pictures of Ms Veiszadeh’s head next to pigs and digitally manipulated images of her being stoned to death.

“No one should have to endure death threats, receiving abusive phone calls and messages, have bacon sent to them in the mail, have their accounts hacked all simply because they dared express an opinion,” Ms Veiszadeh said.

“Bigots need to recognise that whilst they are entitled to their views, there are consequences to their actions - that mere words can lead to devastating consequences for those whom they seek to target.”

When she went public with the threats, again on Twitter, the response from followers and supporters resulted in the hashtag #IStandWithMariam trending nationally.

SBS World News has contacted Bauman’s lawyer for comment.

The sentence was handed down in Ipswich Magistrates Court on 21 May.


Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch