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Sonia Kruger sparked outrage last week when she called for a ban on Muslim immigration to Australia as she hosted Today Extra on the Nine Network, saying she wanted to feel ‘safe’. One Muslim mum has reached out to her “from one mother to another”…

Melbourne teacher Inaz Janif penned an open letter published by Fairfax Media responding to the comments ‘as a mother’, and recalled how views like Kruger’s had seen her four-year-old daughter bullied in the playground.

Dear Sonia,

You must have been bowled over by the avalanche of responses to your words earlier this week. I too, have felt the urge to respond to you and the people who have bombarded you with messages of support, with regards to your comments about Muslim migration. I write to you as a mother.

From one mother to another. I understand your fears. I understand your concern for you and your child. After all, as a mother myself, I too fear for myself and my child.

I wanted to tell you that I understand your fear. I understand because I too am a mother and I too feel broken when I see and hear that children are hurt or killed. I understand that you see and hear reports on our media that paint an image of Muslims and Islam as evil. Each attack, each time another innocent life is lost, we go through the cycle of pain, of anger and despair.

The extreme reactions to your words is another result of this fear and show that not all lives are equal. With the, “Black lives matter” movement, we can see the same passion and concern that the world in 2016 is still not equitable when it comes to people who have a skin colour other than white.

But you see, as a Muslim, I have multiple sources of fear that I could operate from. It is concerning that Muslims globally, have and are currently victims of hatred and have lost their lives, yet they do not elicit the same compassion than citizens of the Western world. Do Muslim lives not matter?

From a very young age, I have had to learn that my life and my rights are not the same as everyone else.

At the age of five, attending an almost exclusively white school, I was excluded on the basis of my colour. I was bullied and excluded due to the colour of my skin. Unfortunately I have become used to prejudice. At an age when I could not understand why I was being hurt and abused, I used to linger in the bath in the evenings, rubbing my skin hard with soap, convinced it would whiten my skin.

Therefore I wouldn’t be at the brunt of criticism from people who hated me for being brown. Fast forward into adulthood, I now recognise and identify the same hatred flung at me and others who look and think like me. It results in a loss of job opportunities, it results in friends and their families having their hijab torn off, it results in my friends’ cars run off the road by racists. It can also potentially result in the loss of life.

Sonia, views like yours have already infiltrated the fabric of our lives in a pervasive manner. I’ve seen discussion and debate around excluding Muslims from practising their faith, such as being able to eat halal food, to the choice we women have to dress as Muslims.

As a result of these attitudes I have seen people abused physically and verbally from all corners of our Australian society. I have seen and heard of children abused and excluded when they aren’t even of an age or developmental age to understand why.

I have had to explain to my four-year-old daughter with tears down my face, to not approach the other children at the playground to play, because they don’t want to play with her. Before the parents of the other children knew I was her mother, they were playing with my child.

After my child ran to me, to check in on me as children do and ran back to the slide, the other parents’ expressions changed from friendly to hostile and they went over and whispered something in their children’s ears. After this, no matter how many times my child approached their children, they would ignore her. I wonder if you would know how this feels. As a mother, to be the cause of your own child’s suffering. All because you choose to follow a faith that is now becoming all but illegal.

There is beauty and dignity in my faith. Islam does not encourage blind faith, it encourages you to use your thought, to examine and analyse and to reflect. It’s because of my faith that I am who I am. I constantly think about what I want my life to be and what my impact on this land and on this earth will be.

For that reason I have become a teacher. Because of my faith, I choose to work at a school where I offer my expertise, my passion and hard work for any young person, regardless of their personal characteristics or persuasion. My school and my community is an island away from the rest of Australia, where generally we live in peace and appreciation of difference. My colleagues and students can see past my packaging to my heart and soul.

I wish you could see the same of Muslims. I have chosen to be this way due to the example of my faith and my father. He is an architect who has designed mosques in Australia and he has also designed the church which stands side by side our local mosque.

Sonia, please go out and find out for yourself the truth of Islam and not just work from a place of fear. I ask you to not limit your love, compassion and understanding to only people who look like you. I also ask you to understand and reflect upon the consequences of your words. If you would like to, I offer to meet you and talk with you further. Let’s move from fear to a place of love. I will, it’s what I’ve always done and always will. It’s what my faith teaches me.

Inaz also recently addressed Waleed’s comments saying, “To me, he tried to move away from the friction and confusion we all find ourselves in and look to the root causes of why these kinds of perceptions and views result. For some people, I believe that racist and bigoted views come about from fear and ignorance. They see a biased media portrayal of the world and are not exposed to the same sources of information that we do. I don’t think there is anything wrong with addressing her harmful words, but it should be done with wisdom, intellect and calm, not with aggression and hatred. “

Sonia has been left in fear for her life, with a series of shocking death threats.

She has received death threats both on social media, and via Channel Nine’s offices with concerning personal attacks on the star.

This is never acceptable! Sonia deserves a bit more respect than such horrifying treatment. While many may disagree, violence is never the answer!

Share your comments below.

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  • i did not see what sonia had said,but i do hope our society does not become like the ways of the past where we judge just because of association.We need to learn that there are terrible people in every race, ethnicity,religion etc and there are many good as well.Yes we live in a scary place at the moment but don’t judge people by what they believe or look like.

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  • By the way, speaking up against and being fearful of a religion IS NOT racism!

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  • Basically, the shocking treatment of Sonia shows us we cannot speak our minds, voice our fears without being shunned and threatened. This mother has been bullied for the colour of her skin, not for being a Muslim, which isn’t right but is different. Not all Muslims are dark skinned, they are all races. Her life and rights are not the same as everyone else because Islam teaches that women are inferior, they’re here to serve men and are treated as second class citizens, and that’s by her own people. Yes, Islam is alleged to be a peaceful loving religion, unfortunately that’s not what the public are seeing thanks to a vicious minority are using the religion for their perverse attacks on society. Have any if you actually read the Koran, been to a Islam church service, to see for yourselves what is actually being preached to them? I think it would surprise a lot of you. I have no problem with Australia being a multi cultural society, I also think immigrants should be prepared to live the Aussie life. This isolates a lot of people, seeing our way of life slowly disappearing to accommodate the minorities in our society. If they don’t like who we are, how we live, what we eat and drink, what we celebrate etc then why come here? Terrorism is a hideous, violent, cowardly act that is fast becoming a daily part of our lives. Especially in France for the last couple of years. Why target France? Maybe it is because they have opened their borders to floods of Muslims, maybe it isn’t. But until the situation is somewhat under control, until someone can figure out why it’s happening and figure out how to stop it, I see no problem with closing our borders to them, even if it’s just for a few years,mail things settle down. Why not try it? And it’s shocking how terrorism happens against the Muslims and we don’t hear about it because it doesn’t make our headlines. But we need to be focussing on keeping Australia safe, that will be hard enough, before we start to help out other countries. Maybe if the Islam leaders spoke up more against the extremists, tried harder to shut them down, they have the inside info after all. It’s a world problem, a massive one, we all need to step up and do something. We just have to figure out where to start

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  • I have many Muslim friends and as a non Muslim have been accepted and treated with the same respect I show others. I fear for my Muslim friends due to comments like Sonia’s coming from her lack of understanding of most Muslim people which is so far from the extremists she is fearful of. If Sonia has many Muslim friends like she stated I hope she is talking to them about her fears and about the impact comments like hers have on her Muslim friends.

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  • I think scared people are desperately looking for people to blame. I understand that, but they’re behaving badly as a result.

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  • I think social media is really teaching us who the racists are in society.

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  • Leave Sonia alone. She is allowed to voice her opinion. She just said what many of us feel … FEAR!!

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  • Sonia is obviously fearful and should not be receiving death threats, but she also needs to think about what she says and needs to realise that danger can come from any sector of society.

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  • I am raising my child to not be prejudice. I don’t mind what child she chooses to play with at the playground. I feel for this mother and her child.
    Sonja was very silly to say what she said. in my opinion

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  • Sonia Kruger is an ignorant airhead who is completely over-rated. Such a sad day when someone like that can have such influence.

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