Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Derya Iner

Dr Derya Iner

BA Lit, MA, PhD

Derya Iner is the research coordinator and senior lecturer at the CISAC. Derya completed her PhD in Cultural Studies (major) and Gender and Women's Studies (minor) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), USA in 2011. Derya started teaching in UW in 2014.

Derya’s earlier research focused on the early twentieth century intellectual life and print culture and she paid particular attention to the Ottoman women’s intellectual activities. In her following projects after moving from the US to Australia, Derya focused more on contemporary debates related to Islam, Islamic cultures and Muslims in the West. Her research since 2014 focuses particularly on Islamophobia, especially women and children’s experience with Islamophobia, hate-crime and far-right extremism.  Derya is the chief investigator and editor of the Islamophobia in Australia Report I (2017) and Islamophobia in Australia Report II (2019), which drew worldwide attention by reaching out to potential 730 million international audiences (according to CSU’s media metrics report).

Derya’s recent publications include a co-edited volume with John Esposito Islamophobia and Radicalisation: Breeding Intolerance and Violence (Palgrave 2019). Derya is also an executive board member of the Islamophobia Register Australia and co-founder of International Islamophobia and Children Network. She currently conducts research on Mosque Attacks in Australia, Children of Islamophobia and Islamophobia in Australia Report III.

Derya's research interests can be listed as:

  • Islam and Muslims in the West and Australia: Islamophobia, Far-right populism and extremism, Muslim youth identity, religious identity formation.
  • Women in Islam, Islamic cultures, and societies.
  • Women’s intellectual and political activism in the Ottoman society and newly founded Muslim states of the early 20th century.

Derya is actively involved in academic associations and community organisations:

  • Founding member of the Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (AAIMS)
  • Founder and President of the Islamic Community Academics Network (ICAN) (2017-Present)
  • Founding member of Children and Islamophobia International Network (2020)
  • Executive Member/Director of the Islamophobia Register Australia (2016-Present)
  • Research Chair of Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Faculty of Arts, CSU (2014-Present)
  • Course Director of Islam, Culture and Society (2021)
  • Member of Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre (PaCT), (2015-Present)
  • Course Design and Review Committee member, CISAC (2013-Present)
  • Subject Design and Review Committee member, CISAC (2013-Present)
  • Higher Degree Research Assessment Committee member, CISAC (2013-Present)
  • Team Leader and mentor at the Islamic Science and Research Academy (2014-Present)

Derya is a public commentator and public speaker:

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Coming from Cultural & Women studies, Derya teaches sociological and contemporary topics related to Muslims and Islam. She also delivers seminars on sociological research methods. Her subject focus on Muslims’ portrayal and history in the West, Women in Islam and the contemporary debates on Islam.


ISL151 & ISL451 - Islam in the Modern World
ISL355 & ISL455 - Women in Islam, Islamic Civilisations and Cultures (for classical Islamic Studies program)
ISL456 - Islam through West Eye
ISL599 - Guided Research Seminars

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In her current research projects, Derya is particularly interested in the operation and impact of Islamophobia on targets, especially on the women, youth and children.

Derya’s Islamophobia research has sub-branches: Online and offline (physical) Islamophobia, institutional and inter-personal Islamophobia, children and mothers’ experiences with Islamophobia, Far-right populism and extremism, Mosque attacks in the West and Australia.

Current Research Projects

Mosque Attacks in Australia

Our pilot study conducted in 2021 demonstrates the prevalence of attacks against mosques in Australia. The Mosque Attacks study conducted among 75 mosques across Australia suggests that mosque attacks in Australia are neither new nor rare; 58.2% of mosques (or worshippers at them) experienced targeted violence between 2014 and 2019.

This problem appears to have escalated in recent years, especially since the rise of ideological extremism. It begs the question of whether mosques and other visible Muslim institutions, such as Islamic schools, community organisations or Halal certifiers, are also feeling the brunt of anti-Muslim hate crime in Australia. We know virtually nothing about the extent to which mosques and Muslim institutions in Australia are the targets of physical attack or online abuse. Nor do we know how hate crime against mosques and Muslim institutions is transformed into everyday experiences of vulnerability and alienation for individual members of the Muslim community or how Muslim communities build resilience against the threat of such attacks. This project will fill this gap.

Research Team:

  • Dr Derya Iner, Centre for Islamic Studies & Civilisation, Charles Sturt University, Charles Sturt University, NSW
  • Professor Mohamad Abdalla, Director: Centre for Islamic Thought and Education, University of South Australia, SA
  • Professor Gail Mason, Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney, NSW
  • Professor Scott Poynting, Centre for Islamic Studies & Civilisation, Charles Sturt University, NSW
  • Professor Nicole Asquith, Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies, University of Tasmania, TAS

Children of Islamophobia Project

The project aims to explore the perceived impact of Islamophobia on children (under 18 years old) by investigating Muslim children who were exposed to Islamophobia directly (by being a target) or indirectly (by witnessing their mothers/parents' victimisation).

Research Team:

  • Dr Derya Iner, Centre for Islamic Studies & Civilisation, Charles Sturt University, Charles Sturt University, NSW
  • Prof Samina Yasmeen, University of Western Australia
  • Prof Linda Briskman, Western Sydney University

Islamophobia in Australia Reports I-II-III

Islamophobia in Australia reports make a significant impact since they are frequently quoted by the leading politicians, media, and the researchers. The data derived from the incident reports (both by the Muslim community and wider Australian society) are diligently analysed with a world leading methodology and in collaboration with the field-expert researchers. According to CSU’s media metrics, around 720 million worldwide audience was exposed to the report findings in the first week of its release. The reports also inspired to start a register to collect data and release reports by the Indigenous communities in Australia, Muslims in New Zealand and Muslims in different parts of European.

The report was mentioned above 400 times on social media, above 300 time on print media, above 90 time in overseas media. 
-   Online (405 results):, ABC News, Sydney Morning Herald, SBS, Daily Telegraph
-   Some of the more notable international outlets that covered the story and their estimated potential readership/viewers included.

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