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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15 Dec 2020

Today in Islamophobia: One year on, Indian police continue to evade accountability for its terrifying actions at Jamia. Anger grows in Sri Lanka over forced cremations of Muslims succumbing to the coronavirus. Our recommended read today is by Helen Davidson on Xinjiang, where almost half a million are being forced into picking cotton. This, and more, below:


15 Dec 2020

Xinjiang: more than half a million forced to pick cotton, report suggests

More than half a million people from ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang have been coerced into picking cotton, on a scale far greater than previously thought, new research has suggested. The Xinjiang region produces more than 20% of the world’s cotton and 84% of China’s, but according to a new report released on Tuesday by the Center for Global Policy there is significant evidence that it is “tainted” by human rights abuses, including suspected forced labour of Uighur and other Turkic Muslim minority people. read the complete article

United States

15 Dec 2020

Why the Biden administration should stay out of the global “Muslim engagement” business

The choice of a “Muslim” framing for the projects associated with the Obama administration’s engagement push seems even more bizarre when one considers that the programs themselves, which focused mainly on things like entrepreneurship and STEM education, had nothing to do with religion. At the height of the Muslim engagement frenzy, I remember asking a colleague at the United States Agency for International Development whether the United States calls its Small to Medium Enterprise Capacity-Building programs in Ecuador “Christian engagement” given that 92% of that country’s population identifies as Christian. “Of course not,” he replied. “That would be bizarre since Christianity has nothing to do with the work we are doing.” So why, I wondered, is it any less bizarre to label entrepreneurship programs in Indonesia and Senegal as “Muslim engagement”? read the complete article

15 Dec 2020

Opinion | The GOP reckoning never came

The party’s radicalization continued, and the reckoning never came. Today, U.S. democracy is paying the price as millions of Americans refuse to acknowledge the results of a legitimate election, and their leaders appear too cowardly or too powerless to disrupt the collective delusion. Republican leadership refused to eject the nutters from their party when, say, birtherism swept through the base. They may have privately winced at the racist conspiracy theory, but they nonetheless found it too useful to delegitimize the first Black president. read the complete article

15 Dec 2020

Muslims in state of Georgia mobilise for Senate runoff

On Sunday, the Georgia Muslim Voter Project (GMVP) and the Council of American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) Georgia chapter hosted an online event on Muslim voter engagement in the state, bringing together elected officials and religious leaders to talk about the importance of the Senate race. Early voting began for the election on Monday, where Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof face Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. read the complete article


15 Dec 2020

Video chat only hope for divided Rohingya couple

The human traffickers told Julekha Begum it would take less than a week to smuggle her to Malaysia to meet the husband she barely knows. Instead she spent two months marooned at sea in the hold of a fishing boat with 500 others. In that time, she said traffickers beat her sister to death and threw countless bodies into the sea. Eventually she was forced to return to a sprawling refugee camp in Bangladesh alongside a million other members of the stateless Rohingya group. read the complete article

15 Dec 2020

ICC prosecutor rejects Uighur genocide complaint against China

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors have rejected calls by exiled Uighurs to investigate China for alleged genocide and crimes against humanity, in a blow to the Muslim-minority group in Xinjiang. The Uighurs handed a huge dossier of evidence to the court in July accusing China of locking more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in re-education camps and of forcibly sterilising women. read the complete article


15 Dec 2020

Kashmiris outraged as authorities fell thousands of apple trees

Nomadic groups such as Gujjars and Bakarwals had their houses and orchards targeted as part of the wide-range “eviction and anti-encroachment drive” across the disputed region of Kashmir, the Indian-administered side of which was stripped of its special status last August. Since then, the local administration, now directly under New Delhi, has changed land and domicile laws in an effort that critics say is aimed at bringing about demographic change in India’s only Muslim-majority region. read the complete article

15 Dec 2020

India a dangerous, violent place for Muslims under Modi government, says minorities report

India has become a “dangerous and violent space for Muslim minorities” ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government introduced amendments to the Citizenship Act last year, said the South Asia State of Minorities Report 2020. It said that while civic space is under threat the world over, India’s case was unique in terms of the “alarming setbacks” that have “taken place at an extraordinary pace, over the span of a few years”. read the complete article

15 Dec 2020

‘I felt like I found my identity’: What the Mumbai Bagh protests meant to Muslim women

By the time he reached her, she was overcome by silent tears of joy. All her adult life, she had been identified in public as his wife, with her own name erased. But at the Mumbai Bagh protest, for the first time, the tables had turned. “I felt like I had found my identity,” she said. Sultana could have been speaking for every woman at Mumbai Bagh and every Muslim who participated in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act across India from December 2019 to March 2020. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 15 Dec 2020 Edition


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