The Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI), an Australian charity dedicated to the growing problem of online hate, has announced the release of a major new report into the targeting of the Muslim community.
The report, Islamophobia on the Internet: The growth of online hate targeting Muslims, is now available to journalists and bloggers by request. Parts of the report are publicly available on the OHPI website, and the full report will be available on 10 December to mark International Human Rights Day.
The report examines anti-Muslim hate on Facebook and was produced by the OHPI in consultation with the Islamic Council of Victoria.
This major work examines 50 anti-Muslim Facebook pages. The Facebook pages range from “The Islamic threat” which today passed the 113,000 supporter mark and continues to rapidly grow, to “Mohammad the PIG” which vanished after reaching 2000 supporters. 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 and an illustrative example of each:
Muslims as a Security Threat or Threat to Public Safety
Muslims as a Cultural Threat
Muslims as an Economic Threat
Content Dehumanising or Demonizing Muslims
Threats of Violence, Genocide and Direct Hate Targeting Muslims
Hate Targeting Refugees / Asylum Seekers
Other Forms of Hate Speec
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. Pages like “Look after Australians first deport all illegal boatpeople”, and “Australian Defence League Official Adl Est 2009″.
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.