Tag: Australian Muslims

Australian Muslims (63%) believe Australia welcoming society; despite 80% face prejudice: AHRC report

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Photo- AHRC

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 23 July 2021: A recent report by the Australian Human Rights Commission, SHARING THE STORIES OF AUSTRALIAN MUSLIMS reveals 63 % of Australian Muslims believe Australia is a welcoming society, despite an even greater majority (80%) experiencing prejudice or discrimination.

It found three in four (74%) Australian Muslims said they felt ‘Australian’, but one in four (23%) said they felt unable to speak up when they experienced discrimination.

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Graphic- AHRC

Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan says, “Australia’s Muslim communities make significant economic, community and charitable contributions to Australian society, yet they still experience widespread discrimination.

“Australia prides itself on being a diverse country, where equality and opportunity are afforded to all. If we are to live up to these values, urgent national attention is required to improve social cohesion. Supporting and including diverse communities enriches the whole country.”

Commissioner Tan says the report underlines the need for a National Anti-Racism Framework and clear goals and commitments on tackling racism.

“It’s not enough to simply condemn racism. We need a coordinated strategy that works on many fronts to actively counter racism at the various levels that it occurs,” Commissioner Tan said.

The report details nine solutions that Australian Muslims have identified to help improve social harmony with the broader community and increase cultural acceptance.

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Graphic- AHRC

These include stronger support from the Australian community and political leaders, improved media representation, public awareness education, and better implementation of existing initiatives.

The report’s findings are based on a national, representative survey of more than 1000 Australian Muslims, and extensive consultations with community members and leaders across Australia.

The report examines the Muslim community’s concerns and priorities in the wake of the tragic Christchurch mosque attack. It includes many examples of social harmony and cultural acceptance, but these are offset by experiences of hate, violence, and negative public commentary.

“Australia as a nation utterly rejects racism and religious discrimination of any kind.”

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Federal Government appalled at rising ‘examples of discrimination against Muslim Australians’ contained in a report released by the Charles Sturt University

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 18 November: The Federal Government has slammed the incidents of Islamophobia in Australia, calling them ‘completely unacceptable’. A media statement today from The Hon David Coleman MP Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs refers to the report (Islamophobia in Australia-2- 2016-2017) released by the Charles Sturt University today.

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 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 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.

A news report on the CSU website says, “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 percent) targeted while wearing hijab.”

It adds, “The situation for Muslim children was particularly concerning and underscores the need for prevention strategies in schools.

The report shows that experiences of Islamophobic abuse start for children in pre-school years when they were accompanied by their identifiably Muslim parents.”

Intensity of hate rhetoric

The report shows the alarming intensity of hate rhetoric that groomed the Christchurch terrorist who carried out terrorist attacks in New Zealand earlier this year, as active in Australia three to five years ago.

Online and offline, people have detailed how they would like to murder all Muslims and yet there appeared to be no investigation or prosecution, raising serious questions about the fitness of existing laws.

Following the previous report’s trend, the most severe level of hate, wanting to kill and/or harm Muslims, was the most dominant rhetoric, consisting of one-quarter of the entire online cases.

Online, there were dynamics of contagion at play with online communities reacting to the perpetrator’s posts with supportive emojis, comments, and shares.

Sadly, the intensity of hate rhetoric was also present in physical cases, with 11 percent of the 202 offline cases including death threats.

The fact some Australian Muslims could not go about their ordinary life without receiving a death threat from a stranger opens serious questions about how Muslim identity has been publicly crafted.

‘Tip of the iceberg’

Dr. Iner noted that the number of incidents discloses only the ‘tip of an iceberg’, as under-reporting of hate crimes and related incidents is an ongoing problem worldwide.

“This is especially the case where continuous anti-Muslim sentiment in political and media discourse becomes normalized, desensitizing the public,” she said.

“With Christchurch in our minds, we cannot afford to be complacent.

“Social cohesion is something that must be nurtured and repaired by all of us for the well-being and security of Australia.”

The Hon David Coleman MP says, “Freedom of religion is fundamental to Australian society. Australians of all religions should be able to practice their faith free of prejudice. The instances of discrimination against Australians of Islamic faith which are documented in the report are completely unacceptable.

The Morrison Government has no tolerance for racial or cultural prejudice against any group. In this year’s Budget, the Government invested $71 million into a package of measures designed to strengthen our social cohesion.

The behavior outlined in the report is condemned in the strongest terms – Australia as a nation utterly rejects racism and religious discrimination of any kind.”

Dr. Sharif As-Saber, Associate Professor at RMIT University and a Member of the Victorian South Asian Communities Ministerial Advisory Council says,” Unfortunately, Australia is not immune from various forms of discriminations, abuses and vilifications. Religious and racial discriminations including hate crimes are just a few of them. It is better to acknowledge the reality while there should be concerted efforts by the governments and various community groups and religious leaders to combat and mitigate such problems. In other words, ‘engagement’ is important!”

The Islamophobia Register Australia is launching a crowdfunding campaign as it relies on community funds to maintain its independence. The next report will include data from before and after the Christchurch tragedy.

Copies of the report are available at www.islamophobia.com.au.