Each community, foundation, or association employs different approaches and methods in their efforts against Islamophobia. Some groups focus on creating awareness in academic fields and voicing their concerns, while others combat the negative public perception generated by media and politicians trying to undermine Muslims. Furthermore, they organize various activities to challenge the perception of Islamophobia and break down the ‘foreign’ image in people’s minds, explaining what Islam truly is and what it is not.
Before discussing the associations and communities in Australia fighting against Islamophobia, let’s provide a brief overview of the Muslim population. According to the 2016 census, Muslims make up 2.9% of the Australian population, up from 1.7% in 2006.
How do the 604,000 Muslims living in this country express themselves against religious and racial biases they encounter?
Islamophobia Register Australia
Established in 2014, this community is the first Islamophobia platform in Australia where incidents of religious discrimination and bias are reported. They provide detailed accounts of adverse behaviors and unjust actions, including the location, time, and date of each incident, enabling researchers to analyze recorded Islamophobic incidents while raising public awareness. Additionally, they share academic research reports about Islamophobia on their website, available for free download in PDF format.
Voice Against Bigotry
This group was founded by two women, one Muslim and one Jewish, who aim to raise social awareness against inflammatory rhetoric and items by extremist parties in Australia. Before discussing their activities, let’s provide some information about these two determined women. Susie Latham, raised in a Catholic family, completed her doctorate at Curtin University, converted to Islam after marrying a Muslim, and focused her research on Islamophobia. The other co-founder, Linda Briskman, a human rights advocate with a background in social services, is a Jewish academic. Their joint work on issues related to Australian refugees won them the Australian Human Rights Commission Award in 2008.
So, what is this community doing to combat Islamophobia?
They publish research about Islamophobia in Australia, complete with evidence, and share articles about the human rights violations and equality of Muslims in Europe and America. In an open letter to the Australian Prime Minister and political leaders, they criticize biased media coverage and divisive attitudes within society. Additionally, they collected over 1,600 support signatures, including numerous academics, as part of the letter. If you wish to show support, we’ll provide a link to their website.
United Muslims of Australia
The United Muslims of Australia Center has been active since 2002 as a place where Australian Muslim youth can socialize and spend time together. In addition to providing an alternative social environment for Muslim children and youth, the center also promotes Islamic awareness and identity.
With most of its members being children and young people, how do they express themselves against religious discrimination?
With the ‘Smile Giving‘ project, young volunteers visit nursing homes, care centers, and orphanages, providing both material and spiritual support to those in need. They welcome children with balloons and teddy bears, prepared by their own hands, while delighting the elderly with gifts they’ve created. They also offer accommodation services and financial aid to relatives of patients. To challenge preconceived notions, young Muslims undergoing training in advocacy courses aim to break down prejudices.
Sydney University Muslim Student Association
Avustralya’da okuyan Müslüman öğrencileri bir çatıda birleştiren, aynı zamanda
We will now talk about a community that unites Muslim students in Australia and carries the torch for their cause on campus: the Sydney University Muslim Student Association. The community fosters a sense of identity and awareness among Muslim students through Islamic conferences and a variety of activities that promote friendship and unity among them. The group takes on different activities on campus to counteract religious and racial discrimination.
How, you may ask?
They publish research on Islamophobia in Australia with evidence and provide links to articles on the violation of Muslim rights and equality in Europe and America. In an open letter to the Australian Prime Minister and political leaders, they address biased media coverage and divisive societal attitudes. They also collected over 1,600 support signatures from various academics. If you wish to show your support, we’ll provide a link to their website.