The Growth of Online Hate Targeting Muslims

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Report Reveals 50 Anti-Muslim Facebook Pages

A report titled, “Islamophobia on the Internet- The growth of online hate, targeting Muslims,” was released on International Human Rights Day, December 10th 2013, by the Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI), Sydney, that looks into the growing problem of online hate, targeting the Muslim community. The report examines anti-Muslim hate on Facebook and was produced by the Online Hate Prevention Institute, Australia’s only charity entirely dedicated to the growing problem of online hate. The Islamic Council of Victoria, representing Victoria’s Muslim community was a consultant in the preparation of this report. The report follows previous major works by OHPI examining online hate against Indigenous Australians, the Jewish Community, and the Military Veterans.
This major work examines 50 anti-Muslim Facebook pages. The Facebook pages range from aspects like “The Islamic threat” which passed the 113,000 supporter mark and continues to rapidly grow. From these 50 pages, the report documents 349 images of anti-Muslim hate. These images represent 191 unique images and many repetitions as messages of hate move between the different pages. The message of hate in this report are divided into seven themes which the report discusses. The themes of anti-Muslim hate include: Muslims as a Security Threat or Threat to Public Safety. Muslims as a Cultural Threat. Muslims as an Economic Threat. De-humanising or Demonizing Muslims. Threats of Violence, Genocide and Direct Hate Targeting Muslims. Hate Targeting Refugees / Asylum Seekers.
American, British and Australian nationals provide the highest level of support to these pages of hate. Of the pages examined, 13 of them were specifically Australian in nature. This report aims to highlight the existence of what is a serious hate speech problem on Facebook. To the extent that this content gives a window into the hate speech against Muslims that is currently circulating in society. “We hope this report assists community leaders, policy makers, law makers and researchers in better understanding and responding to this threat to an inclusive society. In democracies, inclusiveness is regarded as a public good, as such, this hate speech is not only an attack on the Muslim community, but an attack on society as a whole. We must work together to tackle this growing problem” states the report. ( http://ohpi.org.au/islamophobia-on-the-internet-the-growth-of-online-hate-targeting-muslims/)

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