NSW Police counter-terrorism simulation sparked uproar among Australia’s Arabic community for their portrayal of ‘fake terrorists’ who were wearing Palestinian head scarves during the exercise.
Footage released by New South Wales Police of a counter-terrorist training exercise conducted at Sydney’s Central railway station was heavily criticised for portraying ‘fake terrorists’ wearing Palestinian head scarves.
The footage showed officers posing as two terrorists running through Central Station acting as though they were stabbing victims and shooting them.
The ‘fake terrorists’ were shown wearing a ‘Palestinian Keffiyeh’: a chequered black and white scarf worn on the head and neck, which is a well-known symbol of Palestinian nationalism.
Abu Sanad Munier, Head of the Palestinian Federation of Workers, who wrote: “We are for making Australia a safe country, but we reject the distortion of the Palestinian Keffiyeh, that is symbolic of the Palestinian struggle.”
“We wonder if this step constitutes a prelude to the banning of the Keffiyeh, and what will the Australian society perception be if I wear it on the street?”
Walid Alsaadi commented: “This is a distortion of the Arab and Islamic community.”
“When wearing the Keffiyeh for a re-enactment scene this means that the government is against the Arabic community and are accusing us of terrorism. This is ultimate racism towards our community”.