Muslim Australians disappointed with media for depicting them as terrorists

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Canberra, July 12 (ANI): A report of the 'Department of Immigration and Citizenship' has revealed that Muslim families have good relations with other Australians, and feel safe and happy in the country, but they are furious with the media for depicting Muslims as terrorists and criminals.

"The families felt strongly the media were gunning for Muslims; it was a huge concern for them," The Age quoted Ilan Katz, director of the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, and a co-author of the study, as saying.

The research is part of a wider project commissioned by the department to understand the concerns and needs of Muslim Australians.

Based on interviews with 72 family members, it found people traced a change in the media's depiction of Muslims after the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

"They felt community attitudes had hardened towards them since then because of the media," Dr Katz said.

"Media portray us as terrorists; the media are against us. Australians listen to the media; that is what they believe." an Iraqi father of a student in the country said.

Nevertheless, the paper states, that the Australian Muslims were mainly positive about their daily interactions with ordinary Australians, friends, workmates, and passers-by.

"Australian government high schools even have a prayer room inside the school and the students perform midday and Friday prayers there," another father said.

A major concern was low incomes, with some blaming discrimination in the workplace for shutting them out of jobs. Moreover, some parents were troubled that their children had become more religious than they were.

"The daughters were wearing the hijab but the mothers weren't," Dr Katz added. (ANI)

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