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.

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29 Feb 2024

Today in Islamophobia: In the UK, despite a recent interview gone viral which showed former Tory Deputy Chair Lee Anderson using anti-Muslim rhetoric to disparage London Mayor Sadiq Khan, party leaders are dead set against calling his actions Islamophobic, meanwhile in India, according to the research think tank India Hate Lab anti-Muslim hate speech in India rose by 62% in the second half of 2023 compared to the first six months of the year, and The UK Home Office appears to have given no consideration to the threat of Islamophobic hate crimes in the wake of Hamas’s attacks on Israel, despite warning chief constables about the “obvious risk” of rising antisemitism, according to openDemocracy. Our recommended read of the week is by for The Telegraph on how despite Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s insistence that Canada is a “beacon of inclusivity”, a 2023 senate report reveals that Canada leads the G7 in terms of targeted killings of Muslims motivated by Islamophobia, with one in four Canadians not trusting Muslims. This and more below:


How Canada’s flourishing far-right movement is fuelling violent Islamophobia | Recommended Read

Evening prayers had just ended at the Quebec mosque when Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, primed his semi-automatic rifle and opened fire at two Muslim men. The gun quickly jammed, so Bissonnette pulled out a pistol – killing four more men and critically injuring five others in under two minutes. Over 600 miles away in Ontario, a Muslim family were on an evening stroll when Nathaniel Veltman, 20, floored the gas pedal of his pickup truck and rammed into them at full speed. A grandmother, two parents, and a teenager were killed – the only survivor was a nine-year-old boy. These two separate attacks occurred in 2017 and 2021, while Veltman was given five life sentences this month. While both have been condemned as terror incidents, they have another fact in common – both Bissonnette and Veltman were supporters of Canada’s far-right movement. This stark reality deeply contrasts the progressive, multicultural image that Canada has cultivated on the world stage. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has relentlessly promoted his country as a beacon of inclusivity and opportunity that remains open to all – going so far as to announce plans to welcome half a million immigrants per year by 2025. read the complete article

United Kingdom

The Conservative party’s problem with Islamophobia

Lee Anderson is no stranger to controversy. While deputy chair of the Conservative party he earned the nickname “30p Lee” after chastising food bank users for not budgeting well enough and claiming that meals could be made for 30 pence each. He’s called for the reinstatement of the death penalty and told the Daily Express that if asylum seekers didn’t like their treatment they could “fuck off back to France”. So when he popped up on the right-wing GB News channel last week, it was no surprise to anyone that he weighed into the debate about the pro-Palestinian protests in his usual style. But this time he found himself at the centre of a political storm that didn’t blow over. He claimed that “Islamists” had “got control” over London mayor Sadiq Khan. As Archie Bland tells Nosheen Iqbal, his refusal to apologise saw him suspended from the parliamentary party. But when senior Tory colleagues were pressed on exactly why he had been suspended, none would say that Lee’s comments were Islamophobic. It was this prevarication that both intensified the row and led to Muslim party members such as former MEP Sajaad Karim voicing serious doubts about the direction the party is heading. He explains what it has felt like to be a card-carrying Muslim Tory member for the past week – and why that membership card has now gone in the bin. read the complete article

Home Office ‘did not discuss’ Islamophobia risk in wake of Hamas attacks

The Home Office appears to have given no consideration to the threat of Islamophobic hate crime in the wake of Hamas’s attacks on Israel, despite warning chief constables about the “obvious risk” of rising antisemitism, openDemocracy can reveal. It comes as the government is embroiled in a row about its perceived unequal treatment of antisemitism and Islamophobia. Incidents of both have soared since 7 October. Oxford councillor Shaista Aziz said Muslim women were particularly at risk from rising hate crime, and told openDemocracy that the Home Office’s lack of action was “outrageous, yes, horrific, yes, but not surprising”. On 10 October, then home secretary Suella Braverman wrote to police chiefs in England and Wales urging them to watch for rising antisemitism, particularly on pro-Palestinian marches. read the complete article


Anti-Muslim hate speech soars in India, research group says

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Anti-Muslim hate speech in India rose by 62% in the second half of 2023 compared to the first six months of the year, a Washington-based research group said on Monday, adding the Israel-Gaza war played a key role in the last three months. India Hate Lab documented 668 hate speech incidents targeting Muslims in 2023, 255 of which occurred in the first half of the year, while 413 took place in the last six months of 2023, the research group said in a report released Monday. About 75%, or 498, of those incidents took place in states governed by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the report. The states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh accounted for the most hate speech. Between Oct. 7 - when Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel, sparking the conflict in the Gaza Strip as Israel retaliated - and Dec. 31, there were 41 incidents of hate speech against Indian Muslims that mentioned the war, the report added. It accounted for about 20% of hate speech in the last three months of 2023. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 29 Feb 2024 Edition


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