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
07 Apr 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Betwa Sharma outlines how Islamophobia is hurting India’s battle against coronavirus. In a historic first, U.S labels Russian white supremacists a terrorist group. Our recommended read today is on Iranian families separated by the Muslim Ban, and how they have been forced to be in isolation for years. This, and more, below:


07 Apr 2020

Separated Iranian Families Have Been In Self-Isolation For Years | Recommended Read

When Peyman celebrated his wife’s birthday in his apartment in Tehran on Nov. 13, 2018, he was the only family member in the room. There were two balloons, a plate of fruit, a small birthday cake with candles, and a photo of his wife holding their two young daughters projected on a curtain behind an empty sofa. This has become a ritual since 2016, when his family moved to the United States to seek medical treatment for their then-2-year-old daughter, Arena. When Arena showed symptoms of an illness at an early age, it took little time for Peyman, who is a radiologist, to notice they were signs of a genetic disease. Arena was later diagnosed with Niemann-Pick—a disease that gradually leads to the failure of the nervous system, lungs, and brain. It’s a rare condition affecting 1 in 10 million people, for which the potential treatment can be found in only a few countries—and the United States is one of them. Soon, the decision was made, and his family settled in a new home across the globe. Peyman, however, was denied a U.S. visa as President Donald Trump’s immigration ban gradually took effect. The travel ban has affected the lives of more than 30,000 Iranians, whose visitor and permanent visas to the United States have been denied since 2017. Nearly a third of them seek waivers, hoping the indefinite procedure will eventually bear fruit. read the complete article

Recommended Read
07 Apr 2020

In Historic First, U.S. Labels Russian White Supremacists a Terrorist Group

The State Department designated the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) and three of its leaders as specially designated global terrorists, calling it a historic step in the United States’ fight against foreign terrorist groups and white supremacists. The designation follows a surge in deadly terrorist attacks from white supremacist groups in recent years, including a white supremacist killing 22 at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in August 2019, targeting Hispanics, and the deadly attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019 that left 51 dead and 49 injured. The designation on RIM and three of its leaders—Stanislav Vorobyev, Denis Gariev, and Nikolay Trushchalov—means they will be blocked from the U.S. financial system and any of their assets in the international financial system subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be frozen. “We think that that’s going to make it substantially more difficult for them to move money throughout the international financial system,” Sales said. Officials say the line between domestic white supremacist groups and foreign ones is blurring—adding new urgency to the task of tracking foreign white supremacist groups as domestic cases of terrorism grow. “Every counterterrorism professional I speak to in the federal government and overseas feels like we are at the doorstep of another 9/11,” Elizabeth Neumann, a senior official in the Department of Homeland Security, told a congressional panel during a hearing on anti-Semitic and white supremacist terrorism in February. “Maybe not something that catastrophic in terms of the visual or the numbers but that we can see it building and we don’t quite know how to stop it.” Sales said white supremacist extremism knows no borders. “The global white supremacist terrorist community is very much a transnational phenomenon,” he said. The man who carried out the mass shooting in El Paso later told investigators he was inspired by the Christchurch attacks—representing “a bloody and grisly demonstration of how these networks interrelate with one another and inspire one another,” Sales said. read the complete article


07 Apr 2020

Islamophobia taints India’s response to the coronavirus

It didn’t take long before India’s response to the coronavirus was tainted by the kind of discrimination and Islamophobia that has characterized the nationalist administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The hashtags #CoronaJihad and #BioJihad have inundated Twitter recently. It all stems from cases of covid-19 reported at a Muslim event. Virtually overnight, Muslims became the sole culprits responsible for the spread of the coronavirus in India. India’s leading news channel, India Today, published a graphic that showed a skull cap and a face mask with a bold red virus over it, claiming Muslims contributed to a majority of coronavirus cases in India. Madhu Trehan, a leading editor in India who headed a prominent website called Newslaundry, also falsely said the Muslim congregation was responsible for 60 percent of cases in the country and mocked Muslims, saying “you can have your virgins.” The toxic display of Islamophobia soon found its way into court orders. The high court of the western state of Gujarat on April 3 cited the Muslim congregation as the reason for the exponential growth of the pandemic in the country. read the complete article

07 Apr 2020

How Islamophobia Is Hurting India's Battle Against The Coronavirus

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) relentless campaign against India’s 140 million Muslims, and a lack of transparency on the part of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-run Delhi government, is compromising India’s attempts at containing the novel coronavirus, members of the community say. On Friday, 3 April, surveyors from Delhi’s health department were run out of the city’s Nizamuddin neighbourhood after the surveyors couldn’t prove they were in fact sent by the state government. The first four questions on the Delhi government’s health survey form ― what is the name of the head of the household, the house address, the mobile number and how many people live in the household ― alarmed the residents. Residents said they feared that data gathered by the surveyors would find its way to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) — which in turn could be used to render thousands of citizens stateless. The fears are not as far-fetched as they sound: As recently as February this year, the BJP made Islamophobia a centrepiece of the party’s election campaign in Delhi, and senior BJP members including Home Minister Amit Shah have telegraphed mixed messages by first promising to create a nation-wide NRC, only to subsequently disavow their claims. “The Delhi government acted as if this was context neutral situation, which is a mistake,” said Dasgupta, a board member of Sahayog, a Lucknow-based volunteer organisation that focuses on women’s health. “In a post-riot scenario in Delhi, the Muslims don’t trust the government or the police or the health system. Suddenly, you march in and say that you are responsible for spreading the virus, and then you start an invasive survey in the community,” she said. “Public health can’t just go in like a bulldozer and say you have to submit and obey. That unfortunately is the tone being taken.” read the complete article

United States

07 Apr 2020

At 27, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh just made history as New Jersey’s first Muslim woman to run for Congress

On Saturday, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, the 27-year-old founder of, made a big announcement to her nearly 77,000 Instagram followers: She is running for Congress. In doing so, she has become the first Muslim woman on the ballot for federal office in New Jersey’s history. She’s also projected to be the youngest woman to run for Congress in 2020. Although the current moment is unprecedented in terms of both campaigning and voting, Al-Khatahtbeh’s run does feel reminiscent of the recent past. In 2018, as part of a historic wave of female candidates from diverse backgrounds, Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) became the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Al-Khatahtbeh is running on a platform of liberal policies championed by Omar and Tlaib, too, such as the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all. read the complete article

07 Apr 2020

Immigrants Know All About Disaster Preparedness

During the Iran-Iraq war, my extended family and I lived in the basement of our Tehran home as bomb sirens went off and ate rationed food bought with coupons. My second birthday present from my uncle was a box of Kellogg’s corn flakes imported from Germany: edible gold at a time when access to regular goods was extremely limited. Once my family attained a measure of socioeconomic stability after emigrating to the United States, having two refrigerators stockpiled with homemade frozen goods became the norm at my house. Meals were made in large quantities, and ingredients on the brink of expiration were never thrown away but cooked and canned for another day. With extended family moving within a five-mile radius of us, we were kept aware of each other’s whereabouts at all times. We were prepared for everything: Keeping cash at home was the norm, and our passports were always valid and easily accessible. But our prudence wasn’t the same impulse that’s gripping Americans today. Experts say that shoppers are driven to panic buy and hoard as a way to gain a sense of control, but when you’re accustomed to instability, assessing risk early on is a psychological state that doesn’t leave you. It’s not so much a matter of if things change, but when. That’s why for many refugees and immigrant families who have lived through traumatic events with bouts of food insecurity and deprivation, being prepared does not mean a one-off hoarding event at a grocery store of goods like toilet paper while a pandemic is already under way. Stockpiling reserves strategically, self-isolating to avoid danger, making meals stretch over several days, and having an exit plan is a way of life, culturally and socially embedded in how you operate on a daily basis. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 07 Apr 2020 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results