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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16 Jul 2019

Today in Islamophobia: As China seeks to coerce minorities into assimilating, white supremacists and right-wing media rush to defend Trump’s racist Twitter outbreak. In light of the President’s “racist diatribe”, an op-ed by Michael Luo asks “Who Belongs in America?”. Our recommended read of the day is a report published by the Pew Research Center on the rise of religious restrictions around the world. This, and more, below:


16 Jul 2019

A Closer Look at How Religious Restrictions Have Risen Around the World | Recommended Read

Over the decade from 2007 to 2017, government restrictions on religion – laws, policies and actions by state officials that restrict religious beliefs and practices – increased markedly around the world. And social hostilities involving religion – including violence and harassment by private individuals, organizations or groups – also have risen since 2007, the year Pew Research Center began tracking the issue. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day


16 Jul 2019

What's Behind Quebec's Ban on Religious Symbols

Quebec, where she was born and raised, and where she still lives, has become the first state or province in North America to ban Muslim head scarves and other religious symbols, including Jewish kippahs, Sikh turbans, and Christian crosses. Bill 21, or its official name, “An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State,” was passed last month, after Quebec’s center-right government held a marathon parliamentary session—and curbed debate in the face of staunch opposition. read the complete article

16 Jul 2019

Canadian Muslim group declines invitation to attend US summit on religious freedom

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) on Monday called the Trump administration's three-day summit, dubbed the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, a "betrayal" of its principles. "We cannot attend while Executive Order 13780 and subsequent presidential proclamations (better known as the 'Muslim Ban') remain in effect," NCCM Executive Director Mustafa Farooq said in a letter shared on social media. "We believe in standing by our principles. We believe in non-partisan, common-sense policy to combat racial discrimination in our society." read the complete article


16 Jul 2019

A Chinese Diplomat Got Called Racist For Tweeting About DC While Defending Muslim Internment Camps

Lijian Zhao, the deputy chief of mission at China’s embassy in Pakistan, sparked the weekend firestorm when he wrote out a series of tweets Saturday highlighting recent events at the United Nations in Geneva. Diplomats there from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Egypt, and 34 other countries issued a letter praising China’s treatment of Muslim minorities, despite years of reports of mass spying and human rights abuses in the country’s Xinjiang region. read the complete article

16 Jul 2019

Op-Ed | You Can’t Force People to Assimilate. So Why Is China at It Again?

At times, the Chinese authorities have portrayed this mass detention campaign as a “strict preventative measure” against violent extremist ideologies. At others, they have called it a benign “vocational training” initiative, comparing detainees to “boarding school students.” read the complete article

United Kingdom

16 Jul 2019

New statistics confirm what we already knew – Islamophobia is thriving in all parts of British society

Statistics show that that people continue to see Muslims distinctly differently from other religious groups, with 18 per cent of the public holding extremely negative views of Muslims. Although there has been a small decrease in the number of people who consider Islam a serious threat to Western civilisation (44 per cent down from 52 per cent in July 2017), a huge 31 per cent of the population believe that Islam poses a threat to the British way of life and only 32 per cent believe that Islam and the British way of life are compatible. read the complete article

16 Jul 2019

Boris Johnson claimed Islam put Muslim world 'centuries behind'

Writing about the rise of the religion in an appendix added to a later edition of The Dream of Rome, his 2006 book about the Roman empire, Johnson said there was something about Islam that hindered development in parts of the globe and, as a result, “Muslim grievance” was a factor in virtually every conflict. read the complete article

United States

16 Jul 2019

These Americans share what it feels like to be told: 'Go back to where they came from'

I'm a professor of Civil Engineering and Applied Mathematics and Statistics at Johns Hopkins University and live in Washington DC. I grew up in Pakistan, and came to the US because of college. I am now a naturalized citizen. Last year, I was on a research trip to Berlin with some American colleagues. I was talking to my European colleagues about how the food and coffee in Europe is so much better than the United States. One of my American colleagues got a bit annoyed at this, and interrupted me and said that I can go back to my country if I don't like America and that no one forces me to live in the US. read the complete article

16 Jul 2019

Op-Ed | It's time for Muslim Americans to condemn Hamza Yusuf

Influenced by a number of factors, including internalised Islamophobia, these individuals have intentionally sided with the Trump White House. Hamza Yusuf, once dubbed the most "influential Muslim scholar in the Western world" is one of them. read the complete article

16 Jul 2019

White supremacists and right-wing media defend Trump’s racist attack on four members of Congress

Unsurprisingly, some white nationalists and right-wing media figures defended Trump’s comments. A few praised the comments, and others resorted to gaslighting, insisting that the media and Democrats were misquoting Trump. Neo-Nazi publication Daily Stormer printed the headline “Trump tells brown communist Democrats to leave America, return to their shitholes,” a throwback to Trump’s infamous comments in which he called Haiti, El Salvador, and some African countries “shithole countries.” read the complete article

16 Jul 2019

Op-Ed | The Muslim Ban Has Moved Out Of The Airports And Gotten Much, Much Worse

The policy may have slipped from the headlines when officials stopped turning people away at the airports, but with the policy moving out of the headlines, the capacity for abuse has ramped up and exacerbated a human rights crisis. The Center for Constitutional Rights wants America to start paying attention again. read the complete article

16 Jul 2019

Op-Ed | Trump’s Racist Tweets, and the Question of Who Belongs in America

Many have already pointed out the fallacies in Trump’s tweets. Three of the women were born in this country; only Omar, who emigrated from Somalia, was not. Tlaib’s parents are Palestinian immigrants; Ocasio-Cortez’s parents are of Puerto-Rican descent. Pressley is black. They are all, of course, Americans. But it is worth pausing to recognize the racist shibboleths in Trump’s tweets, ones that have been used to justify other shameful moments in our history, from the Japanese internment, during the Second World War, to the Trump Administration’s Muslim ban. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 16 Jul 2019 Edition


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