Mariam Veiszadeh is an Afghan-born Australian lawyer and writer known for her anti-racism campaigns.[2]

Mariam Veiszadeh
مريم ويس زاده
Mariam Zamiri Veiszadeh

1984 (age 38–39)
NationalityAfghan Australian
Alma materWestern Sydney University
(LLB, BEc)
  • Lawyer
  • Activist

Early life and education edit

Veiszadeh was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1984. In 1988, when Veiszadeh was four years old, her family fled Afghanistan during the Soviet–Afghan War. Her family arrived in Australia in 1944 via India, the Czech Republic, and Germany, and were granted asylum in 1991 under the Refugee and Special Humanitarian Program.[3][4]

Veiszadeh earned a dual Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor Economics degree from Western Sydney University.[5]

Advocacy edit

She is the founder and former president of Islamophobia Register Australia,[2][6] which describes itself as "a secure and reliable service that allows people from across Australia to report any form of Anti-Muslim abuse", and an official Ambassador for Welcome to Australia and Participate Australia.[7]

Veiszadeh sits on the board of Our Watch, a national organisation established to drive nationwide change in the culture, behaviours and power imbalances that lead to violence against women and their children.[citation needed]

A member of the Australian Muslim community, she has been described as a "typically assertive Australian woman" by ABC News.[3]

Recognition edit

Veiszadeh was named 2016 Fairfax Daily Life Woman of the Year and was selected by Elle Magazine Malaysia as one of 12 women who were helping to "change the world" for International Women's Day 2015, alongside Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie.[citation needed]

In Australia, GetUp!, an independent community advocacy organisation, featured her with Rosie Batty, 2015 Australian of the Year, for 'making it happen'. Veiszadeh was also featured in Elle Magazine Australia for their #WeAreWomen campaign and was a finalist in the Daily Life Women of the Year Awards as well as being awarded Westpac's 'Woman of Influence' Award in 2015.[citation needed]

In December 2015, Veiszadeh was awarded the "Role Model of the Year" and "Woman of the Year" at the 9th Australian Muslim Achievement Awards.[8]

Trolling campaign edit

Veiszadeh became a victim of Joshua Ryne Goldberg, who was later convicted by the U.S. Government of attempting a bombing on the 14th anniversary of 9/11.[9] Goldberg posted to The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, under the pseudonym "Michael Slay", and contributed to feminist blog Feministing under the pseudonym "Tanya Cohen".[citation needed]

He promoted an illusory friendship between Australi Witness (his pro-ISIL Twitter account) and Veiszadeh, with the objective of smearing Veiszadeh's reputation.[10] Under the name "Michael Slay", Goldberg wrote the majority of articles on The Daily Stormer criticising Veiszadeh, including the initial piece criticising her stance on a shirt, sold by Woolworths, that read 'If You Don't Love It Leave'. Upon learning the true identity of the writer, website owner Andrew Anglin removed all content by Goldberg.[citation needed]

References edit

  1. ^ @MariamVeiszadeh (10 July 2021). "And I have two kids under 7 so if I can do it, so can you!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b "Religion and the Racial Discrimination Act: Don't Muslims Also Deserve Protection?". ABC News. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2017. Mariam Veiszadeh is a lawyer, community advocate and founder of Islamophobia Register Australia.
  3. ^ a b Price, Jenna (18 September 2012). "Freedom of Religion is a Really Great Thing". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^ Wray, Nicholas; Esposito, Brad (16 December 2014). "12 Muslim Australians Who Crushed It In 2014". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  5. ^ "About". Mariam Veiszadeh. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Sonia Kruger's Muslim migration comments 'breed hate'". ABC News. 18 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Islamophobia Register - about us". Islamophobia Register Australia.
  8. ^ "Mariam Bags Two Awards at AMAA". 23 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Clay County man enters guilty plea to bomb charge". Clay Today. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  10. ^ Potaka, Elise; McMahon, Luke (12 September 2015). "Unmasking a troll: Aussie 'jihadist' Australi Witness a 20-year-old American nerd". The Sidney Morning Herald.