Topic: Australia

Auckland women encouraged to support Muslim community in 'Flying Scarves' initiative

By Te Kāea

Members of the Auckland community have been urged to support Muslim Women this morning in an initiative called, 'Flying Scarves.’

Auckland Social change group, Splice is encouraging all women in the city to wear a headscarf for the day following the siege in Sydney at the Lindt Chocolate Café which left two of the hostages and the gun man dead.

The gun man who took at least 17 people hostage, Man Haron Monis was identified as an alleged Isalmic extremist and concerns quickly surfaced following the tragedy that there would be backlash on Muslim Communities in Australia and New Zealand.

Organisers of 'Flying Scarves' say they are calling for women to support this cause to demonstrate the actions of a few, will not shape the perceptions of the many members of the Muslim Community in Auckland.

Splice founder John McDonald says in a statement, “We want to stand in solidarity with women who may be feeling vulnerable following the incident in Sydney. New Zealand is a very diverse society and we want to demonstrate and encourage that we can live together without division or separation.”

The ‘Flying Scarves' concept was inspired by the social media storm following the siege, with thousands of Australians taking to social media to show their support for the Muslim community. Particularly encouraging was the use of the hashtag #Illridewithyou, which saw members of the public offering to accompany or provide transport for Muslims who don’t feel safe out in public.

Those wanting to participate have been invited to converge in Aotea square this morning at 8am or Freyburg Place from 10am onwards.

Organisers say there will be headscarves and tutorials available, and women are encouraged to upload photos of themselves wearing the headscarves, accompanied by the hashtag #Illridewithyou