A young Australian woman has emerged as a hero on social media and in her country after standing up for a Muslim couple who were subjected to racial abuse aboard a train in Sydney.
Stacey Eden, who came to the rescue of the victims, shot a video of the incident on Wednesday and then posted it on social networking site Facebook, drawing thousands of comments ‘likes’ and comments. The video has since then gone viral.
Though racism is rife in Australia, the country is not known to have any overt communal divide. However, the siege of a café in Sydney by a radical Muslim – which had left three people dead including the attacker – has left an undercurrent of tension in the bustling city known for its iconic opera house and the cricket stadium.
Media reports quoted Stacey as saying that she started recording the abuse after witnessing “a good 10 minutes” of it and then taking on the abuser after she had “had enough”.
She said she took a stand to “help defend what is right,” the reports added.
The video shot by Eden begins with a woman in red floral trousers telling a hijab-wearing woman sitting opposite her: “Why do you wear it for a man that marries a six year-old girl?”
The Muslim woman, sitting with a bearded man and a baby in a pram, does not answer.
Stacey then interjects saying: “She wears it for herself, okay? She wears it because she wants to be modest with her body, not because of people like you who are going to sit there and disrespect her.”
The abuse, however, does not stop and the other woman continues, “Your kids behead people.”
Stacey answers again, this time pointing out that what a section of Muslim does is not representative of the entire community.
“That’s not her doing it. That’s a minority of people, not a majority of people.”
When the woman in red trouser brings up the massacre of Christians in Kenya and Muslims murdering each other in Syria, Stacey responds, “What’s that got to do with this lady?”
The abuser is then heard saying, “Nothing, you’re the one that started the argument.”
Stacey reminds the abuser that it was she who started the argument, “If you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything, it’s simple.”
The reports also quoted Stacey as saying that it took “everything in me to hold back on this woman, she made me soo angry! I had to actually stop myself before I got too worked up.”
Stacey said that her intention was to put across a message to all the people.
“The point of this is, don’t sit there putting someone down because they are wearing a scarf, she never did anything, she sat there and didn’t say a word, but I can only imagine how she was feeling inside.”