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
19 Apr 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In the United Kingdom, a Channel 4 program, Dispatches: Are We Losing the War on Terror?, will explore the shocking failures in the government’s anti-radicalization Prevent programme, meanwhile in India, communal violence over the weekend left one person dead, resulted in dozens of Muslim-owned homes and shops being set alight or demolished, provocative slogans being shouted outside numerous mosques, and attempts to install saffron flags inside Muslim places of worship, and in Sweden, forty people have been injured in riots that broke out over Easter weekend following a far-right anti-Muslim rally. Our recommended read of the day is by Jewher Ilham for CNN on how companies should stop sourcing goods from the Uyghur region, where the Chinese government has employed Uyghur forced labor in factories.  This and more below:


19 Apr 2022

Opinion: My father went to prison for standing up for Uyghurs. Here's how companies can support his mission | Recommended Read

My father was being punished for standing up for Uyghurs like us and sharing his vision for freedom and opportunity for all our people as widely as he could. He spoke out against the extreme censorship and barriers Uyghurs disproportionately face that keep our people in cycles of poverty. His call was simple: If the Chinese government followed its own laws granting autonomy to ethnic minorities, the Uyghur people would have the opportunity to grow and develop to the ultimate benefit of the entire nation. My father knew he would eventually be jailed for speaking out, but he believed he had to do what was right. He also knew that if I were to stay in China, I might be arrested on similar charges, and would certainly never have the life that I deserved. But I'm not sure he could have imagined back then that today, if I had stayed in China, I would more likely have disappeared into a detention camp like millions of other Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. The plight of our people has only worsened since my father was sentenced. After years of keeping us in cycles of poverty and social isolation, the Chinese government has rapidly accelerated its campaign of oppression. Forced sterilization, forced labor, constant surveillance, and other abuses are making it impossible for Uyghurs to thrive — or to do much more than survive — in China. Even as they impose heavy restrictions on journalists attempting to report from the Uyghur Region, Chinese authorities staunchly deny human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities. Ever since my father and I were separated at the airport, I have dedicated my life to carrying on his pursuit and fighting to free him and our people. I'm part of the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region, and our mission is to call upon brands to remove materials that come from the Uyghur Region, or Xinjiang as it is more widely known, from every level of their supply chains. I believe that if brands and retailers stop sourcing goods from the Uyghur Region, it would help bring us closer to the end of this widespread repression. I share my father's story to implore corporations to do the right thing. Companies agreeing to scrub their supply chain of any touchpoints in the Uyghur Region is a step toward freeing their business — and their customers — from complicity in the Chinese government's human rights abuses. read the complete article


19 Apr 2022

India: Muslim group takes ‘dangerous bulldozer politics’ to court

A prominent Muslim organisation has filed a plea in India’s top court, urging its intervention as properties of mainly Muslims accused of violence are bulldozed by the authorities in states governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind has filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the dangerous politics of bulldozers that have been started to destroy minorities especially Muslims under the guise of crime prevention in BJP-ruled states,” the group’s president, Arshad Madani, tweeted on Monday. The petition urges the top court to issue directions to the federal and state governments that “no lasting precipitative action be taken against any accused in any criminal proceedings” and that residential buildings not be demolished as a punitive measure. Last week, authorities in at least two states demolished dozens of homes and shops, almost all of them belonging to Muslims accused of violence during a Hindu festival. In the central state of Madhya Pradesh, violence broke out during the Ram Navmi festival earlier this month. Hindu devotees usually take out large processions on the day to celebrate the birth of their god Ram. However, the processions this year saw saffron-clad Hindu men carrying swords, sticks and pistols as they marched through mainly Muslim neighbourhoods, raising slogans threatening genocide of the community, playing loud music outside mosques, and attacking homes and shops belonging to Muslims. read the complete article

19 Apr 2022

‘Banning Beast will serve as a warning’

Manithaneya Makkal Katchi president M.H. Jawahirullah, who recently urged Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to impose a ban on actor Vijay’s recent release, Beast, for broad-brushing Muslims as religious extremists, has defended his demand, saying the film has belittled the Muslim community. In an interview with The Hindu on Monday, he contended that the call for a ban on the movie was a ‘warning’ to the film industry to avoid such depictions in the future. He argued that films cannot be seen as just that, in a State where cinema had a major influence on politics. Excerpts: Why are you calling for a ban on Beast? I haven’t seen the film, but many members of my party have seen it and briefed me about it. Films are a powerful medium, and they can have a deep impact (on the psyche of the people), either in a good or a bad way. The argument that this is just a movie (and hence people should ignore it and move on) is not acceptable, as we all know how movies have created a huge change in politics in Tamil Nadu. This film cultivates a negative image of Muslims, that they are terrorists. Muslims are an intrinsic part of Tamil society, and to show Muslim terrorists taking over a mall is to sow anti-Muslim sentiment in the minds of young people. It has the potential to destroy the social fabric of the State. read the complete article

19 Apr 2022

‘Hatred, bigotry and untruth’: communal violence grips India

Marching through the streets of Delhi’s Jahangirpuri district on Saturday, the devotees had gathered to celebrate the Hindu festival of Hanuman Jayanti. But the peace did not last long. As the evening drew in, an unauthorised parade began to gather. This time, men clad in saffron, the signature colour of Hindu nationalism, filled the streets brandishing swords and pistols, and started to shout provocative communal slogans. Previous agreements between Hindu and Muslim residents for the procession to avoid passing by a local mosque, which was holding evening prayers, were ignored. “A Hindu mob smashed beer bottles inside the mosque, put up saffron flags there and chanted Jai Shri Ram [Hail Lord Ram],” said Tabreez Khan, 39, a witness. “A caretaker of the mosque started resisting them, leading to a brawl. It was only after they started to desecrate the mosque that Muslims got angry and clashes started and stones were thrown.” “Most of the people living in this area are Muslims,” said Mohamad Fazal, 35. “This was not a religious rally but an attack on us [Muslims].” Six police officers were injured in the violence, and more than 20 people arrested, the majority of whom were Muslim. But among those questioned by police was the leader of the local branch of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a notorious rightwing group who had co-organised the evening procession. “There was no instigation, it seemed the attack was planned to create communal tensions,” added Khan. The events in Jahangirpuri were far from isolated. Over the weekend, almost 140 people were arrested in connection with incidents of communal violence and rioting between Hindus and Muslims in the states of Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka during celebrations of Hanuman Jayanti. It had been a similar story in previous weeks. Celebrations of the Hindu festival of Ram Navami in seven states as far flung as Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and West Bengal were marred bay communal violence, mostly against Muslims, who are observing Ramadan. The clashes left one person dead, resulted in dozens of Muslim-owned homes and shops being set alight or demolished, provocative slogans being shouted outside numerous mosques and attempts to install saffron flags inside Muslim places of worship. read the complete article

United Kingdom

19 Apr 2022

Community leader slams government’s anti-terror Prevent programme on Channel 4's Dispatches

A community leader will appear on Channel 4's Dispatches tonight where she will criticise the government’s anti-terror Prevent programme. Mashkura Begum, chair of Aston based community empowerment organisation Saathi House, will feature on Channel 4's Dispatches: Are We Losing the War on Terror? tonight (Monday). The programme will explore shocking failures in the government’s anti-radicalisation Prevent programme. The aim of the Counter Terrorism Policing initiative was to “prevent vulnerable people from being drawn into extremism." But Ms Begum will slam the scheme for failing to stop radicalisation claiming it has, instead, sowed the seeds of suspicion and hate towards ordinary Muslims. Mashkura has expressed her concerns at what she believes is the incompetence of the government programme following the sentencing of 25-year-old Ali Harbi Ali last week. He was jailed for life for the murder of 69-year-old father of three MP David Amess MP and revelations that authorities were aware of but ignored earlier concerns raised about the killer. She said: “Prevent is looking in the wrong places. There are a small minority of people from all walks of life and backgrounds being radicalised and gravitating towards acts of terror or terror related crime. Some of these individuals are flagged by concerned members of the community but have commonly been ignored by counter-terrorism officers. "These individuals are often radicalised online, in prisons or abroad; not in our community centres, schools or average UK Muslim households. The government’s anti-terror strategy has led to sowing seeds of suspicion and contempt towards the Muslim community and this has caused irreparable damage to how our children navigate and find their way in the world.” read the complete article


19 Apr 2022

Faced with criticism, Le Pen allies tone down rhetoric on hijab ban

A planned hijab ban if French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is elected would come "little by little" and be determined by lawmakers, her allies said on Monday, marking a shift in tone less than a week ahead of the final presidential vote. The far-right core of Le Pen's programme has come under closer scrutiny as campaigning enters its final days. Louis Aliot, the far-right mayor of Perpignan and former life companion of Le Pen, said in an interview with France Inter radio that the hijab ban was one of several political tools to fight "Islamism", but that its implementation needed to come "progressively". The ban should target state-run services first, he said, before being widened "little by little". "There will be a debate in parliament and then the choice will be made," he said. Another Le Pen ally, David Rachline, the mayor of the Mediterranean town of Frejus, also on Monday appeared to soften his stance. "We don't want to attack people... all those women wearing a hijab are not Islamists," he said. Le Pen has previously said that the hijab could not be viewed as the sign of a person's religious belief, but was an "Islamist uniform" that needed to be banned from French public space. read the complete article


19 Apr 2022

Dozens injured in riots in Sweden after Quran burnings

Forty people have been injured in riots that broke out over Easter weekend in southern Sweden following a far-right anti-Muslim rally. Some 26 police and 14 members of the public were injured, the spokesperson said, adding that police had arrested 26 individuals, including four minors, in Linköping and Norrköping where the violence began on Friday. There would be "more to come" as police analyze footage, the spokesperson added. The riots erupted in several of Sweden's southern cities after burnings of the Quran by Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party. Paludan planned and carried out the anti-Muslim demonstration, posting a picture of himself on social media with a burning Quran and declared intentions of burning more. Police believe that people with links to criminal gangs took advantage of the situation, according to the spokesperson. Officers saw no further unrest on Monday but will continue to be present in Norrköping, they added. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has also condemned the violence. read the complete article

South Korea

19 Apr 2022

S Korea's Muslim students face mosque backlash

Muslim students in South Korea are enjoying Ramadan far from home, even as they struggle for a place to worship. They're now trying to build a mosque, but they've faced some obstacles. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 19 Apr 2022 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results