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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20 Jun 2024

Today in Islamophobia: In India, a video captured a Hindu mob ransacking the clothing shop of a Muslim man who had reportedly posted a video of a cow being slaughtered for the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday, meanwhile in the United Kingdom, comments from Reform UK leader Nigel Farage about Muslims are “worrying”, according to a community leader from the organization Tell MAMA, and in Italy, two Burkini-wearing British tourists have been left in tears after an alleged verbal attack by two hotel guests at the Torre del Barone resort. Our recommended read of the day is by Michael Talbot for City News on how the Toronto Police Hate Crime Unit is investigating video of an advertising van spotted in Toronto spreading Islamophobic messaging and anti-Muslim propaganda. This and more below:


‘Pure Islamophobia’: Advertising van saying Canadians are ‘under siege’ by Muslims spotted in Toronto | Recommended Read

The Toronto Police Hate Crime Unit is investigating after a van adorned with video screens saying Canada is “under siege” by Muslims was spotted driving around Toronto. The cube van’s screens played a video that says: “Is this Yemen? Is this Syria? Is this Iraq?” The video then shows Muslims kneeling in prayer and concludes, “No. This is Canada. Wake up Canada. You are under siege.” Canada’s Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia, Amira Elghawaby, touched on the controversial van in a social media post saying “I have a message of my own: Your attempts to divide and hate won’t work. Canadians will recognize and reject it for the hate that it is. Love overcomes hate. Always.” The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) also denounced the ad, calling it “extremely dangerous messaging.” “We have seen Islamophobic hate kill in Canada, including in Ontario. This public campaign is pure Islamophobia and hate,” an NCCM statement reads. “This needs to stop now.” NCCM Advocacy Officer, Fetema Abdalla, said incidents like this are a “high priority.” “Over the last eight months especially we have seen an increase of hate incidents of over 1300 per cent. These include calls for incidents at schools, in public spaces at places of worship and workspaces. “This is just one example of one of the dangerous levels of Islamophobia. Spreading a public message and a public campaign as harmful as this is what results in more fear and more harm towards Muslims in Canada. This is extremely unacceptable.” read the complete article

A snapshot of Canadian right-wing extremists’ discussions about the Israel-Hamas conflict

The analysis shows that the reaction was divided, with some groups and individuals attempting to frame any sign of support or solidarity for the people of Palestine with support for terrorism. This included framing all Palestinians as either members of Hamas or as Nazis, while claiming that supporting humanitarian aid in Gaza is a way to “fund Hamas”. Conversely, other accounts clearly oppose Israel’s actions, often inspired by antisemitic hate or conspiracy theories. Others used the conflict as an opportunity to further anti-immigrant rhetoric, with some, again, invoking antisemitism in these discussions. read the complete article


Video shows Hindu mob attacking Muslim-owned shop in India

Video captured a Hindu mob ransacking the clothing shop of a Muslim man who had reportedly posted a video of a cow being slaughtered for the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday. Police eventually managed to force the mob out and close the storefront in Nahan, India. Hindu nationalist (Hindutva) groups also reportedly threatened other Muslims to close their shops as well. read the complete article

Video of Indian Hindu monk speaking on Muslims is edited

A manipulated video shared online appears to show Yogi Adityanath, a politician from India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying Muslims have the "first right" to the country's resources. The original clip, however, shows him quoting India's former prime minister Manmohan Singh and accusing the opposition party of stoking divisions between Muslims and non-Muslims. read the complete article


Islamophobia in France would be even worse with far-right gov

They want to ban the hijab in public space, they want to forbid Arabic architecture and to outlaw Muslim movies. The far right might govern France in a few weeks, just before the Olympic Games. But what would this mean for French Muslims, who already live in one of the most Islamophobic countries in the Western world? read the complete article

United Kingdom

Nigel Farage comments worrying for Muslims, says community leader

Comments from Reform UK leader Nigel Farage about Muslims are “worrying”, a community leader said as she called for other political leaders to “step up” to address divisions. Iman Atta, of the Tell Mama organisation which monitors Islamophobia in the UK, accused Mr Farage of “attacking and undermining Muslim communities” in an effort to get votes at the General Election on July 4. Last month, Mr Farage said there are “a growing number of young people in this country who do not subscribe to British values, in fact loathe much of what we stand for”, when asked about Conservative plans to bring in national service for 18-year-olds. Asked during that interview on Sky News if he was referring to Muslims, Mr Farage said: “We are.” Ms Atta said that, while his comments were “disgraceful”, they are “nothing new”, referring to other remarks he has made within the past decade. The Reform manifesto – which it has dubbed a “contract” – stated that: “Multiculturalism has imported separate communities that reject our way of life.” read the complete article


China changed village names 'to erase Uyghur culture'

China has changed the names of hundreds of villages in Xinjiang region in a move aimed at erasing Uyghur Muslim culture, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says. According to a report by the group, external, hundreds of villages in Xinjiang with names related to the religion, history or culture of Uyghurs were replaced between 2009 and 2023. Words such as "sultan" and "shrine" are disappearing from place names - to be replaced with terms such as "harmony" and "happiness", according to the research, which is based on China's own published data. In recent years, Chinese authorities have been radically overhauling society in Xinjiang in an attempt to assimilate its minority Uyghur population into mainstream Chinese culture. Researchers from HRW and Norway-based organisation Uyghur Hjelp studied the names of villages in Xinjiang from the website of the National Bureau of Statistics of China over the 14-year period. They found the names of 3,600 of the 25,000 villages in Xinjiang were changed during this time. While the majority of these name changes "appear mundane", HRW said, around one fifth - or 630 changes - remove references to Uyghur religion, culture or history. read the complete article


Burkini-wearing Brit tourists are left in tears after 'verbal attack'

Two Burkini-wearing British tourists have been left in tears after an alleged verbal attack by two hotel guests. The two Muslim women from London, aged 25 and 19, were reportedly verbally harassed as they entered the pool in the Mangia's Torre del Barone resort in Sciacca, southern Italy, on June 11. Two Italian men also holidaying at the resort, who are living in Switzerland and Germany respectively, allegedly told the Burkini-clad women: 'It's not hygienic to enter the pool with a suit, shame on you.' They also said: 'Who knows what they are hiding down there,' according to Italian newspaper Corriere. Another guest intervened and defended the women, who have since demanded police action over the incident. Keswan Monien, the director of the resort, told outlet Corriere: 'Having to still hear certain things in 2024 is shameful, we strongly condemn every episode of racism. 'After the verbal attack the two women asked to speak to me. When they came into my office they were crying and were very upset. I tried to calm them down, but they asked me to report the incident, and I had them taken to the police station.' read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 20 Jun 2024 Edition


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