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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08 Feb 2024

Today in Islamophobia: In the U.S., The U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation on Tuesday into Harvard University for possible discrimination after Arab and Muslim students filed a civil rights complaint against the school, meanwhile in Europe, The General Assembly of the European Parliament convened Wednesday to address an alarming surge in Islamophobic and antisemitic sentiment across Europe in recent months, and investigative reporting conducted by The New York Post reveals that the tech giant Microsoft’s search engine Bing has been adjusted in China to conceal the plight of Uyghurs in the country from it’s search results. Our recommended read of the day is a joint release of two groundbreaking reports by the human rights group Amnesty International


India: Authorities must immediately stop unjust targeted demolition of Muslim properties – new reports | Recommended Read

India’s widespread unlawful demolitions of Muslims’ homes, businesses and places of worship through the use of JCB bulldozers and other machines must stop immediately, Amnesty International said in two companion reports released today. The two reports — ‘If you speak up, your house will be demolished’: Bulldozer Injustice in India’ and ‘Unearthing Accountability: JCB’s Role and Responsibility in Bulldozer Injustice in India’ — document the punitive demolition of Muslim properties in at least five states with a widespread use of JCB-branded bulldozers or diggers as brand of choice in a hate campaign against the minority community. These demolitions are carried out with widespread impunity as was evident from the Mira Road demolitions after a Ram Temple Rally turned violent earlier last month in Mumbai, India. Amnesty International calls on the Government of India and state governments to immediately halt the de facto policy of demolishing people’s homes as a form of extra-judicial punishment and ensure nobody is made homeless as a result of forced evictions. They must also offer adequate compensation to all those affected by the demolitions and ensure those responsible for these violations are held to account. read the complete article

United States

Opinion piece about Detroit suburb is ‘racist and Islamophobic,’ Democrats say

An op-ed piece that dubbed a Detroit suburb “America’s jihad capital” is being condemned by two Democratic state lawmakers, who described it as “racist and Islamophobic” in a resolution presented Tuesday. Introduced by state Rep. Alabas Farhat and House Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash, the measure calls on The Wall Street Journal to retract the piece, which was published Friday, and issue a public apology to the City of Dearborn. Officials said they increased police presence in the city after the op-ed appeared. “It was a pathetic excuse for an editorial piece,” said Farhat, who represents Dearborn. “It fanned the flames of hatred and division in our country during a time when hate crimes are on the rise. It makes it so that it’s normal to question how patriotic your neighbor is.” read the complete article

DOE launches investigation into Harvard following Islamophobia, anti-Arab complaint

The U.S. Department of Education opened an investigation Tuesday into Harvard University for possible discrimination after Arab and Muslim students filed a civil rights complaint against the university. More than 60 DOE investigations into K-12 schools, colleges, and universities have been opened for alleged discrimination regarding shared ancestry since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. "We support the work of the Office of Civil Rights to ensure students' rights to access educational programs are safeguarded and will work with the office to address their questions," Jason Newton, Director of Media Relations & Communications at Harvard, said in a statement to ABC News. The Muslim Legal Fund of America, which filed the complaint on behalf of the students in January, alleges that the students have been targeted with "rampant harassment and racist attacks including doxxing, stalking and assault simply for being Palestinian, Muslim, and supporters of Palestinian rights." read the complete article

Islamophobia Will Poison This Country

One of the most disturbing things about our society—we’re not alone in this—is how easily our culture slips quickly into promoting violent bigotry. Usually what happens is this: a tiny number of people who are members of a particular demographic group carry out some outrageous act, and then the group as a whole is stigmatized and made to be feared even though nearly everyone in the group had nothing to do with the outrageous act whatsoever. Khaled Beydoun, a scholar who studies Islamophobia around the world, spoke to Current Affairs last year about how the hatred and suspicion of Muslims spread along with the U.S. “war on terror.” He spoke, for instance, to a U.S. soldier who signed up to fight in Iraq because he believed he was going to fight a terrible enemy that had attacked the country. Instead, he found himself destroying a country whose people had never attacked the U.S. at all. Afterwards, he felt betrayed by his country, and Beydoun reflected on how effective propaganda can be. read the complete article

Rights group calls on US to file hate crime charges after Muslim stabbed following pro-Palestine protest

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) yesterday called on US state and federal law enforcement authorities to file hate crime charges against Bert James Baker, the man accused of attacking a group of young Muslims after a pro-Palestinian protest in Austin, Texas. On 4 February at around 7pm local time, four Muslim Americans who had just attended a protest in support of Palestinian human rights were driving home when a white male riding a bicycle, later identified as Bert James Baker, allegedly attempted to rip a flagpole with a Palestinian keffiyeh scarf reading ‘Free Palestine’ off of their car. According to the victims, “Baker repeatedly screamed the n-word and other obscenities, opened the passenger door, pulled one of the victims out of the car and physically attacked him.” The three others then exited the car and fought off Baker. He then allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the young men in the chest, breaking one of his ribs, CAIR explained. read the complete article


Rights group World Uyghur Congress nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2024

Munich: The World Uyghur Congress (WUC), a Germany-based rights organization, that voices for the human rights and freedom of the Uyghur People through peaceful means, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2024 on Wednesday. Notably, this is the second consecutive Nobel Prize nomination for the Uyghur rights group after being nominated in 2023 as well. The WUC informed in a press release that the nominations for the Nobel Prize were submitted by Canadian Member of Parliament, Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights (SDIR), Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, and Senator of the Italian Republic and former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giulio Terzi. read the complete article

Revealed: How Microsoft in China censors truth about Uyghur genocide

Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company, is “erasing” the suffering of the persecuted Uyghur minority from internet searches in China, The Post has learned. Results from the tech giant’s Bing search engine show how its Chinese users are presented with different results from American users. And in the most egregious example, Bing image results for the term “Uyghur” when entered in China display cheerful Uyghurs smiling and dancing — part of a larger propaganda effort to persuade the world Uyghurs lead idyllic lives under Chinese rule. read the complete article


European Parliament holds session on combating Islamophobia, antisemitism

The General Assembly of the European Parliament convened Wednesday to address an alarming surge in Islamophobic and antisemitic sentiment across Europe in recent months. Margaritis Schinas, vice-president of the European Commission in charge of promoting our European Way of Life, opened the session by highlighting the urgency of the matter. "This is a very timely discussion," he said, noting the proximity to European Parliament elections and the rise in hate speech and crimes witnessed across Europe. Schinas detailed disturbing incidents of hatred targeting both Jewish and Muslim communities. "Synagogues faced Molotov cocktails, residential buildings were marked with Star of David symbols and Jewish shops were vandalized. Similarly, mosques and homes suffered vandalism with spray-painted swastikas and anti-Muslim slurs, with attempts to attack mosques during prayer times," he said. Schinas also said that apart from physical attacks, calls for "the destruction of the state of Israel, the killing of all Jews, the killing or deportation of Muslim immigrants, and the rape of Muslim women were made online." read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 08 Feb 2024 Edition


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