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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08 Jan 2019

Today in Islamophobia: Muslim groups across the U.S clean up national parks as the government shutdown continues while complaints prompt Amazon to remove products offensive to Muslims. Elsewhere, China passes laws to make ‘Islam more compatible with socialism’ amid outcry over abuse of Uighur Muslims. India is criticized for deporting Rohingya to Myanmar even as Saudia Arabia deports Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh. This, and more, below:

United States

08 Jan 2019

Muslim youth groups across US clean up national parks amid government shutdown

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association were seen cleaning up Independence Hall in Pennsylvania, Everglades National Park in Florida, Joshua Tree in California, and Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio as the U.S government shut down entered its third week. A volunteer in Philadelphia told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the cleanups were an opportunity to challenge growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the country and around the world. “There’s a lot of false things that are against Islam and how they teach hatred and to hate your neighbour, but we’re actually told to love our neighbor and to help the neighborhood around us." read the complete article

08 Jan 2019

Complaints prompt Amazon to remove products that are offensive to Muslims

In response to complaints raised by the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Amazon has removed products deemed offensive to Muslims. The civil rights and advocacy organization asked the online retailer last week to remove the products which included doormats, bath mats and other items imprinted with Islamic calligraphy, references to the Prophet Muhammad and scripture. CAIR has issued a statement welcoming Amazon's decision to remove the items from its website and conduct an audit to purge similarly offensive products. read the complete article

08 Jan 2019

Tarrant County in spotlight as GOP is poised to vote whether to oust Muslim from post

A proposal to remove a vice chairman of the party — Shahid Shafi, a Muslim — has drawn attention across the country as Tarrant County Republicans line up on both sides of the issue. Those pushing the vote to reconsider Shafi’s appointment say this is not about religion but whether Shafi is loyal to Islam and Islamic law or connected to “Islamic terror groups.” Those supporting Shafi say this is wrong — and it is about religion and a person’s faith. A Jan. 10 vote on the issue is planned for the Tarrant County GOP executive committee, which is made up of precinct chairmen. read the complete article

United Kingdom

08 Jan 2019

UKIP to hold leadership election later this year

A meeting of UKIP executives on Sunday agreed that Batten, who took over last April with an initial one-year brief to stabilize the party will stay on in the post until after May’s local elections, after which a full leadership contest will be held. Batten, an MEP and UKIP veteran, has sought to move the party to the far right. He has called Islam a “death cult” and suggested that UK Muslims should be asked to sign a declaration renouncing elements of the Qur’an. A set of policies unveiled in the autumn included a mooted halt on immigration from Islamic countries and the possibility of separate jails for Muslim prisoners. read the complete article

08 Jan 2019

[Opinion] Defining extremism: What does 2019 hold for British Muslims? | Recommended Read

Arzu Merali argues that Islamophobia as an instrument of the state is used, like other forms of racism, to undermine the sense of, or simply the aspirations towards, citizenship among those targeted. To even critique Johnson in this scenario - just like parents organizing to reverse a school ban on the hijab, or to raise standards at their schools, or to campaign against Islamophobia - is deemed a sign of extremism. In this environment, a failing attempt to define “extremism” is of no concern, when the overriding moral imperative of the state is the need to control a Muslim polity that can never be anything other than extreme. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day


08 Jan 2019

Flanders region of Belgium bans halal and kosher animal slaughter

The northern Flanders region of Belgium has imposed a ban on halal and kosher animal slaughter. The ban comes four years after right-wing Belgian nationalist Ben Weyts was appointed as the minister responsible for animal welfare in Flanders. On Monday he retweeted a post by Paul Joseph Watson, the British editor-at-large of controversial American alt-right website, calling for the ban to be imposed "in every European country". Belgium is home to about 500,000 Muslims and more than 30,000 Jews, who are worried that the ban will lead to higher prices and possible food shortages. read the complete article


08 Jan 2019

'Ship them home': Fraser Anning says he wants ban on Muslim, Sudanese migrants

Controversial senator Fraser Anning is under fire for his attendance of a Melbourne rally organized by ultra-nationalists and his comments after. "I would not bring any more Muslims or Sudanese in the country. I would put a ban on that. And if any of them committed a crime, I would be shipping them home to where they came from." Last year in August in his maiden speech to parliament, Mr Anning first made the call for a ban on Muslim migration, and also urged a return to the White Australia policy. Video and images of the rally shows members and supporters of the United Patriots Front giving Nazi salutes. Political leaders from across the spectrum have condemned Senator Anning's actions. read the complete article


08 Jan 2019

China passes law to ‘make Islam more compatible with socialism’ amid outcry over Muslim abuse

According to state media reports, Beijing is to introduce measures aimed at “the sinicisation” of the religion within four years. The move is likely to fuel concerns about re-education camps in China’s Xinjiang region, where a million or more Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are believed to be held. In a sign the crackdown on Muslims could spread to other regions, Beijing announced on Sunday that Islamicorganisations in eight provinces had “agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to sinicise the religion”. The plan was “not about changing the beliefs, habits or ideology of Islam but to make them compatible with socialist society”, Gao Zhanfu, vice-dean of the Beijing-based China Islamic Institute, told the newspaper. read the complete article

Saudi Arabia

08 Jan 2019

Saudi Arabia deports dozens of Rohingya to Bangladesh: MEE

Dozens of Rohingya refugees held in detention for up to six years have reportedly been deported to Bangladesh by Saudi authorities. Nay San Lwin, a Rohingya activist told to Al Jazeera from Frankfurt, Germany, that most of the Rohingya entered Saudi Arabia in 2012 following violence breaking out in Rakhine. Currently, Bangladesh is host to 700,000 Rohingya refugees driven out of Myanmar by state sponsored violence. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 08 Jan 2019 Edition


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