An Australia Day billboard featuring two Muslim girls wearing hijabs was taken down yesterday after far right groups rallied and threatened the outdoor media company behind the advertisement.
Images of the billboard went viral within closed far right Facebook groups last week, as members encouraged others to demand the image be taken down.
The billboard company QMS received multiple threats, which led to the billboard being removed. The company would not elaborate to BuzzFeed News on what the threats entailed.
When the billboard was taken down, members of the Facebook group Pauline Hanson / One Nation Supporters & Discussion Forum celebrated their victory.
"WTF two muzrats ain't Australian fuck off, Steve Irwin should be on it if anything ya fuckwits," said one member.
"We need to know who payed for this crap and who authorised it so we make sure it comes out [of] there pockets and not taxpayers," said another.
Now, just 24 hours after the billboard was taken down, a fundraiser has been set up to cover the cost of a new billboard and print campaign featuring the two Muslim girls in the original.
As of Thursday morning more than $100,000 had been donated. The campaign's organiser, advertising industry worker Dee Madigan, aims to produce at least one full page press ad and a billboard.
People have rallied online to encourage others to donate, including NSW Labor MP Penny Sharpe.
Any funds left over from the campaign will be donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne.
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Brad Esposito at email@example.com.
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