Many Australian Muslims felt afraid after Christchurch terrorist attack — survey

The vast majority of Australian Muslims said they felt afraid for their community following the Christchurch terror attack.

Al Noor Mosque. Source: 1 NEWS

That's one of the findings from Sharing the Stories of Australian Muslims, a new report by the country's Human Rights Commission.

More than 1000 Muslims were surveyed across Australia, with the report finding 79 per cent of them felt more afraid for their community as a direct result of the attack.

"I was emotionally distressed for weeks on. I had unfortunately and accidentally come across the online video of the shooting after it was posted on social media and I had watched it. I couldn’t stop crying and my panic attacks were at an all-time peak," said one female survey participant. 

"We are afraid while standing for Friday prayer that it could be our last prayer," said one male survey participant.

"I felt like a target with my hijab. I didn’t want my family to go out. I just didn’t know how to keep anyone safe but at the same time felt too scared to not do anything," said another female survey participant. 

Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan said the Christchurch terrorist attack was "doubly horrific", as the shooter was "one of our own".

"The stories shared by Australian Muslim community members for this project have brought home to me that the undercurrents of religious discrimination, vilification and hate that manifested so horribly in the Christchurch attack, are not an aberration," Tan said.

"They are consistent with the experiences of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate that is routinely experienced in Australia."

The report concludes by saying the Australian Government and the Australian community need to take a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of discrimination, hatred and Islamophobia.

"The Christchurch terror attack is a harrowing example of the consequences of anti-Muslim hate left undetected and unaddressed."

Read the full report here.