Islamophobia can be explained and understood in many ways.

We understand that Islamophobia is experienced, defined and measured differently by individuals, communities, academics and other services and organisations.


At Islamophobia Support, we understand Islamophobia as anti-Muslim racism. We understand that sometimes anti-Muslim racism may motivate words, behaviours and actions. We refer to these words, behaviours and actions as Islamophobic incidents.


We know that Islamophobic incidents are different for everyone. Our role at Islamophobia Support is not to evaluate if you have or haven’t experienced Islamophobia. Instead, we aim to provide support in response to Islamophobic incidents. Our role is to listen to your unique experience and needs, to help find appropriate support for you.

What is Islamophobia-grid-1Other services and organisations may understand Islamophobic incidents using different language and examples. You will find some examples of these different ways below.

Prejudice Motivated Crime

Has someone (or a group of people) committed a crime towards you that is motivated by prejudice or hatred because you’re a Muslim? This may be a prejudice motivated crime.


Example: A person vandalises a mosque and spray paints the words “All Muslims are terrorists.”


In the context of Islamophobia, a prejudice motivated crimecan occur when a crime is “motivated by prejudice or hatred towards a person or a group because of a particular characteristic” including characteristics such as religion or race.


Direct Discrimination 

Has someone (or a group of people) treated you differently or unfairly because you’re a Muslim?  This may be direct discrimination. 


Example: A Muslim woman who is in hijab dress applies for a client-facing role for which she is very qualified. She doesn’t get the job and is told that hijab doesn’t comply with their dress codes for those directly engaging with clients.


In the context of Islamophobia, direct discrimination can occur “when a person or a group of people, is treated less favourably than another person or group” because of their affiliation to Islam.


Indirect Discrimination 

Has someone (or a group of people) imposed an unreasonable condition that negatively affects you because you’re a Muslim? This may be indirect discrimination. 


Example: A new workplace policy indicates fixed 15-minute break times. This policy unfairly affects the Muslims in the workplace who choose to pray during the day.


In the context of Islamophobia, indirect discrimination can occur “when an unreasonable condition is imposed that disadvantages” a person or group of people because of their affiliation to Islam.



Has someone (or a group of people) offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated you because you’re a Muslim? This may be harassment. 


Example: Abdul is on the train and a woman yells at him: “You are a terrorist and should go back to where you came from”.


In the context of Islamophobia, harassment can be behaviour that “offends, insults, humiliates or intimidates a person or group” in relation to their affiliation to Islam.



Has someone (or a group of people) behaved in in a way that has encouraged hatred, contempt, revulsion or ridicule towards you because you’re a Muslim? This may be vilification. 


Example: A website publishes material that encourages others to express hatred towards Muslims.


In the context of Islamophobia, vilification may be “behaviour that incites hatred, serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of a person or group or people” based on their affiliation to Islam.



Has someone (or a group of people) intimidated, threatened or been violent towards either you, an organisation or property because you’re a Muslim? This may be violence. 


Example: A man ripped off Susan’s hijab while she was on the train home.


In the context of Islamophobia, violence can be “acts of violence or intimidation” directed at a person, group of people, organisation or property based on their affiliation to Islam.



Learn more about prejudice motivated crime here

Learn more about direct discrimination here

Learn more about indirect discrimination here

Learn more about harassment here

Learn more about vilification here

Learn more about violence here