Debunking email hoaxes and exposing Internet scams since 2003!

Hoax-Slayer Logo Hoax-Slayer Logo

DividerDivider
Home    About    New Articles    RSS Feed    Subscriptions    Contact
DividerDivider


Site Navigation










Australian Flag Lapel Pin Story - Response to Muslim Woman's Checkout Criticism

Summary:
Protest email tells the story of how a Muslim woman in a supermarket checkout line was firmly put in her place after she made critical remarks about the cashier's Australian flag lapel pin and Australia's involvement in the Iraq war (Full commentary below).



Status:
Recycled version of an unsubstantiated US story that has circulated for several years.

Example:(Submitted, October 2009)
Subject: FW: The Australian Flag

If this is true, I would have loved to have been there!

I am led to believe,an incident occurred in a supermarket Recently, when the following was witnessed:

A Muslim woman dressed in a Burkha (A black gown & face mask) was Standing with her shopping in a queue at the checkout.

When it was her turn to be served, and as she reached the cashier, She made a loud remark about the Australian Flag lapel pin, which the Female cashier was wearing on her blouse.

The cashier reached up and touched the pin and said, 'Yes, I always Wear it proudly. My son serves abroad with the forces and I wear it for Him.

The Muslim woman then asked the cashier when she was going to stop Bombing and killing her countrymen explaining that she was Iraqi.

At that point, an elderly Gentleman standing in the queue stepped Forward, and interrupted with a calm and gentle voice, and said to the Iraqi woman:

'Excuse me, but hundreds of thousands of Australian men and women, Just like this ladies son have fought and sacrificed their lives so that People just like YOU can stand here, in Australia, which is MY country and Allow you to blatantly accuse an innocent check-out cashier of bombing YOUR Countrymen.

'It is my belief that if you were allowed to be as outspoken as That in Iraq, which you claim to be YOUR country, then we wouldn't need to be Fighting there today'. .'However - now that you have learned how to speak Out and criticise the Australian people who have afforded you the protection Of MY country, I will gladly pay the cost of a ticket to help you pay your Way back to Iraq '.

'When you get there, and if you manage to survive for being as Outspoken as what you are here in Australia, then you should be able to help Straighten out the mess which YOUR Iraqi countrymen have got you into in The first place, which appears to be the reason that you have come to MY Country to avoid.'

Apparently the queue cheered and applauded. ...IF YOU AGREE...

Pass this on to all of your proud Australian & other Worldly Friends..

I just did............!!!

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. It's also nice to be AUSTRALIAN.

Note: Email includes several Australian flag graphics and a koala image as decoration.



Commentary:
This email forward tells the supposedly true story of an Australian supermarket incident in which an Iraqi woman in a Burkha made critical and inflammatory comments to a cashier who was proudly wearing an Australian Flag lapel pin in honour of her son who was serving overseas. According to the story, an elderly Australian man waiting in the checkout line, took the Muslim woman to task for her comments, pointedly reminding her that it is due to the sacrifice of many Australian soldiers that she enjoyed the freedom to make such critical comments in public, and urging her to return to her own country if she was dissatisfied with the Australian way of life. The message calls on the recipient to send the story on to other proud Australians.

©iStockphoto.com/ayzek

Australian Flag
A supposedly patriotic email describing an incident involving an Iraqi woman in an Australian supermarket is in fact, a recycled version of an older US based story.
However, while some recipients may find the story entertaining, it is highly unlikely that such an incident actually took place as described, at least in Australia. In fact, the same story, with minor changes to reflect the targeted location, has circulated in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The following American based version is virtually identical the the Australian version above:
A Muslim woman dressed in a Burkha (A black gown & face mask) was standing with her shopping in a queue at the checkout.

When it was her turn to be served, and as she reached the cashier, she made a loud remark about the American Flag lapel pin, which the female cashier was wearing on her blouse.

The cashier reached up and touched the pin and said, “Yes, I always wear it proudly. My son serves abroad with the forces and I wear it for him”.

The Muslim woman then asked the cashier when she was going to stop bombing and killing her countrymen, explaining that she was Iraqi.

At that point, a Gentleman standing in the queue stepped forward, and interrupted with a calm and gentle voice, and said to the Iraqi woman:

“Excuse me, but hundreds of thousands of men and women, just like this ladies son have fought and sacrificed their lives so that people just like YOU can stand here, in America, which is MY country and allow you to blatantly accuse an innocent check-out cashier of bombing YOUR countrymen”.

“It is my belief that if you were allowed to be as outspoken as that in Iraq, which you claim to be YOUR country, then we wouldn’t need to be fighting there today”.

“However – now that you have learned how to speak out and criticise the American people who have afforded you the protection of MY country, I will gladly pay the cost of a ticket to help you pay your way back to Iraq”.

“When you get there, and if you manage to survive for being as outspoken as you are here in America, then you should be able to help straighten out the mess which YOUR Iraqi countrymen have got you into in the first place, which appears to be the reason that you have come to MY country to avoid.”

Apparently the queue cheered and applauded.

The above US version is in turn derived from an earlier US based version of the story that first appeared in early 2003. So is this original US version true? Given that no variant of the message has ever provided any verifiable details, and no credible witnesses to the alleged incident have ever come forward, it is difficult to say if such an incident actually occurred or if the story is simply a work of fiction.

However, even if the original US version was based on fact, it is clear that the above Australian version does not describe a real incident. Obviously, some prankster with an axe to grind has "Australinized" the story by substituting "Australia" for "America", added a few appropriate graphics such as images of the Australian flag and a cute koala and then launched the piece anew.

Last updated: 21st October 2009
First published: 21st October 2009

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen