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    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."

    Journalist Tanya Smart, who donned a niqab for a "special report" in today's Daily Telegraph, is familiar with wearing cultural symbols.

    The reporter, who wore the Muslim veil for two days around Sydney, is pictured wearing a Native American headdress in her Facebook profile photo.

    The headdress is an item of clothing that has been banned at some Australian festivals, and some fashion designers and celebrities have been forced to apologise after wearing them.

    The undercover reporter also appears to be a swimsuit model.

    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.

    Our media gains insight into Muslim culture using a method pioneered by villains in Scooby Doo.

    James Colley@JamColley

    Our media gains insight into Muslim culture using a method pioneered by villains in Scooby Doo.

    10:15 AM - 29 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    .@antloewenstein @dailytelegraph Yep coz of course there are no intelligent articulate insightful Muslimahs who could write on this topic.

    Jessie Taylor@taylor_jessie

    .@antloewenstein @dailytelegraph Yep coz of course there are no intelligent articulate insightful Muslimahs who could write on this topic.

    10:57 AM - 29 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    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.

    There's a photographer taking sneaky shots of a lady in a Burqa in Martin Place. I think they're getting reaction shots of other passers-by.

    Matt Burke@matttburke

    There's a photographer taking sneaky shots of a lady in a Burqa in Martin Place. I think they're getting reaction shots of other passers-by.

    4:09 PM - 25 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    "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."

    It's not the first time the Telegraph has attempted this story. Reporter Clementine Cuneo did the piece in 2011, reaching the same conclusions.

    But despite the Telegraph's familiarity with the niqab, it was unable to distinguish it from the burqa.

    And was promptly corrected.

    BuzzFeed has approached Tanya Smart for comment.

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