Muslim designer sends rainbow hijab to ex-Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
A Muslim fashion designer who created a rainbow hijab to support same-sex marriage has sent her creation to a prominent anti-LGBT leader.
The Australian company, MOGA, released the rainbow headscarf last week in support of LGBT rights.
Now they have sent it to ex-Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott – who is vehemently opposed to marriage equality.
A battle is currently raging for same-sex marriage in Australia with a postal ballot on the issue closing earlier this week.
In a statement, the company said it wanted to offer support for same-sex marriage, emphasising the weight of the public vote.
“During one of the most critical and important times in our nation’s history, we at MOGA are proud to voice our support for marriage equality in Australia.
“Our love and adoration towards the LGBTIQ community is strong and we have designed a limited edition rainbow striped Pride scarf in honor of their strength, bravery and inclusive spirit.”
The scarves sold out in a matter of days.
But the company kept one edition behind to send to former PM Abbott as proof that people from different walks of life can embrace one another.
Creative director Azahn Munas and brand ambassador Kalida Edwards sent the scarf to Abbott today.
“We made one minor addition, however, and included a mock ‘customer survey form’ we would love Mr Abbott to fill out,” the designers explained.
“It asks a rather similar question to the plebiscite postal vote but we deliberately changed the focus from sexuality to something we can all understand, love.”
The pair asked Abbott: “Do you believe two people in love deserve the right to marry?”
“By removing the focus on sexuality we are trying to remind Mr Abbott and others who share a similar view that marriage should be a union between two people in love, irrespective of what gender they are.
“We are hoping Mr Abbott accepts our scarf and gives it to a woman in his life he loves, whether it be his wife, his sister or his daughter.”
The founder of MOGA, Azahn Munas, said: “Like with our previous designs, our Pride scarf can be worn anyone, regardless of their skin colour, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.
“To demonstrate this, we have even draped it as a hijab, a world first, to acknowledge that members of the LGBTIQ community exist in ALL religions, including Islam, which is sadly one of the most homophobic in the world.”
Adding: “At the end of the day, everyone should feel proud of who they are, regardless of their skin color, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation,” Munas added, “and everyone deserves the right to love, and be loved in return.”
The company has become known for making political statements through its designs.
It previously released an Australia Day collection which promoted diversity.
Its ‘More than Meat’ collection includes a print made of raw meat.
The company says the collection meant to demonstrate that women are “not just a piece of meat.”
MOGA also donates 20 percent of profits to the CARE foundation, which encourages access to education for girls in Pakistan.
There has been a bigger turnout in Australia’s same-sex marriage postal survey than in the UK’s Brexit referendum.
78.5% of eligible Australians cast their vote in the non-binding ballot on marriage rights.
The vote has no legal basis and will merely inform MPs when the issue is permitted to go before Parliament.
Results of the ballot are expected on the morning of 15 November.
Australia’s Coalition government, led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, is deeply divided on equal marriage.
The Nationals and a powerful right-wing faction of the Liberals – including prominent members of Turnbull’s Cabinet – are strongly opposed to equal marriage, while centrists and the youth wing of the Liberals are in favour of reform.
The public vote was only called by Turnbull – a lukewarm supporter of equal marriage – as a compromise between the two groups after MPs began openly discussing a leadership challenge or rebellion against him.
However, punting the issue to the public does not mean that the rift has gone away, and the bill is likely to run into extreme difficulties in Parliament.
Turnbull had previously claimed that same-sex couples could be married by the end of the year if the plebiscite, which concludes in two weeks, is affirmative. Experts consider this unlikely.