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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21 Mar 2024

Today in Islamophobia: In India, research published by the think tank India Hate Lab (IHL) shows that there were 41 incidents of communal tension and violence in Maharashtra, India’s richest state, between January and October 2023, meanwhile in the UK, a former British diplomat working on an inspection of a local council in east London has been accused of endorsing social media posts that are “Islamophobic”, and Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack told the Cornell community on Tuesday that she was “horrified” to learn that “a Muslim Cornell student was spat upon yesterday while walking in Collegetown. Our recommended read of the day is by Lydia Polgreen for The New York Times on President Joe Biden’s  U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit nominee Adeel Abdullah Mangi and how despite potentially being the first Muslim American federal appellate judge in country, a targeted smear campaign leaves his nomination in jeopardy. This and more below:

United States

The Islamophobic Smear Campaign Dividing Democrats | Recommended Read

On paper, President Biden’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Adeel Abdullah Mangi, is an archetypical candidate for a federal judgeship. Mangi has a sterling legal education, which he followed with a distinguished career at a high-profile private firm mixing corporate litigation with important pro bono work. He also has a classic American story: He grew up in a poor country dreaming of a career as a lawyer and immigrated to the United States, where he ascended to the heights of his profession. The candidate has another quality that was especially appealing to Biden, who has made diversifying the federal bench a key priority: Mangi would be the first Muslim American federal appellate judge in the United States. When Mangi appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in December for a hearing about this lifetime appointment, Republican senators did not ask him about his legal background or judicial philosophy. “Do you condemn the atrocities of Hamas terrorists?” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas demanded of Mangi, a Pakistani American with no connection to Hamas or Palestinians other than the fact that he is Muslim, along with 1.8 billion other people across the globe. Such bad faith ambushes are Cruz’s stock in trade, especially since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas. So it was hardly a surprise that he and his Republican colleagues spent their allotted time insinuating that Mangi was an antisemite and an apologist not just for Hamas but also for the perpetrators of Sept. 11. read the complete article

President Pollack “horrified” after Islamophobic act reported, says Cornell

In a statement late Tuesday afternoon, Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack told the Cornell community that she was “horrified” to learn that “a Muslim Cornell student was spat upon yesterday while walking in Collegetown.” “If the individual who committed this awful, Islamophobic act is identified as a member of the Cornell community, they will be held fully accountable for this deplorable and unlawful behavior,” President Pollack said. “I am horrified that someone would treat another member of our community in this manner. Hate has no place at Cornell.” read the complete article

United Kingdom

UK: British ex-diplomat probing Tower Hamlets accused of endorsing Islamophobia

A former British diplomat working on an inspection of a local council in east London has been accused of endorsing social media posts that are “Islamophobic”, “defend Islamophobia” or that peddle in “propaganda against Muslims”. The charges against Sir John Jenkins, who was briefly the UK’s ambassador to Syria and Libya before seeing out a longer stint in Saudi Arabia, come in a letter sent by community leaders to Michael Gove, the government minister who appointed him. Jenkins, who is a senior fellow at Policy Exchange, the right-wing think tank founded by Gove and others in 2002, is part of a team auditing Tower Hamlets council, which is led by independent mayor Lutfur Rahman, who is Muslim. The government-appointed inspectors have been asked to look at a range of issues including how money is spent and senior job appointments. They have been instructed to report back by the end of May on “whether the standards expected for effective and convenient local government are being upheld”. A group that includes Jewish and Muslim community organisers, as well as academics and local politicians, has sent a letter to Gove questioning the role being played by a former Middle East diplomat in a local government audit. read the complete article


Her husband was a victim of anti-Muslim hate in India. A research group warns it's on the rise

As she scrolled through countless wedding photos on her phone, looking at the smiling face of her husband who was killed last September in communal clashes, Ayesha Hasan Shikalgar couldn't help but smile back at him through her pain. "He was always joking and laughing," said Ayesha, 30. "Now, the void in my life can never be filled." It started as a normal Sunday, she said, with the young couple hosting a housewarming party that day to celebrate the renovations they had done in preparation for the birth of their first child. In the evening, her husband, Nurul Hasan Shikalgar, went to the local mosque for prayer, as he always did. read the complete article


The Uyghur Diaspora’s Desperate Search for Family Members in China

Every exiled Uyghur carries a load: the “enormous pain, the hole in your heart, the burden on your shoulder and the nightmare in your sleep,” in the words of Yalkun Uluyol. Uluyol’s father is serving a 16-year prison sentence; an uncle has been condemned to life; and 30 or so other family members are serving long jail terms. Those not imprisoned have become coerced laborers or have simply disappeared. The pain of separation never recedes; in fact it increases with the passage of time, he told The Diplomat. “Every exiled Uyghur feels like this to some extent or another.” Seven years have passed since mass roundups, internments, and extrajudicial jail terms were foisted on the 15 million or so Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in his homeland, an area three times the size of France bordering the ex-Soviet Central Asian states, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Chen Quanguo, fresh from quelling dissent in Tibet was appointed as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’s new governor in August 2016; his remit was to do the same in “restive” Xinjiang. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 21 Mar 2024 Edition


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