Australian Muslim women bear the brunt of Islamophobia

Australian Muslim women who ventured out on their own were almost three times more likely to face harassment of an islamophobic nature.

This was one of the key findings in a first-of-its-kind research report on Islamophobia in Australia, released today at NSW Parliament as a joint study conducted by the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the Islamophobia Register of Australia.

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”.

Five Key Findings

  • Women, especially those with Islamic head covering (79.6% of the female victims), have been the main targets of Islamophobia and more than half 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.


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