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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04 Apr 2024

Today in Islamophobia: A newly published Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) report claims that the organization received more than 8,000 complaints in 2023 – the highest in its 30-year history – and nearly half of those complaints came in the final three months in the year, meanwhile in the U.S., several Palestinian rights groups in Maryland have strongly condemned reports of anti-Palestinian counter-protesters’ violent behavior and speech at an event held outside a Baltimore Synagogue where a real estate organization was hosting an event about “buying property in Israel”, while in Scotland, First Minister Humza Yousaf was targeted with Islamophobic graffiti near his home on the same day the country’s new hate crime law was enacted. Our recommended read of the day is by Farah Afify and Corey Saylor for Al Jazeera on how analysts are finding that current levels of Islamophobia in the U.S. are surpassing levels triggered by former President Donald J. Trump’s Muslim ban, a starting trend which the authors feel the Biden Administration has been ignoring. This and more below:

United States

The surge in Islamophobia on Biden’s watch is unprecedented | Recommended Read

The surge in Islamophobic bias in the United States in late 2023 horrifies the soul. Wadea al-Fayoume, a six-year-old Muslim Palestinian boy, was stabbed to death in Chicago. A Georgia teacher threatened to decapitate a student for criticising an Israeli flag he put up in the classroom. A Maryland-based Muslim’s routine donation to a place of worship in Ohio was reportedly delayed by PayPal “[i]n light of the ongoing national emergency in Israel”. In the last three months of 2023, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation, received a staggering 3,578 complaints about discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or religion. This number illustrates the alarming reality that, under President Joe Biden, Islamophobic bias has reached unprecedented levels, surpassing in some ways even the appalling track record of the previous administration. read the complete article

CAIR, JVP Baltimore, AMP Strongly Condemn Alleged Assaults, Islamophobic Slurs Against Peaceful Protesters Objecting to Israeli Real Estate Event

The Maryland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Jewish Voice for Peace Baltimore (JVP Baltimore) and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) today strongly condemned reports of anti-Palestinian counter-protesters’ alleged violent behavior and hate speech toward peaceful demonstrators at a vigil last night protesting the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land outside the Congregation Shomrei Emunah Synagogue in Baltimore where the Israel-based CapitIL Real Estate Agency had scheduled an event to educate vetted participants about “buying their home in Israel.” Video footage and news coverage of the event captured vigil participants reportedly exposed to violent behavior and hate speech, including multiple incidents of physical and verbal assaults and Islamophobic slurs from anti-Palestinian counter protestors. Examples of incidents reported or witnessed at the vigil include: a peaceful demonstrator who was allegedly shoved to the ground by an anti-Palestinian counterprotester who reportedly pushed past him in an aggressive manner. read the complete article


War a flashpoint for spike in Islamophobia, hate incidents in US, civil rights group says

The Council on American Islamic Relations received more than 8,000 complaints in 2023 – the highest in its 30-year history – and nearly half of those complaints came in the final three months in the year. In CAIR's 2023 report, the organization reported the "primary force behind this wave of heightened Islamophobia was the escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine in October 2023." There were 8,061 complaints in 2023, shattering the previous high of just over 6,700 in 2021. Complaints include immigration and asylum cases, employment discrimination, education discrimination and hate crimes and incidents. The complaints frequently were called in, however in some cases CAIR staff documented them from news articles and other sources. read the complete article


Scottish leader Yousaf targeted with Islamophobic graffiti near home

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf was targeted with Islamophobic graffiti near his home on the same day the country’s new hate crime law was enacted, The Times reported. Racist remarks referencing Yousaf’s Pakistani heritage appeared on walls and fences near his house in Dundee, where he lives with his family, on Tuesday. The vandalism was quickly removed and Police Scotland said it had launched an investigation into the incident. Yousaf, who made history last year as the Scottish government’s first ethnic minority and Muslim leader, shared on social media: “I do my best to shield my children from the racism and Islamophobia I face on a regular basis. That becomes increasingly difficult when racist graffiti targeting me appears near our family home. “A reminder of why we must, collectively, take a zero-tolerance approach to hatred.” Members of the public in Broughty Ferry described the graffiti as “absolutely shocking.” read the complete article


Muslims in India's most-populous state protest ban on madrasas

Muslim educators in India are protesting a recent court ruling that would effectively shut down thousands of religious schools known as madrasas in the nation's most populous state. In its March 22 ruling, the Allahabad High Court scrapped the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madrasa Education Act 2004, saying it violated India's constitutional secularism. It ordered that all Islamic school students in Uttar Pradesh be shifted to "regular" schools. Leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, say the decision will benefit Muslim society by providing the community's students with the opportunity to study in modern mainstream schools. But Muslim leaders say the ruling ignores years of reforms that have modernized India's madrasas and introduced nationally approved syllabuses, including subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer programming and social sciences. "The court order violates Articles 29 and 30 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees the right of religious minorities to establish and run educational institutions of their choice," Zafarul-Islam Khan, former chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission, told VOA. read the complete article


Erasing Memories, Concealing Evidence: China’s Efforts to Obscure the Uyghur Genocide

The risk of the Uyghur genocide being forgotten is a grave concern. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has not only employed deliberate and calculated tactics to conceal its genocide and crimes against humanity in East Turkestan but has also orchestrated a campaign to ensure others forget it is happening. Gregory H. Stanton, the president of Genocide Watch, formulated a comprehensive framework known as the 10 stages of genocide, outlining the different phases leading up to the occurrence of genocide. It starts with classification as a crucial stage in identifying an enemy, a social or ideological outcast to be eradicated, and concludes with denial as the final stage in refuting the perpetration of genocide. Genocide is an ongoing process. While it may physically end with the annihilation of a population, it persists in the memories of survivors, spanning generations. Therefore, for those responsible for genocide to disavow their culpability, they must eliminate all traces of its occurrence, including memories. Every genocide requires psychological warfare, with the destruction of victims’ memories being a crucial aspect. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 04 Apr 2024 Edition


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