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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12 Apr 2019

Today in IslamophobiaA student is arrested in NJ for pulling off a girl’s hijab as man accused of anti- Muslim tirade in New Zealand pleads guilty. CAIR receives a threatening letter and the NY Post is slammed for using 9/11 to attack U.S Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Our recommended read of the day is by Maha Hilal on the recently held House Judiciary Committee hearing on white nationalism. This, and more, below:

United States

12 Apr 2019

Opinion | I went to the House Judiciary Committee on white nationalism as an optimistic Muslim — and was disappointed by what I saw | Recommended Read

As a Muslim and as someone whose research, organising, and advocacy focuses on the War on Terror, I attended this hearing to understand how seriously Congress was going to treat the threat of white nationalism and how Muslims would be represented throughout. Representative Nadler, the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, commenced the hearing by framing the problem of white nationalism to “Islamist” domestic terrorism. For some, this might have seemed like an innocent attempt to contextualise the scope of white nationalist violence, but to me it revealed something deeper – the unwillingness or inability to understand the word terrorism as not inherently connected to Muslims. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
12 Apr 2019

Instagram Won’t Ban Laura Loomer After She Incites Fans To ‘Rise Up’ Against Ilhan Omar

An Instagram spokesperson said the company has removed one of Loomer’s Instagram Stories — in which she recorded herself calling Islam “a cancer on humanity” — for violating its hate speech policy. The spokesperson added that if Loomer continues to violate Instagram’s rules, her account could be banned. The spokesperson, however, added that Loomer’s multiple other concerning and explicitly bigoted posts can stay on the website and do not violate community guidelines. This week, Loomer used her large platform on Instagram to falsely accuse Omar of being a terrorist, deploying anti-Muslim language similar to that in the manifesto by the white supremacist accused of massacring 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, last month. read the complete article

12 Apr 2019

A ‘pure racist act’: N.Y. Post slammed for using 9/11 to attack Rep. Omar over speech on Islamophobia

The cover of the New York Post on Thursday showed an image of the World Trade Center exploding into flames on Sept. 11, more than 17 years ago. The target of the tabloid’s ire? Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, who has become a frequent target of criticism, harassment and outright Islamophobia from the right wing since her election in November. The decision touched off a storm of indignation and anger among liberal commentators online. Many felt the newspaper, which has a history of incendiary front pages, had overstepped the bounds of acceptability. Others said they thought that the cover amounted to incitement of violence against Omar, who has faced a growing number of threats. read the complete article

12 Apr 2019

Threatening letter delivered to CAIR office in Dublin

Government Affairs Development Coordinator for Council on American-Islamic Relations Columbus Usjid Hameed says the Dublin office received the letter Wednesday. The handwritten note was anonymous and postmarked in Cleveland. “It’s surprising and disturbing to know that there’s someone out there in the world towards you and people of your community,” Hameed said. “The author of the letter refers to the Christchurch shooting in almost a pleasing manner, they talk about how more violence needs to befall Muslims, and how Islam is a plaque.” Hameed says in the past, CAIR has received similar letters and messages of hate in the past. He says those messages have also been delivered to other CAIR offices across the country even Muslim lawmakers. “We’ve seen Ilhan Omar, one of the first Muslim congresswomen, be the victim of a bomb threat,” Hameed said. “In this climate, no one is safe from threats or harassment.” read the complete article

12 Apr 2019

NJ Student Arrested After Pulling Off Girl's Hijab, Shouting Anti-Muslim Slurs During Fight: Prosecutors, Superintendent

The East Brunswick High School girl, whose name and age weren’t released, got into an argument with another girl on Wednesday because both students wanted the same seat in a common area on campus. As the fight escalated, one of the girls pulled off the other girl’s hijab and started screaming anti-Muslim slurs at her, the superintendent said. A school security officer broke up the fight, but not before it was caught on video. “Ultimately, the fight was determined to be a bias incident and was immediately reported to the East Brunswick Police Department and the County Prosecutor’s Office in accordance with Board Policy… and the law,” Valeski wrote. read the complete article

12 Apr 2019

Opinion | Muslims arrived in America 400 years ago as part of the slave trade and today are vastly diverse

Muslims have been in America well before America became a nation. In fact, some of the earliest arrivals to this land were Muslim immigrants – forcibly transported as slaves in the transatlantic trade, whose 400th anniversary is being observed this year. Scholars estimate that as many as 30% of the African slaves brought to the U.S., from West and Central African countries like Gambia and Cameroon, were Muslim. Among the difficulties they faced, were also those related to their faith. As a scholar of Muslim communities in the West, I know African slaves were forced to abandon their Islamic faith and practices by their owners, both to separate them from their culture and religious roots and also to “civilize” them to Christianity. read the complete article

Opinion | How Islamophobia Today Can Be Traced To The Past

Sojourners sat down with Kazi to discuss what her book can tell us about the New Zealand shootings, what they and the Trump administration tell us about historic and current Islamophobia, and the community organizations that are active in dismantling xenophobia to create just representation for Muslim and migrant communities. Nazia Kazi: What happened in New Zealand, the shooter was inspired by the Great Replacement Theory, which came from France but has spread across the West. Basically, it’s this panic that the white race is quickly being replaced by black, brown, and migrant people. The great replacement is not some weird, fringe conspiracy; it’s become quite mainstream. Even in the U.S., we have seen people who are panicking about “white genocide,” which is a myth, but it is also used to bolster this type of xenophobia. Now with someone like Donald Trump in office — and we know there are more guns in the U.S. per capita than anywhere in the world — this type of violence has been given a license that is unprecedented in so many ways. In the aftermath of the shooting, do you think Muslims in the U.S. are vulnerable? read the complete article


12 Apr 2019

Opinion | Why giant statues of Hindu gods and leaders are making Muslims in India nervous

India’s new statues convey something else, too: the power and vision of one dominant group – and the vulnerability of others. That’s because India’s biggest new public monuments all pay tribute to Hindu gods and leaders. As a scholar of social change in India, I see statues as a projection of a nation’s values at a particular moment in time. For many Muslims and other religious minorities, then, these hulking public monuments of Hindu icons send an ominous message about their status in society. The mammoth public shrines to Hindu nationalism are a pet project of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party. Since taking office in 2014, Modi has used his power to promote Hindu nationalism, a polarizing ideology that sees Hindus as India’s dominant group. read the complete article

12 Apr 2019

Under Modi, a Hindu Nationalist Surge Has Further Divided India

“I could be lynched right now and nobody would do anything about it,” said Abdul Adnan, a Muslim who sells drill bits. “My government doesn’t even consider me Indian. How can that be when my ancestors have lived here hundreds of years?” Over the past five years, his bloc, the Bharatiya Janata Party, or B.J.P., has been spreading an us-versus-them philosophy in a country already riven by dangerous divisions. The Hindu right has never been more enfranchised at every level of government. Now, with national elections underway, and with most polling data indicating that Mr. Modi will return to power, the growing belief here is that a divisive Hindu-first agenda will only accelerate. read the complete article

12 Apr 2019

Outrage over BJP promise to 'remove every single infiltrator' from India

Critics have accused India's ruling party of promoting communal tensions after a top official promised to rid the country of all "infiltrators" in an apparent swipe at Muslims and other religious minorities. "We will remove every single infiltrator from the country, except Buddha, Hindus and Sikhs," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah told supporters in West Bengal on Thursday. He promised to do so by implementing the National Registry of Citizens nationwide. The NRC is a hugely controversial policy mooted last year in Assam, a region of India which shares a porous border with Bangladesh. Proponents of the registry say it will help root out illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, but the move has prompted fears of possible deportation among Assam's hundreds of thousands of Bengali-speaking Muslims, with an estimated 4 million people's citizenship at risk. Implementation of the registry has been long delayed, but Shah's comments have put the issue front and center in the country's weeks-long general election, which kicked off on Thursday. read the complete article


12 Apr 2019

The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing China Sanctions

“Discussions with government officials indicated that there would be sanctions forthcoming in December,” said Sophie Richardson, Human Rights Watch’s China director. Richardson said she has since heard from officials who expressed frustration that the sanctions issue was off the table due to the trade talks. Rob Berschinski, the senior vice president for policy at Human Rights First, said his organization had also been “cautiously optimistic” that the sanctions on Chinese officials would be announced in December under the Global Magnitsky Act. The U.S. failure to impose sanctions over China’s actions in Xinjiang—where it has forced up to a million Uighurs into internment camps—has been a big disappointment for the human rights community. read the complete article


12 Apr 2019

Bosnia: Turkish envoy condemns racist attack on mosque

The Arnaudija Mosque suffered a racist attack Tuesday when assailants spray-painted swastikas as well as the extreme Serbian nationalist symbol "4S." The 16th-century mosque, located in Banja Luka in the Republika Srpska (RS) entity in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina, was completely demolished by Serb forces during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War. Owing to its historical importance, it has been under reconstruction by Turkey's Foundations General Directorate since 2017. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 12 Apr 2019 Edition


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