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Monash University addresses Islamophobia at information session

Faridah Wu

Mon Oct 06 2014

islamic girl on campus

RESPONDING to students’ safety concerns, Monash University and Victoria Police move quickly to address the issue of Islamophobia at an information session to be held this Wednesday at the university’s Clayton campus. Faridah Wu reports.

islamic girl on campus

Monash University International Students Service (MUISS) will seek to tackle the issue of Islamophobia head on, at an information session held in conjunction with Victoria Police this Wednesday.

MUISS says the event has been organised due to advice from the university that students feel most vulnerable when they are in the external community and would like the safety of walking along the street, shopping centres, trains and similar scenarios to be addressed. 

The concerns come on the back of a surge in Islamophobia incidents reported in the news in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Two weeks ago, a teenage terror suspect was killed and two counter-terrorism police officers were hurt at Endeavour Hills police station in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs.

Days later, a Muslim woman was attacked by another female passenger and pushed off a train at Batman Railway Station in North Melbourne.

The terror raids conducted by police in Sydney and Brisbane were the subject of discussion on ABC’s Q&A which went on air on Monday September 22. The show however was lambasted by media outlets The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian for flaming tensions.

Internationally, debates surrounding Islam have also made headlines, including HBO host Bill Maher’s debate and responses from others such as American actor Ben Affleck.

Related story: Call for harmony between Muslims and the Media

Monash University is likely the first university in Victoria to address the current issue of Islamophobia.

The interactive presentation will feature a general information session on Islamophobia led by a female Muslim Lebanese presenter. Members from the Victoria Police Multicultural Unit will be running a session on personal safety and MUISS members will also come forward to share their personal accounts and experience in facing Islamophobia.

The event is open to all students, including students not from Monash University. MUISS also invites both Muslims and non-Muslims to attend.

The Islamophobia session will be held this Wednesday October 8 at 1pm in Building 10, Cinema at the Monash University Clayton Campus. The session is free. For more details, contact Nina Mustika Khairina.