Yassmin reveals nasty Instagram note
MUSLIM activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied has revealed how the backlash she has faced since losing her job in Australia has left her "grieving her past self".
In an edited version of her speech to the Melbourne Writer's Festival that was published online, she described it as a "eulogy" for her past self.
The speech, titled, 'Eulogy for My Career', revealed how she felt she had "lost an innocence" she was unaware of at first.
"It was not just my career I was grieving. I was grieving my past self. It was the baby Yassmina I had lost, a resolutely positive and perhaps blindly optimistic young person, a soul unburdened by the knowledge of what the world does to people who don't quite fit the mould and who want us all to be a little better. I had lost an innocence I didn't even know I had," she said.
The former Queensland Young Australian of the Year who was born in Brisbane also said: "How was 20-year-old Yassmina to know that five years later, her hard-won engineering degree would be the last thing that people knew about her, not the first? That six years later, she would have walked away from her dream of working on a Formula One team, ushered out of her job on an oil rig, squeezed out of her newfound role as a TV broadcaster, her mental health spiralling, reputation in shambles, and with a Wikipedia page that mostly talked about "controversies?"
"How was 26-year-old Yassmina to know that a year later she would be returning to the country of her citizenship to eulogise a career she didn't even know was coming to an end?"
She described grief as "a terrible houseguest".
"Part of me also doesn't want this eulogy to be about anything at all, because that would be admitting that those past versions of myself are gone. Done, dusted, finito. I'm not sure I'm ready for that. Are we ever really ready to let go?"
She also told of how she received a horrific direct message on Instagram before coming to Australia.
It read: "My Name Is Nelson, and I'm a big fan. Do you mind if I ask just one favour? Please Reply, I love You."
Then it went on: "Go to Flinders St Station, Cut Your Wrists and Let them bleed out so we can all watch you die. Lest We Forget. Hopefully I'll be able to distinguish you from all the other Sudanese N******, but I know you'll be the only ape wearing a ridiculous towel over your head."
Ms Abdiel-Magied said: "My past lives might be thoroughly dead, cooked, roasted, their remains served on a platter for all to feast on, but in this moment, I am not. I'm very much still alive, and that is a gift that I cannot bear to waste, and in the words of the great Hannah Gadsby, there's nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself."
This month, Ms Abdel-Magied claimed she had been humiliated at the border and told "to go back where I come from" in a column she wrote in London's Evening Standard newspaper.
"Am I being paranoid,'' she wrote.
She then said: "But it wouldn't be the first time I had been turned away at a country's border, humiliatingly told to 'go back to where I came from'.''
In April, she was deported after being denied entry to the US where she was due to attend the PEN America's World Voices Festival in New York.
US Customs and Border Protection have confirmed that Ms Abdel-Magied was turned away because she did not have the correct visa.
The news of her deportation came after she fled Australia for the UK after she compared Australia to an "abusive boyfriend".
The ABC TV presenter - who made headlines with a number of politically charged statements about Islam, Anzac Day and African gangs - has also recently moved into acting.
She made her acting debut in the SBS series Homecoming Queens this year.
Created and co-written by Michelle Law, the series looks at the lives of two young women as they deal with life after major illness.
Earlier this year, she was given a coveted free speech award by human rights group Liberty Victoria.
Ms Abdel-Magied was awarded the 2018 Young Voltaire Award for being a "role model" to young women, Muslims and migrants.
Her career has not been without several incidents where her words courted controversy.
She had a heated exchange on ABC's Q&A with former Tasmanian senator Jackie Lambie where she declared: "Islam to me is the most feminist religion."
Ms Abdel-Magied also shocked Australia with her Anzac Day gaffe, where she posted on Facebook: "Lest We Forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine ...)."
The former host of ABC 24's program Australia Wide amended the post to simply say "Lest. We. Forget" and issued an apology.
"It was brought to my attention that my last post was disrespectful, and for that I unreservedly apologise," she wrote at the time.
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