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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19 Jun 2024

Today in Islamophobia: In the United States, a man targeted a Muslim man with hate speech at a public park in San Francisco during an Eid al-Adha festival on Monday, meanwhile in the United Kingdom, a former Brexit Party candidate is running for Reform UK under a different name, following accusations of Islamophobia in 2019, and in France, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin has approved a series of raids in Paris targeting Muslim residents under the pretext of “national security” in the lead up to the summer Olympics. Our recommended read of the day is by Human Rights Watch on new research showing how Chinese authorities in Xinjiang have systematically changed hundreds of village names with religious, historical, or cultural meaning for Uyghurs into names reflecting recent Communist Party ideology since as early as 2009. This and more below:


China: Hundreds of Uyghur Village Names Change | Recommended Read

Chinese authorities in Xinjiang have been systematically changing hundreds of village names with religious, historical, or cultural meaning for Uyghurs into names reflecting recent Chinese Communist Party ideology, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch research has identified about 630 villages where the names have been changed that way. The top three most common replacement village names are “Happiness,” “Unity,” and “Harmony.” “The Chinese authorities have been changing hundreds of village names in Xinjiang from those rich in meaning for Uyghurs to those that reflect government propaganda,” said Maya Wang, acting China director at Human Rights Watch. “These name changes appear part of Chinese government efforts to erase the cultural and religious expressions of Uyghurs.” The changes fall into three broad categories. Any mentions of religion, including Islamic terms, such as Hoja (霍加), a title for a Sufi religious teacher, and haniqa (哈尼喀), a type of Sufi religious building, have been removed, along with mentions of shamanism, such as baxshi (巴合希), a shaman. Any mentions of Uyghur history, including the names of its kingdoms, republics, and local leaders prior to the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and words such as orda (欧尔达), which means “palace,” sultan (苏里坦), and beg (博克), which are political or honorific titles, have also been changed. The authorities also removed terms in village names that denote Uyghur cultural practices, such as mazar (麻扎), shrine, and dutar (都塔尔), a two-stringed lute at the heart of Uyghur musical culture. read the complete article

United Kingdom

Candidate accused of Islamophobia in 2019 stands for Reform UK under different name

A former Brexit Party candidate is running for Reform UK under a different name, following accusations of Islamophobia in 2019. Dionne Moore Cocozza is now running in Glasgow West as Dionne Moore, using her middle name as a surname. No details on Reform UK's website link the candidate to the 2019 race. The Reform UK candidate previously stood for the Brexit Party, later rebranded as Reform UK in Glasgow North under the name Dionne Cocozza, receiving 320 votes. Ms Cocozza's candidacy in the 2019 election drew attention after the University of Glasgow's student newspaper and Hope Not Hate reported on her social media use. At the time, she wrote on social media that Muslims wanted to institute Sharia law in a post viewed by Sky News. According to the anti-racism advocacy group Hope Not Hate, Ms Cocozza also said on social media that, "You can't say anything if your white 2019 [sic]". She also shared a post written by another user, viewed by Sky News, which made the claim, "I heard a muslim say, we get elected then slowly we takeover". read the complete article

United States

San Francisco Muslims attacked with hate speech at Eid holiday prayer

Shahbaz Shaikh says he's never been involved in a hate incident growing up in San Francisco until this encounter on Monday morning: Unknown man: "You a******e! You come from a f***ed up country!" Shaikh: "I was born here, sir. Thank you. Enjoy the rest of your day." Unknown man: "You are not welcome here, you c***suckers! You're devils. You're a devil!" "It took a while for me to register what was happening. That's when the fear set in. That's when the internal panic set in. I was worried about other people's safety. My own safety. We don't know this individual," explains Shaikh, who grew up in San Francisco. It happened at McLaren Park as families gathered to pray and celebrate Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice. It's the most important holiday of the Islamic calendar. He says the verbal assault was unprovoked. Unknown man: "Why don't you go some f***ing other place, you a******e! F*** you all! I am going to put some pig grease here for you c***suckers!" The pig reference likely because Muslims don't eat pork. Shaikh says the use of that kind of specific language is also a red flag. "So there was purpose behind that statement. It didn't just come out of nowhere. It was researched. It was targeted. And that's made it more vile," suggests Shaikh. read the complete article


France launches widespread raids on Muslims ahead of Olympics

Paris - France has unleashed a series of violent police raids against the Muslim community under the pretext of protecting national security during the Olympics. Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin announced in a message sent to all prefects that all measures should be taken to limit the ‘capacity to cause trouble’ and to keep the most dangerous individuals monitored by the services ‘away from events’. Darmanin has also outlined a system of detection and obstruction targeting all Muslims who find themselves on the ever-expanding snooping files, supposedly for “radicalisation for terrorist purposes” (FSPRT). More than 5,100 Muslims will be closely monitored. Prefects are required to establish interventionary measures “of any kind” for ‘any target’ registered in the aforementioned file. These include raids, house arrests and imprisonments. In line with the ‘Al Capone’ strategy of pressure policing, any alleged or perceived infraction is to be pursued and used to justify state intervention. CAGE and other organisations have received numerous testimonies of violent raids carried out against innocent Muslims. 250 Muslims were raided in Paris alone. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 19 Jun 2024 Edition


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