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 Jun 2024

Today in Islamophobia: In Canada, the federal government says it has raised concerns directly with Israel over allegations of a “co-ordinated” and “Islamophobic” misinformation campaign that targeted Canadians online, meanwhile in the US, incumbent congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-MI), who is a fierce critic of Israel’s war in Gaza, said that a party rival during a debate on Monday used an Islamophobic trope when he claimed Bowman’s “constituency is Dearborn, Michigan”, and in the UK, a former rugby league player who was standing as a parliamentary candidate in West Yorkshire has been sacked by his party over “anti-Islamic” tweets.” Our recommended read of the day is by Maya Oppenheim for The Independent on how the French government has been accused of discriminating against its own athletes, who will be prevented from wearing a hijab at this summer’s Paris Olympics. This and more below:


French government accused of discrimination against its own athletes with Olympics hijab ban | Recommended Read

The French government has been accused of discriminating against its own athletes, who will be prevented from wearing a hijab at the Paris Olympics. The International Olympic Committee announced in September that sportspeople competing in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games can wear a hijab in the athletes’ village – but a ban will be in place for the host country’s athletes. Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch, told The Independent that France’s ban on hijabs for sportspeople infringes the Olympic Charter. During a press briefing on Tuesday, Ms Worden said the hijab ban has driven some French athletes to leave the country or contemplate moving abroad. Helene Ba, a French basketball player and legal professional, said the hijab ban this summer “only targeted Muslim athletes who wear the hijab, making it a clear discrimination based on gender and religion”. She said: “It is a clear violation of the Olympic Charter values and provisions, but it is also an infringement on our fundamental rights and freedoms. It violates our freedom of thought, conscience and religion and our right to participate in sport. “It reinforces gender and racial stereotypes and it feeds the anti-Muslim hate that already pervades part of French society.” read the complete article

United States

Bowman accuses Latimer of anti-Arab ‘dog whistle’ in NY-16 primary debate

Rep. Jamaal Bowman hit back Tuesday at Democratic primary rival George Latimer for what he called an anti-Arab “dog whistle” in their NY-16 debate. The incumbent congressman, who is a fierce critic of Israel’s war in Gaza, said Latimer used an Islamophobic trope when he claimed Bowman’s “constituency is Dearborn, Michigan” during a Monday night campaign forum. “(The remark) shows the difference between my opponent and me,” Bowman tweeted. “I love our Muslim and Arab neighbors in NY16 just like I love our Jewish, white and Black neighbors here and across the country.” Latimer was apparently referring to the Detroit-area city that includes the nation’s single largest Arab-American community to suggest Bowman is politically indebted to the anti-Israel movement. The Westchester County executive trumpets his strong support of Israel and has enjoyed strong support from pro-Israel donors and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. read the complete article

The War in Gaza and the ‘Conflict Over the Conflict’ on College Campuses

“In earlier times of political protest — for example, about the Vietnam War — the student body often was very united, against the administration, but often very united,” Carol Christ, the chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, says in the documentary. “But this time, it’s student against student. It’s faculty member against faculty member.” Since Oct. 7, director James Jacoby and Retro Report producers Scott Michels and Joseph Hogan have been following the escalating campus turmoil and talking to people on all sides of the divide: faculty members and administrators, key players in Washington, D.C. and beyond, journalists who have covered the divisions, and Jewish and Palestinian students and their supporters from Columbia and Harvard — two epicenters of the campus tensions — for whom events in the Middle East and at school feel existential. The resulting film examines how universities have responded amid allegations of antisemitism and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim discrimination, how the protests have raised the dilemma of balancing free speech with preventing harassment and discrimination, and how and why powerful interests have joined the fray. read the complete article

United Kingdom

Gaza conflict ranks amongst most important election issues for British Muslims

The Labour Party faces threats from independent candidates in certain constituencies as more than four in ten British Muslims rank the conflict in Gaza as one of their five most important issues. New polling done for Hyphen by Savanta found that of British Muslims who ranked the conflict of Gaza highly in their priorities, 86% say they would consider backing an independent candidate. “There is a sense of disillusionment towards Labour’s response to the crisis in Gaza among those who rank it as a top 5 issue — although this number has been stable since the end of last year." There are a handful of independent candidates standing on Gaza platforms across the country, primarily in constituencies with a high British Muslim population. Although this is unlikely to impact the national results, they provide an interest subplot at the upcoming election. read the complete article

Election candidate sacked over 'anti-Islam' tweets

A former rugby league player who was standing as a parliamentary candidate in West Yorkshire has been sacked by his party over "anti-Islamic" tweets. Keith Mason was due to represent The Workers Party of Britain, led by George Galloway, in Wakefield and Rothwell on 4 July in the general election. Mr Galloway confirmed he had sacked the former prop for the messages, with Mr Mason issuing an apology. "I absolutely 100% respect all my Muslim brothers and sisters," he said. Mr Mason, who played for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, St Helens, Castleford Tigers and Huddersfield Giants, is reported to have insulted the religion in a number of tweets sent in reply to other X accounts. In an apology, he posted: "I’ve grown up with Muslims my whole life I see them as my brothers and sisters, and not one of them would say I was Islamophobic ever!" read the complete article


A stunning rebuke to Narendra Modi’s divisive, anti-Muslim rhetoric

In the past decade, there appeared to be no limits to the exclusion-cum-violence, real and psychological, against India’s Muslims that the Narendra Modi regime and its ecosystem would not push. It seemed that many people did not care enough to oppose the segregation and profiling of minorities. It had, therefore, occasionally appeared to this commentator that the two-nation theory of Mohammad Ali Jinnah was being ghoulishly played out, as parts of India seemed to be a de facto Hindu Rashtra and a counter to Pakistan, an Islamic state. We were embracing an ideology that diminished the ideas on which our independent nation was founded. It was not illogical to conclude that in the BJP-dominant parts of India, the nation’s largest minority was doomed as a people. Modi only reinforced these fears in the course of the 2024 campaign when he insulted and profiled Muslims in an almost manic way and sought to stoke fears about them snatching all the nation’s resources. The result of the 2024 election, therefore, is a seismic moment for Indian Muslims that restores faith in the fundamentals of democracy. Perhaps we can breathe easy again, take breath in and out in some comfort that all people can again be safe in their homeland. Not just Muslims, but the dissenters, the protesters, the media, the activists, and the ordinary citizens who dare to oppose. read the complete article


London, Ont., Muslim community renews calls for action in wake of alleged hate-motivated arson

As police continue investigating a possible hate-motivated arson attack at a Muslim family's house in London, Ont., the community is calling on politicians to turn their words of support into action in fighting Islamophobia. At a news conference on Monday, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) emphasized the importance of governments strengthening anti-hate legislation and improving education against anti-Palestinian racism in schools. "Our leaders must keep their words. They promised us change after June 2021 [truck attack on the Afzaal family]. "They came to our communities, they gave us many words and we are beyond that now. We need concrete actions," said Nusaiba Al-Azem, legal director at NCCM. On Saturday night, the front porch of a house in northwest London was set on fire. London police said a preliminary investigation found that the fire appeared to have been set deliberately and the suspect fled the scene. The fire was quickly extinguished, resulting in no injuries. The same male suspect was at that home an hour earlier and stole lawn signs calling for Palestinian human rights, officials say. Police have received at least four reports specific to that address since May, involving theft and property damage, and they believe the incidents are related. read the complete article

Trudeau government raises concerns with Israel about ‘Islamophobic’ misinformation campaign that is ‘targeting Canadians’

The federal government says it has raised concerns directly with Israel over allegations of a “co-ordinated” and “Islamophobic” misinformation campaign that targeted Canadians online. The government disclosed this to the Star when asked about a recent report in a prominent Israeli newspaper, which alleged a branch of the Israeli state hired a private firm that conducted an operation to sway public opinion in Canada and the United States over its conduct during the ongoing war in Gaza. read the complete article


The government is drafting anti-hate speech laws. Here are 4 things they should include

In May, the federal government confirmed it’s working on new laws to prohibit hate speech, sometimes called vilification, based on sex, gender, sexuality, race or religion. Many have welcomed the plan to introduce stronger laws as needed to tackle hate speech against Jewish, Palestinian and Muslim communities in the wake of growing antisemitism and Islamophobia in Australia. Many people agree freedom of speech has its limits and the law has some role to play in prohibiting harmful speech. But what should these laws look like? Here are four things that should be addressed in the legislation. read the complete article



Narendra Modi, sworn in on Sunday for a third term as India’s prime minister, lost his parliamentary majority in the election. Narendra Modi, whose campaign was filled with anti-Muslim rhetoric, was sworn in Sunday for a third term as India’s prime minister. Nevertheless, the election results give Wisconsin Muslims who immigrated from India hope, they say. India has one of the world’s largest Muslim populations, with 200 million Muslims, a minority in the predominantly Hindu country. They have often faced discrimination, prejudice and violence, despite constitutional protections. During Modi’s first two terms, anti-Muslim sentiments heightened, experts say. The Council on Foreign Relations noted that “since Modi’s reelection in 2019, the government has pushed controversial policies that critics say explicitly ignore Muslims’ rights, restrict religious freedoms and are intended to disenfranchise millions of Muslims. Under Modi, violence against Muslims has become more common.” Three Indian American members of Greater Milwaukee’s Muslim community spoke with Wisconsin Muslim Journal over the weekend, sharing their views on the election and hopes for the future of their native land. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 12 Jun 2024 Edition


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