SYDNEY – Amid rising rate of hate crimes targeting Australian Muslims, particularly women, a new report has revealed that only 25 per cent of people who witness an Islamophobic attack will intervene.
The alarming statistics were revealed by the Islamophobia Register Australia, which released its first report last week, showing 243 verified incidents of harassment between September 2014 and December 2015.
Charles Sturt University’s Associate Professor Mehmet Ozalp examined the 243 cases and said the report will: “highlight a social problem that cannot be ignored or downplayed any longer”.
Women wearing a hijab or other Islamic head coverings are overwhelmingly bearing the brunt of public Islam hate attacks, making up almost 80 per cent of victims.
Overwhelmingly, the majority of the attacks (75 per cent) were perpetrated by Anglo men and NSW has the most reported physical assaults — 60 per cent.
The Islamophobia Register Australia, was established in 2014 in response to growing anecdotal evidence of Islamophobic discrimination.
Bankstown’s Asma Fahmi is a register volunteer. She joined after suffering two Islamophobic attacks.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.
Islam is the country’s second largest religion after Christianity.