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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17 Aug 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires, Rohingya refugees who escaped the brutality of Myanmar’s military campaign will testify publicly for the first time in court on the horrors they encountered, while in Dubai, new information obtained by the Associated Press documents the abduction and imprisonment of Uyghur Muslims from a hotel in the country, supposedly orchestrated by the Chinese State, and in Afghanistan, human rights organizations plead with neighboring Muslim majority countries to “step up” and address human rights violations directly with Taliban leadership in Afghanistan. Our recommended read of the day is by Rana Ayyub on the disturbing timeline of anti-Muslim hate and violence perpetrated in India by members of Narendra Modi’s BJP government. This and more below:


16 Aug 2021

A timeline of hate, intimidation and injustice in Modi’s India

Aug. 8: A crowd chants slogans calling for the genocide of Muslims during a rally in New Delhi called by a former spokesperson of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party. The instigator is arrested and released in 24 hours. Aug. 8: Anmol Pritam, a young journalist from the online news organization National Dastak, is heckled by Hindu nationalists at another event in the Indian capital. He says the crowd wanted him to chant “Glory to Lord Rama.” Aug. 11: In Uttar Pradesh, a Muslim man, Aftar Ahmad, is dragged by a mob and mercilessly beaten as his young daughter begs for mercy. The mob continues to assault him in the presence of cops. The events of the past few days show how hate continues to spread across India, enabled by Modi’s silence and his majoritarian politics. Hindu nationalist forces are growing more emboldened and violent. People are being tormented for speaking truths that destroy the well-oiled PR machinery of the government. With each passing week, Indian “democracy” makes it harder for citizens with a conscience to breathe. Can the world continue to be a silent spectator? read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
17 Aug 2021

Call For Genocide Against Muslims, Police Apathy—Sanctioned By The Centre’s Extremism

Inflammatory, anti-Muslim slogans were raised by a group of people during a demonstration at Jantar Mantar, Delhi on August 8, 2021. The demonstration in question was held protesting the construction of a Hajj House – a government-funded building meant to accommodate Muslims before they commenced their annual Hajj (pilgrimage) to the Islamic holy city of Mecca. The building was to be constructed in Dwarka which prompted the Hindu residents of the area to hold a Mahapanchayat to object to its establishment. According to Al Jazeera, some of the residents of Dwarka are of the opinion that since it is a Hindu-majority region, this building would affect the “brotherhood, peace and harmony” of their neighborhood. Additionally, some also opined that this may lead to communal tensions. The protest was spearheaded by the All Dwarka Residents Federation (henceforth, ADRF) and the demonstration saw a crowd of more than 100 people, all raising provocative slogans against Muslims. Ajit Swami, the president of the ADRF, spoke to some reporters suggesting that their demand for dropping the construction of the Hajj House was related to concerns of the Hindu residents of the area. Couched in the language of “causing inconvenience” to the Hindus of the area, Swami offered bigoted explanations for the protest suggesting that the presence of Muslims might create conditions conducive for riots in the area. At least four members of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP)-led government were seen at the site, supporting the protest happening at Jantar Mantar. These are, of course, not one-off incidents. Muslims have continuously had to face a discriminatory and intolerant climate in the country for an invariably long time now. With the BJP in power at the Centre, the discrimination faced by Muslims in the country are now out in the open, making it difficult to turn away from. read the complete article


16 Aug 2021

Rohingya genocide survivors to testify in Argentina court hearing

The Rohingya who have survived horrific brutality and sexual violence by Myanmar’s military will narrate their ordeal for the first time in a court of law on Tuesday, according to a Rohingya rights organization. The Rohingya genocide survivors, including five survivors of sexual violence, will testify in a hearing at the Federal Criminal Appeal Court in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, the Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK) said in a statement. The hearing is part of the process for Argentina’s judiciary to decide whether it will take up “a genocide case against the Myanmar military leadership under the international legal principle of universal jurisdiction.” Citing the principle of universal jurisdiction, BROUK petitioned Argentinean courts in November 2019 to open an investigation into the role of Myanmar’s civilian and military leaders in committing genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya. BROUK is legally represented in the case by Tomas Ojea Quintana, an Argentine lawyer who served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar from 2008 to 2014. If accepted by the Argentinian judiciary, this will be the “first universal jurisdiction case related to the situation of the Rohingya anywhere in the world.” It will “cover the full range of crimes committed entirely in Myanmar against the Rohingya, including mass murder, enforced disappearances, widespread torture, sexual violence, and mass imprisonment,” the statement added. read the complete article

16 Aug 2021

Detainee says China has secret jail for Uighurs – in Dubai

A young Chinese woman says she was held for eight days at a Chinese-run secret detention facility in Dubai along with at least two Uighurs, in what may be the first evidence that China is operating a so-called “black site” beyond its borders. The woman, Wu Huan, 26, was on the run to avoid extradition back to China because her fiancé was considered a Chinese dissident. Wu told The Associated Press she was abducted from a hotel in Dubai and detained by Chinese officials at a villa converted into a jail, where she saw or heard two other prisoners, both Uighurs. While “black sites” are common in China, Wu’s account is the only testimony known to experts that Beijing has set one up in another country. Such a site would reflect how China is increasingly using its international clout to detain or bring back citizens it wants from overseas, whether they are dissidents, corruption suspects, or ethnic minorities such as the Uighurs. read the complete article

16 Aug 2021

Our Muslim allies must step up to protect the women of Afghanistan

The best approach at this point is enlisting our Muslim allies such as Pakistan, Jordan and others to pressure the Taliban "Muslim to Muslim" to stop its oppression of women. Not only is it morally wrong -- it's an insult to Islam. What the Taliban subjected women to when they ruled the nation from 1996 to 2001 may be worse than many remember. Amnesty International put it bluntly that women were brutally oppressed simply for "the 'crime' of being born a girl." Under Taliban rule, women were banned from going to school, working, leaving the house without a male chaperone and, in essence, stripped of human self-determination simply because of their gender. The Taliban's conquest of much of Afghanistan, however, means not only the end of hoping for more progress but a likely return to an era of brutal repression, True, in May, a Taliban spokesperson claimed that if they took control of Afghanistan, the militant group would enact rules "enabling women to contribute to the country in a peaceful and protected environment." But in the areas that have already fallen under Taliban control, women are reportedly already like prisoners in their own home -- just like the last time the Taliban ruled. Why would Muslim nations like Pakistan, Jordan -- or even Saudi Arabia -- try to pressure the Taliban to respect the human rights of women? Well -- and this may be too optimistic on my end -- but the hope is that their leaders are as disgusted as I am -- as a fellow Muslim -- by the Taliban's inhumane treatment women in the name of Islam. The Taliban's actions toward women are not only un-Islamic, it's an insult to our faith. They are bringing shame and dishonor to our religion. read the complete article

17 Aug 2021

With Taliban in control, Afghanistan crisis adds volatility to China’s tense Xinjiang region

These long-standing concerns are now at the forefront for China, as it adapts to the reality of Taliban rule in Afghanistan. The militants’ stunning rout of the Western-backed government in Kabul is likely to reignite debate in Beijing over its security policy in Xinjiang, a hot-button issue that has drawn sanctions from the United States and Europe. Muslim ethnic minorities make up a large part of the population of Xinjiang, and Chinese authorities have long been suspicious of their loyalties. Some hard-liners in the vast region abutting Central Asia have expressed the wish for an independent homeland, a stance strictly forbidden by Beijing, and the region has experienced sporadic terrorist attacks. At the meeting, Wang demanded that the Taliban sever ties with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a separatist group that Beijing has blamed for attacks in Xinjiang, even as he said the Taliban would play an important role in rebuildingAfghanistan. China’s fears of terrorism in Xinjiang prompted one of the most costly and criticized policies of President Xi Jinping’s tenure. In 2017, China began a sweeping crackdown in Xinjiang, which shares land borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and other minorities suspected of Islamic radicalization were thrown into detention camps without trials, including women and the elderly. The indiscriminate nature of the detentions raised alarms around the world, especially as detainees’ testimonies of torture trickled out. The United States said the program meets the definition of “genocide,” and imposed sanctions on a long list of Xinjiang-made products. read the complete article


16 Aug 2021

Young Muslim woman who helps out at pop-up vaccination clinic pleads with Australians to stop blaming migrant communities for the lockdown as Delta spreads in Lakemba

A young Muslim woman in a Covid hotspot is pleading with Australians to stop blaming multicultural communities as lockdown rules are tightened. Hayfa Bakour is a 25-year-old university student balancing three jobs from home as she helps out interpreting Arabic at a pop-up vaccination clinic at Lakemba, in Sydney's inner south-west. "To the people who think that our communities are at fault for the increasing numbers or that they are not being compliant with the restrictions and with the rules, you know, I think that is a very damaging message to be spreading." Health Minister Brad Hazzard on August 10 implied migrants were largely to blame for the outbreak, with suburbs in Sydney's west and south-west subjected to a heavier police presence than the eastern suburbs where the Delta outbreak began in June. Helicopters have also been deployed over parts of western Sydney, inviting accusations of double standards compared with the other side of the city, where crowds regularly pack the beach walks at Bondi and Coogee. read the complete article

Bosnia & Herzegovina

16 Aug 2021

Ex-Bosnia Serb soldier sentenced to 20 years for war crimes

A court in Bosnia on Monday convicted a former Bosnian Serb policeman and soldier of war crimes during the 1992-95 conflict and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. The Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina found Rade Garic guilty of atrocities in the eastern town of Vlasenica in 1992 and later in Srebrenica in 1995. Garic’s conviction relates to his involvement in the systematic persecution of Bosniak civilians, who are mostly Muslim, during the ethnic carnage in the Balkan nation that killed over 100,000 people and left millions displaced. Bosnian Serb forces seized control of large swaths of Bosnia during the conflict, forcing non-Serbs from their homes and killing scores. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 17 Aug 2021 Edition


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