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A heavily pregnant Muslim woman was brutally attacked at a Sydney Cafe.
And yet, as shocking as the cowardly incident was, it does not come as a surprise.
We’ve long known that Islamophobia is real in this country and while many are hesitant to call this out for what it is, it is time we be upfront. This was a hate crime and the attack was no doubt a symptom of Islamophobia.
The victim herself has confirmed the Islamophobic nature of the attack and it’s fair we do the same. This wasn’t just a random incident, the attacker clearly approached a group of women who were visibly Muslim and as sources confirm, proceeded to hurl hate-filled Islamophobic slurs before unleashing his violent rampage.
Hate crimes against Muslims in Australia are on the rise and the statistics continue to prove that this is the case. A report released just this week by an Australian University confirms this, with a staggering 70% of Islamophobic incidents being carried out against Muslim women wearing the Hijab.
Now while much can be said against the attacker, I think it’s only fair we also hold to account the reckless media outlets and politicians who have helped create the climate of Islamophobia we are experiencing. We remind you that your words do have real-world implications and as we’ve just seen, the consequences can be brutal.
We call upon the Government to do their part in stopping the spread of Islamophobia to help keep our communities safe. We call upon the Government to introduce laws to protect us from vilification and the incitement of hatred and violence based on a person’s religion. This matter must be given urgent priority by our lawmakers.
To the Muslim Community, and those affected by the incident, please do not let this incident daunt you or make you feel threatened in your own country. This is your home, and while we don’t want you to feel paranoid or fearful, we advise you to still please exercise caution given the unfortunate circumstances we live in.
If you are going out to public places where you could be vulnerable, try your best to travel with family members or in groups. Always take your safety into consideration when travelling and be mindful of your surroundings.
Also, if you happen to be a bystander in such an incident, we encourage you to get involved. Don’t hesitate to do what you can within your means, to stop such a vicious attack from taking place, even if it means simply speaking out.
Lastly, we send a warm thank you and word of praise to those who bravely intervened in this incident to help our sister. We make particular mention of the brave Muslim sister who hit the attacker with a chair knocking him out. May Allah reward you. Had it not been for your bravery it surely could have been much worse.
Now, If you have or know anyone who has been a victim of such an attack, please do not hesitate to approach the authorities and report such crimes.
We ask Allah to heal our sister and to provide comfort to all those affected. May Allah bring peace to our society and restore safety within our communities.
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