A$1 a hate tweet: Muslim donates A$1,000 so far

An Australian Muslim woman has donated close to A$1,000 (S$1,015) to charity after pledging to give A$1 every time she receives a hate-filled tweet.
An Australian Muslim woman has donated close to A$1,000 (S$1,015) to charity after pledging to give A$1 every time she receives a hate-filled tweet. PHOTO: SUSAN CARLAND/TWITTER

SYDNEY • An Australian Muslim woman has donated close to A$1,000 (S$1,015) to charity after pledging to give A$1 every time she receives a hate-filled tweet.

Dr Susan Carland, who teaches at Monash University in Melbourne, tweeted on Oct 21 that she was donating to Unicef for every nasty comment from trolls.

"Nearly at $1,000 in donations. The needy children thank you, haters!" she said at the time.

Her tweet received more than 1,900 likes by yesterday, with one Twitter user, Kevin Armstrong, saying: "I love the concept of turning hatred into compassion. Let's hope some of the trolls get the message."

Dr Carland said she had previously been blocking, muting, ignoring or occasionally engaging with trolls. She, however, decided some months ago to turn it around based on the Quran's injunction of "driving off darkness with light".

"I felt I should be actively generating good in the world for every ugly verbal bullet sent my way," she wrote in a column for Fairfax Media last Friday.

Dr Carland said Muslims seemed to attract a lot of hate online, and abuse directed at her ranged from wishing her dead to insults about her dress sense and accusations that she was a "stealth jihadist".

But she said making the donations meant she now barely batted an eyelid when a "ghastly tweet" was served up to her.

"It represents nothing more than a chalk mark on my mental tally for the next instalment to Unicef."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 15, 2015, with the headline 'A$1 a hate tweet: Muslim donates A$1,000 so far'. Print Edition | Subscribe