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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22 Aug 2019

Today in IslamophobiaQatar withdraws support for China over its treatment of Muslims, as Austria undertakes a dangerous shift in its treatment of Islam. An op-ed by Ali Al-Arian uses Bridge research to highlight Islamophobia in some Muslim circles, another calls on the U.S to call the Rohingya crisis what it was: genocide. Our recommended read of the day is by Zak Cheney-Rice on the GOP’s motivations behind the recent attacks on Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. This, and more, below:

United States

22 Aug 2019

Opinion | Trump’s Tweets About Jews Prove GOP Attacks on Omar, Tlaib Were Never Really About Anti-Semitism | Recommended Read

He’s tried to cast Democrats as the actual anti-Semites. And widespread Islamophobia has given him a receptive audience. A gift fell into the Republican Party’s lap last November: Ilhan Omar was elected to Congress. A 36-year-old Muslim, immigrant, and Somali refugee, the Minneapolis-area representative was a tailor-made bogeyman for a party whose reliance on anti-Muslim hostility had reached a new apex with Trump’s election. Emboldened further by her criticisms of how 9/11 has been weaponized to cast all Muslims as suspect, Republicans from Steve Scalise to Dan Crenshaw to Trump himself characterized Omar and her colleague Rashida Tlaib — the only other Muslim woman in Congress — as radical Islamists who hate Israel and, by extension, all Jewish people. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
22 Aug 2019

Customs and Border Protection press secretary Katharine Gorka departs after two months on the job

Katharine Gorka, who has a track record of criticizing Islam and embracing Muslim-focused conspiracy theories during her career, said Tuesday that her departure from CBP is a personal decision to spend more time with her family. Gorka’s husband, Sebastian Gorka, served as an adviser to President Trump before his sudden departure in 2017, a week after senior adviser and former Breitbart executive Stephen K. Bannon was ousted from his position as Trump’s chief strategist. Both Gorkas previously wrote for Bannon’s Breitbart and operated in far-right political circles, focusing much of their activism on what they viewed as the dangers of Islam, before joining the Trump administration. read the complete article

22 Aug 2019

Opinion | Trump's Public Charge rule is a cover up for racism-- with disturbing historical origins

America's immigration history is a continuum of such discriminatory policies of exclusion, enacted in the name of economic prosperity, national security and public safety: African Americans, women and Native populations were once not included as citizens; immigration quotas have heavily favored Northern and Western Europeans; a whole continent of people was banned under the Asian Exclusion Act; and now an entire religious community is being barred with a Muslim ban. But at every turn, time unveiled these policies and laws for what they were: proxies for racism and xenophobia. read the complete article

22 Aug 2019

Opinion | The political impotence of the Muslim American community

Today, many American Muslims eagerly claim the legacy of brothers Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X as their own, but lack the political courage and moral integrity by which they lived. We have become a community without a principled political vision, impotent in the face of state oppression: the continuous FBI surveillance and entrapment and ever-expanding anti-Muslim legislation. Not only are we unable to organise on these issues, but we have also lost the common ethical ground that could unite us around a common political vision and action. read the complete article

22 Aug 2019

In 2018, they all became victims of a record-setting year of hatred in D.C.

As reports of hate crimes have surged across the country, much of the attention has been focused on white-supremacy-inspired mass shootings in Pittsburgh and El Paso and an attack by an avowed neo-Nazi in Charlottesville. In Washington, the arrest of a self-professed white nationalist allegedly plotting with his brother to spark a race war made national headlines. Meanwhile, the reported attack on the seventh-grader — just two weeks later and a few miles away — received no media coverage. That was true of the vast majority of suspected hate crimes in the District in 2018. The Washington Post examined all 204 incidents investigated by police as hate crimes, interviewing two dozen victims and a handful of suspects. What emerged was a portrait of pervasive bigotry and violence: gay men and women assaulted on the street, transgender people threatened by strangers, African Americans taunted with slurs, Muslims harassed for wearing headscarves, synagogues subjected to anti-Semitic calls. Roughly half were violent crimes ranging from robbery to sexual abuse to assault, which was the most common offense. read the complete article


22 Aug 2019

What happened to the Rohingya was genocide — and it’s time for the U.S. to say it

On Aug. 25, two years will have passed since that fateful August day when the Myanmar military came to drive the Rohingya people away. Their so-called clearing operations displaced close to 800,000 people. Conservative estimates suggest that at least 10,000 were killed. In the intervening two years, the U.S. government has drawn no official conclusions about what happened. Some might dismiss this as a matter of bureaucratic nuance. Yet, it is anything but. A genocide determination would properly recognize the scale and severity of atrocities committed against the Rohingya and has the potential to galvanize international aid and attention at a time when donor fatigue is setting in. Such a determination is not only the right thing to do, it is the strategic next step to take if there is to be any hope of justice for Rohingya. read the complete article


22 Aug 2019

Qatar Withdraws Support for China Over Its Treatment of Muslims

Qatar withdrew from a letter signed by dozens of countries expressing support for China’s human-rights record despite growing international condemnation over its detention of as many as two million ethnic Muslim Uighurs. “Taking into account our focus on compromise and mediation, we believe that co-authorizing the aforementioned letter would compromise our foreign policy key priorities,” Ambassador Ali Al-Mansouri, Qatar’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, wrote to Seck on July 18. “In this regard, we wish to maintain a neutral stance and we offer our mediation and facilitation services.” His signature also appeared on the July 12 letter supporting China. read the complete article


22 Aug 2019

'This Is It. I'm Going To Die': India's Minorities Are Targeted In Lynchings

Since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won power in India five years ago, lynchings of the country's minorities have surged. In February, Human Rights Watch reported at least 44 such murders between May 2015 and December 2018. Hundreds more people have been injured in religiously motivated attacks. Most of the victims are Muslims, members of the country's largest religious minority. They comprise about 15% of India's 1.3 billion people. Other victims include lower-caste Hindus and Christians. Most of the attackers are devout Hindu men, known as "cow vigilantes," who take it upon themselves to enforce beef bans. Some of them claim ties to the BJP. Last year, a BJP minister met with a group of men convicted of a lynching and draped them in flower garlands. read the complete article


22 Aug 2019

I wrote a sketch about Muslims at airport security. Guess what happened next

On what seemed like a packed flight from London to Los Angeles – I was the only person pulled aside for “random additional security screening”. He goes through my laptop bag, inspecting each item carefully. My laptop, my book, sequence of chargers, some chewing gum and stationery. The only moment that made me tense was when he flicked through the pages of my notebook. You see, somewhere near the middle was the outline of a comedy sketch about a Muslim man who gets stopped by airport security. This outline became the basis for a comedy sketch that featured in Muzlamic, a comedy show written by and starring myself and my good friend Ali Shahalom. Approximately 12 hours before this security official was messing with my pristine bag organisation structure, our show was broadcast on BBC Three. read the complete article


22 Aug 2019

Paradigm shift in Austria’s security politics vis-à-vis Islam

The OVP, led by Kurz, has of late been the main champion of anti-Muslim legislation. During their governance, this former acceptance of Islam was profoundly shaken, and Muslims began to be targeted by new laws and initiatives, such as the Hijab ban in kindergartens and primary schools, or the attempt to close mosques. But despite that, the Austrian security apparatus, especially the Interior Ministry’s security agency, had previously never subscribed to the patterns of anti-Muslim rhetoric. Rather, it used to see the Islamic Religious Community of Austria (IGGÖ) as a partner against extremism, and especially Jihadism. However, this too seems to have profoundly changed with the new annual report of the security agency. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 22 Aug 2019 Edition


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