The well-known journalist, Osman Faruqi, has become the target of death threats from unhinged racists who called his personal mobile phone number to threaten him, after he expressed an opinion over social media that Coles reversing its ban on plastic bags at its supermarkets was “weird”.
The troubles for the ABC media identity and former Junkee editor began yesterday innocently enough after he responded to news that Coles had caved to “angry shoppers” and will continue to give away free plastic bags. Supermarkets such as Coles have come under increasing consumer pressure to stop supplying plastic bags to shoppers on environmental grounds.
Faruqi had suggested over the social networking site Twitter that Coles’s reversal on its earlier decision was a sign that “this country is so weird”.
The initial decision by Coles to ban plastic bags at its shops was widely applauded but was then met by a backlash stoked up over talkback radio.
Faruqi – the son of NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi – then followed up that tweet with a more thought-provoking insight into the issues at hand.
“Australians are a deeply conservative, insular and fearful people with a collective delusion that they are laidback and forward thinking,” he wrote.
Thanks to those pair of tweets, Faruqi says he became the target of ‘doxxing’ after his personal information, including his mobile phone number, was leaked online.
“[This is] the price for having an opinion about the plastic bag ban revers whilst being brown. Someone leaked my personal phone number and all night I received calls from strangers threatening to kill me and abusing me,” Faruqi has said over Twitter.
“Experiencing this stuff is toxic to my life, which is overwhelmingly great – except when I have to cop this shit. I’ve always persisted because I didn’t want to ‘lose’. I didn’t want to get shut down or silenced by aggressive nutters.”
Faruqi, who is an Australian proud of his Pakistani heritage, then admitted the threats and abuse had taken too much of a toll. He says he is now considering leaving Twitter following the death threats he received.
“But it’s too much now. I’m scared about my safety, and I just want to live my life free from the threat of violence and abuse. So the idiots won. I’m finished,” Faruqi wrote.
True Crime News Weekly understands that Faruqi’s personal mobile phone number was leaked by the far-right, anti-Islam Zionist supporter, Avi Yemini, who has a sizeable following on social media.
Mr Yemini is a former soldier in Israel’s Defence Force and owns a gym in Melbourne. He is also a regular talking head on the News Corp operated right-wing ‘news’ channel Sky News.
A number of prominent journalists have leapt up in support of Faruqi, with many imploring him to report the threats to police.
Craig Reucassel, host of the ABC TV show The War on Waste, has also come to Faruqi’s defence.
The documentary series has been leading the charge against the likes of Coles and Woolworths to stop giving out plastic bags to their customers.
“Absolutely appalling,” Reucassel has said of the threats sent to Faruqi.
Coles, meanwhile, has decided to perform another backflip today, and will now once again be reintroducing its ban on plastic bags.