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
13 Oct 2023

Today in Islamophobia: In Canada, accused murder Nathaniel Veltman testifies in his defense this week in a trail surrounding the racially motivated murder of four members of a Canadian Muslim family in June of 2021, meanwhile in the US, violence in Israel and Gaza have heightened the concern from both Jewish and Muslim community members in Massachusetts over safety risks as a mosque and a temple are both vandalized on the same day, and in the UK, a viral video of a man shouting anti-Islamic slurs at a Muslim man in Rossendale, Lancashire is causing growing concern in the community after a severed pig’s head was found at a mosque construction site in a neighboring town earlier in the week. Our recommended read of the day is by Lori Ewing for Reuters on how the French Basketball Federation is being asked by Amnesty International to comply with international human rights laws and not discriminate against female Muslim players who wear the hijab. This and more below:


French federation should allow hijabs says Amnesty International | Recommended Read

The French Basketball Federation is being asked by Amnesty International to comply with international human rights laws and not discriminate against female Muslim players who wear headgear ahead of the FFBB's General Assembly on Saturday. A note accompanying FFBB Rule 4.4.2 outlines the ban on head coverings but Amnesty said it violates Muslim women's rights. "Regarding accessories covering the head, these are considered by the Federation as inappropriate for the game, are therefore prohibited and the player must not be allowed to participate in the meeting (game) in the same way," it reads. However, Amnesty International said in a letter sent to the FFBB: "Prohibitions on the wearing of religious headscarves in public spaces violate Muslim women's rights under international human rights laws and standards". Amnesty International added it is "deeply concerned" the application of the rule "will result in multiple violations of Muslim women's human rights, including constituting direct racial, gender and religious discrimination against Muslim women players who wear headgear or wish to do so." read the complete article

France bans pro-Palestine rallies, cracks down on protesters amid Gaza war

The French police have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters who took to the streets in support of the Palestinians, shortly after the government moved to ban all such rallies. Police broke up a rally in capital Paris on Thursday, following orders from Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin to ban all pro-Palestine demonstrations in the name of “public order”. Critics called the order an attack on civil liberties. The ban came as Israel continues to bomb the Gaza Strip for a sixth day, killing more than 1,400 people, wounding thousands and wiping out neighbourhoods in the already-besieged territory now under a total siege. France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim and Jewish communities, and events overseas can sometimes increase tensions domestically. No restrictions have been announced for events in support of Israel. read the complete article

United States

Heightened security at houses of worship in Massachusetts amid war in Israel

Violence in Israel has heightened concern around potential targets here in the United States. In Providence this week, Temple Beth-El had a bomb threat. On the same day, graffiti hate messages showed up at the Palestinian Cultural Center in Brighton. "At this heightened time, we're particularly concerned that Muslim women who wear the hijab, and houses of worship, and Muslim schools could experience threats of violence," said Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council on American-Islamic Relations. read the complete article

The Shift: ‘War on Terror’ vibes in the US

The staples of that period are on full display. Once again people are getting Dixie Chick’d. A beat writer for the 76ers got fired from the website for criticizing in team post in support of Israel. Playboy fired media personality and former adult film star Mia Khalifa for supporting Palestinian resistance. The student president of the NYU Law School Bar Association lost his job for publishing a statement in support of Palestine. Billionaire Bill Ackman says CEOs should blacklist Harvard students who sign statements blaming Israel for the current situation. Blatant calls for genocide are voiced across cable news. “We are in a religious war, and I am with Israel…Level the place,” says Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). ““I don’t think there’s any way Israel can be expected to coexist or find some diplomatic off-ramp with these savages,” says Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). “…You can’t coexist. They have to be eradicated.” “There are evidently more such voices on air today than made it into the mainstream media to explain the causes of the 9/11 attack in 2001,” writes Phil Weiss at the site. “The BBC, NPR, and MSNBC have all had reports on the history of Palestinian dispossession. To the point that Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL complained on MSNBC two days ago: ‘I love this network, but I’ve got to ask who is writing the scripts– Hamas. The people who did this they are not fighters, they are not militants, they are terrorists.'” Weiss continues: “Greenblatt was likely referencing reports by Ali Velshi, Joy Reid and Ayman Mohyeldin. Velshi hosted Diana Buttu, who said the causes of violence was the “denial of freedom” for 75 years, including the killing of over 250 Palestinians earlier this year. Velshi criticized the press’s blindness: ‘Palestinians are exclusively the bad guys here…Anybody that wants to help the Palestinians, watch out.'” read the complete article


Accused killer of London, Ont., Muslim family testifies he hated 'religious fanatic' mom and hid unhappiness

Testifying in his own defence, Nathaniel Veltman detailed a troubled childhood headed by a "passive" father and a "religious fanatic" mother, and then a "process of decline mentally" in the months leading up to June 6, 2021, pickup truck attack on a Muslim family in London, Ont. "I was constantly watching this conspiracy garbage, this propaganda.... I was trying to figure out why I was in pain. I didn't know it was because I was consuming this garbage," the accused told the jury at his murder-terror trial in Ontario Superior Court in Windsor. Veltman said his decline began in September 2020, when he started "consuming a lot of conspiracy theories" online. The Crown has said the killing was a result of the accused's far-right ideology, developed over months of online "research" that included watching videos of mass killings and reading white supremacist manifestos left by those killers, including immediately before leaving his apartment the night of the attack. Earlier in the trial, the Crown read out parts of the accused's manifesto, entitled "A White Awakening," which railed against mass immigration, multiculturalism and perceived crimes against white people. The jury has also heard that the accused took psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, in the early hours of June 5, 2021, about 40 hours before the attack on the Afzaal family. read the complete article

Toronto city council condemns 'all forms of hate' in wake of Mideast violence

Toronto city council passed a motion on Thursday to condemn "all forms of hate" and to direct city staff and the Toronto Police Services Board to create an online package of information by next Friday to help organizations report hate crimes. Through the motion, "Keeping Toronto Safe from Hate," council restated "its commitment to an inclusive and welcoming city for all Toronto residents." The motion, which was deemed urgent, includes antisemitism and Islamophobia in its definition of hate. The package will include information on city policies on hate, best practices on urban design options, lighting and safety measures, resources available to communities experiencing hate and funding that may be available to ensure safe spaces. The motion also means council will ask the police services board to create "community safe zones" in keeping with already recognized areas of critical infrastructure and potential targets for hate. The board will be asked to offer to consult with organizations about steps that can be taken to ensure they feel safe from hate. read the complete article

United Kingdom

In Britain, the Israel-Hamas war reignites old tensions between communities

This week, as the British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly rushed to visit and support Israel after Hamas’s unprecedented attacks, Braverman urged British police to consider whether chanting phrases such as “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” could be treated as “racially aggravated” crimes. Writing to chief constables of England and Wales on Tuesday, she reaffirmed the British government’s support of “legitimate Israeli defensive measures” and its commitment to protecting Britain’s Jewish community from “anti-Semitic abuse”. The latest Israel-Hamas crisis has resonated across the United Kingdom, and reignited old tensions between supporters of Israel and those who condemn the occupation and advocate for Palestinian rights. Many pro-Palestine campaigners say that over the years, they have increasingly been condemned as anti-Semitic, claiming accusations of anti-Jewish racism are used to silence them. Referring to Israel as an apartheid regime, advocating for the rights of Palestinians and rising up against Israeli occupiers have in the past been seized on by pro-Israel commentators as examples of anti-Semitism. Chris Doyle, director of the London-based Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU), said both sides have used inflammatory language – in the past and during this current crisis. “Some genuine anti-Semites had decided to hop on the Palestinian rights movement” for their own nefarious ends, he told Al Jazeera. “Anti-Arab and anti-Muslim rhetoric” were also apparent among some supporters of Israel, he said. Doyle cited the “appalling” comments made by Richard Ferrer, editor of Britain’s Jewish News, who wrote in a UK newspaper that Hamas’s assault on Israel was “plain and simple historic Islamic bloodlust, passed down through the generations from birth”. read the complete article

Man filmed shouting “Islamic f****** scumbags” at a Muslim man in Rossendale

A viral video of a man shouting “Islamic f****** scumbags” at a Muslim man happened in Rossendale in Lancashire yesterday evening (October 11), Tell MAMA can confirm. The viral clip shows a white male in a red vehicle driving along Deardengate in Haslingden and begins with a reference to Israel as he then aggressively shouts “Wouldn’t f****** trust you” and “Islamic f****** scumbags” towards a male Muslim driver. Yesterday, we wrote about the dumping of a pig’s head at a proposed mosque in Barnoldswick on Sunday afternoon. On October 9, we posted on Twitter/X, “We are already seeing an increase in anti-Muslim hate and antisemitism here in the UK following the appalling events in Israel-Palestine. This is **not** acceptable. Report in anti-Muslim hatred or Islamophobia to us & we can assist. Report in antisemitism to @CST_UK.” read the complete article


You may be eating fish caught and processed by Uyghur forced labor

Last month, Chinese diplomats sent letters – really threats – to discourage attendance at an event on the sidelines of the UN general assembly spotlighting Beijing’s persecution of Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region. The childish tactic backfired, heightening media interest, but it highlighted the lengths to which Beijing will go to cover up its repression. A recent exposé on the persecution of Uyghurs should reinforce our determination to address these crimes against humanity. A four-year investigation by the Outlaw Ocean Project pulls back the curtain on the massive use of forced labor in the Chinese government-backed fishing industry. Much of the study focused on people coercively kept on China’s distant-water fishing fleet, which holds workers at sea for months at a time in appalling conditions, often with lethal neglect. But the study also showed that seafood-processing facilities inside China are deploying Uyghur forced labor on a large scale. Most attention to that forced labor so far has focused on three big Xinjiang industries – cotton (20% of the world’s supply is grown there), tomatoes and polysilicon (used in solar panels). There is also evidence of the use of forced labor in the automobile and aluminum industries. Some Uyghurs were assigned to forced labor projects outside of Xinjiang – the better to deracinate them from their culture – but few details are known. The Outlaw Ocean Project shows us that the seafood processing industry is a major destination. Much of that seafood finds its way into Britain. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 13 Oct 2023 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results