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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16 Dec 2019

Today in IslamophobiaAs students across India protest the Citizenship Amendment Bill, police push back, raising the death toll to six. Fury follows Arsenal star’s criticism of the Chinese government’s against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. In Myanmar, Rohingya lawyers react to Myanmar’s trial for genocide in the Hague; in the UK, Muslims remain fearful after a landslide Tory victory. Our recommended read today is on the ongoing protests in India titled “The Jamia Protests are the culmination of anger against an anti-Muslim system.” This, and more, below: 


16 Dec 2019

The Jamia protests are the “culmination of anger against an anti-Muslim system” | Recommended Read

“Agar sadan unki hai, toh sadak tumhari hai”—If the parliament is theirs, the street is yours. Afaq Haider, a student of the Jamia Millia Islamia, a public central university in Delhi, was urging other students to be prepared for a long fight against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. The doctoral scholar, who addressed the crowd from an elevated platform next to the main gate of the JMI, said that this was a fight for the protection of the Constitution and not for or against any religion. Haider asked the students to be proud of the fact that the Muslim community, which has no support from political parties or mainstream media, had led the charge. read the complete article

Our recommended read for today
16 Dec 2019

Police fire tear gas as Delhi protesters decry citizenship law

The death toll from violent protests against the law in India rose to six on Sunday, including four shot by police, with authorities maintaining internet bans and curfews in some northeastern regions. A Reuters news agency witness said police resorted to baton charges and firing tear gas on the protesters to disperse them in south Delhi. The half a kilometre stretch of road where the protesters had gathered was strewn with glass, stones, broken bits of bricks and overturned motorcycles. Police later in the evening stormed into the nearby Jamia Milia Islamia University campus where many protesters were believed to have fled, and fired tear gas on the campus and marched some students out, while detaining others. read the complete article

16 Dec 2019

Opinion | In Hindu-nationalist India, Muslims risk being branded infiltrators in their own country

For years, Hindu nationalists have alleged that millions of Bangladeshi economic migrants are living and working illegally in India. The issue has been a constant source of political tension in the Indian states bordering Bangladesh -- including Assam. Updating the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was considered a means of identifying these illegal immigrants. Throughout the identification process, critics contended that the registry would lead to the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Bengali-speaking Muslims living in Assam, who'd been there for generations but just couldn't prove it. The NRC, however, showed that it wasn't only Bengali-speaking Muslims who were living in Assam without the required documents -- many Hindus of different ethnicities were also left off the list. Their exclusion frustrated many in Assam's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, who attempted to undermine the legitimacy of the registry by saying it had had left out "some genuine Indian citizens." The BJP, which also rules India's federal government and is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has now solved this apparent problem. read the complete article

16 Dec 2019

Opinion | Why India’s Modi Has His Country’s Muslims Worried

Since Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, hard-liners in his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have become increasingly emboldened to recast the country to give dominance to its Hindus, who form 80% of the population. Now a string of actions that followed Modi’s landslide re-election in 2019 is giving the country’s 170 million Muslims reason to worry whether their futures are at risk, and stirring wider unrest. The BJP is inspired by the ideology of the country’s main Hindu nationalist organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, which promotes a more assertive, orthodox form of the religion that sees India foremost as a Hindu nation. read the complete article


16 Dec 2019

The West turned Aung San Suu Kyi into a saint. She was always going to disappoint

This week, the "heroine for humanity" appeared at the Hague to defend her country -- and by extension herself -- from accusations of genocide against Rohingya Muslims, hundreds of thousands of whom have been forced out of northwestern Myanmar by a yearslong military crackdown. Few people are as perfect as their public image, especially when they are perceived as a saint. Nor did the 2015 election represent as much of a break with Myanmar's past as it first seemed -- the military kept a firm grip on power, while the ethnic strife and civil war which have racked the country since independence never went away. read the complete article

16 Dec 2019

Rohingya Lawyer Reacts To Myanmar Genocide Trial | Audio

Wai Wai Nu is a Rohingya activist and lawyer. She was at the trial this week. Her family's run-ins with the military go back years. When she was 18, her family was put in prison because her dad opposed the military junta that was running the country at the time. She told me about the seven years she spent in prison. KING: You heard Aung San Suu Kyi's testimony. She argued that the legal case was incomplete and misleading. She was asked whether she would acknowledge any violence against the Rohingya, and she said it couldn't be ruled out that disproportionate force may have been used in some instances. And then she said this. AUNG SAN SUU KYI: If war crimes have been committed by members of Myanmar's defense services, they will be prosecuted through our military justice system in accordance with Myanmar's Constitution. read the complete article

16 Dec 2019

Opinion | It is not just the state of Myanmar that is on trial, but our collective humanity

On December 12, Suu Kyi defended the government of Myanmar against the accusations. In a speech lasting almost half an hour, the Nobel Peace Prize winner refused to mention the Rohingya by name, labeled Gambia’s case ‘incomplete and misleading’, and reframed state sanctioned war crimes as a counter-terrorism operation against ‘Islamic terrorists.’ Suu Kyi’s statement runs contrary to a mountain of evidence. On August 27, 2018, the UN released a scathing report calling Myanmar’s aggressions agains the Rohingya a genocide. In September 2018, UN fact-finding missions linked atrocities in Myanmar to the military; in May 2019, it advocated financial isolation of the country’s military and recommended “its commanders be isolated and brought before a credible court to answer charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.” Suu Kyi’s use of ‘war on terror’ discourse attempts to whitewash reality. read the complete article


16 Dec 2019

An Arsenal Star Criticized China’s Detention Camps. Fury Soon Followed.

Mr. Özil, who is of Turkish heritage and plays for Arsenal, an English Premier League club, took on one of China’s most sensitive policies with his comments on Friday about Uighurs, a largely Muslim Turkic minority in Xinjiang, in northwestern China. “They shut down their mosques. They ban their schools. They kill their holy men. The men are forced into camps and their families are forced to live with Chinese men,” read identical posts on Mr.Özil’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, according to a translation by The Guardian. “But Muslims are silent,” they read. “Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself?” read the complete article

16 Dec 2019

‘I took a business trip to China. Then I got shackled to a chair.’ The heartbreaking stories of Uyghurs in exile

Gulkbahar, a businesswoman and grandmother of Uyghur heritage, was detained in May 2017, and says she spent the next 15 months in that 375-square-foot room, part of a Chinese internment centre, sickness, hunger, sexual harassment from guards and gruelling interrogations in an underground cell. Hers is one of the stories now emerging from Uyghurs of their treatment at the hands of the Chinese government. On a recent visit to Turkey, the Star spoke to several Uyghurs-in-exile, about their experiences, their fears and their hopes. These are their stories, in their own words. read the complete article

United Kingdom

16 Dec 2019

British Muslims prepare to leave UK after Boris Johnson wins election

However, after Mr Johnson’s Conservatives won a landslide in the election on December 12, Manzoor Ali, who runs the Barakah Food Aid charity in Greater Manchester, said that his family have given him their blessing to move to a place that would be safe and secure for them. Mr Ali told ‘My charity has been going on for 10 years, we’ve helped people from all walks of life, including former soldiers and white working class English people. ‘But I’m scared for my personal safety, I worry about my children’s future.’ Mr Ali went on to accuse the prime minister of ‘Islamophobia and racism’ because of his past remarks and ‘failure to root out Islamophobia in his party’. He added that Britain was his home and he didn’t know where else to go, but his family are in agreement that they should move to ensure their safety. read the complete article

16 Dec 2019

Conservative victory makes British Muslims fearful, says advocacy group

The prime minister and his party have been accused of propagating and ignoring Islamophobia, both during the election campaign and before, and the Muslim Council of Britain said British Muslims were now fearful for their future. "Mr Johnson commands a majority, but there is a palpable sense of fear amongst Muslim communities around the country," Harun Khan, the group's secretary-general, said in a statement. "We entered the election campaign period with longstanding concerns about bigotry in our politics and our governing party. Now we worry that Islamophobia is 'oven-ready' for government." read the complete article

United States

16 Dec 2019

Ex-Breitbart editor: Stephen Miller is a white supremacist | Video

Former Breitbart News editor Katie McHugh claims White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller is a white supremacist after a series of email exchanges she had with Miller. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 16 Dec 2019 Edition


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