Muslims minding their own business are being attacked, with devastating personal consequences, by bigots emboldened by the increasingly Islamophobic climate.
- In March 2018, a letter distributed to Muslims in the UK and US, and circulated widely on social media, declared 3rd April 2018 “Punish a Muslim day.” The letter awarded “rewards” for increasingly violent acts against Muslims
- In June 2016, anti-Islam graffiti was left at the scene of a car firebombing outside Thornley mosque in Perth
- This moving article in The Age outlines examples of Islamophobia and how it is impacting Australia’s Muslim community http://www.theage.com.au/national/muslims-on-what-its-like-to-live-in-australia-20160429-goi953
- In February 2016, an Islamic Centre in Preston, Victoria was extensively vandalised, causing $200,000 damage
- A new Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria report details a recent increase in abuse of Muslim women that includes cars purposely being driven towards women and children, women being kicked, slapped and rammed with supermarket trollies, and a family having dogs set on to them. Read the full report here: http://eccv.org.au/library/Final_ECCV_Social_Cohesion_Policy_Brief_4_Muslim_Mothers_SK.pdf
This car was destroyed in the Sydney suburb of Bass Hill in February 2016
- One woman’s 90 year old uncle received this letter. Her parents, in their 80s, received a similar one a few days later. Both had been sent through the mail and were addressed personally to them.
- Another woman, who has previously received similar hate mail, recently received this letter as well.
- This incident was reported on the Islamophobia Register Australia http://www.islamophobia.com.au/index.php
- A man who heard about Voices against Bigotry wrote to us about this incident:
This is a good thing to do to support Muslims in this country. I have been through talking and supporting people facing racism for many years. It seems that l didn’t understand what they were going through until recently. I gave up hope of finding a decent job in this country. l sent my CV everywhere and never got a reply. I even mentioned sometimes that l don’t solely want the position for financial purpose. l was willing to work for nothing just because l want to be productive and able to help others. My cousins graduated as civil engineers, had the same thing, couldn’t find jobs.
We understand the difficult time the country is going through (financially), so they decided to open a halal butcher and asked me to help them run the shop. I am a butcher now, l work from 4am to 6pm, 6 days a week. One morning, came a customer a female in her 40s asked me if we have pork? I said sorry we don’t. She replied, Because? I said we don’t sell pork. There was my cousin standing next to me and a butcher called Kevin (white guy). She then started shouting, calling us bunch of rats that we should take our halal shit and go back to Mohamed’s land. We rape young girls, marry four wives, murderers who want to change the Australian way of life.
Kevin interfered and she told him he is not included. She said l talk to those two boat people. The whole of the shopping centre was watching. No one said a word. As she was storming us with hatred words my mind was away. Believe me l hated myself. Throughout l felt pain in my stomach, a strong pain. I never felt frightened, not even during the killing days in central Baghdad, but that day at the butcher shop l was horrified, frightened, less secure. I went inside and told my cousin that if l don’t vomit now, l’ll die. I vomited and cried as l do now while I am writing this words.
I thought a lot about my children, my life in this country where we don’t fit. I thought and I’m still thinking about going back to lraq. At least there we would have dignity. I felt for once what is like to be victim of racism and pay respect to all those who face racism and continue to live a normal life. It might be words that you face in racism but sure they are more painful than bullets.
- Maryam, who was undergoing treatment for leukaemia, was in a supermarket aisle when she heard a woman talking. Realising she was the only other person there, she asked if the woman had been talking to her. The woman, who was a worker stacking the shelves, started abusing Maryam, telling her she was disgusting, asking her how she could wear her hijab, and said she couldn’t even stand to look at her. Shocked and shaken, Maryam simply left the supermarket.
Menacing messages in public space create an intimidating atmosphere for Muslims
A Muslim mother writes, “So this is what my son found all over his playground that he plays in while we wait for his bus. His exact words when giving it to me, ‘They are going to kill us aren’t they?'”
- This great article on Bendigo mosque by Cameron Stewart explains who is pushing Islamophobia, how it impacts on people and why we need to speak out against it
- This piece by award-winnning author Randa Abdel-Fattah explains the personal impact of Islamophobia
- This article by Daniel Flitton examines how Islamophobia is affecting young Muslims