A comprehensive 100 page report on Islamophobia in Australia covering the period of 2014-2016 was launched on Monday 10 July in Melbourne and on Tuesday 11 July in Sydney.
Some of the key highlights of the report included:
- Australian Muslim women who ventured out on their own were almost three times more likely to face harassment of an Islamophobic nature.
- More than half of the female victims had their children with them at the time of the reported incident.
- Most reported physical assaults occurred in NSW (60%) and VIC (26.7%).
- 48% of offline attacks occurred in crowded spaces that were frequented daily – shopping centres, train stations and mosque surroundings were the most common.
- Nobody intervened in 75% of the reported incidents.
The Sydney launch of the report was held at the NSW Parliament House organised by the Islamophobia Register of Australia in partnership with the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University.
The report was formally launched by Ms Lisa Annese, CEO of Diversity Council Australia. The audience were welcomed by Dr Mehmet Ozalp from ISRA while Ms Randa Abdel-Fattah, writer and researcher introduced the report to those present at the launch.
Ms Mariam Veiszadeh, the founder of the Islamophobia Register highlighted the services provided by her organisation and announced that she was now vacating its Presidentship.
Professor Linda Briskman from Western Sydney University provided a summary of the findings of the report while its main author and editor Dr Derya Iner highlighted the key findings.
The report was compiled in partnership with Islamic Sciences & Research Academy of Australia (ISRA), the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization, Deakin University, the University of Western Australia, Diversity Council of Australia and Just Media Advocacy and was critically analysed by field-expert academics ranging from disciplines of sociology and theology to political sciences and criminology.
“The Report offers a window into the types of religiously motivated Islamophobic incidents taking place out in suburban Australia and its release is especially timely as there is a continuing debate over the existence and the scale of Islamophobia in Australia” said Mariam Veiszadeh,Lawyer and President of the Islamophobia Register Australia.
The principle researcher and editor of the report Dr Derya Iner, a Senior Lecturer at Charles Sturt University, said, “The report documents and analyses the present manifestations of Islamophobia in Australia both at an institutional and individual level and provides authentic and vigorous data by quoting from the victims, their proxies and witnesses.”
The five key findings of the report included:
• Women, especially those with Islamic head covering (79.6% of the female victims), havebeen the main targets of Islamophobia and more than 30% of the female victims had their children with them at the time of the reported incident.
• 98% of perpetrators were identified as ethnically Anglo-Celtic, as indicated by the reporter and the typical perpetrator tended to be male.
• Most reported physical assaults (Offline incidents) occurred in NSW (60%) and VIC (26.7%).
• 48% of offline attacks occurred in crowded spaces that were frequented daily – shopping centres, train stations and mosque surroundings were the most common.
• Non-Muslims constituted about 25% of the witness reporters and nobody intervened in 75% of the reported incidents.
The report captures and critically analyses with a rigorous and transparent methodology, 243 verified incidents reported to the Islamophobia Register Australia between September 2014 and December 2015.
The report findings signify the circumstances under which anti-Muslim hate incidents exist, operate and affect Australian Muslims and illustrate specific characteristics of Islamophobia.
A verification process was undertaken by a team of researchers in which reported incident details were verified and additional information was sought directly from the reporters who were classified according to whether they were the victims, witnesses or proxy reporters.
The collated data was then further categorised for analysis in which they were classified and assessed according to the following characteristics – online or offline incident types and severity levels, locational features of the incidents, social context, vulnerability of victims, content of abuse and the impact of incidents on victims.
A copy of the “Islamophobia in Australia” Charles Sturt University Report is now available online: