Raising awareness and facilitating transformation through the Islamophobia Reports in Australia I, II, III and IV (2014-2022)

Impact: Cultural Impact, Public policy Impact, Social Impact

Impact summary

The collaborative research and advocacy efforts between the Islamophobia Register Australia and CSU, led by Dr. Derya Iner, have had a significant impact on raising public awareness, mobilizing stakeholders, and informing policies to address Islamophobia in Australia. The research reports based on incidents reported to the Islamophobia Register Australia have shed light on individual and institutional aspects of onsite and online Islamophobia, providing evidence-based recommendations to multiple stakeholders. The Islamophobia reports inspired marginalized communities to drive positive change through research and thereby contributed towards a hate-free society in Australia.

The research and engagement activities based on Dr. Iner’s Islamophobia research reports have involved data collection, volunteer organization, interdisciplinary collaboration, conceptual framework and reporting tool development, policy influence, and civil society action. The research reports have garnered widespread media coverage, strengthening the advocacy work of the Muslim community and other organizations combating racism and hate crimes. The beneficiaries of the impact include individuals who have experienced Islamophobia, the Muslim community, policymakers, government bodies, NGOs, and interfaith groups.

The research reports made it available to the public as open access outputs were downloaded by thousands of people (e.g. the third report was downloaded 5813 times within a year) and frequently cited in academic, civic, and political contexts, and the outcomes of the research influence on policy and funding, community impact and support services, recognition and engagement with policymakers, and resource development. The research has contributed to securing grants and funding, providing vital victim support services, engaging policymakers, and developing programs to improve social cohesion and counter violent extremism. Some tangible steps are taken to protect religious communities and safeguard worship places. The impact of the reports is evident in the leading political figures’ quotations in public and political debates and the invitation of Dr. Iner as an expert panel to anti-racism projects by governmental and non-governmental initiatives.

In summary, Islamophobia reports, an outcome of collaborative research and advocacy efforts between the Islamophobia Register Australia and CSU, have had a significant impact on addressing Islamophobia in Australia in civil, political, and legal contexts within the frameworks of combating racism, religious discrimination and hate crime, and empowered other marginalised communities through its research and informed advocacy model to bring a positive change.

Research and engagement activities leading to impact

The establishment of the Islamophobia Register Australia in 2014 marked the beginning of a series of research and engagement activities that have had a significant impact on addressing Islamophobia in the Australian context.

Iner developed a meticulous process for verifying and transforming reported incidents into reliable data, which ensured the collection of authentic and consistent data, establishing the Register's credibility and enabling evidence-based research on Islamophobia. Dr. Iner developed a customised reporting tool for onsite and online cases, outsourced IT support to make the tool accessible to end-users, organised volunteers to verify and compile incidents, and secured humble grants to complete the coding and categorization of incidents. These activities ensured the efficient management of data collection, improved accessibility for victims to report incidents, and enhanced the Register's reach and impact.

The publication of Islamophobia research reports at regular intervals (2017, 2019, 2022, and 2023) played a pivotal role in generating impact. These reports unpacked the characteristics of Islamophobia in the Australian context, identified trends over time, and provided authentic narratives to contextualize incidents and their impact. The reports aimed to shape policy discussions and shed light on pressing issues related to Islamophobia, resulting in increased awareness and informed decision-making.

Collaboration and Network Building: The research projects on Islamophobia led to interdisciplinary collaborations with institutions and experts specializing in designated themes. These collaborations extended beyond the research reports, resulting in projects such as "Children of Islamophobia" and "Mosque Attacks." The establishment of the "Children of Islamophobia" global network and the international recognition received through collaborations with renowned institutions like Georgetown University further amplified the impact and dissemination of research findings.

Policy and Practice Influence: Each research report focused on specific aspects of Islamophobia and its impact on various spheres of society. By analysing structural factors, predicting future occurrences, highlighting hate rhetoric, addressing workplace discrimination, and examining the impact during the Covid-19 period, the reports influenced policy discussions and informed relevant stakeholders. The reports raised awareness about the need to protect places of worship, contributed to political debates, and shaped the discourse on religious discrimination, bias, and hate crimes.

Conceptual Framework Development: Dr. Iner's supplementary publications on Islamophobia, including the exploration of internalized Islamophobia among niqabi women, introduced novel conceptual frameworks and stimulated paradigm shifts. These publications have contributed to a deeper understanding of the psychological and sociocultural aspects of Islamophobia, empowering individuals within the Muslim community and fostering interfaith dialogue and support.

Reader Engagement and Appreciation: Dr. Iner's academic publications on Islamophobia have garnered positive feedback and appreciation from readers disclosing the significant influence and reach of Iner’s Islamophobia research within and beyond academia. The book editor, Susan Carland, expressed appreciation in her email by stating “Incredibly thoughtful and astute and brings such important and wise additions to the conversation… re-reading your chapter has genuinely been a pleasure and very galvanising.” I also received reader reflections in response to my academic publications: “I really hope you continue writing and editing, whilst teaching, you have a high talent for getting such a strong and empowering message across, such factual and sound knowledge.”

Research outputs associated with the impact

The research project on Islamophobia has generated a wide range of impactful research outputs. These outputs have been instrumental in raising awareness, shaping public discourse, influencing policy discussions, and fostering collaborations. Some of the key research outputs and associated impact activities include:

Report launches in state and federal parliaments: Four of the Islamophobia reports were launched in prominent parliamentary settings, including state and federal parliaments, by high-profile figures such as Anne Lisa (CEO of Media Diversity Australia), Chin Tan (Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner), Fr Chris Riley (Founder of Youth of the Streets), and Prof Fethi Mansouri (Director of the Alfred Deakin Institute). These launches provided a platform for the research findings to reach policymakers, government officials, NGOs, community leaders, and academics, ensuring the research had a direct impact on policy discussions and decision-making processes.

Public and academic launches: The first Islamophobia report was launched in the NSW State Parliament, followed by public and academic launches in universities and community organizations across NSW, VIC, and WA. These launches facilitated engagement with diverse audiences, including researchers, students, community members, and practitioners, thereby disseminating the research findings widely and fostering knowledge exchange.

Online launch and international engagement: The third Islamophobia report was launched online on the third anniversary of the Christchurch attacks. Over 200 high-profile individuals attended the virtual launch from different states of Australia. The fourth Islamophobia report was launched by key political figures Andrew Giles, the Minister of Multiculturalism, Anne Ally, the Minister of Youth, Mahreen Faruqi, the first Muslim senator and Fatima Peyman, the first hijabi senator and the youngest MP in the Australian parliament. They shared the event on their social media channels and help dissemination of the Reports’ key highlights more effectively. These online and in-person launches and their promotion on social media channels ensured extensive reach and engagement, both nationally and internationally, amplifying the impact of the research findings.

Media coverage and videos: The research findings were featured in various media outlets, increasing public awareness and understanding of Islamophobia. Notably, ABC produced a video on the first report's findings, LADbible produced a video on the third report's findings, and Facebook produced two videos on the fourth report's findings and the interactive Islamophobia map developed by CSU SPAN unit with Dr. Iner. These videos reached diverse audiences, including worldwide social media users, and contributed to shaping public perceptions and fostering discussions on Islamophobia.

International conference and expert engagements: Dr. Iner secured over $60,000 to convene an international conference on the cross-pollination between Islamophobia and Radicalism in 2015. The conference attracted one-third of the experts from overseas, including Prof John Esposito of Georgetown University, who delivered a keynote address. The conference raised awareness about Islamophobia in the Australian public and political psyche, engaged key stakeholders, and facilitated international collaborations. Additional events were organised by Dr Iner for Prof Esposito to deliver his expert insights to Australian politicians at a meeting in the Federal Parliament and at interfaith events. Esposito also spoke to the TV, radio and print media in Australia to increase awareness among diverse stakeholders.

Social media and press coverage: The second Islamophobia report garnered significant attention, with over 400 mentions on social media, over 300 mentions in print media, and over 90 mentions in overseas media. The report's findings were widely discussed, and statements from the ruling party and opposition leaders acknowledged the disturbing face of Islamophobia. The research achieved a combined potential reach of nearly 200 million in the first week of its release, as per CSU media metrics. Renowned as CSU’s reports, the Islamophobia reports are mentioned with Charles Sturt University 1,070 times and with Dr. Iner 512 times. “Derya Iner” is addressed in Google 2710 times in relation to hearing broader Islamophobia work in academia and the community (according to the results of the Google search engine in early June 2023).

Apart from 200 printed copies mailed to key organisations, politicians, and stakeholders, the Islamophobia reports were made open access to online readers and downloaded by thousands. For instance, the third report (2022) was downloaded 5813 times within a year while the fourth report (2023) launched in late March was downloaded 1040 times within less than three months of its release (according to CRO metrics).

Influence on policy and official statements: The research findings were extensively cited in various Parliamentary submissions, Royal Commission hearings, consultations, roundtable discussions, and official statements and reports by Muslim community organizations, government bodies, and human rights commissions. Key stakeholders, including the Australian Muslim Advocacy Network (AMAN), Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), Australian National Imams Council (ANIC), ASIO, Multicultural NSW, Race Discrimination Commission, and Human Rights Commission, acknowledged the significance of the research and its contribution to raising public awareness and informing policies to curb Islamophobia, racism, religious discrimination, and hate crimes.

Researcher involvement

Dr. Derya Iner's researcher involvement in the project on Islamophobia has been extensive and impactful, contributing to the research's visibility, credibility, and community engagement. Key aspects of their researcher involvement include:

Establishment of a procedure and method to collect authentic data: Dr. Iner played a leading role in establishing incident report collation and registration mechanisms at the Islamophobia Register Australia. This involved developing structured data collection processes, ensuring the authenticity and reliability of the reports. By creating a centralized platform for reporting Islamophobic incidents, Dr. Iner facilitated a comprehensive understanding of the manifestations and impact of Islamophobia in the Australian context.

Transformation of third-party reports into structured data: Dr. Iner employed innovative approaches to transforming third-party incident reports into structured data. This enabled systematic analysis and identification of patterns and trends related to Islamophobia. By utilizing interdisciplinary methods and data analysis techniques, Dr. Iner enhanced the research's robustness and provided valuable insights into the particular dimensions of Islamophobia.

Authorship and editorship of research reports: Dr. Iner played a pivotal role in shaping the structure and content of the research reports. Iner acted as the editor for commissioned sections and authored the majority of the reports, which extensively analysed the third-party incident reports submitted to the Islamophobia Register. The inclusion of detailed case studies based on empirical data helped shed light on significant and often overlooked aspects of Islamophobia, contributing to public and academic attention to these issues.

Engagement with media and public discourse: Dr. Iner has been actively engaged with media outlets and participated in various public platforms to raise awareness about Islamophobia. Dr Iner has appeared in numerous media interviews, documentaries, and news reports, sharing her expertise and research findings. By being a frequent commentator on topics related to Islam and Muslims, Dr. Iner has contributed to shaping public and media discourse, debunking stereotypes, and fostering a more nuanced understanding of Islamophobia.

Collaboration with organizations and interfaith communities: Dr. Iner has actively collaborated with key organizations and interfaith communities involved in combating racism and promoting social inclusion. Her involvement in advisory committees, panels, and events organized by organizations such as the Australian Human Rights Commission, Diversity Council Australia, and interfaith networks has facilitated knowledge exchange, advocacy, and community engagement. Through these collaborations, Dr. Iner has contributed to the development of initiatives aimed at addressing Islamophobia and activating bystanders through a moral compass introduced within an interfaith framework.

Community engagement and support: Dr. Iner actively engages with Muslim women's associations and community organizations, conducting training sessions and providing support to individuals who have experienced Islamophobia. By working closely with these organizations, such as the Muslim Women's Association (Nationwide) and Muslim Women’s Support Centre in WA, Dr. Iner has established meaningful relationships and contributed to empowering individuals, especially Muslim women, who bear the brunt of Islamophobia, to report incidents of Islamophobia and in turn receive support to cope with hate.

Voluntary roles and leadership: Dr. Iner's commitment to addressing Islamophobia is further demonstrated through her voluntary roles as Deputy Chair and Research Lead at the Islamophobia Register Australia, which demonstrates Iner’s dedication to supporting the community and advocating for change beyond the confines of academic research.

Outcomes of research leading to impact


The research reports on Islamophobia have had a profound impact on the survival and thriving of Islamophobia Register Australia within nine years (in contrast to other registered that disappeared or maintained without informing the public and policy). Presently, the Register is the oldest nationwide only leading community organisation, which combats Islamophobia via informed advocacy. The reports have played a crucial role in the following categories.


Influence on policy and funding: Dr. Iner's research findings, op-eds, and briefings to government representatives have been instrumental in securing the Multicultural NSW COMPACT grant of $160,000 in 2021. This funding supports the Register's victim support services, providing legal, mental health, and advocacy support to individuals who have experienced Islamophobia.


The lobbying efforts based on research reports and presentations led to the acquisition of $385,000 in funding in 2022 for the bystander activation project. This project aims to mobilize bystanders and improve third-party attitudes to counteract hate incidents in society.


The research on attacks on Islamic organizations and schools, supported by the NSW Government with a funding of $150,000 over three years, has highlighted the issue and contributed to NSW Premier Chris Minns announcing a $10 million budget to combat racism in the state.


Community impact and support services: The Register, built upon the foundation of the research reports, has thrived as a leading community organization, offering a platform for reporting experiences of Islamophobia and providing vital victim support services.

The Register connects individuals with legal and mental health support, while also offering advocacy. This tangible support aids in the healing process for victims of Islamophobia.



Recognition and engagement with policymakers: Dr. Iner's research reports have garnered attention and engagement from influential policymakers and government representatives. Their work has mobilized policymakers such as Attorney General Mark Dreyfus and Minister of Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles, who jointly highlighted key findings from the report and emphasized their commitment to ending religious vilification and discrimination.

The Islamophobia reports' findings have been extensively referenced by MP Paul Lynch in the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Vilification Bill) introduced in 2021, demonstrating the direct impact on legislative actions.


The recognition and appreciation expressed by former Australian Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow reflect the significant contribution of Dr. Iner's expertise in raising awareness of and combating Islamophobia.


Conference outcomes and resource development: The Islamophobia and far-right extremism conference, convened by Dr. Iner, received positive feedback from delegates and was highly regarded for its stimulating and informative nature. The conference outcomes, including the report produced, serve as valuable resources for developing programs to improve social cohesion and counter violent extremism in NSW.


The research reports conducted by Dr. Derya Iner have had a far-reaching impact on policy, funding, community support, and engagement with policymakers. Their work has elevated the status and influence of the Islamophobia Register Australia and provided a strong foundation for evidence-based advocacy against Islamophobia, inspiring other communities and organizations.

Beneficiaries of the impact

Dr. Iner's Islamophobia research and contributions in this space have had a significant impact on multiple stakeholders.

Empowering Islamophobia Register Australia and similar types of registers: Dr. Iner's incident registration protocol, as outlined in the Islamophobia reports, has played a crucial role in discouraging the submission of fabricated incidents aimed at undermining the Register's data. This protocol has significantly reduced the number of fake reports over time, enhancing the credibility and reliability of the Register's findings.

Dr. Iner's professional contributions, dedication, and research skills have strengthened the credibility of the Register, enabling it to inform policymakers and advocate for legislative change effectively. Her contribution to the Register’s survival and thriving is recognised by the founding chair of the Register, Mariam Veiszadeh: “Derya’s timely involvement in the Register helped the organisation to systematically collect third-party Islamophobia incident reports. …Apart from her expert support, Derya’s volunteer work at the Register kept the organisation going in my absence for three years. …Derya kept raising the bar and made the Register and her research reports a role model for other communities. …Derya was instrumental in collaborating with other Muslim community organisations and securing COMPACT grants in 2019 and 2021. Derya’s dedication, value-driven motivation, and resilience in times of hardship and limited support made the Register keep going and growing. Derya’s contribution to the Register through her Islamophobia in Australia research reports (2017, 2019, and 2022) put the Register in a credible position to inform policymakers and enforce legislative change, especially in the space of religious discrimination and vilification. …Derya’s vision for bystander activation and her lobbying efforts through her research, op-eds and conversations with key stakeholders for a bystander project gave the Register a new goal to pursue. …Derya also organically connected research with community work and inspired other communities to follow the Register’s footprints...”

Dr. Iner's research has enhanced the reporting tool used by the Islamophobia Register, enabling a comprehensive analysis of different categories of Islamophobia incidents. This tool has been adopted by other registers, such as the Indigenous Register "Call it Out" and the Australian National Imams Council's register, extending the impact of the research to address racism and discrimination in other marginalized communities. The adoption of the reporting tool by other registers demonstrates its effectiveness and the potential for its application in different contexts.

Marginalized communities: The Islamophobia research reports inspired other marginalized communities, including Asian Australian and Indigenous communities, to produce their own reports based on reported experiences of racism, hate, and discrimination. Such an extended impact fostered solidarity among these communities.

Furthermore, Disability Royal Commission invited Dr Iner to provide details about her research-based advocacy model with the Register evidence. Her research impact demonstrates the potential for her methodologies and informed advocacy model to be applied in other contexts, such as tracking and combatting disability hate.

Policymakers, government agencies, and organizations: Dr. Iner's expertise and research findings have been sought after by Muslim community advocacy organizations, hate crime and human rights organizations, and tech companies like Meta. She has provided lived experiences of Islamophobia from her research database for submissions and parliament hearings, contributing to evidence-based policy discussions and initiatives. Iner’s Islamophobia reports have mobilised policymakers like Attorney General Dreyfus and Minister of Multicultural Affairs Giles, to issue a statement titled “Report Shows We Must Tackle Islamophobia in Australia.” After summarising key findings, the statement underlined “Labour is committed to ending religious vilification and discrimination.” https://www.markdreyfus.com/media/media-releases/report-shows-we-must-tackle-islamophobia-in-australia-mark-dreyfus-qc-mp/.

The Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Vilification Bill) by MP Paul Lynch in 2021 extensively quoted the Islamophobia report findings while Senator Faruqi of Greens stated “Everyone who cares about human rights and social justice in this country should read the ‘Islamophobia in Australia III’ report and demand that the government take immediate action.” https://twitter.com/mehreenfaruqi/status/1503584469240156164?s=12

Dr. Iner's reports authored for the NSW government on topics such as far-right extremism, Islamophobia, and strengthening democracies have informed policy development and responses to these pressing issues. Convening and designing participatory conferences with multiple stakeholders has facilitated collaboration among stakeholders and inspired new projects and initiatives. Following the Islamophobia and Far-right extremism conference in the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks, Pia van de Zandth, director of the Connected Communities unit in the Department of Premiers and Cabinet, wrote in her thanking letter “I found the day extremely stimulating and informative. ….The feedback I received from other delegates echoed my sentiments…. We are extremely pleased with the conference's outcomes. Your report will be a valuable resource for us to develop our program to improve social cohesion and CVE in NSW.” (2019).

NGOs, Australian Human Rights, and Diversity Council Australia: Dr. Iner's contributions have extended to organizations involved in countering and eliminating racism, religious discrimination, hate crimes, and Islamophobia projects. Her expertise has been valued by these organizations, benefiting their efforts in addressing these issues and promoting social inclusion. Former Australian Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow also stated, “We are very fortunate in Australia to have your expertise and hard work in drawing attention to, and combating Islamophobia.” Mr Santow appreciated Iner's contribution on another occasion: “I wanted to write and thank you for speaking so powerfully and with such depth about your work on the Islamophobia Register. It was hugely important to have your expertise – and your voice! – and we are very grateful.”

Details of the impact achieved

The Islamophobia reports have had a substantial impact in initiating discussions, raising awareness, and driving actions to counter racism, religious discrimination, and hate incidents.

Dissemination and engagement: The Islamophobia reports have been disseminated nationwide through launches, op-eds, academic conferences, and publications. This extensive dissemination has ensured broad reach and engagement with diverse stakeholders, including policymakers, community leaders, activists, interfaith organizations, think tanks, tech companies, government officials, and academics.

The reports have prompted important discussions on religious discrimination, interfaith collaboration, and the dangers of unchecked Islamophobia. These discussions have led to collaborations between different communities, fostered a deeper understanding of the issue, and inspired new projects and initiatives.

Shifting perceptions and addressing complacency: The reports have challenged prevailing perceptions and addressed complacency surrounding Islamophobia. By providing evidence-based data, they have transformed Islamophobia from speculation to a recognized problem within the Australian context.

The reports have emphasized that Islamophobia is not solely a "Muslim" problem but a risk to social cohesion that requires national engagement. This shift in perspective has contributed to the Islamophobia Register receiving social cohesion funds and support for their initiatives.

Recognition of specific vulnerabilities: The reports have shed light on specific vulnerabilities within the Muslim community, such as public violence against Muslim women and children. This recognition has led to targeted funding for victim support services, ensuring that the needs of these vulnerable groups are addressed.

Influencing policy and accountability: The reports have influenced policy development and funding decisions. They have prompted leading politicians, ministers, senators, and MPs to acknowledge the disturbing face of Islamophobia and the need for action.
The reports have held institutions accountable for their actions and inactions. By reporting cases of violent extremism to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and highlighting failures in monitoring extremist sites, they have driven change and contributed to official recognition of far-right violent extremism as a priority threat.

Collaboration with tech companies and online hate regulation: The reports have prompted discussions and engagement with tech companies like Meta Group (Facebook and Instagram) regarding the regulation of online hate platforms. This has influenced the establishment of an online hate advisory group by Meta Group and support for the Register's online awareness projects and research reports.

Interdisciplinary research and public health implications: The reports have sparked interdisciplinary research on the well-being of communities targeted by Islamophobia. They have highlighted the emotional and long-term impact of Islamophobia, contributing to a new discussion on public health and well-being within the context of discrimination.
Influence on related initiatives and projects:

The reports have influenced related initiatives, such as Diversity Council Australia's anti-racism report and tools for the corporate world. Dr. Iner's involvement in the advisory board of the RISE project and collaboration with NSW Education to raise awareness about religious discrimination in schools further demonstrate the impact of the reports beyond the immediate context of Islamophobia.

Impact date20142022
Category of impactCultural Impact, Public policy Impact, Social Impact
Impact levelNational