Behind the Blue Line: WA Police’s only officer to wear a hijab to feature in Mirrabooka feature on SBS doco

Senior Constable Zen Kassim.
Senior Constable Zen Kassim.

SENIOR Constable Zen Kassim, who is the only WA Police officer to wear a hijab on duty, is urging people from all multicultural backgrounds to “embrace” each other.

The 49-year-old grandmother works in the state-wide Multicultural Unit, which will be showcased in SBS’ Behind the Blue Line documentary on June 13 at 8.30pm.In the documentary, the unit, led by Inspector Don Emanuel-Smith, conducted daily operations in Mirrabooka, home to 62 different nationalities and 102 languages spoken.

Senior Constable Kassim, who has been with WA Police since 2008 after serving as an officer in Singapore for 18 years, hoped the documentary would be a good learning curve for people nationwide.

“It is an eye-opener for me… Mirrabooka has got the largest number of people from cultural backgrounds and nationalities living there,” she said.

“I thought that it would be good to get my colleagues and team involved because I work for an agency and we work as a team and not an individual person.

“I am hoping that everyone can embrace each other, it does not matter from which background, culture, religion or faith.

“Whether you are from the agency or not, I think working together hand-in-hand will be the best approach rather than isolating individual groups or communities.”

The WA Police Multicultural Unit.

Members of the community have questioned why she wore a hijab and whether it was allowed, but most responses were very positive.

“Of course there are some negative ones but the way I approach it is with positive response and education,” Const Kassmin said.

“There is no regret because I really appreciate what WA Police have and the way they appraise multiculturalism.

“The hijab is actually part of our uniform policy now.

“So, if there is a Muslim woman that wants to wear a hijab, they are more welcome to wear it because it is part of our uniform policy.

“Now I am back to Multicultural Unit doing it full-time…I think everything is going places, within the agency and even our bosses understand the reason why we are doing this and what positive outcomes we have achieved so far.”

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