The ABC is standing by part-time television presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied, arguing the author and youth activist’s personal opinions do not represent those of the national broadcaster.
On Tuesday, Abdel-Magied courted controversy by publishing an Anzac Day Facebook post suggesting Australians should also remember the suffering on Manus Island and Nauru.
She later removed the reference to Manus Island, Nauru, Syria and Palestine in the post after she was accused of politicising a day designed to commemorate Australian soldiers killed in combat.
An ABC spokesman said Abdel-Magied had apologised for the part of her Facebook post people found offensive.
“Ms Abdel-Magied is a part-time presenter on the ABC program Australia Wide, introducing stories done by ABC reporters from around the country,” he said.
“When presenting for the ABC, she works in accordance with ABC editorial and other policies.
“Ms Abdel-Magied is also engaged in a range of other activities and work that is not related to the ABC. Her views and opinions in that capacity are her own and do not represent those of the ABC.”
Abdel-Magied has often appeared on the ABC’s Q&A program to educate Australians about Islam. Earlier this year, she made headlines after getting into a fiery exchange with Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie over the meaning of sharia.
Several right-wing politicians and commentators have jumped on Abdel-Magied’s comments to attack the 26-year-old activist. Queensland MP George Christensen wrote on Twitter that “Yasmin [sic] should no longer [be] on the public broadcaster’s tax-funded payroll”.
Sydney’s tabloid newspaper The Daily Telegraph also splashed a picture of the television host on Wednesday’s front page, along with the headline “Two finger salute”. Guys, that’s three fingers. pic.twitter苏州美甲学校网/g4IcYU81v8??? Bianca Hall (@_Biancah) April 25, 2017
Gerard Henderson believes ABC Presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied doesn’t have the qualifications to hold her current position. #TheBoltReportpic.twitter苏州美甲学校网/Xn1iqJ0Z0H??? The Bolt Report (@theboltreport) April 25, 2017