Social media exploded this week when Yassmin Abdel–Magied announced that she was “off to partake in the Aussie rite of passage” and moving to London—with Twitter users sending her messages of love and of revived anger.
Today the controversial author and engineer wrote a piece for the Guardian, detailing the profound impact the barrage of social media criticism and threats have had on her life in the months since her infamous ANZAC Day tweet.
Abdel-Magied has re-posted an essay she penned earlier this year about modern day activism and how people perceive a young brown Muslim woman speaking her mind as intimidating.
“Given that I am now the most publicly hated Muslim in Australia, people have been asking me how I am,” she writes in her message preceding the republished essay.
“What do I say? That life has been great and I can’t wait to start my new adventure in London? That I’ve been overwhelmed with messages of support? Or do I tell them that it’s been thoroughly rubbish?”
She goes on to say that it has been “humiliating to have almost 90,000 twisted words written about me in the three months since Anzac Day, words that are largely laced with hate,” adding that her work as engineer has been erased from her public narrative.
Abdel-Magied says that since the ANZAC Day furore, she’s received death threats, resorted to moving house, changing her phone number and deleting her social media apps.
“Many, post-Anzac, said the response wasn’t about me but about what I represent. Whether or not that is true, it has affected my life, deeply and personally.”
“Journalists sneak into my events with schoolchildren to sensationally report on what I share…I’ve been sent videos of beheadings, slayings and rapes from people suggesting the same should happen to me.”
“Whether or not one agrees with me isn’t really the point,” she says.
“The reality is the visceral nature of the fury – almost every time I share a perspective or make a statement in any forum – is more about who I am than about what is said.
“We should be beyond that but we are not. Many, post-Anzac, said the response wasn’t about me but about what I represent. Whether or not that is true, it has affected my life, deeply and personally.”