Hawzah News Agency (Melbourne, Australia) – Muslims suffer more violent abuse than any other faith in Australia, a four-year study has found.
Professor Anna Hickey-Moody, from RMIT University, said she was disturbed to learn of the violent incidents Muslim Australians encountered during her research on religious communities in Australia.
'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,' she told the ABC.
'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.'
The Interfaith Childhoods Project is a four-year study examining six cities across Australia and the UK.
The project began in 2016 and 340 people from communities in Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, London and Manchester have already been interviewed.
Professor Hickey-Moody said she was in 'disbelief' speaking to a Muslim mother who recalled the moment someone drove past and pretended to shoot her with their fingers presented like a gun.
The researchers found the experiences of violence towards Muslims was the most distressing in Adelaide.
'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,' Professor Hickey-Moody said.
One female participant in Adelaide began to cry in her interview as she remembered the moment someone screamed in her face 'get out of here'.