December 19, 2006

Young Australian of the Year Award Winner Hands Back Prize After Negative Publicity

Iktimal Hage-Ali, a 22 year old Muslim from NSW, has handed back her Young Australian of the Year award after the negative media buzz generated by her questioning in relation the a cocaine ring bust. She has also taken leave from her post at the NSW Attorney General's department. She wasn't arrested, she wasn't charged, she was questioned. Lots of people get questioned by police who are well known to have nothing to do with crimes, such as witnesses and even victims of crime. Anyone who can be remotely related back to a crime and is reasonably expected to have some information relevant to the proceedings should ideally get questioned. It's not a bad thing. It's actually a good thing if you think about it.

Hage-Ali is a progessive spokesperson for the Muslim community - she doesn't wear a headscarf, and bites back against criticism of her for doing so and other allegedly "un-Muslim" behaviour, such as toting a glass of champagne at the NSW Young Australian Award ceremony last year.


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