Reporter In Niqab Experiment Has History Of Cultural Misappropriation
"I felt hated and completely alienated from the rest of the world, so hidden and alone ... I felt bullied, it felt so unfair."
The reporter, who wore the Muslim veil for two days around Sydney, is pictured wearing a Native American headdress in her Facebook profile photo.
Smart's personal essay titled "Life Under The Muslim Veil", featuring pictures of her in Sydney's Martin Place and Lakemba, was both criticized and praised on social media on Monday.
An eyewitness said that the reporter and photographer were trying to provoke responses.
Smart's report included the passage:
"I felt hated and completely alienated from the rest of the world, so hidden and alone. When I was waiting for a train, I was getting used to my new identity, but my confidence was quickly battered when a man yelled "dirty religion". Everyone really began to stare. I felt bullied, it felt so unfair."
But someone who saw the photo shoot retold it differently. Property market researcher Matt Burke observed that the reporter and photographer were trying to provoke a response from passersby.
"I guessed that they were staging something to elicit a response. The lady was walking unnaturally close to people, the stopping and start motion of walking was also noteworthy," Burke told BuzzFeed.
"I live in a diverse area of Sydney where this dress isn't unusual, but there was certainly something very different about how this person was walking. Her posture and walking style was unusual — more Milan than Martin Place."