Ninety percent of Muslim woman have suffered form of racist abuse
or violence in Australia since the September 11 attacks in the United
States, a new report revealed here Wednesday.
The report, by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, found
that while most Arabs and Muslims had experienced some form of racist abuse
in recent years, women were at the frontline because of their wearing of
the traditional headscarf, the hijab.
“We listened to stories of women, mostly Muslim women wearing the hijab
anxious to walk their children to school in fear of being spat on, abused
or ridiculed,” acting discrimination commissioner William Jonas said at the
release of the report.
“We listened to the stories of women and girls who said they’d been abused
or had objects thrown at them from moving cars, sometimes causing injury.”
The report, called “Isma”, Arabic for “listen”, focused on the experiences
of some 1,400 Arab and Muslim Australians in 69 focus groups held across
Australia last year.
It was launched by Jonas before a meeting of about 300 members of Sydney’s
Arab and Muslim community, including Australia’s Mufti, Sheik Taj Aldin