” … that man wanted to divide Australia. He wanted us to turn on each other, but what he did was make us come together.”
Aussie comedian Nazeem Hussain fought back tears while telling the story of how his sister was treated on the day of the Lindt Chocolate Cafe siege in Sydney in 2014.
Asked to talk about his Muslim faith on Monday night's episode of Channel Ten's I'm A Celebrity… Hussain told the camp about what it was like for his sister wearing a hijab during the hostage crisis, and how the response from the public overwhelmed him.
One of the things that made me feel positive about Australia going forward was, remember that thing with the Lindt Cafe? So that was horrific. It was very frightening for a lot of people. My sister then texted me and said, “Nazeem, I’m scared to wear the hijab home because I think people are going to attack me”. I said, “Just take it off, don’t wear it, you don’t need to wear it if you’re feeling scared, go home”. Then throughout the day that hashtag started trending #illridewithyou, people were volunteering to support each other, non-Muslims were volunteering to sit with Muslims and make them feel more comfortable. She then messaged me later on and said, “You know what, I now feel comfortable and safe that my fellow Australians are willing to stand up and support me”. And that made me, it actually made me cry when it happened because we don’t see that enough. We don’t see Australians coming together for each other. And that man wanted to divide Australia. He wanted us to turn on each other, but what he did was make us come together.
I always think, "What’s going to happen to us, are we just going to become what ISIS wants us to become? A world where there is Muslim and non-Muslim?" You know when Pauline Hanson says things irresponsibly what she’s doing is exactly what ISIS is doing, splitting Muslim and non-Muslim.
But what happens time and again, and this just shows the Australian spirit, is that we actually find ways to use that opportunity to strengthen bonds.
Australia stands with you Nazeem. You bloody legend.
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