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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17 Dec 2019

Today in Islamophobia: As the Olympic committee pushes China to close down its camps, China says Mesut Ozil, who criticized Beijing’s crackdown on Uighurs, was ‘blinded by fake news. Protests continue across India as revolts against the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Our recommended read today is by Dexter Filkins writing for the New Yorker, titled “Has Narendra Modi finally gone too far?” This, and more, below:


17 Dec 2019

Has Narendra Modi finally gone too far? | Recommended Read

In August, Modi’s government revoked the autonomy of Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority state, and detained thousands of its young men. That same month, the government created a citizenship registry in the northeastern state of Assam, a move that could render as many as two million Muslims stateless. In each case, Modi met little resistance. But legislation, approved last week, that grants a path to citizenship for immigrants living in India of every religion except Islam is provoking a nationwide backlash. For the first time since Modi became Prime Minister, in 2014, Indians, en masse, aren’t buying it. They are taking to the streets in many major cities, prompting, in some cases, crackdowns by the Indian Army and police. Modi himself, stunned by the public rebuke, has so far offered only platitudes. “We cannot allow vested interest groups to divide us and create disturbance,” he wrote on Twitter on Monday. read the complete article

Our recommended read today
17 Dec 2019

Meet India's Jamia women who took on Delhi police in viral video

A group of women is being hailed across India for their defiant bravery after a video went viral on social media, showing them confronting baton-wielding police officers to save their friend during a protest in capital New Delhi. The women, all in their early 20s and students at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university, were among the thousands of people agitating against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act on Sunday. Within moments, two police officers reached out and grabbed their male friend by the collar of his jacket from behind, and pulled him outside. As soon as the young man is dragged out and thrown on the pavement, the policemen charge on him with their sticks, swearing expletives in Hindi as they rain blows over his crouched body. The women rush to their friend's rescue. One of them throws herself at him to save him from the baton attack, while others surround him. He is now bleeding. read the complete article

17 Dec 2019

As Protests Rage on Citizenship Bill, Is India Becoming a Hindu Nation?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has rounded up thousands of Muslims in Kashmir, revoked the area’s autonomy and enforced a citizenship test in northeastern India that left nearly two million people potentially stateless, many of them Muslim. But it was Mr. Modi’s gamble to pass a sweeping new citizenship law that favors every South Asian faith other than Islam that has set off days of widespread protests. Indian Muslims, who have watched anxiously as Mr. Modi’s government has pursued a Hindu nationalist program, have finally erupted in anger. Over the past few days, protests have broken in cities across the country. Mr. Modi’s government has responded by calling out troops, shutting down the internet and imposing curfews, just as it did when it clamped down on Kashmir. In New Delhi, police officers beat unarmed students with wooden poles, dragging them away and sending scores to the hospital. In Assam, they shot and killed several young men. But Indian Muslims are feeling increasingly desperate, and so are progressives, many Indians of other faiths, and those who see a secular government as fundamental to India’s identity and its future. read the complete article

17 Dec 2019

India’s students are in full revolt against a new citizenship law that excludes Muslims

Protests — and violent police crackdowns on them — are in full swing in cities throughout India, set off by the passage of a controversial new citizenship law. The law, which will fast-track citizenship for migrants from many religious minorities, but not for Muslims, is the latest measure the Indian government has taken to marginalize Muslims. Police officers swept through a university campus in New Delhi on Sunday, injuring hundreds of student protesters and firing tear gas on those who had run into the library for safety. Observers say the protest at Jamia Millia Islamia University, which has a majority-Muslim student body, began peacefully. “The police barged into the girls’ hostel, they barged into the boys’ hostel,” said one young woman. “Students were running around to save their lives. Is this democracy? Where are we living?” Another young woman said police — yelling “sluts” and “traitors” — chased her and others as they ran to the library for shelter. Amnesty International India is calling on the government to investigate allegations that police officers sexually harassed female students at the university. read the complete article

United States

17 Dec 2019

Michael Bloomberg’s Surveillance Of Muslims Sets Dangerous Precedent For His Presidential Run

The NYPD program, exposed by the Associated Press’ Pulitzer Prize-winning series in 2011, confirmed many Muslims’ worst fears and left permanent damage between the Muslim community and law enforcement, even after it ended in 2014. Then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg approved and oversaw the program, saying it is what he “expected” the NYPD to do. He staunchly defended the surveillance when it was exposed and widely condemned. Now that Bloomberg is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Muslims like Dandia find this old wound reopened. Many are not only skeptical of Bloomberg as a candidate but also fear the possibility that his rise could lead to more policies that target Muslims at the national level. They point to the fact that Donald Trump praised the NYPD program as a presidential candidate, then took office and signed into law a travel ban that targets several Muslim-majority countries. read the complete article


17 Dec 2019

China says Ozil 'blinded, misled by fake news' after Uighur posts

The Chinese government has said Arsenal footballer Mesut Ozil was deceived by "false news" after he posted messages on social media criticising Beijing's treatment of the mainly Muslim Uighur minority. "I don't know if Mr Mesut Ozil has ever visited Xinjiang. It seems that he was blinded and misled by some false news reports and unfounded and false statement," Geng Shuang, a foreign ministry spokesman, said. "I'd like to tell him that Xinjiang now enjoys political stability, economic development, and social harmony where people all live and work in peace," the official said, adding that Ozil was "welcome" to visit the northwestern region. Chinese state broadcaster CCTV dropped the match between Arsenal and Manchester City from its programme on Sunday, two days after the German-born Muslim player added his voice to those alleging that the Uighurs are being persecuted by Chinese authorities. read the complete article

17 Dec 2019

People Are Pressuring the Olympic Committee to Help Shut Down China's Uyghur Camps

The UN and various international human rights organizations have condemned the country’s treatment of Uyghur people, but China has not indicated it has any plans to stop persecuting the population. In response, Kashgary and other members of a group called No Rights. No Games. are calling on China to close the camps ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. “The Olympics brings people together, and it brings people together in a supposedly non politicized way,” said Peter Irwin, the primary coordinator of the campaign. “If you have a games that is hosted in a country with concentration camps—and I'll use that language—that completely does not square with the very clear spirit of the games and the Olympic movement.” Both Kashgary and Irwin are clear that No Rights. No Games. is not advocating for a boycott of the Olympics—at least not yet. The group has two demands: The first is that China shut down the camps. The second asks China to respect Uyghur rights outside of the camps too. If these two demands are met, the group would like to see the winter games continue as planned in Beijing. But if China refuses, No Rights. No Games. plans to call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to relocate the Olympics to a country that is not engaging in the mass detention of religious and ethnic minorities. read the complete article

United Kingdom

17 Dec 2019

Opinion | Islamophobia Is Boris Johnson’s Problem Now

When it comes to anti-Muslim sentiment, it isn’t just that there is a problem with Islamophobia among Tories. After all, the current prime minister once wrote that “Islamophobia—fear of Islam—seems a natural reaction” and insisted that “Islam is the problem.” More recently, a number of Conservative Party officials have been suspended over Islamophobic discourse, but the Tories seem unwilling to sufficiently address Islamophobia within the party. But it isn’t just in the Conservative Party where anti-Muslim bigotry is found. It’s much more widespread throughout British society. In-person hate crimes against Muslims from 2016 to 2017 increased by 30 percent; the following year, “Punish a Muslim Day” letters were sent to Muslim members of Parliament and families around London; mosques nationally have been attacked, including when a van plowed into a group of pedestrians who had been worshipping at a London mosque in June 2017. And now that the election is over, that problem isn’t about to go away. On the contrary, Islamophobia has been mainstreamed in a way never seen before in modern Britain. And it could get worse. read the complete article


17 Dec 2019

Malala Yousafzai on Education, Islamophobia, and the New Wave of Youth Activism

After recovering from the attempted assassination, she went on to become a global activist, with the goal of securing girls’ access to education. She cofounded the Malala Fund. She wrote a book. At 17 years old, she was the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. And after having done all that, she was accepted to Oxford University, where she is studying philosophy, politics, and economics. She turned her trauma into an opportunity to position herself as arguably the most famous citizen activist in the world. TV: It’s hard to talk about religion without also then talking about Islamophobia. What are your thoughts on the rise of Islamophobia around the world and especially in Europe? MY: Some of the readings that I've done, it shows that you see Islamophobia more in areas where the community is less diverse.... So when the communities are more diverse, you would not see as much Islamophobia, [e.g.] in New York or in London. So that is an element of it, how much that society is integrated. And people need to engage with and talk to each other. My dad often says that "If you want to know about a Muslim person, don't know it through a TV channel, but go and knock on their door and as your neighbor, and go and ask them and have a conversation with them." So I think that's important. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 17 Dec 2019 Edition


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