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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11 Dec 2020

Today in Islamophobia: France’s cabinet greenlights ‘anti-separatism’ bill amid human rights concerns. Soccer superstar Antoine Griezmann ends Huawei sponsorship over Uighur Muslim identification reports. A year after CAA, reports allege refugees in India are still waiting for citizenship. Our recommended read today is by Peter Yeung featuring reflections from Muslims in Paris amidst Macron’s anti-Muslim crackdown. This, and more, below:


11 Dec 2020

Amid a crackdown on ‘separatism’, how do French Muslims feel? | Recommended Read

Fatoumata Diaby, 53, fabric seller: It’s true that I don’t mix much with white French people. I am happy living in my community, I work hard and I pay my taxes. I don’t cause any trouble. Why should that be a problem? To tell you the truth, I don’t think they would want to see me in the rich neighbourhoods in Paris, anyway. It’s the same with Macron. Let’s not forget that he was a banker. He wants to preserve the wealthy elite. They want to leave us on the periphery and forget about us – but then they seem surprised when there are problems with society. In some ways, France is an incredible country that has given me a lot. But I think in other ways, it has regressed. Freedom of expression must be protected, but do we have to defend the right to spread hate? I am French and I am Muslim. But I have the impression now that I must choose between them. read the complete article

11 Dec 2020

The Troubling Effects of Free Speech and Secularism on the Muslim Community in France

Determined to better understand the issue, I spoke to two native French students. One said that they believe France’s approach towards Muslims is divided between two opinions: the older generation typically advocate free speech whilst the younger generation, still believing in free speech, choose to fight for the respect of other people’s religions. They stated that, in their opinion, the true problem is not the concept of free speech, but the fact that whenever terrorist attacks occur, Islam is connected to them, conveying the biased view many have towards Muslims. They believe that Muslims should not be the poster picture for terrorism and that they have the right to be angry at the constant mocking of their religion. Another student said the people with far-right views in France are the main issue, as most people are respectful towards other religions. In France, the far-right has a significant amount of power, with Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front-National party, gaining a large number of votes in the last election. The popularity of the Front-National in France is arguably the main reason for the unfavourable view given to Muslims by many. It is time to fight against such egregious political parties to pave the path to equality. read the complete article

11 Dec 2020

France's cabinet greenlights 'anti-separatism' bill amid human rights concerns

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday obtained his cabinet's blessing for draft legislation combating "radical Islamism" after a spate of attacks. Critics, meanwhile, have expressed fears that the bill could further stigmatise the country’s Muslim population and yet fail to address some factors leading to radicalisation. Macron argues that the legislation is needed to shore up France's staunchly secular system of laicite - the definition of which has been hotly debated in recent years - but the plan has further stirred up social tensions over the consequences for Europe's largest Muslim community. "The enemy of the Republic is a political ideology called radical Islamism, which aims to divide the French among themselves," Prime Minister Jean Castex told newspaper Le Monde on Wednesday. He argued that, rather than targeting Muslims, it aimed to "free Muslims from the growing grip of radical Islamism". read the complete article

11 Dec 2020

France says stance on ‘radicalism’ distorted, not anti-Islam

France’s policies against “extremism” facing fierce criticism around the world have been misrepresented and are not Islamophobic, its foreign minister said on Thursday. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said following the attacks, “our positions and statements [on combatting extremism] were largely distorted and misrepresented as part of a campaign against our country”. The French government on Wednesday defended the draft legislation as a “law of freedom” after a torrent of criticism from Muslim countries and expressions of concern from the United States. read the complete article

New Zealand

11 Dec 2020

‘They Were Watching Us, Not Watching Our Backs’

The report, however, is much more than a dry recitation of government missteps. It’s one of the more thorough and terrifying investigations into how anti-Muslim terror has become a fixture of news headlines over the last decade. The report ultimately amounts to a searing indictment of institutional Islamophobia — in New Zealand’s national security apparatus and in big tech companies like YouTube — that helped transform a place of worship into the setting for a livestreamed pogrom. It’s also a story of Muslim voices being ignored before 51 Muslim voices were silenced forever. The attack brought rising Islamophobia across the globe into focus, offering proof of how the normalization of anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies have deadly consequences. The Christchurch report quotes many anonymous Muslim New Zealanders who criticized authorities for ignoring repeated warnings about the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment leading up to the attack. read the complete article


11 Dec 2020

Antoine Griezmann ends Huawei sponsorship over Uighur Muslim identification reports

Antoine Griezmann has ended his long-term sponsorship deal with Huawei over alleged identification software that can report the location of Uighur Muslims. The Barcelona and France forward called on the Chinese company to “use its influence” to help promote equal human rights, following reports of software trials that can send ‘Uighur alarms’ published by research organisation IPVM via The Washington Post. According to the report, Huawei worked with facial recognition company Megvii to test an identification system that could determine an individual’s age, sex and ethnicity by scanning a large crowd. Following the publication of the allegations, 2018 World Cup-winner Griezmann announced he has cut ties with the telecommunications company with a statement on his Instagram profile. read the complete article

11 Dec 2020

Australian whose Uyghur wife and child were stuck in China celebrates their return

Sadam Abudusalamu met his son Lutfy for the first time following years of anxiety after his then-pregnant wife Nadila Wumaier was caught up in China's crackdown on Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. "I am so overjoyed to inform everybody that yesterday I was reunited with my wife, who I have not seen for three years, and my son, who I had not yet met," he said in a statement posted to Twitter. The pair's return to Australia follows years of media coverage and lobbying by the Australian Government and human rights activists. read the complete article

United Kingdom

11 Dec 2020

The Times of Islamophobia: How the Demonisation Works

In the few days prior to the story being published, CAGE was approached by The Times’ Crime Correspondent, John Simpson. Initially, he was probing for leads regarding the Reading attack. CAGE took the exceptional step to make it clear to The Times that it had no connections to Khairi Saadallah. Our interaction with Simpson was cordial up until the moment of publication when The Times showed its real intent. It published a story with the false and highly damaging heading: ‘Campaign Group Helps Reading Suspect Khairi Saadallah’. In the article, Simpson wrote that I was “excusing his (Saadallah’s) actions by reference to failings by the police and others” and claimed that CAGE was “working behind the scenes to help him”. He also claimed that CAGE “declined to comment” on its involvement in the case. The Times was telling flagrant lies and inferring falsely that identifying police failures – given the facts stated in my post – and questioning whether this was even terrorism, was tantamount to supporting and helping the culprit. read the complete article


11 Dec 2020

A year after CAA, refugees in India still waiting for citizenship

Last December, India’s Hindu nationalist government amended the country’s citizenship law to expedite nationality for persecuted immigrants – except Muslims – from three neighbouring countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. But exactly a year since the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed by the country’s parliament, no immigrant has been granted citizenship under the CAA. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 11 Dec 2020 Edition


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