Stop normalising relentless Islamophobia in Australia
For Muslims in Australia, particularly hijab-wearing women and their children, Islamophobic attacks are all too common. It needs to change.
Several independent reports show that while Islamophobia has risen since 2001, the majority of incidents have been directed at Muslim women and their children.
In 2004, a report to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission by the Centre for Cultural Research at the University of Western Sydney to investigate Australian Arabs’ and Muslims’ experiences of post-September 11 racism, found sharply increased incidents of racism, abuse or violence against Arab and Muslim Australians.
One friend’s daughter was deeply traumatised while walking home. A car of young white men slowed down alongside her, shouted abuse, pulled out toy guns and pretended to shoot her. She arrived home pale and shaken, vowing never to leave the house alone again.
Muslim students were allegedly asked to leave a Perth careers expo because some people felt uncomfortable by their presence.
Leaders must take primary responsibility for reversing this normalisation. But we all have a role to play.
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