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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09 Aug 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In Canada, a series of self-defense classes for women is being offered in Edmonton after an increase in the number of racially and hate-motivated crimes in the region, while in China, a new military commander has been appointed in Xinjiang, where authorities have locked up over a million Uighur and Turkic Muslims. In Australia, a Melbourne Islamic school has been targeted by online anti-Muslim abuse after one of its teachers tested positive for COVID-19. Our recommended read of the day is by Spencer Ackerman on how the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, which was manufactured by anti-Muslim voices and reinforced by the media, played “a crucial victory for the nativist coalition that would later rally behind the 45th president.” This and more below:

United States

09 Aug 2021


Rauf had been preaching twelve blocks from the World Trade Center since 1985. He located his new Córdoba there. Aided by Sharif El- Gamal, a real estate developer and self-described “shark,” Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, purchased the property for $4.85 million in July 2009. They planned to restore it as the thirteen-story Cordoba House, which would feature a community center, pool, restaurant, performance space, mosque and culinary school. Rauf conceptualized it as a Muslim version of the 92nd Street Y, a Jewish space on the Upper East Side that plays a cherished role in the intellectual life of New York City. When Khan unveiled Cordoba House to a Manhattan community board’s finance committee early in May 2010, Rosemary Cain, mother of fallen 9/11 firefighter George Cain, said it was “atrocious that anyone would even consider allowing them to build a mosque near the World Trade Center.” Fanning the flames was Pamela Geller, who blogged that a “monster mosque” was coming to Ground Zero, an “insulting and humiliating…victory lap” celebrating terrorism. A veteran of the business side of the ruling-class broadsheet New York Observer, Geller was radicalized by 9/11. She told New York Jewish Week that she was embarrassed not to have known who it was that attacked America, so she turned to authors and journalists who revealed that the culprit was Islam. Geller was also a birther, though not one tied to any particular theory of Barack Obama’s origin; she once published a reader’s theory positing that his real father was Malcolm X. Her ally against Cordoba was Robert Spencer, whose books lined the FBI library at Quantico. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
06 Aug 2021

'Self own': Far-right activist goaded into suing Muslim group ordered to pay $125,000

Far-right Congressional candidate Laura Loomer and her company Illoominate Media have been ordered to pay nearly USD $125,000 to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in what has been dubbed an "extraordinary self-own". The decision was made earlier this week by a federal magistrate judge in Florida after the case was bought to them by Loomer following her suspension on Twitter in 2018 for violating its policies on hateful conduct. Loomer claimed that CAIR, a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, had conspired with the social media platform to block her First Amendment rights. She also declared that her business had suffered due to the effect of her Twitter account ban, stating "reasonable expectation of economic gain in the form of revenue that they would obtain from Ms Loomer's use of Twitter", quoted Law & Crime. Loomer won her congressional primary in Florida last August with the backing of Donald Trump and has publicly proclaimed that she is a "proud Islamaphobe", once saying that Islam is the "cancer of society". However, the allegation against CAIR was apparently based on a prank by right-wing media figure trollers, Nathan Bernard and Chris Gillen of Bernard Media, who got in touch with Loomer pretending to be Twitter employees and confirmed her accusations against the Muslim group. The pair hoped to expose Loomer for spreading false claims about the Muslim advocacy group, however were surprised when she took her story to the Wall Street Journal who then published it, apparently falling for the prank too. read the complete article


08 Aug 2021

Trudeau’s test

In the jaundiced judgement of a succession of Canadian governments, “Muslim” is just another six-letter word for “guilty”. If you question the truth of that blunt indictment, then let me introduce Hassan Diab. Since 2008, the Lebanese-born Canadian academic, husband and father of four has had to endure – with the complicity of Conservative and Liberal governments that were duty-bound to defend the 67-year-old Muslim’s rights and interests – a bizarre, sinister ordeal that would swallow others whole into a pit of despair and resignation. Still, for 13 years, Diab has indeed endured – sustained by a family’s love, a lawyer’s steadfast defence of his innocence and the support of fellow Canadians who know that he is a victim of not only a blatant injustice, but the twisted contrivances and connivance of powerful French and Canadian officials and malevolent “interest groups” intent on collecting another Muslim scalp in the perpetual “war on terror”. How and when Diab’s long, surreal odyssey from sociology professor to accused terrorist ends is a tangible test of whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is serious about confronting Islamophobia however and wherever it manifests itself or if he will continue to spout pleasant-sounding bromides while another Muslim-Canadian’s life is rendered cheap and disposable. read the complete article

08 Aug 2021

'We want people to feel safe': More self-defence classes for women hosted by Al Rashid Mosque

A series of self-defence classes by women for women is once again being offered in Edmonton after hate-motivated crimes and incidents in the region. Al Rashid Mosque is hosting classes introductory self-defence classes for women in August to help them feel safer when being in the community. For instructors Janan Jomha and Kaitlyn Molo, the hope is the skills the women learn never need to be used. “We want people to feel safe,” Jomha said. “We want people to have the confidence to be in the community and feel like they belong. That’s what we should strive to do, especially here in Canada. “The goal of self-defence is to feel safe.” read the complete article

08 Aug 2021

Canada opens discrimination probe after Muslim charities' complaints

Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) taxpayers’ ombudsperson will launch a probe after Muslim and other minority charities submitted a complaint about being unfairly targeted for audits, the Canadian Press reported Friday. Francois Boileau said he will address the issues and concerns expressed by Muslim charities and other charities led by people of color. "Before we take action, we need to take the time to listen and deepen our knowledge of the issues,” Boileau said in a release. The ombudsperson’s office will ask the charities in question to share their experience with the CRA and the agency’s efforts to combat discrimination. His office is expected to provide National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouhillier an update by Jan. 1, 2022, the CP reported. The national coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, Tim McSorley noted that the treatment of Muslim charities is common among other government institutions, but the CRA’s treatment especially has implications as it impacts how the agency audits these groups. He also highlighted it was crucial for Boileau to review the implications of the country's anti-terrorism and anti-radicalization policies in terms of the CRA’s treatment of Muslim organizations. "These policies are at the heart of the problem. They are the drivers behind the prejudiced auditing of Muslim charities, and must be a key part of this review," he said. Last month, almost 100 Muslim nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging him to reform CRA’s practices and overturn the agency’s decision to suspend a well-established Muslim charity’s ability to issue tax receipts. read the complete article

06 Aug 2021

Add anti-Islamophobia to training of federally appointed judges: Muslim lawyers group

The Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association (CMLA) has recommended that the Canadian Judicial Council include specific training on Islamophobia in its social context and anti-discrimination curriculum and that all judges and administrative adjudicators participate in similar forms of continuing education. The association released a document with recommendations on how to help eliminate Islamophobia, addressed to federal minister of diversity and inclusion and youth Bardish Chagger, in response to a call for policy submissions from community groups to mark the National Summit on Islamophobia on July 22. The association expressed approval for the recently passed Bill C-3, or An Act to amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code, which requires federally appointed judges to take continuing education programs on social context, including on systemic racism and discrimination. read the complete article


09 Aug 2021

Communal Slogans Raised At Rally In Delhi's Jantar Mantar, FIR Lodged A Day After

In a disturbing incident, inflammatory and Islamophobic slogans were raised during a rally held at the Jantar Mantar in the national capital on Sunday. The event, organised by former Delhi BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay, was meant to be a rally against "colonial-era laws". According to reports, organisers of the event did not have permission from Delhi Police for conducting the same. The incident raised alarm in the capital, which saw one of the worst forms of sectarian violence last year during the northeast Delhi riots in February. However, police only took action on Monday morning, a day after the incident. Following outrage against police inaction which peaked on social media on Sunday evening, Delhi Police lodged an FIR against unknown persons in connection to the incident on Monday morning. According to a report by The Indian Express, Ashwini Upadhyay who is also a Supreme Court lawyer, sent a message to Delhi Police on Monday morning, alleging that some people had maligned his event. read the complete article

06 Aug 2021

My Photo Was On Sulli Deals: Anti Muslim Bigotry and Misogyny in BJP’s India

I am a Kashmiri Muslim woman and I am not sharing my name or photo as they have been shared thousands of times along with photos of a hundred other Muslim women on an app using GitHub – by the name of ‘Sulli Deals’. By stealing my information and posting about me as a deal of the day, sending rape threats to victims, they thought they could silence me. Since the idea of democratic India has been throttled by the current authoritarian regime, the government and its system have waged a war against its minorities and the violence against them has escalated in its severity. And Muslims, the largest minority in India, is the first line victims of the authoritarian regime, where Muslims are both dispossessed and disempowered. From daily harassment of Muslims to lynching to demolishing of mosques, Muslims in India are being inflicted with severe trauma, for living in this country and are on the verge of being rendered as second-class citizens. However, in the larger context, keeping in mind the misogynistic environment of the country, Muslim women are most vulnerable to the repercussions of this power. From facing threats to abuses by the men in power on the ground to now being auctioned off online by the Right Wing Hindu men on GitHub, with a site named “Sulli deals” (Sulli is a slang word used for Muslims), Muslim women are facing the most heinous form of persecution, with little or almost no justice from the system that in turn bestows impunity to the culprits under the garb of religion. Islamophobia mixed with misogyny is a lethal weapon that has almost been certified in India, which is used to violate the sanctity and dignity of Muslim women of this country. read the complete article


07 Aug 2021

Olympic Chief’s Deep Ties to Uyghur Slave Labor Revealed

A top Olympics official who said he’s “dead serious” about human rights has allowed his sports charity to take wads of cash from a Chinese sportswear company using Xinjiang cotton made by slave laborers. Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs, the chairman of the IOC's coordination commission for the 2022 Beijing Olympics, also runs the Samaranch Foundation, a sports charity. The charity is funded by major Chinese companies such as ANTA Sports, a sportswear company that pledged in March to “continue to purchase and use” cotton from Xinjiang despite forced labor concerns. ANTA has financially supported the foundation since its 2012 launch and has run the Olympic Charity Collaboration Alliance with the foundation since 2013. The brand is an active board member on the Samaranch Foundation, with CEO Ding Shizhong serving as its vice president. Salisachs’ relationship with ANTA Sports is just one of his many ties to Chinese entities, many of them in Xinjiang—a far-western region of China where the Chinese government has rounded up more than 1 million Muslim Uyghurs in concentration camp, forcing many of them into slave labor regimes in the region’s cotton fields. Those relationships might prove a liability for Salisachs as he struggles to fend off growing calls to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights concerns. read the complete article

06 Aug 2021


The latest uproar over who wore what is about German gymnasts at the Tokyo Olympics ditching their bikini-cut leotards in favor of more coverage. It comes just days after Norway’s women’s beach handball team was fined for choosing to wear shorts over bikini bottoms at championships in Bulgaria. As a feminis t, it has been empowering and energizing to see people around the world rally around women Olympic athletes who are boldly taking a stand against blatant sexism and misogyny in sports.But as an American Muslim woman of color, I can’t help but ask: Why do we so fiercely support the right of white women to cover but not of Black or brown women to do the same? Ahmed says that for Muslim and racialized women, exclusion and forced uncovering have been a reality for a very long time. She points out how when France hosted the women’s world cup in 2019, French Muslim women who wore the hijab were banned from playing, coaching, officiating or being part of a team in any way. The lack of outrage for women of color doesn’t escape me, either, but it does continue to infuriate me. While the policing of white women’s bodies at the Olympic Games is no different from the policing of Muslim women’s bodies, what clearly varies is the level of rage we feel depending on the color of female athletes’ skin. read the complete article


06 Aug 2021

China appoints new military commander in restive Xinjiang

China has appointed a new military commander in restive Xinjiang where authorities have locked up more than a million members of Muslim minorities in what they call a bid to curb terrorism and radicalism. Lt. Gen. Wang Haijiang will oversee a massive military presence in the sprawling northwestern region that borders on several unstable Central Asian states, along with Pakistan and Afghanistan, from which U.S. troops are withdrawing. Like Xinjiang’s hardline Communist Party chief Chen Quanguo, Wang previously served in Tibet, which also hosts large numbers of troops to suppress anti-government sentiment among the native Tibetan population and guard the disputed border with India, where the two nations had a deadly clash last year. read the complete article


06 Aug 2021

Islamic school in Melbourne targeted by online abuse after teacher tested positive to COVID-19

A Melbourne Islamic school says it has been targeted by online racial abuse after one of its teachers tested positive for COVID-19. "Their doctors said they did everything right, coming forward and getting tested and isolating so there's no point in trying to point the fingers here," the school's spokesperson Terry Barnes told ABC Radio Melbourne on Friday. The Islamic Council of Victoria said the college had been "particularly targeted by those spreading misinformation and hate". "The Muslim community has suffered from unwarranted criticism and blatant Islamophobia resulting from past COVID outbreaks," the council said in a statement. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 09 Aug 2021 Edition


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