About Islamophobia (Anti-Muslim Hate)

Definition:  “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.” – All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, November 2018.

Since 2013, OHPI has worked to combat online Islamophobia which incites hatred and violence against Muslims in violation of their human rights, we have generally refered to this work as combating anti-Muslim hate. The word Islamophobia has been used for a couple of decades to describe this hatred, however, it has also been given a more expansive meaning. As the Macquarie Dictionary (Sixth Edition Oct 2013) defined it, Islamophobia is:”the irrational fear of Islam and its adherents”. Given that criticism and even attacks on ideas, including religion, do not violate human rights, and are therefore not a form of hate speech the term has caused those working in this area some concern. A proposed definition of Islamophobia by the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims narrows the terms to one based on human rights. We support this UK definition for the term and oppose efforts to bring ideas of blasphemy or defamation of religion within the scope of of the term Islamophobia.

In Victoria, religious vilification is treated in similar terms to racism (see our landing pages on Racism). The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (Vic) Section 8 says that “(1) A person must not, on the ground of the religious belief or activity of another person or class of persons, engage in conduct that incites hatred against, serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of, that other person or class of persons.” Section 25 goes further making serious racial vilification a criminal offence with a potential penalty of up to 6 months imprisonment. Serious religious vilification involves knowingly engaging in conduct with the intention of inciting serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of a a person or group of people on the basis of their religious beliefs or activities.

Below is a list of our publications documenting, reporting and highlighting instances of online anti-Muslim hate.


OHPI produces detailed reports documenting and analysing online hate. The reports are produced over a number of months addressing a theme in a systematic and in-depth manner. These reports are published by OHPI and made freely available to the public.

December 10, 2015: Spotlight on Anti-Muslim Internet Hate Interim Report

This interim report provides some background and preliminary data from OHPI’s forthcoming “Spotlight on Anti-Muslim Internet Hate Report” due to be released in March 2016. This report is based on over 1,100 items of anti-Muslim hate in social media reported and categorised by the public through our FightAgainstHate.com reporting tool. The vast majority of the hate this report is based on was found on Facebook. The report indicates the volume of content by category, and how effective Facebook has been in responding to content in each category.

January 19, 2015: Je Suis Humain: Responsible free speech in the shadow of the Charlie Hebdo murders

This report explores the response of mainstream and social media to the terror attacks in France in January 2015, particularly with respect to free speech. It examines where to draw the line between free speech and attacking a person’s dignity in the light of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Some key points from the report:

  • The discussion on where the line rests between free speech and right to human dignity has to take into account the fact that Australia celebrates multiculturalism and religious diversity. The French tradition of Laïcité, in contrast, takes a much more intolerant view of religion in the public sphere.
  • There is a difference between criticism of a religion and attacking the people who practice it. Critiquing religion, which is a set of ideas, is not hate speech. Stereotypying and dehumanising a group of people, identified by their religion, is hate speech. The report illustrates the difference using images taken from a Facebook page, which was not specifically dedicated to hate.
  • The report looks at how media around the world have responded to the events, and recommended against them republishing the cartoons lampooning the Prophet by Charlie Hebdo.
  • It recommends social media users show solidarity with the victims using the universal hashtag “JeSuisHumain” rather than the more divisive “JeSuisCharlie” or “JeSuisAhmed”.
  • The report makes a case for Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act being expanded to bring religious vilification within its purview.
  • It calls for greater vigilance against rising antisemitism, which in turn is fueling radicalisation of parts of the Muslim community in Europe.

December 10, 2013: Islamophobia on the Internet: The growth of online hate targeting Muslims

This work examines 50 anti-Muslim Facebook pages from which it 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:

  • 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 Speech

December 8, 2014: How Facebook Responded to Anti-Muslim Hate

This report gives an update tracking the removal (or growth) of pages discussed in the 2013 report.


OHPI briefings tackle specific instances of online hate and are produced rapidly to respond to emerging problems.

December 26, 2018: Hate on the rise in Victoria

December 16, 2018: Who thinks we’re a waste of time and money?

December 15, 2018: Hating those opposing hate

December 11, 2018: Impact on Islamophobia: OHPI in UK Parliamentary Report

November 9, 2018: Bourke Street Attack November 2018

August 8, 2018: OHPI cited in the United Nations

December 21, 2017: Car Attack in Flinders Street Melbourne

January 7, 2016: Charlie Hebdo, free speech and the right to human dignity

January 14, 2016: Report anti-Muslim video “WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT (islam)” on YouTube

December 19, 2015: Response to geography homework on Islam shuts down schools

December 9, 2015: Recap 2015: Je Suis Humain report & paper

November 27, 2015: Criminal investigations launched against Facebook in Germany for racist speech

November 25, 2015: When does disagreement become hate?

November 24, 2015: Crossing the line on political speech

October 23, 2015: Victorian Government supports SAMIH

September 25, 2015: How to identify anti-Muslim hate

September 17, 2015: The Rising Online Anti-Muslim Hate: A Background

September 11, 2015: Sept 11 and today’s rising anti-Muslim hate

August 29, 2015: The Bendigo Rallies

August 23, 2015: Bigots target OHPI

August 21, 2015: Report “Restore Australia” community page

August 17, 2015: “Waleed Aly is an Islamic Turd”- Page Removed

August 6, 2015: The danger of the Australian Far-Right

July 28, 2015: E-mail with a Reclaimer

July 22, 2015: Hatefully presenting Muslims as a threat to our way of life

June 5, 2015: Restore Australia’s cyberbullying of Mariam Veiszadeh

April 23, 2015: More on Boycott Halal in Australia

April 22, 2015: Examining Boycott Halal in Australia

April 16, 2015: Right Honourable Useful Idiots

March 24, 2015: Success! OHPI gets hate removed

March 10, 2015: A recap on OHPI at 12,000

November 5, 2014: Hate Among Friends

October 2, 2014: Hate Page Take Back Australia Grows Rapidly

Setpember 27, 2014: Squadron 88 Returns

September 15, 2014: The Mosque at Currumbin

July 26, 2014: 60 Minutes Unholy War

July 24, 2014: The Bendigo Mosque: Exporting Hatred to Regional Victoria

February 10, 2014: OHPI’s exposure of Islam exposed

January 10, 2014: Administrator closes account after threats of violence

April 11, 2013: Islamophobia on Facebook – Hate Against Muslims Crosses the Line

July 10, 2013: Anti-Muslim Rant goes viral

Community & Government Engagement

January 31, 2017: Evidence given when appearing before the Freedom of Speech / S18C Inquiry

December 9, 2016: Submission to Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Right’s Inquiry into Freedom of Speech (and S18C)

December 14, 2015: OHPI joins All Together Now for #silencetheracists campaign

November 18, 2015: OHPI represented at a national conference on multiculturalism

November 16, 2015: OHPI interviewed by SBS Urdu

October 14, 2015: Minister Robin Scott commends OHPI’s work

July 27, 2015: OHPI attends the IREA Eid Dinner

July 18, 2015: Attending the Melbourne Rally Against Racism

July 16 & 17, 2015: Attending the Advancing Community Cohesion conference

April 17, 2105: Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs responds to OHPI Report

June 22, 2015: OHPI attends the Iftar Dinner at the Victorian State Parliament

March 23, 2015: OHPI at the first Official Jewish-Muslim Dinner in Victoria

March 20, 2015: Attorney-General Responds to OHPI Report

February 5, 2015: World Interfaith Harmony Week at the Victorian Parliament

September 22, 2015: Women in mosque peace talk

August 21, 2015: Talk on Cyber-Racism & Social Media

Commentary & Media Coverage

January 24, 2017: How The Bourke Street Rampage Was Quickly Claimed To Be ‘Islamic Terrorism’

December 10, 2015: Anti-Muslim Internet Hate: Interim Report to mark International Human Rights Day  (Press Release)

November 23, 2015: OHPI featured in an ABC Radio National documentary

November 15, 2015: OHPI interviewed by SBS Urdu

October 3, 2015: OHPI on SBS Urdu

September 24, 2015: OHPI featured in SBS News

September 17, 2015: OHPI on SBS Hindi

September 18, 2015: Campaign to stop Online Hate against Islam – SBS Radio Interview

September 3, 2015: Radio interview about OHPI’s work combating online hate (K-Rock FM)

July 18, 2015: Melbourne Rally Against Racism

June 10, 2015: Countering Violent Extremism Summit

April 20, 2015: Talk at La Trobe University

April 16, 2015: Right Honourable Useful Idiots

January 21, 2015: Je Suis Humain: Responsible free speech in the shadow of Charlie Hebdo (The Big Smoke)

January 21, 2015: OHPI: Je Suis Humain (hurryupharry.org)

January 20, 2015: OHPI releases report on free speech in light of the Charlie Hebdo attacks  (Press Release)

December 15, 2014: New tool in fighting online hate (Australian Jewish News)

December 11, 2014: OHPI: Tracking down the data to combat online hate (The Big Smoke)

December 10, 2014: Hitting Back Against Hate (MX)

December 9, 2014: Fight Against Hate Launched (OHPI Press Release)

September 22, 2014: Women in Mosque Peace Talk in the Frankston Times

September, 16, 2014: Abusive anti-mosque Facebook page taken down, ABC Gold Coast

September, 16, 2014: Controversial anti-mosque Facebook page removed, interview on ABC Radio Brisbane

June, 27, 2014: Bendigo Mosque A cause celebre for right-wing outsiders in the The Sydney Morning Herald

July 17, 2014: Facebook Caught in Social Media War in The Jerusalem Post.

July 7, 2014: Loving Nazis & Hating Muslims in the The Australian Jewish News

December 10, 2013: Muslims Trolled, interview with ABC Radio National

External Resource



July 28, 2015 – Reclaiming Australia from bigots