29 August, 2015 10:30
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
In an attempt to keep the ever-growing Islamophobic far-right movement off their backs, Australian-Muslim women have taken to dressing in a new ‘Australianised’ version of their traditional religious wear – The BurKelly.
One local retailer has cashed in on the new idea.
Lynne Seed (33) from the iconic fashion label Sweaty Mistress says the idea has been sitting their for years.
“What we’ve got is, one small minority wanting to cover their faces in public, and another small minority having an issue with them doing so,”
“We thought, why not merge these two cultures?”
“The concept of dressing a Muslim woman up as homicidal Irish convict was genius. The far-right movement can’t bring themselves to criticise anything that involves Ned Kelly, and it allows our persecuted Islamic community the opportunity to dress the way the want,”
By combining the burqa – an enveloping outer garment worn by women in some Islamic traditions to cover their bodies when in public – with the iconic folklore of Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly, the BurKelly has proven a hit in the Muslim-Australian community.
Out of the surveyed Australian women who wear the BurKelly, 90% say that they no longer fear having their headwear torn off in public by an angry young man who lacks a father figure.
The survey also found racial slurs and Islamophobic vitriol has decreased by 90%.
Local BurKelly enthusiast, Shona Guerra (25) says that the only racial abuse she has encountered since wearing the giant steel headpiece has been wildly misguided.
“Someone called me a ‘fucking Catholic’ the other day. That was weird,” she says
“Other than that, a few people Super Rugby fans called me a ‘fuckin’ mick’ at Central Station – I think they were under the impression that I was Irish,”
“For the most part people just pat me on the back and call me a legend. I’ve never felt more comfortable,”
“I could literally walk down the street with a gun in my hand and people would give me high-fives,”
Surprisingly, the outspoken Islamophobic One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson has also come out in support of the BurKelly.
“This is a great example of what Muslim-Australians can achieve if they just focus on being Australian like the rest of us,”
“We have no problem with you covering your face, but at least do it in a way that doesn’t intimidate us,”
“… Like wearing a bulletproof face-mask made famous by a bank-robbing rapist in the Victorian Outback over two hundred years ago,”
“That’s what I call assimilation.”