Yassmin Abdel-Magied compares Australia to 'an abusive guy'
AFTER fleeing Australia for London in the wake of a string of controversies, commentator Yassmin Abdel-Magied has returned - and her message is clear.
"I think the nice version of saying it is (I've got) no sh*ts left to give," the 26-year-old said during an interview on The Project on Wednesday night.
During the chat, the former ABC presenter casually addressed the many controversies that unfolded over the past year and compared Australia to an abusive boyfriend.
"It is hard. It is dating like ... an abusive guy," she said when asked whether she misses Australia and how she explains the backlash she faced to international friends.
"You love a lot of things about them, but they hurt you deep. So what do you do? What do you tell people? Do you tell them about the great times you had. How grateful you were for all of the good stuff or tell them they traumatised you in a way that you will never be the same for?"
Her response was met with relative silence from the program's hosts.
"Too deep? (Did I get) in too deep?" she laughed.
After enduring months of public backlash, Abdel-Magied described the treatment she received as "traumatic".
"I am in a place where I am like, well, they took everything away from me. I am now someone with nothing left to lose and that is kind of amazing," she said. "It means I can say what I want."
Abdel-Magied's self-described status as "Australia's most publicly hated Muslim" began after she engaged in a fiery debate with Senator Jackie Lambie on the ABC's Q&A in February.
The Sudanese-born Muslim activist then sparked controversy with comments about Anzac Day and Islam.
"Lest We Forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine ...)," she posted to Facebook on Anzac Day.
During Wednesday's interview, Abdel-Magied said she didn't predict Australia would react the way it did to the post.
"I thought, 'I will take it down and apologise'. There were comments underneath. I didn't look at it but I literally took a nap. It was the last nap I ever took," she said.
"I was like, I fixed that. I am going to have a nap. It is a public holiday. I woke up and one of my friends messaged me and said, 'You are on the front page of The Australian'."
"Like, there was quite a long period of time afterwards that I didn't say anything in public because everyone was like, 'Just ride it out. There is nothing that you can say that will make it better'."
Abdel-Magied, who has been writing and booking public speaking engagements overseas, said people in other countries "can't understand why it became this ... the phenomena that it became".
Following her controversial Anzac Day post, Yassmin Abdel-Magied tweeted a similar message on Remembrance Day.
"#LestWeForget. (Manus)," she wrote.
Asked what her motivation was - considering the backlash she faced months earlier - she said she "had been talking about Manus quite a lot" in the lead-up to the tweet.
"Let us not forget there are over 400 men on our watch, our money, in what is being called by international agencies as a man-made humanitarian crisis," she told The Project hosts.
"(I thought) You know what, the last time I tweeted something like this it caused a lot of fuss. So I thought maybe I will use this ... to bring to light something that is really important and the plight of people and maybe, just maybe, they will stop focusing on my tweet and the actual issue at hand, maybe."