Photograph of women in hijabs on billboard advertising Australia Day celebrations sparks heated online debate
One would think that Australia day would celebrate Australia as it is. It is definitely NOT Muslim. They are a small minority and a poorly assimilated one that that. They are distinguished mainly by their high rate of welfare dependency, meaning that the positive contribution they make to the rest of us is minimal
I can see a case for celebrating Australia's diversity with a picture that included someone from our largest minority -- people of Han Chinese ancestry. They have fitted in brilliantly and differ from Caucasians mainly in their superior educational achievements. With the many services they provide to us all -- from medical specialists to restaurateurs, we are lucky to have them. That could indeed be celebrated
A billboard advertising Australia Day celebrations in Melbourne sparked debate online for appearing to feature two women wearing hijabs.
A picture of the huge sign showed it having an Australian flag on the left with the two smiling women on the right underneath the event details. There were no other people in the design.
It was said to be by the side of a road in Cranbourne, in Melbourne's southeast, and first shared by far-right groups on Facebook on Friday.
The debate attracted hundreds of comments with a variety of opinions, and was shared thousands of times.
Some commenters were outraged that Australia was only represented by a pair of Muslim women instead of a more diverse crowd.
'Some culture doesn't belong! Meh all this multi cultural bs being rammed down our throats,' one angry Facebook user wrote.
'Muslims on that is a disgrace... I don't know what's going on in this country... It's just going downhill... Muslims are not the face of Australia,' another said.
'PC to the extreme. There's nothing wrong with including people from different backgrounds as Australia is more or less a melting pot of different cultures,' a third wrote.
'But to represent Australia as just Muslim people (as the billboard implies) is just as ignorant as assuming Australians are all Caucasian,' they added.
'I find this advertisement for Australia day offensive yes I'm proud that we are a multi cultural nation but sorry to all the bleeding heart public and politicians when it comes to Australian views on Muslim values,' another wrote.
But the billboard also had its supporters, with many pointing out that Australia was a diverse nation of different people that should be celebrated. 'It doesn't matter what is on the board. Only thing is Australia is [a] multicultural county and everyone who lives there must be proud [of] Australia. So stop that nonsense,' one wrote.
'I don't get why people seem to think that one race or any race owns any land more so then the other. Those views are so close minded. We share this earth together, even if you don't like it,' another said.
A third person replied to another commenter claiming the billboard was evidence of the government 'bending down to the minority to make them feel better about themselves' and that Australia would slowly become Muslim.
They replied: 'No one seems to be suffering mate, our country is multicultural and if you've got a problem with that then you've got a problem with Australia.'
The billboard was advertising a RACV Australia Day Festival at the King's Domain Gardens in the centre of Melbourne, including a parade and flag raising ceremony.