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
10 Aug 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Far right hate group Britain First launches “migrant patrol ship” off Dover. In the U.S, Hudda Ibrahim’s children’s book on the hijab puts Muslim girls in spotlight. Faith leaders from across the world unite to condemn China’s brutal repression of its Uighur Muslim minority. Our recommended read today is by Nadia Ahmad and Ahmed Bedier on Muslim voting patterns in Florida. This, and more, below:

United States

10 Aug 2020

Haunted by 2000 and 2016, Muslim American voters eye opportunities in 2020 | Recommended Read

Right after the 2000 election, GOP strategist Grover Norquist told the American Spectator that “Bush was elected president of the United States of America because of the Muslim vote.” At the time, record Muslim American voting proved pivotal in the tight 2000 election year. This election year the Joe Biden campaign is seeking the Muslim vote, but if they continue to count on fear of President Donald Trump instead of policy promises to get it, they will likely not get enough Muslim votes to make a difference. While Muslim Americans are not a significant number statistically at 1.1 percent of the U.S. population, their population centers are in many swing states, including Florida, Michigan, Virginia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvania. The 2000 election was decided by 537 Florida votes and ultimately by one vote in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Bush v. Gore. Muslim-American citizens overwhelmingly voted for Bush in 2000 for two reasons: His campaign made efforts to engage Muslim communities (while Al Gore’s campaign would not), and he made a campaign promise to end the use of secret evidence in courts. In the second televised debate, Bush promised to repeal the Secret Evidence Act, which was enacted during the Clinton administration, and used almost exclusively against Muslims and Arabs. The Muslim bloc vote in 2000 illustrated that in tight races small communities can play an out-sized role. This election cycle, the Democratic Party is simply relying on the fear of a second Trump term to mobilize voters. This tactic is misguided. Constituencies are motivated not by fear, but by issues and policies that matter. The Democratic Party is wrongly focusing on convincing Trump voters to vote for Biden and ignoring historically disenfranchised voters. Instead, the solution is to expand the electorate. read the complete article

Recommended Read
10 Aug 2020

How Stephen Miller went from teen troll to Trump whisperer

One of the few White House aides who has lasted the full term, Stephen Miller still wields influence over a policy arena that President Trump considers vital to his legacy. He is the “architect” of Trump’s restrictive immigration policies, and his “mind meld” with the president has produced executive orders and rhetoric heavy on exclusion, cruelty and “prejudicial white patriotism,” journalist Jean Guerrero argues in “Hatemonger,” her uneven yet timely study of this White House survivor. Guerrero spends much of her book plumbing Miller’s early years for the origins of his animus against immigrants, with intriguing but inconclusive results. She makes far clearer how right-wing and nationalistic media personalities provided Miller the platform and tactics to hone his political vision — and theirs — and continued shaping his views during his time as a Senate aide and as a Trump adviser. Yes, Miller is a force over Trump, articulating and sharpening his message on immigration, but that makes his own influences all the more relevant. Sometimes, if you look closely, you’ll notice that the puppeteer has strings tugging at him, too. read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Children's book on the hijab puts Muslim girls in spotlight

Children want to see characters who look like them, said Hudda Ibrahim. Last year, her niece Fatima asked why books don't have characters like her. "I said, 'I'll do it. I'll fix it,'" Ibrahim said. In April her children's book came out under the title, "What Color is My Hijab?" Ibrahim's book features Muslim women in various professions — pilot, businesswoman, politician — doing their work while wearing a hijab, a traditional head scarf. Because of COVID-19, Ibrahim didn't hold a typical book launch. She may do so next year and hold Facebook events in the meantime. "I'm so excited to have this opportunity to produce such a work so that kids who look like me and kids who don't look like me will read this book and learn something from it," she said. "This book helps both those kids who want to see themselves represented in the literature and those who are wondering why these kids dress different or look different." read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Racism, Islamophobia and the Fight for Justice

The Coalition for Civil Freedoms (CCF) hosted a discussion on June 5 touching upon a variety of topics, ranging from the oppressive tendencies of the American prison system to the inherent racism present within America’s police forces. The discussion, titled “#ICantBreathe: A Conversation on Black Lives, Racist Policing and the COVID-19 Death of a Prisoner,” also explored connections between police brutality and anti-Muslim bigotry, as well as the racism that drives and sustains the U.S. war on terror. The discussion brought to light the death of 37-year-old Mohamed Yusuf, who died alone in a solitary cell after succumbing to COVID-19 on the same day that George Floyd was murdered. A Swedish national of Somali descent, Yusuf was arrested in East Africa and extradited to the U.S. on charges of providing material support to al-Shabaab. According to his mother, Yusuf’s last words to her after contracting the coronavirus were, “I can’t breathe.” Adam Hudson, a San Francisco-based journalist, focused on the influence that the military and prisons have on American policing tactics. “Both the military and the American policing system have a feedback loop; they are part of the same system, while most of America still views these two as separate entities,” he said. As part of his press visit to Guantanamo Bay, he drew the conclusion that many of the guards at the facility have deployed tactics they learned while working in domestic U.S. prisons. El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan, a human rights advocate and author, described the role of blackness in the case of Imam Jamil Al-Amin, who is serving a life sentence for the killing of two Fulton County Sheriff's deputies in 2000, even though another man confessed to the crime. Al-Amin was a prominent figure in the 1960s civil rights movement, serving roles in both the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Black Panther Party. According to Saalakhan, “what makes him so significant today is the fact that he represents two parties of political prisoners in America: as an African-American and as someone who embraced Islam.” read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Controversy Puts Spotlight on Georgia Congressional Runoff

Marjorie Taylor Greene is running for Congress - and is unrepentant about her racist rhetoric and support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. With the runoff for the Republican nomination in the conservative district approaching, some voters seem unaware of Greene's controversial views, or shrug it off. Greene often communicates with supporters through stream-of-consciousness style videos posted to social media. Shortly after the initial primary, Politico revealed a series of videos where Greene, who is white, expresses racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim views. In one of the videos she claims there's an “Islamic invasion” into government offices. In another, she says Black and Hispanic men are being held back by “gangs and dealing drugs,” later adding, “it’s not white people.” She also has touted an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros, who is Jewish, collaborated with the Nazis. read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Ted Cruz’s Hearing on Anarchist Protest Violence Was a Total Farce

If the propagandistic title of the hearing — “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence” — wasn’t enough to show his aims, Cruz’s own comments made clear the proceedings’ purpose as political theater. In a telling moment, Cruz twice chastised his Democratic colleagues for praising peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters while failing to condemn “antifa” and the “terrorists” who killed a federal security officer, Dave Patrick Underwood, during a May protest in Oakland. Cruz’s implication was clear: The left killed Underwood. Yet Underwood was killed by a member of the far right — one of 329 murders carried out by right-wing extremists since 1994. In the same period, a grand total of zero murders have been attributed to antifa participants. The political affiliations of the man charged in Underwood’s murder have been public knowledge for nearly two months. The alleged killer, Air Force Sgt. Steve Carillo, who also killed another federal officer during the premeditated ambush, is an open adherent of the boogaloo movement, which is aimed at hastening a second civil war. For the government to ignore white supremacist violence and focus instead on the far left is nothing new. The Intercept reported last month, based on leaked law enforcement documents, that while the Trump administration has sought to demonize and target antifa, reports amassed of deadly white supremacist violence and substantive threats — including to the police themselves. Not that the police should be let off the hook for the right’s pernicious priorities. U.S. law enforcement has an unbroken history of deprioritizing, if not outright aiding, white supremacist movements. During Tuesday’s unnecessary hearing, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox said that she was overseeing a task force to investigate current anti-government threats, which was not focused on white supremacists. read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Muslim leader assaulted in Bloomington

Bloomington Police are looking for two young men who left a local Muslim leader injured after beating him. The two suspects appear to be in their late teens or early twenties, one black one white. The incident happened just before 10 p.m. near the Dar al-Farooq mosque on Thursday. At the scene, a 50-year-old man was found with a fractured shoulder. He was later identified as Sheikh Mohamed Mukhtar a local leader at the mosque. The mosques executive director, Mohamed Omar, said having to live in fear of an attack is a public health crisis for Muslims. "Physical wounds can heal but the emotional wound and the loss of sense of safety and security is a permanent scar," Mohamed said. This incident comes almost three years to the day of the mosque being bombed. read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Advocacy groups come out against Trump pick for ambassador to Germany

Several advocacy groups came out against President Trump’s pick for ambassador to Germany after a series of past controversial remarks about the Holocaust, Jews and use of force against civilians were unsurfaced this week. Jewish and Muslim groups decried the pick of retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor to be the nation’s top diplomat in Germany, saying they were both troubled by his remarks and how he could effectively serve as an envoy given his views. CNN first unsurfaced the comments earlier this week, including remarks that criticized Germany for giving "millions of unwanted Muslim invaders" welfare benefits and said Germany’s efforts to grapple with its role in the Holocaust was a "sick mentality." In a statement Friday, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) said it sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushing him to withdraw Macgregor’s nomination. read the complete article

United Kingdom

10 Aug 2020

MP wakes up to 'very offensive Islamophobic email' as concerns raised about mounting abuse

A Manchester MP said he woke up to 'very offensive Islamophobic email' sent to him and fellow Muslim MPs in Manchester amid concerns that hate crime is on the rise. Gorton MP Afzal Khan said 'the least offensive part described us as murdering Muslim scum' in a tweet on Friday afternoon. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News , he expressed concern that the email represented a growing issue with hate crime during the coronavirus pandemic. He said he has reported the incident to GMP. The issue isn't helped by the fact that some reports in the media have featured quotes from prominent MPs blaming Muslims for the pandemic, he said. read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Coronavirus: How the media scapegoats Muslim women

What struck me most about these lockdown rules being delivered to the people via Twitter a few hours before enforcement was the media coverage. I was intrigued by how prominent news outlets covered the new rules, and especially by the images they used. Most of the images showed visibly Muslim women in hijabs and jilbabs. Some depicted South Asian women in saris and shalwar kameezes. Why is it important that we pay attention to the images used? When stories are negatively discussing certain areas in the UK and noting a rise in coronavirus cases, it is worrisome that, yet again, we see pictures of ethnic minorities, especially Muslims. Studies have already shown how media coverage of Muslims, particularly visible Muslims, contributes to negative stereotyping. The Muslim imagery used, and the timing of the lockdown, tapped into fears that Muslims are super-spreaders, despite no evidence of this. While the Muslim community makes up four percent of the UK's population, they appear to bear the brunt of the failings of the state. read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Far right mob Britain First launch ‘migrant patrol’ ship off Dover

Far-right mob Britain First launched a sailing ship at the weekend to carry out “migrant patrols” in the Channel. The hate group, whose leader Paul Golding was convicted of an offence under the Terrorism Act earlier this year and was jailed in 2018 for anti-Muslim hate crimes, said the ship, Alfred the Great, spent the day patrolling the waters around Dover searching for “illegal migrants.” In a video filmed on board and posted on the bigoted group’s website, the ship’s “captain,” Royal Navy veteran Samuel Cochrane, claimed the group would assist any migrants they found in the sea. “We'll bring them on board and take them to French waters and notify the French authorities to come and collect them,” Mr Cochrane said. Stand Up to Racism’s Paul Sillett told the Star that Britain First’s latest stunt was designed to instigate further hate against refugees. read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Anger as Boris Johnson’s Tory racism inquiry yet to start eight months after he launched it

An inquiry into racism in the Conservative Party has yet to begin eight months after it was launched by Boris Johnson, prompting protests that it has been “kicked into the long grass”. The investigation has still not issued a call for evidence – three months after that was promised – amid criticism of the academic chosen to lead it and doubts over the resources made available. A dispute over the strict terms of reference, which critics say will prevent a full probe into discrimination in the party, is also holding it up, The Independent understands. A former Tory MEP said his party appeared to hope the issue “will simply go away” – while a former head of the Conservative Muslim Forum said he was “not surprised”, given his long experience of failures to tackle Islamophobia. One insider described the inquiry as “a balls up” and deliberately constructed to prevent it getting to the heart of why many Muslims feel unwelcome in the party. The inquiry had yet to start in practical terms, the source said. The inquiry has been dogged by controversy from the moment Mr Johnson was bounced into agreeing to it, in a live TV Tory leadership debate, by his rival Sajid Javid, in June 2019. It came as the racist comments of Tory councillors were said to have had exposed anti-Muslim prejudice “at every level” of the party – and as Mr Johnson’s own past remarks came back to haunt him. read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Muslims Falsely Blamed for COVID-19 Spread as Hate Crimes Increase

The far-right has used the virus to sow racial and religious division within society by blaming ethnic minorities, Muslims in particular, for the spread of COVID-19. In the U.K., this has meant a 40 percent rise in online Islamophobia during the lockdown months compared to the same period last year, according to hate crime monitoring charity TellMAMA. Examples include blaming the Muslim community for spreading the disease without proof and sharing false material such as pictures and mislabeled videos of Muslims not observing social distancing rules. In one such example, a video of British Muslims praying well before lockdown measures were introduced was shared online to claim they were flouting social distancing rules. With much of the country in varying degrees of lockdown, most of these hate crimes have taken place on social media, with the Muslim community facing death threats, verbal abuse and bullying behavior. read the complete article


10 Aug 2020

The rise of nationalism has led to increased oppression of minorities around the world – but the Uighur and Kashmir are reported differently

In countries where religious identity appears to dominate, as with Islam in Turkey and Hinduism in India, religion has bonded with nationalism. In nominally communist countries like China and Vietnam, it is likewise nationalism that adds to governments’ legitimacy and political muscle. This nationalist upsurge the world over is bad news for ethnic and sectarian minorities. Everywhere they are facing greater oppression and less autonomy from national governments maximising their power. At best they face marginalisation and at worst elimination. This is true for the Uighur in Xinjiang province in China, the Muslim population of India-controlled Kashmir, the Shia majority in Sunni-ruled Bahrain and the long-persecuted Kurdish minority in Turkey, to name but four. All these communities are coming under crushing pressure to surrender to the political and cultural control of the national state. The same brutal methods are used everywhere: mass incarceration; disappearances; torture; the elimination of political parties and independent media representing the persecuted community. Any opposition, however peaceful, is conflated with “terrorism” and suppressed with draconian punishments. The degree of mistreatment of these embattled communities varies with the balance of power between them and the central government. There is little the Bahrain Shia, though a majority of the population, can do to defend themselves, but the 182 million Muslims in India cannot be dealt with so summarily. What makes these countries different is partly the political strength of the persecuted communites, but above all the degrees of international support they can attract. This in turn depends less on the cruelties they endure than on their ability to plug into the self-interested rivalries of the great powers. Related to this is the ability to attract the sustained attention and sympathy of the (usually western) international media. What is striking over the last year is the disparity between the international attention given to the fate of the 11 million Uighurs in the Autonomous Uighur Region in Xingjian and the 13 million people in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Faith leaders from across the world unite to condemn China's brutal repression of its Uighur Muslim minority

Religious leaders from across the world have united to condemn China’s brutal repression of its Uighur Muslim minority. Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is among a more than 40-strong group demanding a halt to what they called ‘one of the most egregious human tragedies since the Holocaust: the potential genocide of the Uighurs and other Muslims in China’. Rabbi Julia Neuberger and the representative of the Dalai Lama in Europe also lent their weight to a joint statement last night that condemned the communist regime in Beijing, asserting that ‘the clear aim of the Chinese authorities is to eradicate the Uighur identity’. The coalition of religious heads accused world leaders of failing to act and concluded: ‘After the Holocaust, the world said “Never again.” Today, we repeat those words all over again.’ read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Chinese surveillance firm SenseTime ditches its UK plans: Controversial start-up ends talks on expanding into Europe with a British HQ

SenseTime – which is accused of enabling the Chinese Communist Party's campaign of persecution against Uighur Muslims and has been banned by President Trump – is understood to have been in talks to expand into Europe and use the UK as its regional headquarters. However, sources said the plans have been pulled amid increasing scrutiny of Chinese companies in Western nations. SenseTime, worth nearly £6billion, is the world's most valuable artificial intelligence start-up. Its technology is used in facial recognition and driverless cars. It processes data captured by China's 170million CCTV cameras and other systems used by the nation's police such as smart glasses. However, the company has come under fire since it was claimed that its technology was being used to track and control minority ethnic groups in China's Xinjiang province. Washington blacklisted SenseTime and seven other Chinese AI companies last October, claiming they were complicit in suppressing Muslim minority groups. read the complete article


10 Aug 2020

Watch | Construction of Ram Temple and the Future of Muslims in India

August 5 was a difficult day for anyone who still believes in the idea of a secular and democratic India. The spectacle of a prime minister performing the ‘bhumi pujan’ for his political parivar’s temple in Ayodhya did not enhance the stature of the world’s largest democracy, one that incidentally is also home to over 200 million Muslims. read the complete article

10 Aug 2020

Muslim Man Assaulted, Attackers Allegedly Insisted He Shout ‘Modi Zindabad’, ‘Jai Shri Ram’

A 52-year-old Muslim autorickshaw driver was assaulted in Rajasthan’s Sikar district, allegedly after he refused to shout “Modi zindabad” and “Jai Shri Ram” in the early hours of Friday. The Indian Express reported that a FIR was filed by Gapphar Ahmad Kacchawa, who was left with broken teeth, a swollen eye and bruises on his cheek. He also claimed that he was robbed of his wristwatch and money. Kacchawa’s nephew, Shahid, told the Indian Express that his uncle was returning after dropping off passengers to a nearby village at around 4 am, when he was stopped by two men in an SUV asking for tobacco. When Kacchawa offered them tobacco, they declined and got aggressive. “Instead, they asked him to chant ‘Modi zindabad’ and when he refused, he was slapped by one of the accused. Kachawa ran away from the spot, but the accused chased him and caught up with him near Jagmalpura. They abused him and forced him to chant religious slogans. They also snatched his wallet, watch, and Rs 700 from him, and decamped,” superintendent of police, Gagandeep Singla told the Hindustan Times. Kacchawa further stated in the FIR that the men pulled his beard, kicked and punched him hard, which broke two or three of his teeth. “I sustained serious injuries on my left eye, cheek and head as they assaulted me with a stick. After beating me up, they said we will rest only after sending you to Pakistan,” he complained. read the complete article


10 Aug 2020

Pro-Beijing influencers and their rose-tinted view of life in Xinjiang

Grey, 62, who visited Xinjiang as a tourist, said he couldn’t find any traces of the sprawling concentration camps he had read about in the press. “I never saw one,” he said. “That doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It’s a huge place, but we did cycle down some very, very long stretches of open road.” Grey, who is a former London Metropolitan police officer, admitted that he found Xinjiang’s surveillance network and continual police checks oppressive. “It was a pain in the butt,” he said. “But at no stage were they ever abusive.” Despite Grey’s acknowledgement of heavy surveillance in Xinjiang, he has devoted the past five months denying the existence of detention camps in the region, citing his bike ride as evidence. Grey began with two followers and now has more than 4,000. Many of them are Chinese users, living both within the country and abroad. His Twitter page is a relentless rehashing of his camp-free cycling tour. “We didn’t see any concentration camps, but the days and nights in Xinjiang require a lot of concentration to get through,” he quipped in one July 15 post. Grey has, inevitably, attracted the attention of Chinese media. On the day we spoke, he was scheduled to speak with the state TV channel CGTN directly after. Though Grey’s individual reach is modest, he is part of a network of users that all share a similar message. He calls them his “comrades in arms.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 10 Aug 2020 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results