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

Sign up for the Today in Islamophobia Newsletter
03 May 2024

Today in Islamophobia: In the U.S., a lawyer representing a group of women who were apprehended at Arizona State University said they pleaded and begged the officers arresting them to show “humanity” before their hijabs were forcibly removed, meanwhile in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rhetoric against Muslims is “growing shriller” as elections continue in the country, and in the UK, Former Conservative party chair Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has publicly accused mayoral candidate Susan Hall of using divisive politics and Islamophobia in her campaign. Our recommended read for the day is by Timothy Pratt for the Guardian on how the U.S. Department of Education is opening an investigation into Emory University’s alleged discrimination against students with Palestinian, Muslim or Arab ancestry.” This and more below.

United States

Revealed: Emory University investigated over alleged anti-Muslim discrimination | Recommended Read

The US government has opened an investigation into Emory University’s alleged discrimination against students with Palestinian, Muslim or Arab ancestry since 7 October, the Guardian has exclusively learned. The US education department notified the Council on American Islamic Relations, Georgia, or Cair-GA, and Palestine Legal, a national organization, on Tuesday that it would be investigating claims made in an 18-page complaint filed on 5 April on behalf of students at the university in Atlanta, Georgia, under title VI of the Civil Rights Act. The complaint is one of at least six title VI claims made in recent weeks regarding discriminatory treatment of Palestinian, Muslim and Arab students on US campuses; others include Columbia, Rutgers, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Claims of discrimination have also been made on behalf of students at Columbia and Rutgers; these complaints were filed in the last 10 days. Since 1 October, the education department’s office of civil rights has received 343 complaints containing what the agency calls “shared ancestry” allegations, compared with 42 in fiscal year 2022 and 62 in fiscal year 2023, a department spokesperson wrote in an email. The category includes antisemitic and Islamophobic claims. read the complete article

This country is set to broaden its definition of antisemitism. Some critics say it goes too far

Violence has broken out between police, pro-Israel protesters and pro-Palestinian protesters on campuses across the United States, coinciding with politicians in the lower house passing a bill on Wednesday to establish a broader definition of antisemitism. The bill, named the Antisemitism Awareness Act, passed the lower house by a large bipartisan majority of 230 to 91. It now passes to the Senate, and if approved, can be enshrined into law. Opponents of the new legislation, like Democratic representative Jerry Nadler, say the new definition of antisemitism could impact freedom of speech in the country and affect the outcome of legal proceedings. The Act would require the Department of Education to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which includes "targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity". The man who wrote the original definition used by IHRA has publicly said he is concerned it could be weaponised to muzzle free speech. US attorney Kenneth Stern wrote in The Boston Globe earlier this year that when he first drafted his version of the definition in 2005, it was intended simply as a means to measure levels of antisemitism, but not to label anyone as antisemitic. read the complete article

Greg Gutfeld Claims There’s ‘No Islamophobia’ on College Campuses

Fox News host Greg Gutfled on Thursday made the sweeping claim that amid the pro-Palestine protests on college campuses, there haven’t been any instances of Islamophobia. On The Five, Gutfeld took issue with President Joe Biden’s remarks earlier in the day in which he condemned both antisemitism and Islamophobia. In a speech from the White House, Biden said that “there should be no place on any campus, no place in America for antisemitism or threats of violence against Jewish students,” adding: “There is no place for hate speech or violence of any kind, whether it’s antisemitism, Islamophobia, or discrimination against Arab Americans or Palestinian Americans.” read the complete article

Lawyer says women begged for 'humanity' during ASU arrest, hijab removal

A lawyer representing a group of women who were apprehended at Arizona State University said they pleaded and begged the officers arresting them to show "humanity" before their hijabs were forcibly and publicly removed. Zayed Al-Sayyed is representing four women who were among the 72 arrested between Friday into early Saturday morning during the pro-Palestinian protest at ASU and who are alleging their hijabs were forcibly removed. Three of the women are ASU students. The experience has been emotionally scarring for the women, Al-Sayeed explained. “They’re traumatized, they’re scared,” he said. The women were restrained and frisked by male officers, even though there were female officers present, Al-Sayeed said. The officers removed the hijabs, and three of the women had their feet shackled, he said. “Each woman begged and pleaded and said, ‘Please, no.’ and tried to explain” the hijab’s significance, Al-Sayyed said. “They tried to make their case to them. They tried to seek the humanity in these officers, but no. So, when it was removed, they felt defeated.” read the complete article

Arrests, hijab removal called 'a blatant violation of our First Amendment Rights' at news conference

Speakers at a news conference speak about arrests and hijab removal during a pro-Palestine protest at Arizona State University on May 2, 2024. read the complete article

Abu Ghraib: Iraqi victims’ case against US contractor ends in mistrial

The trial was a historic attempt at justice, marking the first time victims of the abuse that took place at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq testified in front of civilian jurors in the United States. But on Thursday, the judge overseeing the civil case in Virginia declared a mistrial, as the jury was unable to overcome a deadlock after eight days of deliberation. The trial focused on the human rights abuses committed at the prison following the US’s invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. Reports of abuse started to emerge in 2003 and later hit a fever pitch in 2004, with the release of photographs showing smiling US captors standing next to naked prisoners, posed in degrading positions. The images became emblematic of the fallout of Washington’s so-called “global war on terror”. Calls for justice have continued two decades later. At question in the Virginia trial was whether civilian interrogators, supplied to the US Army by the Virginia-based contractor CACI, conspired with soldiers to abuse detainees as a means of “softening them up” for questioning. The trial began on April 15, and lawyers for the three Iraqi plaintiffs argued that CACI was liable for mistreatment even if they could not prove that the contractor’s interrogators were the ones who directly inflicted the abuse. They recounted being subjected to different forms of torture by US military personnel and private contractors. The result, they said, has been physical and psychological torment that has weighed on their lives for the past two decades. read the complete article


‘Vote jihad’: As Modi raises anti-Muslim India election pitch, what’s next?

Speaking to a saffron-clothed crowd of supporters in his home state of Gujarat earlier this week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned to an increasingly favoured electoral theme – how opposition parties are collaborating with Muslims to plot a takeover of the nation. “[The opposition alliance] is asking Muslims to do ‘vote jihad’. This is new because we have so far heard about ‘love jihad’ and ‘land jihad’,” said Modi, referring to a string of Islamophobic conspiracy theories, before emphasising to his audience why they needed to be fearful. “I hope you all know what the meaning of jihad is and against whom it is waged.” As India’s giant national election nears its mid-point, with the third of seven phases of voting scheduled for May 7, Modi’s rhetoric against Muslims is growing shriller. That’s worrying analysts and even Muslims who backed the prime minister until recently but now fear that the rhetoric risks serving as oxygen for increased physical violence against Indian Muslims. read the complete article

Why a third term for Modi could be ‘catastrophic’ for India’s 200 million Muslims

Modi’s decade in power has seen a surge in hate speech against religious minorities, attacks on their places of learning and worship, and mob lynchings. In recent years, Indian authorities have introduced “bulldozer justice” to punish Muslims for real and imagined offences. The demolition drive in Nuh was so blatantly discriminatory – 283 Muslim and 71 Hindu properties were targeted – that Haryana’s High Court asked the state government if it was carrying out “an exercise of ethnic cleansing” against Muslims. All the while, Hindu hardline groups, such as the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which are aligned with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and boast thousands of members, have been operating with impunity. “We have been vilified to the extent that Hindus have started refusing jobs to Muslims and they avoid mingling with us. I invited 10 Hindu families to a function at my home, but only three people turned up,” says Altaf Khan, a resident of Delhi. Khan says he is worried for his children as the situation for Muslims in the country is growing grimmer by the day. Khan’s worry isn’t misplaced, as evidence of what Muslim scholar Qari Nasaruddin calls “injustice” and “Muslim hate” is not hard to find. read the complete article

Indian ruling party’s Islamophobic campaign video removed after backlash

An animated video put out by Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has been removed from Instagram after it sparked a backlash for demonising Muslims. India’s prime minister and his Hindu nationalist party have been accused of widening the country’s communal divide by targeting religious minorities, particularly Muslims, on the campaign trail for the ongoing national elections. The video, posted by the ruling party on its Instagram page on 30 April, pushed Mr Modi’s rhetoric against the country’s Muslims and the main opposition Congress party. It showed Rahul Gandhi, the son of the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and the face of the Congress opposition party, holding his party’s manifesto whose cover then morphs into what appears to be Pakistan’s national flag. A voiceover falsely claims that if "the Congress party comes to power, it will snatch all the money and wealth of non-Muslims and distribute it to Muslims. Their favourite community!” Mr Modi’s party and the Hindu nationalist ecosystem it’s embedded in – collectively known as the Sangh Parivar – are proponents of making India a Hindu-first nation and routinely attack Muslims with sectarian dog whistles. This was a rare instance when it targeted the minority community by name. read the complete article

United Kingdom

Former Conservative chair blasts ‘gutter politics’ of Tory London mayoral candidate Susan Hall

A former Tory cabinet minister has accused the Conservative mayoral candidate for London of “gutter politics” following her controversial campaign. Former Conservative party chair and peer Sayeeda Warsi criticised mayoral candidate Susan Hall, who has been acccused of divisive politics and Islamophobia. Baroness Warsi - who served as Tory chair between 2010 and 2012 - said on X/Twitter: “Why is it that with every London Mayoral election we manage to find a candidate worse than the last and manage to sink that little bit more into gutter politics. “Look @andy4wm [Tory West Midlands mayor Andy Street] and learn @Conservatives - how inclusive and decent politics can be done. Be more #Street and less #Susan.” Though it is widely expected that incumbent Labour mayor for London Sadiq Khan will keep his seat, some are anticipating the vote to be tighter than previously thought. Conservative officials think Ms Hall has a chance of beating Mr Khan, despite a controversial campaign filled with blunders and accusations of islamophobia and racism. Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting provoked ire when he said that a win for Susan Hall and the Conservatives is “a win for racists, white supremacists and Islamophobes the world over.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 03 May 2024 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results