Sydney: Dr. Susan Carland, an Australian academic and well-known figure in the country’s Muslim community, has donated close to Aus$1,000 (US$700) to UNICEF after pledging to give one dollar every time she receives a hate-filled Tweet.
The respected Muslim sociologist, who is married to The Project host Waleed Aly, is bombarded by racial slurs, targeted because she wears a hijab and speaks openly about the rights of Australian Muslims.
But in an effort to bring about something positive from her experiences, Carland is donating $1 for every hateful tweet she receives.
Dr. Carland said she had previously been blocking, muting, ignoring or occasionally engaging with trolls but decided some months ago to turn it around based on the Holy Quran's injunction of "driving off darkness with light", according to AFP.
"I felt I should be actively generating good in the world for every ugly verbal bullet sent my way," she wrote in a column for Fairfax Media on Friday.
"Nearly at $1,000 in donations. The needy children thank you, haters!," Dr. Susan Carland, who teaches at Monash University in Melbourne tweeted on October 22.
Some of the more horrifying tweets label Carland as “a filthy traitor” and accuse her of converting to a religion that is “a disgusting cult started by a child molesting war mongering slave keeper.”
One user spat "it's your religion and deception that anger me and how you prey on innocent people (sic)."
Another disgusting tweet reads "@SusanCarland is stupid enough to convert to a religion that considers her half a man..."
That is just the tip of the iceberg; Carland has to ignore a daily barrage of insults.
This means that although she undertook the pledge a little more than two weeks ago, she has already donated over $1000 to the worthy cause.
“I started this project on a whim… I knew that I was getting a lot of hate on Twitter.”
Although she was brought up in a Christian household, Dr. Susan Carland decided to convert to Islam when she was 19 years old. At 17, the Melbourne-born academic began to ponder her own spirituality and explore other religions to see ‘what made sense to me’ according to Daily Mail.
In 2004 she was named Australian Muslim of the Year and has been listed as one of the international ‘Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow’ by the UN Alliance of Civilisations.
This year she completed her PhD at Melbourne's Monash University, titled ‘Fighting Hislam: an investigation into Australian and North American Muslim women fighting sexism within their own communities from a pro-faith perspective.’