A group of Muslim women gathered together at Starship Hospital on Sunday to support the mother there of four-year-old girl Alin Alsati, who had been shot three times in the Christchurch terror attack.

As they waited for the girl to under go surgery, the conversation turned to the everyday abuse, both verbal and physical, the Muslim community faced in New Zealand.

It was that conversation which prompted the formation of a website encouraging people to report Islamophobia.

This is our New Zealand: Report Islamophobia has gone live this week and encourages the Muslim community to share and record the abuse they face.


Executive member of the Human Rights Foundation Deborah Manning was among the women waiting at Starship due to her 20 years of working with the Muslim community on human rights issues.

The website had been discussed for years but the group felt action was needed now in light of the unprecedented attack, she said.

That night the Human Rights Foundation created the website.

"I think what a lot of [the Muslim community] are saying is, 'We understand why people are saying this is not New Zealand'. But unfortunately for the community this is New Zealand in terms of the Islamophobia they experience and the abuse," Manning said.

"We should be brave enough to talk about it and own it and do something about it."

She said the website was a platform where people could share their experiences and support each other.

"Sadly, even since the Christchurch atrocities, the abuses have continued," she said on the website.

"There are regular insults and the Muslim community feels increasingly scared and unwelcome. Being told 'go back to where you came from' or 'go home' is not even seen as abuse because it is the least of what is endured.".


The website offers a forum for people to share their experiences with the knowledge their personal details would be kept confidential.

"It is one way we can gain an accurate picture and help ensure that New Zealand is a place of truth that is safe for everyone to call home," Manning explained on the website.

The submissions would also become part of ongoing research into Islamophobia and how the Muslim community were treated.

There were already 25 stories of abuse and discrimination on the site - some as old as 2006 with the most recent taking place a day after the mosque attacks in which an Australian man allegedly killed 50 people.

The most recent post detailed a horrific incident in Sydney on Saturday.

"We heard about a Muslim sister in Sydney yesterday who had her headscarf ripped off her. Her car was taken while her kids were inside. The children managed to jump out."

The website describes abuse as "comments and behaviour that makes anyone feel unwelcome or belittled". Common phrases included 'go back to your country", "you don't belong here", "this is our country" and "people don't want you here".

"This kind of verbal abuse is not reported because it has become the norm. It is harassment, abuse and racism. No one in New Zealand should ever be told this."