Women, children, mosques targeted in abusive attacks
There have been at least 30 attacks on Muslims - mainly
against women wearing the hijab - in the three weeks since the police
anti-terrorism raids and threats by Islamic State put relations between
the Islamic community and mainstream Australia on edge.
Muslim leaders are compiling a register of religiously motivated
incidents, which includes reports of physical and verbal assaults,
threats of violence against senior clerics and damage to mosques.
They claim ''mistrust'' with police had led to the real rate of
anti-Islamic episodes going unreported, and the threat of segregation
for women wearing the niqab into Parliament had licensed a new wave of
people willing to vent against Muslim women in public.
While national security agencies have been boosted with almost $650
million in new funding, Muslim leaders are critical of the level of
police resources put into stopping hate crimes at street level.
Among recorded incidents, a woman was threatened with having her hijab
torn from her head and set alight, a cup of coffee was thrown through
the car window of a woman driving in a hijab, and a pig's head and cross
were thrown into the grounds of a Brisbane mosque.
A mother in western Sydney was spat on and had the pram carrying her
baby kicked, according to the list of incidents compiled by the western
Sydney-based Muslim Legal Network and the recently launched Islamophobia
A list of verbal attacks includes a Muslim mother in Melbourne who was
told to remove her child from a group of non-Muslim children at a play
At least four mosques have been targeted with written threats, graffiti
and thrown objects. Queensland is listed as having highest rate of
personal assaults and threats to mosques.