A report released Thursday by the Australian Human Rights Commission reveals that the Racial Discrimination Act has only a " limited " ability to protect Muslim Australians, because " religious identity " is not covered under the act.Conversely, Jewish Australians - - along with Sikhs - - are covered because the Federal Court has accepted they have a common " ethnic origin " and can thus be owed protection under the Act. The Court has determined that Jewish people constitute an ethnic group due to their shared customs, beliefs, traditions and characteristics derived from a common history and identity. Legal and ethnic affairs experts are calling on the Federal Government to investigate how to better protect Australia ' s Muslim community from discrimination.Recommended:Muslims feel inadequately protected by the Racial Discrimination ActThe report finds that discrimination against Muslims has escalated since the Lindt Cafe siege last year, during which lone gunman Man Haron Monis killed two hostages at the end of a 16 - hour standoff. Professor Simon Rice, the director of law reform and social justice at the Australian National University(ANU), told the ABC on Thursday that changing Act legislation alone won ' t make a difference. “Reliance on law alone is very limited. The law has to be given effect to by lawyers and courts and tribunals who understand it and pursue its spirit. “It has to be backed up by mechanisms like the Human Rights Commission, which would have to be properly funded to promote and investigate those sort of complaints, ” he argued. “It would have to be supported by an extensive education and awareness campaign. And in my view most importantly, it has to be supported by leadership, by a public commitment from our leaders and commentators to address a wrong like this. " The basis of his argument being that “a law is sterile unless it ' s actually widely publicly supported. ” The report states that there has been no case law to establish that a Muslim identity can be regarded as relating to a common " ethnic origin " under the Act, even though the Federal Court has accepted that a Jewish identity involves a common ‘ethnic origin’, and Australian anti - discrimination law has also recognised that a Sikh identity may involve an ethno - religious identity. The founder of Islamophobia Register Australia, lawyer Mariam Veiszadeh, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that she was not surprised at the findings that Muslim Australians experience discrimination and abuse on a daily or regular basis. “That supports what we’ve been hearing anecdotally over the past several years, ” Veiszadeh said. “I’ve been saying that Australian Muslims are unfairly disadvantaged because there’s no legislative protection in place and because to date there haven’t been any test cases to provide them protection the way the Jewish community is afforded protection. ” Veiszadeh founded the Register after she became the target of vicious online abuse and a Twitter hate campaign after she campaigned against Islamophobia. According to its website, Islamophobia Register Australia seeks to provide people across Australia with a means for incidents of Islamophobia and anti - Muslim sentiments to be reported, recorded and analysed.By Jill FraserThis article originally appeared on aa. com