'Not wanted here': New report details first-hand experiences of Islamophobic attacks

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A report has revealed lone women are most likely to be targeted in Islamophobic attacks by men of Anglo-Celtic backgrounds.

“You Muslim dog, get out of this country, you’re not Aussie”.

“Watch as we come for you in your sleep”.

“This isn’t the only incident I had like this”.

These are just some of the stories found in the 'Islamophobia in Australia 2014-2016' report released on Monday. 

Research conducted by the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University and the Islamophobia Register of Australia has revealed women who are alone and wearing Islamic headwear were the most likely to be targets of attacks.

Females who were accompanied by children or pregnant further increased the chances of becoming a target of an Islamophobic attack.

The perpetrators are most often male, of Anglo-Celtic background and by themselves when incidents occur.

Children also appear to be at risk of being targeted, with one woman describing how a neighbour came to her door and verbally assaulted her and her baby.

“I really feel harassed by her as she expressed so much hate, especially to my baby," she said.

Other cases include an elderly man calling a teenage boy “a terrorist”, while a customer demanded a young Muslim employee at a supermarket remove her headscarf.

Despite the gender skew, the research has shown that females tended to submit fewer reports when they were the target.

Cyber crimes are accounting for a growing number of Islamophobic incidents, though some attacks included both an online and offline component such as the posting of a video of a person harassing someone.

Some posts explicitly incited violence, such as a Facebook post calling for people to get guns “for revenge after [the] Martin Place shooting”.

“I’m going to hit and then spit on every single Islam/Muslim I see” another post said.

One witness described seeing two men verbally abuse a group of women wearing headscarves, telling them “you’re not wanted here."

Many of those who had been targeted reported saying they had lost faith in Australia and multiculturalism, particularly when the response from authorities was less than adequate.

“They didn’t even take it seriously”, one person said after telling the police. “Shocking!”

There were also incidents were non-Muslim citizens expressed their disappointment and concern for those being targeted.

One woman recounted meeting a Muslim woman in public and offering her support.

“It might sound trite, but there are so many of us out there that want the brothers and sisters to know, ‘you are respected and loved’”, she said.

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