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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27 Aug 2019

Today in IslamophobiaThe UN urges Sri Lanka to address ‘hate propaganda’ against Muslims, as McDonald’s India faces boycott threats over serving halal meat. An op-ed looks at the rise of Islamophobia in Canada, another traces a haunting image of Kashmir under occupation. Our recommended read of the day is by Bridge Senior Research Fellow Farid Hafez, who analyzes the dominant themes in the El Paso shooter’s manifesto. This, and more, below:

United States

27 Aug 2019

The Manifesto of the El Paso Terrorist | Recommended Read

On 6 August, 2019, a white supremacist (Patrick Crusius) committed a terrorist attack that killed twenty-two people. Prior to the execution, he left a ‘manifesto’ for the public similar to the ‘manifestos’ written by other white supremacist terrorists. Like Anders Behring Breivik (now Fjotolf Hansen), who killed 77 people in Oslo and Utøya, Norway and many of his imitators such as Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 people in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Crusius’s manifesto contextualizes his terrorist attack in El Paso, Texas, and demonstrates that white supremacist terrorism is increasing. In ‘About Me,’ which is only one short paragraph, the mass shooter states explicitly that he supports the “Christchurch shooter and his manifesto.” But while Breivik targeted socialist youth and Tarrant targeted Muslims, the El Paso shooter targeted what he called “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The reason he chose this scapegoat is that, for him, the Hispanic voting bloc would allow the pro-immigrant, “pro open borders, free healthcare for illegals” Democratic Party to finally rule the United States to “become a one party-state [sic].” Like Breivik and Tarrant, Crusius argued that he would only defend his “country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.” What is even more astonishing is that the author presents a dialectical relationship with news media: Following the terrorist attack committed by Tarrant, people spoke about the irony that white people claim to fight a replacement, while they themselves had replaced Native Americans before. The El Paso terrorist argued that this claim should reinforce his standpoint, using the plight of Native Americans to support his idea of the danger of ‘The Great Replacement.’ Far-right groups in Europe have long argued that Native Americans today live on reservations because they could not stop immigration. According to this logic, whites should indeed take the right lesson to avoid ending up like Native Americans. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
27 Aug 2019

David Koch's Most Significant Legacy is the Election of Donald Trump

Many obituaries published in recent days examine Koch’s history of polluting the environment and political system, how the donor network he helped lead mobilized opposition to addressing climate change, transformed our election laws to allow unlimited secret spending by the very rich, and systematically fought any regulation, labor reform, or tax viewed as a threat to the corporate power elite. Yet Koch’s most visible accomplishment is the current occupant of the White House — a legacy largely unrecognized, and one that goes well beyond any other single triumph in his life. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

27 Aug 2019

Sri Lanka urged to tackle 'hate propaganda' against Muslims

Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, issued the call on Monday at the end of a 12-day mission to the Buddhist-majority country in the Indian Ocean. He said there was a "serious deficit of trust among ethno-religious communities" in the wake of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant-claimed attacks in April. "While the government promptly brought the situation more or less under control after the bomb blasts, many religious communities remain very concerned about their security because of incitement to hatred and violence by some religious extremists," Shaheed said in a statement. "The government must take action against the hate propaganda targeting Muslim communities that is being spread through unregulated media and is instigating ethno-religious tension for political gain," said Shaheed. Failure to do so "will allow extremism to escalate and pose serious challenges to peace-building," he added. read the complete article


27 Aug 2019

Opinion | Behind Islamophobia Is a Global Movement of Anti-Semites

The global rise of white nationalist violence proves that the threat of fascism is not just about one community — it threatens all communities: white people, black people, Muslims, Jews, and beyond. Over the last decade, nearly three quarters of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil have been linked to domestic right-wing extremists, with just a quarter linked to Islamists. And in 2018, every terrorist murder in the U.S. was linked to the extreme right. The ideology of extreme white nationalism is now a bigger U.S. national security threat, and a bigger cause of death, than Islamist terrorism or immigration. Yet millions of white Americans have been brainwashed into believing the exact opposite. How could this happen? There is an unmistakeable line of transmission between the white supremacist views that helped inspire the California and El Paso attacks, burgeoning anti-Muslim hysteria around the world, and the traditional bedrock of anti-Semitic neo-Nazism that is normally associated with the far-right. Yet this nexus between Islamophobia and anti-Semitism is little understood. read the complete article

27 Aug 2019

Trump keeps amplifying far-right racist Katie Hopkins, who called for a “final solution” for Muslims

President Donald Trump has repeatedly amplified far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins, including her anti-Muslim tweet attacking the “Mayor of Londonistan.” Trump has amplified Hopkins at least 11 times as president. Hopkins has a long history of xenophobic and bigoted remarks, including calling refugees “cockroaches” and advocating for a “final solution.” Hopkins has also defended and associated with multiple other far-right figures and outlets, including Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, whom she called a “good man.” read the complete article


27 Aug 2019

McDonald's faces boycott threats in India for serving halal meat

McDonald's has faced boycott calls in India from right-wing Hindus after the global fast-food chain said its outlets served halal meat. Many questioned why McDonald's was serving halal meat in India where 80 percent of the 1.3 billion people are Hindus. The McDonald's menu in India has no beef or pork products, serving instead a range of vegetarian options as well as chicken and fish. Some activists said this was yet another instance of right-wing Hindu groups finding an opportunity to attack Muslims. "It is an absolutely Islamophobic atmosphere which is existing in India now and each and every occasion is used by right-wing Hindus to attack Muslims," Shabnam Hashmi, an activist based in New Delhi, told Al Jazeera. "It's the extreme right asserting themselves to convert India into a Hindu nation." read the complete article

27 Aug 2019

Opinion | Kashmir and the Fire This Time

The week that led to this night began with the Indian government deploying tens of thousands of troops in Kashmir, already the world’s most densely militarized zone, and ended with the government’s emergency evacuation of thousands of pilgrims, tourists and nonresident students under the guise of a potential terror threat. In between the troop deployment and the siege, Kashmiris — about seven million people — moved in all directions, stocking food, fuel and cash, under the weight and panic of what could happen tomorrow. Days of rumors, government orders and denials began to settle into the shape of three probabilities: the end of Kashmir’s autonomy, the beginning of a war with Pakistan or both. Terror, in its most primal form, is unleashed in Kashmir through the fine balance between what is made known and what is kept unknown. read the complete article


27 Aug 2019

Islamophobia festers in Canadaʹs Francophone heart

In May of 2019, even before the bill was passed by the Quebec legislature, there was a notable uptick in verbal assaults and harassment of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab. Justice Femme, an advocacy group based in Montreal that offers legal and psychological support to all women, said they'd received 40 complaints from Muslim women since the Bill was presented to parliament in March. A Quebec City man who was stabbed after leaving a convenience store is convinced this new culture of racism is the fault of Quebec's premier. Karim Samaini, who immigrated to Canada from France, says Legault has stirred up racist feelings in the province through his passing of Bill 21. In a video he posted on YouTube after the stabbing attack he claims he's subject to racist abuse three to four times a week. He also worries about how this type of atmosphere could lead to an uptick in the radicalisation of Muslim youth. read the complete article


27 Aug 2019

'Pain, misery, trauma': Al Jazeera journalists on Rohingya crisis

The Rohingya, a majority-Muslim minority, are not recognised as an ethnic group in Myanmar, despite having lived there for generations. They have been denied citizenship and are rendered stateless. A UN-established investigation last year recommended the prosecution of Myanmar's top military commanders on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for the crackdown on the Rohingya. The United Nations has called the Rohingya crisis a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing". Al Jazeera's journalists reflect on the stories they had heard from the refugees while covering the Rohingya crisis in Cox's Bazar, including one of a woman whose baby was thrown into a fire in front of her eyes. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 27 Aug 2019 Edition


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