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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12 Feb 2024

Today in Islamophobia: In Canada, Amira Elghawaby, Canada’s first Special Representative on Combating Islamophobia, lead a bilingual French and English discussion last month on the rise of Islamophobia in Canada, meanwhile in the U.S., Actor Selma Blair is facing public backlash after an Islamophobic Instagram comment from last week went viral with Blair singling out Rep. Rashida Tlaib with anti-Muslim slurs, and despite the stark rise in Islamophobia across the country, Muslim community organizations across Arizona are hosting talks and interfaith dialogue sessions to raise awareness and build cross community partnerships. Our recommended read of the day is by Melissa Hellmann for The Guardian

United States

‘Unlike 9/11, we’re fighting back’: Arab Americans in Dearborn are resilient in the face of Islamophobia | Recommended Read

The Arab American presence touches every corner of Dearborn – more than half of its nearly 110,000 residents are of Middle Eastern or north African origin. And that unique cultural blend is what draws many to this growing city just 10 miles west of downtown Detroit. But recent anti-Arab and Islamophobic rhetoric brought on by the Israel-Gaza war has fostered a sense of fear in the tight-knit community. A Wall Street Journal op-ed on 2 February called Dearborn the “jihad capital” of the US, which resulted in a rise in discriminatory online language aimed at Dearborn. On the same day, the New York Times published its own column that compared the US to a lion and Middle Eastern countries to insects, a choice that many criticized as dehumanizing and racist. Soon thereafter, Dearborn’s mayor, Abdullah Hammoud, announced an increased police presence around “places of worship and major infrastructure points”, which he called “a direct result of the inflammatory [Wall Street Journal] opinion piece”. read the complete article

How Arizona Muslims are fighting the 'Islamophobia industry'

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal sadly chose to publish an opinion piece claiming Dearborn, Mich., is “America’s Jihad Capital.” The author, Steven Stalinsky, is one of the stalwarts of the “Islamophobia industry.” According to the Center of American Progress and the Carter Center, there is an established network of funders, think tanks, social media influencers, and activists that peddle hatred and depict Muslim Americans as a threat to our national security. On the day the op-ed was published, I was participating in a public forum in Scottsdale organized by the Muslim Public Affairs Council bringing together local Evangelical Christians and Muslims for “Visualizing Peace and Justice in America.” read the complete article

Selma Blair facing backlash after Islamophobic comment goes viral

Actor Selma Blair is facing backlash online after an Islamophobic Instagram comment from last week went viral. The comment was made on an Instagram video posted by Abraham Hamra one week ago, in which he calls out U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Cori Bush, D-Mo., for being the only two members of Congress to vote against a measure that would prevent anyone who partook in the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel from immigrating to the U.S. Hamra, whose Instagram bio refers to him as a speaker and Syrian Jewish refugee, calls Tlaib a “liar,” “moron” and a “hateful antisemite” in the video and said “the truth is, the Jews have been victimized by the Arabs, and not the other way around.” Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, said the bill was “redundant with already existing federal law.” “It’s just another GOP messaging bill being used to incite anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian, and anti-Muslim hatred that makes communities like ours unsafe,” she said. read the complete article


Amira Elghawaby on Islamophobia in Canada

The McGill community welcomed Amira Elghawaby, Canada’s first Special Representative on Combating Islamophobia, on January 31 to lead a bilingual French and English discussion on “Unpacking the Dynamics of Islamophobia in Canada, Challenges and Opportunities.” The award-winning journalist and human rights advocate discussed her initiatives and efforts to counter hate, tackle Islamophobia, and promote inclusion. Organized by the Institute of Islamic Studies, the talk was part of a series of events on campus marking Muslim Awareness Week, a yearly week of solidarity and exchanges. This event was started as a response to the Quebec City mosque shooting on January 29 2017, in which six men were killed and several seriously injured. Its sixth edition ran from January 25 to February 1 with the aim of promoting greater inclusion and equity while facing the challenges of Quebec’s pluralistic society. read the complete article

The Liberals no longer have unconditional Muslim support

In recent years, the assumption that the Liberal Party holds unwavering support with Canada's Muslim community has been increasingly challenged. A decade of Conservative governance, which ended in 2015, was marred by divisive identity politics and direct affronts to Canadian Muslims - including proposals to ban the niqab, and to establish hotlines for reporting so-called "barbaric cultural practices" - triggering most... read the complete article


Why are EU travel firms offering holidays to Uyghur region?

The Chinese authorities are currently having their 'Mission Accomplished' moment in the Uyghur region. One of the key outlets for that messaging is tourism. Tourism signals that spaces are open for business and that everything is normal. From record numbers of visitors to the regional capital in 2023 to Wang Wenbin's exhortations for "more friends from all countries to visit Xinjiang," Chinese state media cannot get enough of tourism. The problem is that crimes against humanity targeted at Uyghurs and other Turkic people are ongoing. Another problem is that international travel companies, including those from Europe, are complicit in the cleansing of atrocities that multiple entities have labeled a genocide. It's quite simple, the travel industry needs to wake up and end its cooperation with genocidaires. read the complete article


At least five killed in protest over mosque demolition in north Indian town

At least five people have been killed and dozens others injured during a protest sparked by the demolition of a mosque and a religious school in India, the latest in a spate of demolitions targeting Muslim structures. Municipal authorities in Haldwani town in the northern state of Uttarakhand bulldozed the buildings on Thursday, saying they had been built without permission. Police said Muslims torched vehicles and threw stones at them in the protest that followed, prompting them to fire live ammunition and tear gas in response. A top police official in Uttarakhand on Friday told The Indian Express newspaper five people were killed in the protest, but did not identify them. Dozens of others, including police officers, were wounded and are being treated in various hospitals of the city. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 12 Feb 2024 Edition


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