If you thought Islamophobia was bad in the U.S. check this out…
Over the weekend an Australian fashion retailer, Hijab House, was targeted by police during a photoshoot on the outskirts of Sydney.
While prepping for the shoot, they hung some of their garments on a nearby fence outside of the Victoria Barracks army base in Paddington, Mic reports.
Police who saw the draped fabric mistook them for “Islamic Flags,” and proceeded to question the group, according to The Australian.
The police confirmed they did, indeed, approach the set but no action was taken. Hijab House owner, Tarik Houchar, reportedly said that when he asked the officers why they were being questioned the officer replied, “You know, things happening overseas.”
Wow, that's not discriminatory at all … (Notice the sarcasm there).
There were about five cops on the scene, including two on motorcycles according to Houchar.
That seems awfully excessive for just INQUIRING about some hanging fabric.
“They made us take the clothes off the fence and took down all our personal details and asked where our car was," Houchar reportedly said. “They said they drove past and saw what looked like flags on the fence. They were (mostly) white garments on coat hangers and pink.”
Definitely sounds like harassment to me...
Houchar didn't get riled up over the issue, instead he turned the situation into a smart business move.
A message was posted to the Hijab House official Facebook and Instagram accounts that detailed the incident and used it to promote self-love. Furthermore, the post included a sales pitch offering a $10 discount on orders and declaring it “Love Your Hijab Day.”
"We just wanted all of you to know that no one should ever have to make you feel intimidated because of the way you dress," the post says. "Hold your head high, wear your hijab in pride in these testing times and make sure you have a good network of friends and family who will support and love you no matter what."
Not only did Houchar and his company refuse to be discouraged in the face of discrimination, they flipped it and used it in their favor to promote their product and advocate for acceptance.
Take that, Islamophobes!
Banner Photo Credit: Facebook/ Hijab House