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
06 Aug 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Rashida Tlaib cruises to victory in the Democratic primaries in Michigan. In India, a Muslim man is beaten by a mob for transporting meat; as a Hindu temple ad runs in Times Square, New York, despite opposition. Our recommended read today is on rising Islamophobia amid the lockdown in the U.K. This, and more, below:

United Kingdom

06 Aug 2020

Islamophobia surges amid lockdown warn civic leaders in north of England | Recommended Read

Born in Britain to Pakistani parents, Karim has become part of the Yorkshire establishment. As comfortable in a flat cap as a crocheted prayer cap, he is president of the Bradford Council for Mosques, ran the city’s World Curry Festival and is the director of an NHS health initiative trying to improve outcomes in the UK’s youngest city. He also sits on the council’s outbreak control board, having privileged access to the latest data on the pandemic. It is from this rarified position that Karim worries the racialisation of the Covid-19 crisis could damage community relations so badly that he now fears for the “Zulfis of tomorrow”. “For the last 50 years we have come together as harmoniously as one community and one country. A lot of progress has been made but now we almost feel like we have put the brakes on and we are about to slip back,” he said. “White communities are starting to see Covid as a ‘brown problem’.” The Guardian spoke to civic leaders from across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire who said they were concerned about a rise in community tension following the new lockdown measures, announced on the eve of Eid al-Adha last Thursday, which many said had prompted a surge in online anti-Muslim sentiment. Tell MAMA, the monitoring group, said it had seen a 40% increase year-on-year in online Islamophobia during lockdown – to about 150 reports a week – and had been receiving reports of friction between communities in northern England since last week. Anti-Muslim sentiment surged online during lockdown and steadily manifested in real-life incidents as soon as the restrictions were eased, according to Iman Atta, the group’s director. She said Muslim people had been spat at and taxi drivers called terrorists and accused of spreading the disease. Fuelling the division was online misinformation, such as a misleading but widely shared picture of a mosque in one northern town on Friday, purportedly showing hundreds of worshippers not observing physical distancing. In fact, the same gathering from a different angle showed people standing about two metres apart. read the complete article

Recommended Read

United States

06 Aug 2020

We must put forth the effort to get to know our Muslim neighbors | Opinion

A few years ago, I did not know a single Muslim. I preached about xenophobia in my sermons, I rejected hateful rhetoric when I heard it, and I advocated against discriminatory policies. But I did not know a single Muslim. A few years ago, if I had seen the Islamophobic ad run in June in the Tennessean, I would have named its absurdity and felt frustration about my own Christian faith being co-opted for detestable ends. But I would not have known how Nadine experienced the ad, how she felt the same kind of fear she had after 9/11, afraid for her family’s safety and well-being. I would not have known that Adam and his family, already having endured unspeakable trauma in a civil war, would now have to deal with a new trauma. I would not have known what it was like for Alia to have another heavy conversation with her children about what it’s like to be a target. I would have known generalities; I would not have known Muslims. I pursued my work at the Faith & Culture Center in part out of the desire to rectify this, to create the kinds of opportunities for others to meet their Muslim neighbors that I myself did not have. read the complete article

06 Aug 2020

Kris Kobach On His Way To Loser Town But Cori Bush Going To Congress

Kris Kobach has lost another election in Kansas. He got it out of the way early this time. He lost the state's Senate primary Tuesday night to Rep. Roger Marshall barely two years after he lost the governor's race to Democrat Laura Kelly. He's a loser is what we're saying. No wonder he's so obsessed with so-called voter fraud. It's a good thing Kobach's Senate ambitions ended last night. He's objectively horrible. His life's work has been keeping brown people out of the United States and preventing minorities from voting. Kobach has boasted about his work in the George W. Bush administration, where he helped deport 14,000 Muslims under the pretense of making America safer from terrorism. Trump later tasked him with leading a "voter fraud" commission, but he failed spectacularly and the president pulled the plug after Kobach humiliated himself in court. Some other good news from last night: Cori Bush defeated 20-year-incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay in Missouri's Democratic primary. Bush's story is remarkable. She's a single mom and a nurse who was once homeless. She entered public life in 2014 when she led protests against police violence after the death of Michael Brown. She is now all but certain to become the next US representative from Missouri's First Congressional District. read the complete article

06 Aug 2020

BLM Activist Heading to Congress Calls for 'End to US Imperialism’

During her 2020 campaign Cori Bush received endorsements from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) – she had campaigned for him during his presidential run – as well as Justice Democrats and Democratic Socialists of America among others. In a recent video message to Muslims, Bush pledged to oppose what critics label President Trump’s “Muslim ban,” and called for “an end to U.S. imperialism, endless wars and policies of destabilization in the Middle East and in Muslim-majority countries.” Bush said that “not only are we standing up for black lives, but for oppressed people everywhere, be they Palestinian, Afghani, Somali, Pakistani, Yemeni, Syrian, or Jewish, both here at home and abroad.” “Our people have a shared experience of dehumanization, a shared experience of aggressive policing, state violence, hyper-surveillance, racism and xenophobia,” she continued. “This has to change.” read the complete article

06 Aug 2020

Trump's new pick for ambassador to Germany accused Merkel of giving money to 'unwanted Muslim invaders' and said migrants want to turn Europe into 'an Islamic state'

President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next ambassador to Germany has said Berlin and the European Union are too welcoming to Muslims. In a series of comments unearthed by CNN, Douglas Macgregor said German Chancellor Angela Merkel was "more concerned about providing free services to millions of unwanted Muslim invaders" than funding the army. He also complained that the EU provided "very luxurious and extremely expensive welfare" to Muslim refugees during the migrant crisis. He claimed on multiple occasions that Muslim migrants wanted to take over Europe. Macgregor supports Trump's decision to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany and has said the US should no longer be what he describes as Berlin's "first responder." A regular guest on Fox News, he has promoted unfounded right-wing conspiracy theories. read the complete article

06 Aug 2020

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

On Tuesday afternoon, with Congress still failing to agree on an urgent pandemic relief package, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, brought together a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee to propagandize. Instead of helping the pandemic-stricken, Cruz chaired an hourslong spectacle of a hearing designed to peddle misleading narratives about anarchists and anti-fascists. 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. 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. One of the few voices of reason throughout the afternoon, Michael German, a former FBI agent specializing in domestic terrorism who is now a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, noted the “sensationalized” focus on the far left has “distracted from focus on the deadly threats” posed by the far right. “As a matter of policy, far-right violence is deprioritized,” German said. read the complete article

06 Aug 2020

Religious freedom in America: popular and polarizing

A divide over religious freedom for Muslims was particularly apparent in the poll. About half of Americans said U.S. Muslims’ freedom to worship is threatened at least somewhat, including 7 in 10 atheists and agnostics, about 6 in 10 Catholics, and about half of white mainline and nonwhite Protestants. Only about 3 in 10 white evangelicals, however, said Muslim Americans’ religious freedom is at least somewhat threatened. The poll’s findings suggest that, as Trump leans into religious freedom as a touchstone of his outreach to devout voters, conservatives and evangelicals who make up the core of his base hold distinctly different perspectives on the topic than other Americans. Whether those divergent views can be joined and harnessed to make progress on the issue for a wide variety of faiths remains an open question. read the complete article

06 Aug 2020

Rashida Tlaib Cruises to Victory in a Primary Rematch

Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan, beat back a primary challenge Tuesday from a repeat rival, significantly widening her 2018 margin of victory and helping to cement the staying power of the progressive women of color who have shaped the party’s House majority. Ms. Tlaib, 44, defeated Brenda Jones, 60, the president of the Detroit City Council, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday morning. With 90 percent of votes counted, Ms. Tlaib had 66 percent of the vote to Ms. Jones’s 34 percent. It was a flag-planting moment for Ms. Tlaib in her predominantly Black district, which includes portions of Detroit and its suburbs, as she easily defeated a prominent African-American leader with whom she split election wins two years ago. “Voters sent a clear message that they’re done waiting for transformative change, that they want an unapologetic fighter who will take on the status quo and win,” Ms. Tlaib said in a statement on Wednesday. Catapulted to national prominence by a profane call to impeach President Trump uttered on the day she was sworn in, and insulted with racist tropes by Mr. Trump, Ms. Tlaib has become one of the best-known members of Congress. She is a member of the so-called squad, a group of progressive Democratic women of color, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who were elected to the House in 2018 and have come to embody the vanguard of the party. read the complete article


06 Aug 2020

At Site Of Razed Mosque, India's Modi Lays Foundation For Controversial Hindu Temple

Nearly 30 years ago, Hindu extremists armed with pickaxes tore down a 16th-century mosque in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya, sparking riots that killed thousands of Muslims. On Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi fulfilled a campaign promise to his Hindu nationalist base by laying the cornerstones of a grand Hindu shrine on that very same spot. The ceremony coincides with the first anniversary of India's revocation of special rights in Kashmir, its only Muslim-majority state. Under Modi, both Ayodhya and Kashmir have become symbols of Hindu nationalist dominance over India, despite the secularism enshrined in its constitution — and a painful affront to the country's Muslims. About 1 in 6 Indians is Muslim; they're the country's largest religious minority and one of the largest Muslim communities in the world. "The word 'Ayodhya' brings back haunting memories. When the Babri Masjid was demolished, it was when for your next-door neighbors, for your schoolmates, you became a Muslim overnight," says author and activist Rana Ayyub, who was 9 years old in 1992 and had to go into hiding amid Hindu-Muslim riots in her native Bombay, now Mumbai. "It ripped apart the facade of India being a secular nation, a democratic republic." India's constitution defines it as a secular republic, but Modi and his BJP have sought to transform the country into a Hindu nation with special rights for members of its majority faith. In recent years, minority Muslims have increasingly become victims of hate crimes and lynchings. read the complete article

06 Aug 2020

‘Better to have killed me’ — man thrashed by cow vigilantes says won’t transport meat again

CW: graphic violence For 25-year-old Lukman Khan, who was beaten by a mob of eight to 10 men with hammers for transporting meat in Gurugram, life may never be the same again. On 31 July, on the eve of Eid-al-Adha, Lukman survived being lynched by self-proclaimed cow vigilantes who had apprehended him as he was transporting buffalo meat to Gurugram’s Sadar Bazar. Now, he cannot move without wincing and doesn’t know when he will be able to feed himself again, let alone walk. “They beat me for what felt like three hours. Better to have left me dead than in this condition,” he told ThePrint. Lukman’s face and ribs are bruised from where he was kicked and struck with a hammer. His legs, arms and head are heavily bandaged, and an inky stain — a mixture of blood and medicine — marks the place on his forehead where he was hit by his attackers. He had been working as a meat transporter for a year and would earn about Rs 3,500 a month, but Lukman swears he will never take it up again. “I think about what happened a lot. They hit me so badly. I will never do this work again,” he said. “They must have asked me to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ some 50 times. When I said it wasn’t in my religion and called Allah’s name instead, they beat me harder,” Lukman said. The mob allegedly drove him to a road in Sohna Chowk before taking him to a cremation ground to burn him alive. It is at this point that the police finally intervened. “I heard them say ‘he’s a Muslim, burn him’ and then I passed out,” he said. According to Lukman, the incident made one thing clear: “Being a Muslim is a crime in this country. I’ve learned this first hand now.” read the complete article

06 Aug 2020

Northeast Delhi riots: Mob set victim on fire ‘to check if he was really dead’

The Delhi Police told a Delhi court that a 22-year-old man, killed by a mob during the Northeast Delhi riots, was first assaulted after establishing his Muslim identity, and after he fell unconscious, the mob set him on fire to check if he had “actually really died or was just trying to feign unconsciousness”. However, when the victim, Shahbaz, started moving, rioters “put wood pieces on him, poured some petrol and burnt him alive”, police told the court. These details surrounding Shahbaz’s death were submitted by police in court during the bail hearing of Rahul Sharma (24), an accused in the murder. Police have so far only found a piece of skull and some pelvic bones, which Shahbaz’s family claim belong to him. Police told the court only a DNA test can establish his identity. Rahul’s bail was dismissed by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav Wednesday. Police have so far arrested five persons in the case. read the complete article



06 Aug 2020

Forced Sterilization of Uyghur Women is a Violation of a Woman’s Right to Reproductive Autonomy

In late June, findings from an investigation confirmed China’s compulsory sterilization of Uyghur women native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China. Dr. Adrian Genz, a senior fellow in Chinese studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, conducted research that indicates a significant decline in the birth rate of the Uyghur minority in contrast to the rising birth rate of the Han population, the largest ethnic group in China. The National People’s Congress abolished the one child policy in 2016 and allows a family to have two children; however, this relaxation of reproductive restrictions do not seem to apply to ethnic minorities. Article 1 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) defines discrimination against women “as any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women.” The forced obstruction of the reproductive autonomy of minority women is a discriminatory act. This forced obstruction also violates one’s right to life and liberty under Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as well as the right to health under Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) which embodies reproductive autonomy. Moreover, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has classified coerced sterilization as a form of torture. Thus, forced sterilization contravenes the fundamental principles enshrined in this treaty and because China is a signatory, China has an international obligation to respect the provisions in good faith. Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide describes genocide as “the mental element of intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group and the physical element of imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.” It is clear that the act of sterilization of Uyghur women fulfills genocidal intent under this treaty. Perhaps the most egregious aspect of the forced insertion of intra-uterine devices is the lack of informed consent. read the complete article

06 Aug 2020

Sayragul Sauytbay: How China is destroying Kazakh culture

When you meet bright-eyed Sayragul Sauytbay, it's hard to believe that this energetic woman has been through hell. To this day she is still being harassed by the "long arm of China," she says. Although the former civil servant and director of several pre-schools has now been granted asylum in Sweden, she continues to receive death threats from Chinese callers. Yet she is not intimidated: "I feel obliged to tell the world my story," Sauytbay told DW. In 2016, Sayragul Sauytbay became entrapped in the cogs of the Chinese apparatus of repression. "Her extraordinary strength should not hide the mental agony that has afflicted her," says Alexandra Cavelius, who together with Sauytbay wrote The Chief Witnesss: Escape from China's Modern-Day Concentration Camps, to be released by Scribe Publishers in English simultaneously in the UK, the US and Australia in May 2021. The German version was released in June this year. The book is a haunting eyewitness account by Sauytbay, an ethnic Kazakh Chinese national who fled China's notorious internment camps, where countless Muslim ethnic minorities are held. "During the interviews, she sometimes had to tie her head around with a cloth so that the horrible images wouldn't make her feel like her head was exploding," Cavelius told DW. read the complete article


06 Aug 2020

Hindu Temple Ad Runs in Times Square Despite Opposition

A large digital billboard in Times Square is displaying images of a Hindu deity and a temple being built on disputed ground in India, despite calls from a coalition of advocacy organizations — including Muslim, human rights, anti-fascist and secular groups — asking advertisers not to show the images. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the groundbreaking for the Hindu temple Wednesday in the Indian city of Ayodhya. Modi supporters said they planned to gather in New York City's Times Square throughout the day to mark the occasion. Around a dozen people stood in front of the billboard on Wednesday morning, snapping selfies when the bright yellow image of the multi-level, arched temple along with an image of the Hindu deity Ram and the Indian flag came across the screen. The billboard wraps around the corner of 47th Street and 7th Avenue and the website of the Times Square Alliance says it is owned by Clear Channel, which did not immediately return a request for comment. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 06 Aug 2020 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results