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
21 Apr 2020

Today in Islamophobia: After sustained reports of religious discrimination and anti-Muslim animus, PM Modi finally calls for unity in dealing with the coronavirus. Bridge Senior Research Fellow Arsalan Iftikhar writes on the impact of COVID-19 on Muslim communities worldwide. Our recommended read today is by Siddharth Varadarajan titled “In India, a Pandemic of Prejudice and Repression.” This, and more, below:


21 Apr 2020

In India, a Pandemic of Prejudice and Repression } Recommended Read

For decades, India embraced many of the ideals that are the hallmarks of a liberal democracy. But since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party in 2014, we have experienced a breathtaking erosion in the rule of law and civil and political rights and the unleashing of a wave of intolerance against religious minorities. As a founding editor of The Wire, an independent online news portal, I have had my own brushes with the law, chiefly in the form of defamation complaints. At one point, we faced 14 defamation cases, all of them frivolous, seeking damages totaling $1.3 billion. The cases were filed by people who are either a part of the ruling establishment or considered close to it. Seven cases have since been withdrawn. A few weeks back, the harassment took a darker turn. On April 1, I was accused by the police in Ayodhya, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, of several serious crimes: using a computer to impersonate someone and transmit obscene material; disobeying the instructions of a public official; spreading panic about an impending disaster; and spreading rumors with intent to cause a riot. Some of these crimes carry a three-year prison sentence. The police complaints, though vaguely worded, made it evident that the government was angered by an article in The Wire on March 31 about coronavirus infections at the Delhi headquarters of a Muslim religious organization, the Tablighi Jamaat. The article noted, by way of background, that religious leaders and groups in India had been slow to wake up to the dangers of the coronavirus. The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, who is a priest and a prominent Modi ally, had taken part in a Hindu religious gathering in Ayodhya along with dozens of people on March 25 — the first day of the national lockdown to stem the spread of the virus. We mentioned Mr. Adityanath in our report because the Tablighi Jamaat infections were being exploited by the Islamophobic establishment and its spear-carriers to generate hostility against Muslims. We were reminding our readers that no religion has a monopoly on ignorant or complacent followers. That, I believe, is the real crime the Hindu fundamentalists who rule India and Uttar Pradesh think we have committed. read the complete article

Recommended Read
21 Apr 2020

Powered by Fear, Indians Embrace Coronavirus Lockdown

A fractious country of 1.3 billion people where it has long been difficult to get individuals and communities to follow the rules, India has pursued its coronavirus lockdown — the world’s largest — with remarkable zeal. People aren’t just dutifully following the law. Many are going above and beyond it. Volunteer virus patrol squads are popping up everywhere, casting an extra net of vigilance over the entire country. Neighborhoods are imposing extra rules and sealing themselves off. Many Indians are falling in line because they fear falling ill in a country with a weak health care system offering treatments they cannot afford. But the popularity of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, explains part of the obedience. For many people here, this is Mr. Modi’s lockdown, and what he says goes. His government is India’s most powerful in decades, so many Indians are scared to break his rules. Lower castes are being shunned more than usual. The term “social distancing” plays straight into centuries of ostracism of certain groups who until recent times were called “untouchable.” Muslims, a large minority in a Hindu-dominated land, are also facing a burst of bigotry and attacks. The Indian government keeps pointing out that an Islamic seminary in New Delhi was responsible for spreading thousands of infections. Now many Indians believe that all Muslims carry a higher risk of spreading the coronavirus. “This is one of the problems of overzealousness,’’ said Adarsh Shastri, a politician in the Indian National Congress, the leading opposition party. “People get a chance to enforce the laws per their own personal prejudice.” read the complete article

21 Apr 2020

Francis Robinson: Some elements in India will use any stick to beat Muslims

While the Tablighi Jamaat is taking flak in many parts of the world for its large gatherings acting as a catalyst to the Covid-19 pandemic, historian Francis Robinson, a specialist in South Asian and Islamic history, says the bigger question is how the right-wing elements are using the pandemic as a reason to harass Muslims. read the complete article

21 Apr 2020

PM Modi’s tweet comes too late, India faces backlash in UAE & the Gulf for Islamophobia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday finally called for unity and brotherhood in dealing with the threat posed by the coronavirus. No, he did not unequivocally condemn people, many of whom his supporters and some who he follows on social media, for their Islamophobia and their abusive, hateful messages blaming Muslims for spreading the virus. What he did was tweet, something he is remarkably good at. His tweet read, “ COVID-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders before striking. Our response and conduct thereafter should attach primacy to unity and brotherhood. We are in this together.” The problem is that tweet has come a little too late and is too little. The immensely popular prime minister can make amends by going on national TV, another exercise he is good at, and tell people that blaming Muslims for the virus is nonsense; that ostracizing and boycotting Muslim traders and vendors is anti-national; that such behavior has shamed the country and that he would like to reassure the minority community that he and his government stand by them read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 21 Apr 2020 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results