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Yassmin Abdel-Magied says Jacqui Lambie Sharia law comments 'the last straw'

When the going gets tough, Yassmin Abdel-Magied thinks of the US civil rights movement. She thinks of uprisings in Egypt and her birth country Sudan. People like her parents who fought and still fight for a better life.

Ms Abdel-Magied's battle is relentless, often exhausting and deeply personal. Her areas of expertise are gender, race and engineering, but lately, whether she likes it or not, the conversation has turned to her faith: Islam.

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Q&A: Lambie ignites fiery exchange

Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie took on seemingly every other panellist during a heated discussion that ranged from childcare to sharia law. Vision: ABC TV

So when Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie sat alongside her on Monday's Q&A panel and argued Australian Muslims practicing Sharia law should be deported, the 25-year-old youth leader, in her own words, lost her cool.

"Since I was 10 years old, we've had discussions about Muslims being different and Muslims being equated to terrorists and so on and so on, and particularly since the election of Donald Trump that kind of stepped up 10 notches, so I'm constantly surrounded - every single place I look, whether it's on telly or in the papers or on my social media feeds - with rhetoric that is super divisive," Ms Abdel-Magied said on Wednesday.

"At the end of the day, it was supremely personal and I just got to the experience of the Muslim ban and that affecting me personally so I guess it was the straw, the last straw that broke the camel's back as it were."

The response to Monday's heated television appearance was swift. Every time Ms Abdel-Magied picks up her phone, she's subject to hundreds of messages ranging from support to death threats.

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She has taken "certain precautions" for her safety, and on Wednesday described her mood as "not despondent, just quite reflective".

"I spent most of my teens ... in the public space deeply, desperately avoiding being the Muslim girl," she said.

"But now I'm like wow, mate, not that many people are talking about being a Muslim and defending our right to exist.

"I guess the battle came to me. I don't really have any other choice but to accept it and to roll my sleeves up.

"We have four years of Donald Trump. Brexit hasn't even started properly. It's going to be a long haul."

A petition has since been launched accusing the ABC of breaching its own values during Monday's broadcast. So will Ms Abdel-Magied appear on Q&A again? She takes a moment to answer.

"I think if invited again I'd be willing to participate because I think it's an incredible platform to have very interesting conversations, but I also ... would want to acknowledge the concerns raised by members of the Muslim community and encourage other people who may have taken issue with the way that it was managed to write to the ABC or to raise concerns and be like hey, this kind of personal attack and that kind of thing makes for good theatre, and maybe that's also part of the show, [but] it's something that we need to think about," she said.

"I bet there are people in your family who think the things Jacqui Lambie thinks. I bet there are people in your circle. Maybe they don't talk about it, but there probably are. They're going to listen to you more than they're going to listen to me, so have conversations with them. Have an impact on the world around you."

Ms Abdel-Magied - host of ABC's Australia Wide and founder of Youth Without Borders - will speak at She Leads In-Conversation on February 22 from 6pm at the University of Canberra's Ann Harding Centre. Tickets are available on the YWCA Canberra website.