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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08 Dec 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In the U.S., Nabeela Syed, a 23-year-old Indian-American Muslim woman, recently made history after becoming the youngest member ever elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, meanwhile in the UK, Muslim women are heading up football teams and running clubs that are providing safe spaces for other Muslim women to play and form community around the sport, and in Germany, there have been numerous reports of discrimination against young Muslim students in the public school systems with no signs of any improvement. Our recommended read of the day is by Suriyah Bi for The Guardian on why creating an official index of Islamophobia is vital in the aid of assisting police, prosecutors, victims, and analysts as to when to take legal action and how to map out the routes towards such action. This and more below:


United Kingdom

08 Dec 2022

Islamophobia from the likes of Boris Johnson must be punished – and this is how to do it | Recommended Read

A House of Commons report confirms Islamophobia as the most common form of religious hate crime in the UK. Specifically, 42% of all religious hate crimes reported to the police were attacks against Muslims. But genuine efforts to punish Islamophobia and Islamophobic attacks are so weak that statistics on prosecutions and convictions are entirely absent. We know nothing about how police deal with complaints of Islamophobia or whether there is a uniform process across all forces. Meanwhile, Islamophobia goes unpunished and grows. This must change. What is the solution? How do we properly punish Islamophobes? As a lecturer in cultural geography at Oxford University, I have used my research skills to draw up an index of Islamophobia to help police, prosecutors, victims and analysts work out when to take legal action and how to map out the routes towards such action. Importantly, this is the first time an index to measure a hate crime has been proposed and it remains an open project. It is inspired by the way crimes such as domestic violence are processed, placing victim testimony and experience at the heart. Published last week, this index of Islamophobia is accompanied by a pathways-to-prosecution form, which helps identify the laws breached and scores each hate crime on the basis of intensity, intention, impact and recklessness. read the complete article

United States

07 Dec 2022

Attorney General weighs in on recent anti-Muslim incidents in New Jersey

Attorney General Matt Platkin weighed in on Twitter regarding several recent incidents of apparent anti-Muslim hate. "We must never allow our fellow residents to face bias or intimidation because of what they look like or how they worship," Platkin wrote. "Make no mistake: We will hold accountable all those who weaponize hate in our State," he added. Platkin was responding to at least two recent incidents where trucks displaying anti-Muslim messages were seen at Islamic centers in the state. read the complete article

07 Dec 2022

Melrose city councilor allegedly targeted in anti-Muslim incident

Police in Melrose are investigating an incident last weekend in which a Muslim Melrose city councilor was allegedly the victim of racist harassment at a gas station in the city. The Massachusetts branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations is calling for a hate crime probe into the incident. According to CAIR Massachusetts, Maya Jamaleddine, who wears a hijab and is the first Muslim person to serve on the council, was sitting in her car with her two children when a woman in a nearby car rolled down her window and told Jamaleddine to “go back to your own country.” In a press release on the incident, CAIR Massachusetts said Jamaleddine’s husband began speaking with the woman after the comment, and that she allegedly shoved him several times. Dougan said they're asking that police consider whether a hate crime was committed. The Middlesex District Attorney's office confirmed that the incident is being investigated in a brief statement but provided no further details. read the complete article

07 Dec 2022

From being called “terrorist” to “member-elect”; Nabeela Syed speaks

Nabeela Syed, A 23-year-old Indian-American Muslim woman, has made history and left people baffled after becoming a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, the youngest ever to run for office. The Indian-American Democrat defeated Republican Party candidate Chris Bos to win the most recent US midterm elections. Syed is dedicated to empowering young Muslim women to assume leadership roles within her religious community and promotes interfaith dialogue at the Islamic Society of Northwest Suburbs. Maktoob reached out to Nabeela and asked about her sudden interest in politics and her life as a Muslim in the USA. What motivated you to join politics? What motivated me was the year 2016, we saw a very hateful man become President of the United States. We saw Donald Trump rise to power, and seeing him use divisive rhetoric, harsh language, and the awful beliefs that he held and continues to hold, and seeing him rise to power made me feel very upset about where we are headed as a country. And that’s when I decided I needed to get involved in politics. That someone who looks like me, someone who is Indian, who is Muslim, and who is young, needs to be involved in the political space here in America. That was, for me, one of the biggest reasons why I turned towards politics. read the complete article


06 Dec 2022

Global Car Supply Chains Entangled With Abuses in Xinjiang, Report Says

The global auto industry remains heavily exposed to the Xinjiang region of China for raw materials, components and other supplies, a new report has found, despite a recent U.S. law intended to restrict purchases from the area, where the Chinese government has committed human rights abuses against mostly Muslim minorities. The report, from a team of researchers led by Laura T. Murphy, a professor of human rights and contemporary slavery at Britain’s Sheffield Hallam University, details the links between Chinese companies with deep ties to Xinjiang and the automakers that use their supplies, such as metals, batteries, wiring and wheels. The report identifies major Chinese companies that the researchers determined have participated in coercive labor programs in Xinjiang, or have recently sourced their materials and products from the region, where China has engaged in mass internment of Uyghurs and other minorities. Those Chinese firms are major participants in the global supply chain for auto parts, the report says, raising the likelihood that automakers like Volkswagen, Honda, Ford Motor, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz Group, Toyota and Tesla have sold cars containing raw materials or components that have at some point touched Xinjiang. “There was no part of the car we researched that was untainted by Uyghur forced labor,” Dr. Murphy said. “It’s an industrywide problem.” read the complete article

08 Dec 2022

‘We’re finally seeing people like us’: Meet the Muslim women changing representation in sport

“We’re finally seeing people like us and communities like ours making big moves in sport for others around the world to see and it’s inspiring,” says Saleh, who is also the co-founder of Sisterhood FC. The south London-based squad is the UK’s first football team created solely for Muslim women, founded with the hopes of increasing participation and diversity in the sport. According to a recent survey by Muslimah Sports Association and Muslim Census, almost one-third of Muslim women in Britain say they don’t partake in sports or other fitness activities regularly, while a further 33 per cent say their past experiences have negatively impacted their participation in sports. Four years on, the team has grown rapidly. Sisterhood FC now have more than 100 regular players who vary in ability from beginner to advanced. The squad have competed in local tournaments and collaborated with high-profile brands such as Adidas, Nike, and Puma. And yet despite these successes, the team still faces discrimination on and off the pitch. Saleh recalls one comment that a stranger left on an Instagram post about Sisterhood FC. Their words stuck with her. “They wrote, ‘You should wear what football permits you to wear, which is shorts and a T-shirt and if you don’t want to wear that, you shouldn’t be playing.’” The team also struggles to access consistent places to play other than parks and university grounds. Likewise, it is tricky for them to find coaches. Two problems, she says, which demonstrate the need for better funding for grassroots sports teams like Sisterhood FC. read the complete article

07 Dec 2022


What does it mean for Qatar to host the World Cup? There have been repeated Islamophobic attacks on the Qatari government. In this article, I would like to address the double standard regarding LGBTQ+ rights. We all know how homophobia is an issue in the Muslim world. That isn’t a news flash. However, there are multiple blind spots in this conversation. It is blatant hypocrisy and outright gendered Islamophobia for players who come from countries with their own issues of human rights offenses against the LGBTQ+ community. To aggressively profile Qatar for homophobia and transphobia when other counties are also guilty is hypocritical. Islamophobia and feminism have been linked in the targeting of Muslim women and the whole Muslim community and have contributed to entrenching patriarchy in Muslim communities. One basis for gendered Islamophobia is the misuse of universal human rights. In response to people defending non-Western nations against critiques of misogyny, proponents of the universalizing human rights discourse argue that cultural relativism and multiculturalism in effect rob real individuals of the benefits of the help that human rights advocates can offer them. In the media, Muslim homophobia is one of the primary examples of mythical exceptional Muslim misogyny. Following artificial proof of unusual guilt, Islamophobes use Muslim homophobia to justify all kinds of violence against Muslim communities. One widely reported example is the Israeli government’s deployment of pinkwashing to justify the oppression of Palestinians. When considering decolonial discourse, the categories of gender, men and women, become exposed as colonial constructions. Although accused of homophobia and transphobia, Muslim histories tell a different story of the genealogies of gender-based discrimination as colonial legacies. Thus, it is important to include the acknowledgment of the colonial construction of gender itself when discussing gender justice in decolonial terms. read the complete article


07 Dec 2022

‘I hope they feel solidarity with us’: China eases Covid restrictions but Uyghurs remain under surveillance

Strict Covid restrictions have lifted for many people across China, but it brings little solace for the Uyghur Muslim minority, who have been living under “double surveillance” due to the pandemic and their ethnicity, a concentration camp survivor told i News. Uyghur activist Abduweli Ayup said that for the persecuted minority group “lockdown started in 2017”, when authorities began sending people from the Uyghur-majority Xinjiang region in north-east China to so-called “re-education camps” en masse. China has denied any abuses. Since then, human rights groups say more than one million Muslims in China have been detained, while survivors have described suffering crackdowns on religious freedom, forced sterilisation and forced labour. When Covid-19 hit, authorities had more grounds to target Uyghurs, Mr Ayup said. “After Covid, they tasted what it was to be a Uyghur again,” he added. “They treated them differently to (the majority ethnic) Han Chinese, they are under double surveillance – one because of Covid and also because they’re Uyghur." read the complete article


07 Dec 2022

Discrimination of Muslim students in German schools continues: rights group

There has been no improvement in the situation of Muslim students grappling with ongoing discrimination in German schools, said a leading human rights official. “We see a need for action in this area and I have not noticed that the situation has improved," said Dr. Beate Rudolf, director of the German Institute for Human Rights, at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday. Rudolf acknowledged though that this issue was not addressed at all in this year's annual report on the developments in the human rights situation in Germany which was submitted to the nation’s parliament (Bundestag). Within Germany’s public school systems, there have been numerous reports of discrimination against young Muslim students, specifically girls, leading to a climate of low expectations and discouragement. There have also been frequent complaints by Germany’s Muslim community that teachers were less likely to recommend Muslim pupils for schools which would pave the way for a university rather than a regular vocational career. A country of over 84 million people, Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. It is home to nearly five million Muslims, according to official figures. The country has witnessed growing racism and anti-Muslim sentiments in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of far-right groups and parties, which have exploited the refugee crisis and attempted to stoke fear of immigrants. German authorities registered at least 662 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2021. read the complete article


08 Dec 2022

Monk militia: The Buddhist clergy backing Myanmar's junta

In a monastery in central Myanmar, a Buddhist monk, Wathawa, rallies his militia with a cry: "What's our spirit like?" "The spirit of iron!" shout a group of rifle-bearing men, loyalists of the military junta that seized power last year, now fighting to crush fledgling pro-democracy groups. Myanmar's Buddhist clergy previously sought to topple successive military dictatorships that kept citizens impoverished and isolated. Monks were part of the 1988 uprising that brought Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to prominence. Thousands thronged the streets during 2007 anti-government protests known as the Saffron Revolution. Many are now supporters of the new junta. The change reflects a years-long effort by the military to build stronger ties with Buddhist leaders by lavishing them with gifts and cultivating a shared ultranationalist and often Islamophobic vision, according to 11 people familiar with the monastic system, including three current or former monks and four researchers. In recent years, ultranationalist monks incited violence against Muslims in Myanmar, including riots that killed 25 people in 2013 and army-led attacks against the Rohingya minority. Some monks, like Wathawa, who claims to have thousands of armed followers, are serving to rally militia fighters against armed pro-democracy groups that emerged after the military crushed peaceful protests with deadly force. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 08 Dec 2022 Edition


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