Most Australian Muslims (63%) believe Australia is a welcoming society, despite an even greater majority (80%) experiencing prejudice or discrimination.
The figures were included in a report published today by the Australian Human Rights Commission, Sharing the Stories of Australian Muslims.
It found three in four (74%) Australian Muslims said they felt ‘Australian’, but one in four (23%) said they felt unable to speak up when they experienced discrimination.
Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan said: “Australia’s Muslim communities make significant economic, community and charitable contributions to Australian society, yet they still experience widespread discrimination.
“Australia prides itself on being a diverse country, where equality and opportunity are afforded to all. If we are to live up to these values, urgent national attention is required to improve social cohesion. Supporting and including diverse communities enriches the whole country.”
Commissioner Tan said the report underlines the need for a National Anti-Racism Framework and clear goals and commitments on tackling racism.
“It’s not enough to simply condemn racism. We need a coordinated strategy that works on many fronts to actively counter racism at the various levels that it occurs,” Commissioner Tan said.
The report details nine solutions that Australian Muslims have identified to help improve social harmony with the broader community and increase cultural acceptance.
These include stronger support from Australian community and political leaders, improved media representation, public awareness education, and better implementation of existing initiatives.
The report’s findings are based on a national, representative survey of more than 1000 Australian Muslims, and extensive consultations with community members and leaders across Australia.
The report examines the Muslim community’s concerns and priorities in the wake of the tragic Christchurch mosque attack. It includes many examples of social harmony and cultural acceptance, but these are offset by experiences of hate, violence and negative public commentary.
Visit the Commission’s website to download a copy of the report.