The 2019 Islamophobia in Australia report suggests that hate incidents are not just a problem for Muslims, but will need national engagement if Australia is to maintain social cohesion and live up to its multicultural legacy.
The second Islamophobia in Australia report cites 349 incidents reported in 24 months (2016-17)
This and previous reports indicate only the ‘tip of an iceberg’, as under-reporting of hate crimes and related incidents is an ongoing problem worldwide
Islamophobia is not just a problem for Muslims, but requires national engagement if Australia is to maintain social cohesion
The report, which was led by chief investigator Dr Derya Iner from Charles Sturt University’s Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, offers a multi-faceted analysis of verified incidents reported to the Islamophobia Register Australia by victims, proxies, and witnesses in the two-year period of 2016-17.
The report shows predominantly Muslim women and girls are being targeted with verbal abuse, profanities, physical intimidation and death threats in public places, most often while shopping, and most often by Anglo-Celtic male perpetrators.
Insults targeting Muslims’ religious appearance and religion was the highest in both reports online and offline, with almost all women respondents (96 per cent) targeted while wearing hijab.
Public visibility of attacks
The most noteworthy difference between the first and second reports was the 30 per cent increase in harassment in places guarded by security officers and surveillance (60 per cent of incidents).
Perpetrators were not deterred by the public visibility of their attacks, or the vulnerability of their targets, with 57 per cent of female victims being unaccompanied at the time.
In at least 49 per cent of the 202 offline incidents, it was specifically mentioned that people were passing by but not offering help.
Copies of the report are available at www.islamophobia.com.au.