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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25 Jan 2024

Today in Islamophobia: In the U.S., New York City schools are starting to offer a new curriculum on raising awareness about antisemitism and Islamophobia in response to criticism that little has been done surrounding the fallout of the Israel-Hamas war, meanwhile in Canada, this Saturday will mark seven years since the tragic mosque attack in Quebec City which took the lives of six worshipers, and in India, authorities in Mumbai have torn down several Muslim-owned shopfronts after clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups erupted in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inauguration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. Our recommended read of the day is by Nadeine Asbalifor The Middle East Eye on how amidst Israel’s war on Gaza, explicit anti-Muslim sentiment has crept back into the mainstream in a way eerily similar to the way Muslims were demonized in the early 2000s. This and more below:


The blatant Islamophobia of the post 9/11 era is making a hateful comeback | Recommended Read

Lately, it feels like we have been transported back to the Islamophobia of the early 2000s: those dark, post 9/11 days in which every comedy show on TV included jokes about Muslims stoning women or beheading infidels or blowing things up. An era in which narratives about Muslim women being mute and Muslim men being savage barbarians were not just taken as gospel but peddled in every news programme or television drama. But it’s not 2002, it’s 2024. read the complete article

Why the West is wrong about Islam (international)

Why are Western societies so fearful of Islam and Muslims? One can answer this question by examining history, particularly that of European colonial powers, and the ways in which they justified their actions in the Global South by painting its peoples and religions as alien and in need of reformation. Another answer can be found in the murky ties between our modern political parties, powerful media figures and well-funded think tanks, who have all benefited from casting Muslim communities as antagonists. This week on The Big Picture podcast, we speak to celebrated author and columnist Peter Oborne, who has spent years tracing the roots of anti-Muslim hatred in Western history, and the people who shape its modern manifestations in Britain, the US and France. read the complete article

United States

Islamophobic Tropes in the Palestine-Israel Discourse

The report found that Islamophobia plays a substantial role in policymaking, identifying three ways that it shapes U.S. foreign policy: “1) restricting open debate about unconditional U.S. support for Israel, notwithstanding documented and systematic violations of international law by the Israeli government; 2) perpetuating racist tropes that Muslims and Arabs innately hate Jews; and 3) discrediting the Palestinian people from realizing their full civil, political, national and human rights.” read the complete article

New York City Schools Will Teach About Antisemitism and Islamophobia

New York City will offer new curriculum materials on antisemitism and Islamophobia in its public schools and train principals and teachers on how to have difficult conversations about politically charged issues, officials said on Monday in response to criticism that the system has done too little to address the Israel-Hamas war. read the complete article

Bay Area Muslim organizations hold first-of-its-kind FBI training on Islamophobia

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The rise in Islamophobia across the U.S. has been well documented. The challenge now is how Muslim Americans can work with the FBI to stop it. "We want (the FBI) to be partners with us in preventing and responding to hate," says Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director of Islamic Networks Group, or ING, based in the South Bay. "One out of two Muslim students are bullied based on their religion. And according to other polls, Muslim communities experience more prejudice than any other religious community in their interaction with law enforcement," she says. ING led a first-of-its-kind training with almost 200 agents and officials from the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department at the FBI field office in San Francisco. They were joined by several other Muslim American organizations. read the complete article


Germany's top court rules a far-right party is ineligible for funding because of its ideology

Germany’s highest court ruled Tuesday that a small far-right party will not get any state funding for the next six years because its values and goals are unconstitutional and aimed at destroying the country’s democracy. The Federal Constitutional Court said the Die Heimat party, which used to be known as the National Democratic Party of Germany, or NPD, “continues to disregard the free democratic basic order and, according to its goals and the behavior of its members and supporters, is geared towards its elimination.” The German government, as well as the lower and upper houses of parliament, took the party to court. They presented evidence that they said proved Die Heimat was a racist organization, including its anti-Muslim and antisemitic ideology and its rejection of transgender people. Another far-right party, the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, has been riding high in recent opinion polls. Recent surveys put AfD in second place nationally with support of around 23%, far above the 10.3% it won during Germany’s last federal election, in 2021. read the complete article

OPINION - Protesting Germany’s far-right: Fear of Africanization, Orientalization and Islamization

The last days in Germany were moving. Over the weekend, more than 1.4 million people took to the streets [1] to protest the far-right and their plans to deport people, from Berlin in front of the parliament to the conservative state of Bavaria, where more than 200,000 people gathered. This was a massive sign against a leaked [2] deportation "master plan" discussed by far-right leaders including the lately successful far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), [3] which currently holds 78 seats [4] in parliament but is reaching all-time high approval rates. The investigative editorial German investigative center Correctiv published a story [5] of a November meeting of the so-called Dusseldorfer Forum from last year. High-ranking members of the far-right AfD, leaders of the far-right Identitarian Movement, members of the Values Union (WerteUnion), an association within the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which separated itself on Jan. 20 this year to form its political party, and others from the far-right milieu gathered to discuss a plan dubbed “remigration.” The idea was to preserve a racist notion of white Germanness by expelling asylum seekers, foreigners with the right to stay, and “unassimilated citizens” as the keynote speaker of the Identitarian Movement, the Austrian Martin Sellner [6], suggested. [7] It was suggested that the former director of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, who is chairman of the Values Union, be asked to become a member of the committee to further develop this plan from an “ethical, legal and logistical point of view.” These views highly correlate with the AfD’s policy platform, which openly speak [8] of “initiating a lowering of the hurdles for the withdrawal of German citizenship” for dual citizens. And it can also be found in a publication [9] of one of its high-profile leaders such as Bjorn Hocke, who wrote in 2018 that in the future, Germany must expect that “we will unfortunately lose a few sections of the population that are too weak or unwilling to resist the advancing Africanization, Orientalization and Islamization.” And the party fully and openly [10] embraces the idea of “remigration.” While the German government’s embrace of the protests indicates a stance against the openly racist policies the far-right is pursuing, one has to raise the question as to how these deportation plans have become so widely accepted in Germany’s population in the first place. The political leadership has to ask itself: When Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz – coming back from Israel – says [19] “We must finally deport on a grand scale” meaning allegedly antisemitic immigrants, isn’t he reproducing the basis of the far-right agenda? What is the silence of the German government vis-a-vis dehumanizing language coming from Israeli top officials calling Palestinians “human animals” against the backdrop of its support of the Israeli war on Gaza telling the German electorate about the worth of non-white Germans? read the complete article


Muslim shopfronts torn down in Mumbai after religious clashes

MUMBAI: Authorities in India’s financial capital Mumbai have torn down several Muslim-owned makeshift shopfronts after religious clashes sparked by a divisive Hindu temple opened this week by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Minor clashes broke out Sunday in parts of Mumbai, including one incident where Hindus chanting religious slogans passed through a Muslim neighborhood on the megacity’s outskirts. read the complete article

India: Authorities must stop their discriminatory policy of punitively demolishing Muslim properties

Responding to the reports of targeted demolition of Muslim-owned properties a day after incidents of communal violence instigated by participants of a Hindu Rally in India’s financial capital Mumbai, Aakar Patel, chair of Amnesty International India’s board, said: “It is alarming to note the impunity with which the Indian authorities have been enforcing their discriminatory de-facto policy of arbitrarily and punitively demolishing Muslim properties following episodes of communal violence. Such unlawful action against people suspected of violence, allegedly without notice or other due process requirements is a major blow to the rule of law. On 21 January, an argument broke out leading to violence when a group of Hindus with saffron flags chanting “Jai Shri Ram” were stopped by some Muslim locals in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Fifteen shops, including those belonging to street vendors, were demolished in the Muslim-dominated Haidary Chowk area of Mira Road by state authorities on 23 January. There have been several incidents of communal violence reported across the country after the inauguration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh that has been constructed on the site of Babri Masjid, a medieval era mosque that was demolished by a Hindu mob in 1992. read the complete article


Kids reflect as 7th anniversary of Quebec City mosque attack approaches

Jan. 29 is an important day in Canadian Muslim history. As the seventh anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting approaches, and amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, Montreal-area non-profit Hilm is helping Montreal children process their emotions. They are doing this with age-specific dialogue with their students, arts and crafts, and storytelling. Seven years ago, on Jan. 29, 2017, six Muslim men were murdered by a gunman inside a Quebec City mosque after evening prayer. Nineteen others were injured. Following that tragedy came a shared sense of grief and an outpouring sentiment of solidarity from the broader community. Children from the Hilm West Island Sunday school shared their thoughts as they processed their emotions. “You can see the tie between Muslims being attacked, Islamophobia. Most Palestinians are Muslim, all the innocent children, the women, all the innocent people in Palestine,” said one child. read the complete article

Quebec City mosque attack: Islamic Cultural Centre steps up security amid hate incidents due to Israel-Hamas war

Seven years since the Quebec City mosque attack when a gunman opened fire during evening prayers on Jan. 29, 2017, killing six worshippers, and security at the mosque has been stepped up in recent months due to rising tensions and islamophobia from the Israel-Hamas war. Mohamed Labidi, president of the Islamic Cultural Centre says it was a necessary precaution, as many in the Arab-Muslim community have been targeted. “Because of what happened in the Middle East, we try to be safe,” he said. “We are aware about many, many incidents in many places, especially in Montreal and Toronto and the big cities of Canada.” Since the start of the war on Oct. 7, 40 cases of hate crimes or incidents were reported to Montreal police as of Jan. 23 targeting the Arabic-Muslim community. read the complete article

United Kingdom

Antisemitic hate crimes in London 13 times higher while Islamophobic offences skyrocket

Antisemitic hate crimes recorded by the Metropolitan Police in the wake of Hamas’s October attack on Israel were more than 13 times the number for the same period in 2022, new figures reveal. A total of 679 antisemitic offences were recorded by the Met Police from October 7 to November 7 2023 inclusive, compared with 50 in the equivalent period the previous year and 81 in 2021. There was also a sharp jump in Islamophobic offences, with 258 recorded in the month following October 7, compared with 73 in 2022 and 72 in 2021. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 25 Jan 2024 Edition


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