'Who is anyone to tell me what it means to be Australian?' Abdel-Magied hits back

Besieged ABC presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied insists she was treated unfairly over her controversial Anzac Day Facebook post.

The 26-year-old endured immediate backlash when she told Australians to spare a thought for those on Manus Island and Syria, rather than the Anzacs.

“Lest We Forget (Manus. Nauru. Syria. Palestine),” Ms Abdel-Magied wrote on Facebook before quickly amending the post.

After a petition was made to have her sacked from the ABC, the Muslim activist told students at a Sydney Writers Festival workshop that she had been unfairly labelled “Un-Australian”.

“Who is anyone to tell me what it means to be Australian?” she said.

Abdel-Magied (right) spoke with fellow Australian Muslim ­author Randa Abdel-Fattah at a student session called “Mono or Multicultured". Source: Facebook

“I posted an apology very quickly afterwards, but one of our senior cabinet members said ‘Well Yassmin is un-Australian for saying this’.

“Then somebody asked well, another dude wrote a whole article about how Anzac Day is problematic, what do you think about that…Why is he allowed to say what he thinks and I’m not — I don’t know.”

Speaking at a student session called “Mono or Multicultured” Ms Abdel-Magied said she had belittled her background growing up as a way of fitting in and minimalising the damage when others insulted her.

“I’m a brown chick that grew up in Queensland, and all through growing up I became really good at terrorist jokes and jokes about brown people because that was the way I dealt with people trying to make me an outsider — it was a way of taking back power,” she said.

“There are much more ­appropriate ways of doing that, though, because what that actually does is reinforce the problem rather than challenge it."

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