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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13 Dec 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In the U.S., President Joe Biden is establishing an inter-agency group to coordinate efforts to counter antisemitism, Islamophobia and related forms of bias and discrimination, meanwhile in India, Delhi’s lieutenant governor gives his nod to try accused Aumkareshwar Thakur in court for building a fake website auctioning off Muslim women, and in the UK, members of the Heatons Muslims Community Trust (HMCT) in Greater Manchester are mortified after a pig’s head was found on the roof of their building on Friday. Our recommended read of the day is by Rachel Cheung for Vice on how the recent protests in China following the deadly fire in Ürümqi may be a moment of solidarity from the Han Chinese population, but “discussions often skip over the fact that all victims of the fire were Uyghurs,” for whom the biggest threat is China’s brutal repression against the community. This and more below:


12 Dec 2022

For the First Time, Chinese Protesters Are Standing With Uyghurs. Will it Last? | Recommended Read

It took a deadly fire to finally draw national attention toward Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, where the ethnic Uyghur population has been persecuted for years. It sparked an unprecedented display of solidarity: hundreds of residents took to the streets across the country last month to mourn the victims and oppose pandemic restrictions, while overseas, Uyghurs and Chinese stood side by side at rallies, demanding an end to dictatorship in China. While it may seem that the fire shed light on their plight, as China pivots from its zero-COVID policy, marking a partial victory for protesters, many Uyghurs are questioning how far the solidarity will go. “Many, if not all Uyghurs, feel that the Uyghur suffering is still left as a fading echo in the void that soon gets completely forgotten once protesting Chinese get their end of the deal, which is to lift the zero-COVID policy currently in place,” Patime, a Uyghur in Sweden, told VICE World News. They spoke on condition of using a pseudonym to avoid government reprisal. “This is the biggest root of the conflict and distrust.” Social media discussions often skip over the fact that all victims of the fire were Uyghurs, for whom the biggest threat isn’t just a blocked fire escape or a protracted lockdown, but the Chinese government’s brutal repression—including mass incarceration, cultural erasure and forced separation of families. By taking aim at the zero-COVID policy and failing to take the Chinese state’s systematic persecution of the historically Muslim ethnic minority into account, experts say Han Chinese protesters risk erasing the larger struggle of Uyghurs. read the complete article


12 Dec 2022

Sulli Deals: India’s police to put on trial man who ‘auctioned’ photos of Muslim women

One of India’s top officials asked the Delhi police to prosecute a man accused of creating an app to ”auction” off more than 80 Muslim women last year. Capital Delhi’s lieutenant governor VK Saxena granted his sanction to try 25-year-old Aumkareshwar Thakur in court, news agency Press Trust of India reported, citing officials. Police officials will now initiate criminal charges against Mr Thakur who allegedly created the app and a “Sulli deals” Twitter handle for virtually puting up for “sale” Muslim women, including prominent voices who criticised Narendra Modi’s right-wing administration, in 2021. His application was hosted by Github and contained photos and details of hundreds of Muslim women, sourced without their consent, in a cyber crime against the minority community. The app allowed a user to generate a “deal of the day” out of the dozens of profiles of Muslim women. While the app was taken down after nationwide outcry, and many who promoted the platform on Twitter disabled their accounts, no arrests were made for months. But another app with a similar interface made headlines shortly after, titled “Bulli Bai”. These are derogatory terms to target Muslim women. The creator of this app, Neeraj Bishnoi, was also arrested and led the police’s search for Mr Thakur. read the complete article

12 Dec 2022

India Is in Danger of Missing Its G-20 Moment

This month’s rotation of the G-20 presidency from Indonesia to India may have met with indifference in much of the world. In India, however, the news has been emblazoned on billboards and front-page advertisements in newspapers, and is breathlessly discussed on television channels. The common theme of these celebrations is that the “mother of democracy” — in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's phrase — is about to become a vishwa-guru, or teacher to the world. As the winter session of India’s parliament opened earlier this month, Modi asked its members to project a responsible face to the world in the months leading up to the next G-20 leaders’ summit in September 2023. There is no question that for a few days that month, the eyes of the world’s media will be on India. But what will they see? And what international image does India want to project? Modi is not wrong to claim that India’s core philosophy is vasudev kutamban — the idea that the world is one family. India is arguably the world’s most enduring experiment in cultural pluralism. Those culture-warriors who today belligerently police boundaries of race, religion and gender could learn a great deal from the long Indian experience of multiple, overlapping identities. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party has been relentlessly hostile to this older idea of India, however, as it tries to recast India as a Hindu nation. In a recent study by the Pew Research Center, India fared worse than Taliban-ruled Afghanistan in an index measuring social hostilities involving religion. On other recent rankings — ranging from press freedom to hunger — the mother of democracy has fared equally poorly. Nevertheless, the current euphoria over India’s G-20 presidency shows that Hindu nationalists still need — and often crave — outside validation. This creates an insoluble problem for them, as their heavily Hinduized idea of India hasn’t been endorsed by many people outside the country. read the complete article

United States

12 Dec 2022

U.S. to form inter-agency group to counter antisemitism, Islamophobia

U.S. President Joe Biden is establishing an inter-agency group to coordinate efforts to counter antisemitism, Islamophobia and related forms of bias and discrimination, the White House said on Monday. "The President has tasked the inter-agency group, as its first order of business, to develop a national strategy to counter antisemitism," the White House said in a statement. The move comes as reports of antisemitism have increased nationwide. The issue drew headlines in recent weeks after former Republican President Donald Trump hosted white supremacist Nick Fuentes and the musician formerly known as Kanye West at his private club in Florida. read the complete article

12 Dec 2022

NJ Muslim leaders demand accountability for anti-Muslim truck

Muslim leaders gathered Sunday in a show of solidarity after a truck with an anti-Muslim message appeared at four Central Jersey Islamic centers on Nov. 26. At first, the Council on American-Islamic Relations of New Jersey believed the truck with an electronic billboard had only been driven by the Muslim Center of Middlesex County in Piscataway. They then learned the same truck had also passed by Masjid Al-Wali in Edison, New Brunswick Islamic Center in North Brunswick, and the Muslim Community of New Jersey Masjid in the Fords section of Woodbridge. The truck displayed images of the Mumbai, India attack that took place on Nov. 26, 2008 where 164 people were killed after members of the terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, armed with automatic weapons and grenades, stormed several buildings. At the rally, the leaders demanded a full investigation of who was responsible and condemnation from law enforcement and leaders of the respective communities where the Muslim centers are located, according to News 12 coverage of the event. "We must never allow our fellow residents to face bias or intimidation because of what they look like or how they worship. Make no mistake: We will hold accountable all those who weaponize hate in our state," Attorney General Matt Platkin said in a tweet. read the complete article

12 Dec 2022

'You are all doing magic': US teacher fired for allegedly disrupting students during prayer

A teacher at a Florida charter school was fired after allegedly disrupting Muslim students during prayer. A video showing two Muslim students praying together at Franklin Academy Charter School in Pembroke Pines went viral on TikTok with over 7.5 million views. The door of the room opens and a woman walks in claiming the office was hers, saying: “You all are doing magic”. “Why are they in my office? Who told them to come in here?" The teacher can be heard saying. Another person answered, “They’re praying.” "I believe in Jesus, so I'm interrupting the floor,” she said. She blows a whistle and attempts to walk through them as they are praying, which causes her to nearly step on one person’s hand. The person who posted the video on TikTok wrote: “I literally don’t even believe what happened to me is real. I’m still shook.” In the comments section of the video, the person also wrote that he had asked two teachers if they could pray. “They allowed us into the room that we were in, everything was fine until she walked in.” read the complete article

12 Dec 2022

Military Plans New $435 Million Health Facility at Guantánamo Bay

The U.S. military has drawn up plans to replace the base hospital at Guantánamo Bay with a new $435 million health care center that would provide care for hundreds of prison guards but appears to lack facilities specifically for aging war prisoners. The proposal illustrates the ad hoc nature of planning and construction for the Pentagon prison operation, which opened 20 years ago and has held 780 detainees. The Biden administration has stated a goal of seeking to close detention operations, and the military has been reducing the prison staff. After the colonel testified, the U.S. Southern Command said there were 1,000 U.S. troops and other U.S. government employees working for the prison commander, 500 fewer than in April, or 28 guards and other personnel for each detainee. Because the law forbids the military to bring prisoners to the United States for care, the Pentagon sends doctors, equipment and members of the support staff to perform complex procedures on detainees at the base hospital. Residents go to Navy facilities in the United States to see specialists. This year, the military rushed a neurosurgical team to conduct spinal surgery on the oldest detainee at Guantánamo Bay, Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, who is in his 60s and pleaded guilty to war crimes charges. Prison doctors have said the detainees have a range of typical geriatric conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as depression and other mental illnesses. Lawyers, citing medical experts, say some of the prisoners also require treatment for brain injuries and gastrointestinal problems blamed on their abuse in C.I.A. detention. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is accused of being the architect of the Sept. 11 attacks, will be 65 years old in 2029. He was waterboarded 183 times, and his lawyers have said that scans of his brain reveal damage that they suspect is related to torture. read the complete article

United Kingdom

12 Dec 2022

Muslims ‘terrified’ after pig’s head thrown onto roof of mosque

Members of a Muslim community centre fear a hate crime after a pig’s head was thrown onto the roof of their mosque. The animal’s corpse was discovered at around 9.15pm on Friday night at the Heatons Muslims Community Trust (HMCT) building in Heaton Mersey, Stockport, Greater Manchester. It was easily visible from a low, flat part of the building’s roof and has been logged by the police as an Islamophobic hate crime. HMCT trustee, Muhammad Tayyab Mohiuddin, said: ‘In the evening we have a bit of a gathering at the community centre and some people came out and someone said “there’s a pigs head on the roof”. ‘It’s a short roof so it was easy to see. I think they have picked that point in order to terrify people. Everyone knows someone has placed it there and what their intentions were. ‘In our religion, we are not allowed to eat pig’s meat or handle it in any way so someone has done it specifically for that reason. ‘We have a lot of elderly people and a lot of children who use the centre and obviously they are a bit terrified that someone is targeting us and fear in the future someone could go further or take a wrong step.’ read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 13 Dec 2022 Edition


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