ANZAC Day is one of just two days a year when the nation stops to reflect on the service and sacrifice of our war veterans, but yesterday ABC part-time presenter and youth activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied sought a slice of the limelight for herself.
The 26-year-old’s inflammatory Facebook post read as follows: ‘Lest We Forget (Manus. Nauru. Syria. Palestine)’.
Her words rapidly drew thousands of enraged comments, compelling Abdel-Magied to amend the post to simply, ‘Lest we forget.’
She also added a comment apologising for her first post, writing, “It was brought to my attention that my last post was disrespectful, and for that I unreservedly apologise.”
Amid calls for the ABC24 Australia Wide presenter to be sacked in light of the remark, the ABC is standing by their part-time employee.
“Ms Abdel-Magied acknowledged that the timing and nature of the post was disrespectful,” an ABC spokesperson has said in a statement. “Ms Abdel-Magied is also engaged in a range of other activities and work that is not related to the ABC. Her views and opinions in that capacity are her own and do not represent those of the ABC.”
While Abdel-Magied is right to draw public attention to the plight of asylum seekers detained at Manus and Nauru and the devastating conflict in Syria and Palestine, her attempt to detract from the service of Anzacs on Anzac Day came across as incredibly insensitive.
Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz was one of many politicians to respond to Abdel-Magied’s post, saying, “Tens of thousands of Australians, from all walks of life, have gone to war and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Today we pay tribute to them, not seek to use their sacrifice for cheap political point-scoring as Ms Abdel Magied has done.”