Today in Islamophobia

A daily list of headlines about Islamophobia
compiled by the Bridge Initiative

Each day, the Bridge Initiative aims to bring you the news you need to know about Islamophobia. This resource will be updated every weekday at approximately 11:00 AM EST.

Today in Islamophobia Newsletter

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01 Apr 2024

Today in Islamophobia: In the United States, Syrian American author Ream Shukairy writes about her upbringing in California and the importance of telling Muslim stories in a growing Islamophobic society, meanwhile, ‘Passportism’, defined as the policies, speech, acts, or procedures which discriminate against an individual based on their citizenship or place of residence, have become increasingly commonplace across Europe, and in France, Muslims in the town of Contrexeville discovered a severed boar’s head adjacent to their local mosque on Friday with police investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. Our recommended read of the day is by Benoît Vitkine for Le Monde on how in the weeks following the ISKP attack in Moscow, Central Asian Muslims have increasingly become the target of Russian nationalist both online and across the country. This and more below:


Russia faces waves of Islamophobia after Moscow attacks | Recommended Read

Islam Khalilov, 15, was working the evening of the attack that killed 143 people at Russia's Crocus City hall on Friday, March 22. He saved a group of around a hundred people by leading them to an open emergency exit. Islam is a well-spoken man and spoke modestly about his role. But it's above all his evocative first name and his origin – Kyrgyz – that appeal to the official media. The young man isn't the only hero of that night, but the Russian state media are infatuated with him. His exposure has increased over the past few days, meeting a need in Russian society to stem the tide of anti-migrant and anti-Islamic sentiment seen in the country over the past week. It's a wave that the authorities themselves have sometimes helped to fuel. The Kremlin shared a video on Thursday, March 28, in which President Vladimir Putin, meeting military personnel, seemed to slip confide in them. "When I hear that Russia must be only for Russians, a feeling of anxiety rises in me." read the complete article


Ream Shukairy on Telling Muslim Stories in an Islamophobic World

Islamophobia manifests in various forms depending on your background, your culture, you presentation, your race. The Islamophobia I’ve experienced has a flavor of anti-Arab prejudice, and growing up in America, I don’t remember a time before it. Still, I consider myself privileged on the discrimination spectrum. Maybe it’s because growing up in Southern California, surrounded by Mexican restaurants and Asian markets and mosques, it was easy to forget where and who I was. It felt like there was no clear majority, and I believed that the attending weekly house parties, participating in extracurriculars at the masjid, and spending a third of every other year in Syria was the collective American experience. But no matter where you are in America, visible Muslims get all the main character, dramatized experiences: cue the stranger yelling at my family in the parking lot to go back to where I came from, the isolation in those hideous middle school years, the shouting at me on the train, the impossible elbowing into narrow spaces built only for marginalized people. read the complete article

Travel politics: Is ‘passportism’ being turned into a sly tool of racism and Islamophobia?

With his American passport, Rollo did not need a visa; he could simply walk into France. With my Indian passport, not only did I need to apply for a visa, but I also had to interview in person at a French consulate and pay a visa application fee. It would be too vague to call this discrimination racism. The scholar Srđan Mladenov Jovanović writes about the importance of a separate term that differentiates citizenship-based discrimination from racism and xenophobia. We know that the inequality of passportism has been baked into immigration policy. But tourism has also played a big part in normalising it. Jovanović writes, “Passportism can thus be broadly defined as the speech, policy or act of a discriminative nature, in which an individual or a group of individuals are discriminated against on the basis of their citizenship, i.e. passport.” While racism discriminates on the basis of the colour of a person’s skin, passportism discriminates on the basis of the colour of a person’s passport. read the complete article


Islamophobia in France: Boar Head Found Near Mosque

Muslims in Contrexeville in Vosges found a severed boar head next to the mosque on Friday, in a new Islamophobic act targeting the Muslim community in France. Following the incident, French authorities launched an immediate investigation, as confirmed by the public prosecutor of Epinal, according to a report from Le Parisien. Leaving a pig's head at a mosque is not only a form of vandalism or intimidation but also a deliberate act to desecrate a sacred space and provoke religious offense as bigs are considered impure animals in Islam. According to reports, the head was stumbled upon by worshippers at the Attawba mosque, situated north of the town. The timing of the act adds to its gravity. The boar head was placed near the mosque during Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims around the world, which is marked by fasting, prayers, and communal gatherings. The disturbing event is not an isolated occurrence. A few weeks earlier, another pig’s head was found at the doorstep of a Turkish mosque in Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais. read the complete article

United States

How the FBI’s visit to a Muslim woman became a right-wing rallying cry

The video begins with a door opening onto a recent bright spring day. Three visitors, identifying themselves as FBI agents, stand in the yard of a woman who makes it clear they are not welcome. Using her phone to record the exchange, she lays into the agents, demanding to see their credentials. When they tell her they want to “have a conversation with you about some social media posts,” the woman, sounding incredulous, asks: “So we no longer live in a free country?” There will be no conversation, the woman tells them, and refers them to her attorney. The agents remain courteous, if thrown off their game. One of them starts to explain, “Facebook gave us a couple screenshots of your accounts,” but she isn’t having it. Eventually, the visitors give up and walk back to their silver Nissan SUV. “This is Rolla Abdeljawad in Stillwater, Oklahoma,” the woman says as she films the car leaving her driveway. “This is America read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 01 Apr 2024 Edition


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