A study has found that Muslims suffer more violent and racist abuse than any other religion in Australia.
Professor Anna Hickey-Moody from RMIT University admitted she was disturbed to find out of the violent incidents Muslims in Australia experienced during their research.
She told the ABC: “The mosque [where] I spent most of the week in Adelaide has had young men, white men, driving around the mosque in a car with the windows rolled down pretending to shoot it. I mean, that’s terrifying.”
“No other religion has [had its adherents] experience acts of violence on an individual basis … but this has been consistent in Australia with the Muslim research participants,” she added.
The four-year study Interfaith Childhoods Project examined six cities across the UK and Australia. It started in 2016 and involved 340 people from communities in Manchester, London, Cancerra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.
Professor Hickey-Moody she was shocked after speaking to a Muslim mother who shared the moment someone pretended to shoot her with their hands acting like a gun. The mother explained she was torn between raising her child to have a religious belief but scared that life could result in vulnerability.
Another Muslim from Adelaide recalled the moment she and her sister noticed an elderly struggling to cross a road. They wanted to help the old woman but were faced with verbal abuse.
The elderly told them to keep their hands away before telling them to go back to “where you came from.”
Professor Hickey-Mood said: “It has a less multicultural community, it’s a less international community, and I think there’s not the kind of cosmopolitan consciousness that requires understanding social difference.”
One participant cried during her interview as she recalled the time someone screamed at her to ‘get out of here.’
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