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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 05:12 am
Melbourne has racism. You often hear it from taxi drivers. It can show itself coarsely in the oaths of cricket crowds or delicately in the poisonous patter of dinner parties. The veils of Muslim women can be torn off in the street, and they and their children can be spat upon by strangers.
“Just wondering,” wrote Percy, “is this veil-ripping an urban myth? Can anyone turn up any evidence that it ever happened?” Kissane has since been in touch with Percy, who reports:
Kissane has forwarded me a report from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission which contains the following submission: A Muslim man described how his wife and daughter were assaulted in a supermarket in north-western Melbourne in late 2002 by an angry woman who tried to remove his wife’s scarf then broke her tooth.
This legitimates Kissane’s assertion, although it is a single incident not plural as she writes (and I won’t quibble about distinctions between streets and supermarkets). So well done, Kissane!
I’m less inclined to give Kissane a pass on this. One veil-removal episode—four years ago—doesn’t justify the prominence of her racism claim. If indeed the attack was provoked by racism; possibly the women assaulted were of Anglo background.
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