While the spotlight has been firmly trained on America’s issues with racism in the climate of Donald Trump’s controversial ascent to power, it may disturb some Australians to witness how much racism is alive and well in our own backyard.
A shocking example of racism, specifically Islamophobia, occurred at Sydney university over the weekend — sadly closely coinciding with Australia Day, an event that is supposed to stand as a marker for celebrating the virtues and values of our country.
On Friday afternoon, a woman at Macquarie University was caught on camera abusing a female student wearing a niqab, calling her a “Muslim terrorist” and attacking the car in which she was sitting.
Ramzy Alamudi posted the shocking video on Facebook, saying he was shocked by what happened to his wife, who attends the university.
“As we entered the car, my wife (who wears an Islamic veil — niqab) decides to smile politely and wave innocently at the lady assuming everything was good ... This is where the entire situation just turned upside down,” Mr Alamudi wrote.
“The lady flips it and sticks her middle finger right at us! Me, being completely dumbfounded ‘Ah, is everything ok?!’. At this point, she blows up in a rage ... starts pointing at my wife and screaming ‘F**k you! Take it off!!’ (referring to my wife’s veil).
“She then runs towards our car and I urge my wife to lock her door and start recording if anything happens. The video will tell you the rest of the story … she pounds on my window and continues to hurl racial and discriminatory slurs at my wife. ‘Take it off! You Muslim terrorist! Who the f**k are you?’.”
Footage of the incident emerged on Facebook on Sunday morning and shows the Asian woman walking around a car, banging violently on the passenger and driver’s side car windows, trying to pull open the locked car doors and ripping up the windscreen wipers.
She has since been charged with assault and damaging property and is due to appear at Burwood Local Court on March 13.
Witness Emily Grace Guff, who also posted a video of the altercation, expressed her shock at the disgusting incident.
“It makes me feel sick to know we coexist in a world where this happens so frequently, people thinking they have the right to belittle someone else because of their race or religion — to see what absolute shit some people actually have to deal with,” she told News.com.
Mr Alamudi said his motivation for sharing the video was “to identify racism/discrimination, not further it”.
“Unfortunately, this type of Islamophobia isn’t isolated to this one individual and incident,” he said. “Rather, it is an overarching systematic issue in our society.”