Aussie Muslim Women Find Own Voice

Taking the full brunt of racism in the post-9/11 era, young Muslim women in Australia are developing a strong sense of identity to tell the public about themselves and their faith.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - "There's now a generation of young Muslim Australians who have grown up in the shadow of September 11,” Christina Ho, a researcher on migration and cultural diversity, told ABC News on Wednesday, March 7.

Ho said Muslim women have taken the full brunt of racism and abuses following the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

As they faced growing suspicion, Muslim women began to speak out to clear their image and highlight the true face of their faith.

"Muslim women say that they've had to answer a lot more questions since September 11, and that obviously is a burden for them,” Ho said.

"But on the other hand it's also given them an opportunity to speak out.”

Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.

In post 9/11 Australia, Muslims have been haunted with suspicion and have had their patriotism questioned.

"Muslim women in particular, especially those who wear the hijab or the headscarf, have been quite visible so they have often borne the brunt of the anxiety and racism towards Muslim Australians,” Ho said.

"There have been some pretty horrific cases of abuse, both verbal and physical abuse.

"For instance women have been followed home, people have chased them in cars, screamed at them, pulled off their hijabs. There are a lot of those kinds of stories out there."

A 2007 poll taken by the Issues Deliberation Australia (IDA) think-tank found that Australians basically see Islam as a threat to the Australian way of life.

A recent governmental report revealed that Muslims are facing deep-seated Islamophobia and race-based treatment like never before.


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