Wednesday, August 05, 2009

MEDIA: This Aussie Mossie is no pest ...

The following article appeared in the Adelaide Eastern Courier Messenger on 6 June 2007 and was then republished on the now-defunct Aussie Mossie blog.

This Aussie Mossie not a pest ...

Aussie Mossie is an emerging term to describe Australian Muslims, but what exactly does it mean?

One young Muslim woman described life as an Aussie Mossie as symbiotic.
"You can't wake up in the morning and say I'm going to be an Aussie today," Toltu Tufa, 21, says.

"It's like saying are you an Essendon supporter or are you an Australian?" the Melbourne girl laughs during her trip over to Adelaide for the Muslim Fashion Parades late last month (see separate story).

Sometime Crikey and freelance journalist Irfan Yusuf, who has named his blog Aussie Mossie, says the tag has created mix feelings in the Islamic community.
"Some people don't like it, some people think it's quite funny," Yusuf says.

"People that are brought up here, they understand what it is, why it is, and they don't mind it.

"Other people think it's just wrong because it's insulting, `How can they call Muslims mosquitoes?"'

Yusuf says Aussie Mossie actually began life as a newsletter, created by an Anglo Aussie who converted to Islam.

"The particular guy who put out the newsletter, he was a rather irreverent chap, the motto of the publication was `watch out it might bite'.

"The logo was a mosquito with an Aussie flag, wearing a turban and had a beard. "It was taking the piss out of stereotypical Islamic culture or symbols.

"Which is also very Australian, to laugh at yourself and to be quite satirical about one's self."

Yusuf says for many in the Islamic community, such as Toltu, an Aussie Mossie is simply who they are - it is impossible to define.

"There's 1.2 billion of us and we come from all different parts of the world, have all different cultures and backgrounds, so I really don't know how you define us.

"(Maybe an Aussie Mossie) is someone who's quite comfortable about being Western, they don't have a chip on their shoulder about that.

"I guess that's one essential ingredient." For Toltu's younger sister, Zulfiye, 17, to be an Aussie Mossie is to be proud of her Islamic and Australian roots.

"Maybe an Aussie Mossie would be to (wear) a scarf of the Australian flag?" she laughs.

Saffiah Elattar, 21, of Brighton, agrees it is impossible to distinguish between her Aussie and Mossie selves.

"I consider myself an Aussie Mossie I guess because I was born here and brought up in Australia.

"I do it every day of my life, I don't really separate the two.

"It's being honest, being a kind person, being respectful of other people's beliefs and cultures."

UPDATE I: Someone with this profile left this charming message on the Aussie Mossie blog:

"One young Muslim woman described life as an Aussie Mossie as symbiotic.
"You can't wake up in the morning and say I'm going to be an Aussie today," Toltu Tufa, 21, says."

Well then my advice would be to get out of Australia and back to the land (wherever that hell-hole might be) where your religion is not transmogrifying the freedoms of the Western world. Your religion [Islam] is not compatible with the democracies of the Western world. You can't mix Islam's culture of hate with the Western world's culture of accomodation.

My response was as follows:

Fine. I'll go back to East Ryde.

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