MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - There have been at least 30 attacks on Australia's Muslim community since the country's police force began conducting anti-terror raids in response to extremist threats in mid-September, The Sydney Morning Herald reported Friday.
According to the newspaper, Muslim community leaders are in the midst of compiling a register of religiously motivated incidents including physical and verbal assaults, threats of violence and damage to mosques.
Muslim leaders fear the Australian police do not have sufficient resources to stop hate crimes and claim a mistrust of the police has left many anti-Islamic incidents unreported, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's approval of a parliamentary proposal to ban wearing burqas has particularly put women who wear traditional Islamic headscarves or hijabs under fire.
"We have noticed an increase in attacks against Muslim women in public places, of those who wear a scarf or a hijab," solicitor of the Muslim Legal Network, Lydia Shelly was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
"As a Muslim woman, I am very concerned that this is impacting on the rights or perhaps the freedom of movement for Muslim women, because they simply do not feel safe any more. We have had property defaced. We have had death threats issued to our spiritual leaders and threats to bomb the mosques and things like that," Shelly added.
Reported anti-Islamic incidents include a woman wearing a hijab being physically attacked, with her car subsequently vandalized, a mother and child verbally abused and spat on, two Mosques and the Australian Grand Mufti of directly threatened in letters sent by the Australian Defense League, and several Mosques vandalized.
Australia launched anti-terrorism raids as a response to threats related to the Islamic State (IS), an extremist Sunni group leading the deadly conflict in Iraq and Syria. On September 18, a massive counter-terrorism raid, Operation Appleby, involving 800 police officers and members of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), secured 15 people suspected of involvement in an IS support network.
The government launched the operation after learning of plans to carry out "demonstration killings" and public beheadings in Australian cities by the extremist group led by Mohammad Baryalei, a prominent Australian member of the IS. Since the incident, both the Australian government and its citizens have been on high alert, however many Muslims argue that subsequent raids are antagonizing the Islamic community.