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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30 Apr 2021

Today in Islamophobia:
In the US, a former CIA intelligence officer calls on President Biden to shut down Guantanamo, as the ACLU calls on the President to bring humanity and fairness to the American immigration system, and Bridge Initiative’s Nena Beecham writes about the ten-year anniversary of Peter King’s radicalization hearings, which amplified Islamophobia on a national scale. Meanwhile, COVID-19 wreaks havoc in India where the BJP-led government had been pouring its energy into elections, instead of focusing on the coming public health emergency. Our recommended read of the day is an interview in Jacobin with Dr. Sean Roberts on his
new book, The War on Uyghurs, which places the origins of the crisis both in the Chinese state’s colonial relationship with the Uyghur people and the global War on Terror launched by the US. This, and more, below:


30 Apr 2021

Demanding an End to Uyghur Oppression | Recommended Read

In 2017, that relationship entered a new and more terrifying phase as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — eyeing the region’s economic potential and drawing on Islamophobic, “War on Terror” rhetoric — began to construct a series of mass internment camps that, according to a 2018 study, are believed to hold over a million people in arbitrary detention. Sean R. Roberts — a cultural anthropologist who has studied the Uyghur region for over three decades — has written a new book on the crisis, The War on the Uyghurs, which places its origins both in the Chinese state’s colonial relationship with the Uyghur people and the global War on Terror launched by the United States in 2001. Roberts talked to Jacobin contributor Matthew Byrd about those origins, why he considers the situation similar to the United States’ destruction of its indigenous populations, and what means might be used to end the crisis. read the complete article

United States

30 Apr 2021

A Letter to President Biden from a Former Intelligence Officer: Close Guantanamo Bay

It is past time to let many of these men go. Six have been cleared for release—Abdul Latif Nasir, Muieen al-Sattar, Said Salih Said Nashir, Sufyian Barhoumi, Tafiq al Bihani, and Ridah bin Saleh al Yazidi—yet they continue to languish there. Others have never been charged; still others in the aging population reportedly have serious medical issues and should be transferred on humanitarian grounds. The war in Afghanistan is over. The so-called War on Terror is over for all practical purposes. Please prioritize transferring these men out Guantanamo, and fill the positions of Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure at both the State Department and the Pentagon. We took years—in some cases nearly two decades—of these men’s lives. It is unconscionable to take even one day more. read the complete article

30 Apr 2021

On the Tenth Anniversary of the Radicalization Hearings, What Has Changed?

Last month represented the ten year anniversary of Peter King’s radicalization hearings. Held between March 2011 and June 2012, the five congressional hearings on the purported radicalization of the American Muslim community amplified Islamophobia on a national scale. At the time, the hearings received widespread condemnation. Civil rights and interfaith coalitions penned letters in opposition of the hearings. In an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) blog post, the hearings were labeled “McCarthyism 2.0.” Democratic critics denounced the hearings for not analyzing all forms of extremism. Ultimately, the hearings not only placed the American Muslim community on trial, but they amplified the good Muslim bad Muslim binary on a national level. read the complete article

30 Apr 2021

Newark police change rules to allow Muslim officers to wear hijabs on duty

Female Muslim police officers will no longer be barred from wearing a hijab as part of their uniform, Newark officials announced Thursday. “To be able to recognize people’s religion, how they practice it, and allow them to do that safely and appropriately on their work site, speaks volumes to where we’re going as a department,” Mayor Ras Baraka told reporters at a press conference announcing the policy change. read the complete article

30 Apr 2021

Report details discrimination faced by American Muslims

The report, titled “Resilience in the Face of Hate: Civil Rights Report 2021,” found a 9% increase in complaints in 2020, even as hate crimes fell by 20%. The authors gave no reason for the increase in complaints but suggested that the decrease in hate crimes was due indirectly to COVID-19 lockdowns that kept people at home. Of the more than 6,000 complaints, 2,069 incidents were classified as “other,” indicating the amorphous nature of anti-Muslim hate and discriminatory practices. Examples given in the report ranged from overt acts of bias, such as an Oklahoma business that put up a sign saying it would not serve Muslims, to more subtle incidents in which Muslims received unexpected delays or other disruptions in business or public service transactions. read the complete article

30 Apr 2021

Biden Must Be Bolder on Immigration. The Lives of Millions Depend on It.

In the first 100 days of his administration, President Biden has often hit the right notes and his administration has begun to unwind some of the most noxious aspects of Trump’s legacy. But on far too many issues, the Biden administration has continued or only temporarily paused Trump policies — at the risk of perpetuating a new, Trumpian normal, with devastating human costs. This must change. Now is the time for Biden to use his executive authority and his presidential bully pulpit to do what voters elected him to do: reverse Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, and do everything within his power to bring humanity and fairness to our immigration system. At the 100-day mark, Biden’s to-do list is still long. Here is a status report on the progress that’s been made, the promises that have been broken, and the work still left to do on some of the most urgent immigration priorities. read the complete article

United Kingdom

30 Apr 2021

The Closure of Quilliam: Some Questions for Maajid Nawaz

Quilliam and Nawaz were libelled by SPLC, an important charity. This charity paid them a very large sum in compensation. This arrangement was sealed in an agreement sealed by Quilliam US, Quilliam UK and Nawaz, as distinct parties, and they jointly stated their intention to use the money “to fund work fighting anti-Muslim bigotry and extremism”. Less than three years later the Quilliam Foundation, which was under Nawaz’s personal control, is in liquidation, owing £600,000. Byline Times has asked Nawaz privately how the $3.375 million was spent and we received no response. We would welcome clarity on the point. read the complete article

30 Apr 2021

FIFA 21-backed Ramadan football league received Home Office support

A Ramadan football tournament for young Muslims in Birmingham, which was promoted through the FIFA 21 video game, has been supported by the Home Office as part of its counter-extremism strategic communications programme, Middle East Eye can reveal. The British government department is refusing - on national security grounds - to release information about its involvement in setting up or promoting the Midnight Ramadan League. It says that to do so “would make the UK or its citizens more vulnerable to a national security threat”. read the complete article


30 Apr 2021

India Is in a Horrendous COVID Crisis. It’s Modi’s Fault.

Modi's Trump-like comments suggested the government’s real priorities: When it should have been focusing on the coming public health emergency, it was instead pouring all its energy into elections in West Bengal, a state where the BJP has never held power, but where its Hindu nationalist agenda is rapidly gaining ground. This same agenda was evident in the government’s decision to allow an enormous Hindu pilgrimage called the Kumbh Mela to take place in recent weeks. It quickly became a super-spreader event, but — given the regime’s ideological tendencies — it did not face anything like the vicious, stigmatizing backlash directed at the Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat, which held an event in the early days of the pandemic. As in many other countries, the pandemic has only deepened social fissures, and in India, the schisms have opened up along religious, gender, and caste lines. But the second wave has now became impossible to ignore, and the Modi government has started doing what it does best: attempting to divert blame and forcefully silence its critics. read the complete article

30 Apr 2021

Facebook blocked hashtag calling for Narendra Modi to resign over pandemic

A hashtag calling for the resignation of the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, was briefly blocked on Facebook on Wednesday, hiding more than 12,000 posts critical of the Indian government as the coronavirus pandemic spirals out of control in the country. Facebook users based in India noted on Twitter that the hashtag #ResignModi had been blocked from view on Facebook. The blocking of the #ResignModi hashtag comes after Twitter faced criticism for deleting more than 50 tweets critical of the Indian administration’s handling of the pandemic after a legal request by the Indian government. Facebook and Instagram had already blocked a number of posts about Modi on the orders of the government, according to the Wall Street Journal. read the complete article


30 Apr 2021

Muslims in Germany: Religion not a good gauge of integration

A study shows that the number of Muslims in Germany has significantly risen compared to 2015 and many still face challenges in employment and education. But religion may only be a minor cause of these challenges. While the largest number of Muslims in Germany are of Turkish heritage, as has been the case for decades, the countries of origin have become more diverse, most likely owing to the consequences of the high number of refugees from countries like Syria and Iraq since 2015 according to the study's authors. "The analyses show that the influence of religion on integration is often overestimated," Sommer said. read the complete article


30 Apr 2021

#HandsOffMyHijab: 8 powerful protest photos by and for young Muslim women

My sister Zee and I are both Muslim women in our mid-20s and based in London. Since hearing about the proposed ban we have been waiting for more people to show their solidarity with our French sisters, but it simply hasn’t materialised so we decided to do something about it. I am a photographer and my sister is a fashion journalist, so we felt if no one else was going to let Muslim women share their views on the ban, then maybe we had the tools to. It started with an Instagram post calling for Muslim women in London to be photographed and share their views on the potential ban. A lot of DMs and shoot planning later, we have our photo story by and for Muslim women. The aim of the project is to reach at least one Muslim woman in France, and for her to feel there is a group of women in London who care. I hope creating this project only solidifies the strength Muslim women have. The photo project has also allowed these amazing women to show their intelligence, their free will in wearing hijab (or not wearing it), and ultimately showing we don’t need saving. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 30 Apr 2021 Edition


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