Wear Hijabs on Australia Day

Canberra Theater Receives Threats Over Billboard Picturing Girls in Hijabs

Asia & Pacific

14:08 25.01.2017(updated 14:09 25.01.2017) Get short URL

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government-run theater, which is hosting the large billboard for Australia Day, featuring the image of two girls wearing hijabs, posted a photo of the billboard on its Facebook page on Monday, stating that it was proud to display the image.

The far-right Respect Australia group posted the theater’s contact details online, urging its members to complain, prompting hundreds of comments, including racist remarks and threats to bomb or burn down the billboard and the building, the ABC News broadcaster reported.

The post is no longer visible on the theater’s Facebook page and comments related to it have been removed.

The Canberra Theater Center reportedly said it would continue to display the billboard.

Last week, a digital sign featured rolling images of people from various cultural backgrounds, including the picture of the two Muslim girls, was taken down from a Melbourne billboard after a far-right group posted on social media claiming it to be a misrepresentation of Australia Day and accused the government of being too politically correct. A crowd-funding campaign, launched in response, has raised more than 168,000 Australian dollars ($126,000) to republish and spread the image.

ACT government chief Andrew Barr, announced that the ACT would support the #putthembackup campaign, as well as “the concept of multiculturalism” by hosting the image on government assets.

Since 2011, there has been rise in countries, particularly across Europe, outlawing Islamic face coverings, including the burka, niqab and hijab. France, Belgium and the Netherlands have agreed complete bans on the burka face coverings and Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Denmark have bans in some places, with Estonia and Albania also debating full bans. Countries cite the difficulty of integration and acclimatization, as well as security risks, as the main reasons for the bans.




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