Islamophobia Watch is an app that enables people to anonymously record and share information about religiously-motivated attacks on Muslim Australians.
Josep TomàsThe Islamophobia Watch app helps combat Islamophobia in all its forms.
Anti-Muslim sentiment has been on the rise globally ever since 9/11. Indeed, research shows that being a Muslim is reason for discrimination, when not outright hate-fuelled verbal or physical assaults, for an increasing number of people.
Islamophobia, in its many forms, doesn't just affect the people it is directed at. Muslims, whether religious or not, or any other people who may look Muslim, for that matter (the case of Charles De Menezes springs to mind: he was killed by police officers who mistook him for a terrorist suspect in a highly charged post-terror-attack-London in 2005) are all at risk.
Islamophobia destabilises our societies, through unjustified fear, through a surge of right-wing politics and discourse, through a silencing of minority voices and opinions, and a discounting of human rights and privacy rights.
In Australia, non-profit organisation Islamophobia Watch works to combat anti-Muslim sentiment, discrimation and violence.
On their website they state:
“Islamophobia Watch Australia is primarily concerned with reporting and documenting the manifestations of Islamophobia that have the most immediate effects on the everyday lives of Muslim Australians. These can take the form of physical and verbal assaults on Muslims in public places; attacks on and vandalism of Muslim property, particularly homes and mosques; and discrimination experienced by Muslims in educational institutions and at work due to their religious affiliation. Although our work focuses on the most overt forms of Islamophobic discrimination and violence, we acknowledge that these are deeply intertwined with violence that is symbolic in nature. They do not start and end with the racist individuals who perpetrate them, but reflect the proliferation of Islamophobic representations of Muslims in the media, political discourse and Australian public life more generally. “
To help them in their quest, they have launched a mobile app which enables anonymous and real time documenting and sharing of Islamophobic incidents, giving both victims and witnesses a tool to speak out.
How the Islamophobia App Works
The app is much more than just a reporting tool. It also features a case referral service, which connects anyone who reports an incident to service providers such as legal and mental health support services, as well as other community services available, within two working days from the incident having being reported.
The app also seeks to engage and mobilise people against Islamophobia, by communicating regularly with the press, via campaigns, and by facilitating events on the theme of Islamophobia and discrimination.
Last but not least, a database of incidents (also visible on a map both online and through the app) is collated, maintained and made available to the public. And by capturing 'below the radar' incidents too - that is to say, those not reported to the police – the database can help to form a much more accurate view of the incidence of Islamophobia in Australia, and a more targeted and effective response.
Here you can check out some screenshots of the app. And to download it, click here for Android, and here for iOS.
Here's a quick insight into how the case referral service works: