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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18 Dec 2019

Today in Islamophobia: As protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act continue across India, police warn Rohingya Muslims to stay silent. In the U.S, a new requirement by the Trump Administration compels nearly everyone wishing to visit or move to the US from abroad to register their social media handles with the US government. In Xinjiang, China is accused of erasing Uighur identity by pushing women away from Islamic attire and towards ‘modern’ fashion. Our recommended read today is by Lara Jakes titled “Why the State Dept. Has Largely Been Muted on India’s Moves Against Muslims.” This, and more, below:


18 Dec 2019

Why the State Dept. Has Largely Been Muted on India’s Moves Against Muslims | Recommended Read

China’s detention of one million ethnic Uighur Muslims has been described by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as Orwellian, a “gross human rights violation” and “one of the worst stains on the world of this century.” In Myanmar, the ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims is “deeply abhorrent to our way of life” and displayed “shocking and brutal violence,” according to State Department officials. But American diplomats have offered only muted public criticism of India’s moves against Muslims, seemingly wary of alienating even an unpredictable ally as the United States confronts China and Russia in the Indo-Pacific region. read the complete article

Our recommended read for today
18 Dec 2019

At CES 2020, surveillance tech will find a prime spot to make its pitch

In January the CTA, which organizes the massive Las Vegas event, gave Chinese voice recognition company iFlytek an innovation award in the "Tech for a Better World" category. Ten months later, the US Commerce Department placed the company, along with Hikvision -- the world's largest supplier of surveillance cameras, whose US arm Ezviz was another CES award winner -- on a blacklist for human rights violations related to the privacy of Uighur Muslims in China. read the complete article


18 Dec 2019

At AIIMS, doctors and police treated detained Jamia protestors with hostility, ridicule

“When I was in the library, I got down on my knees and told them, ‘Bhagwan ke liye chhod do’”—For the love of god, let me go—“but the police just kept thrashing me,” Rahool Banka, a 25-year-old student of Jamia Millia Islamia, told me. “Then they said, ‘Allah ka naam kyun nahi lete ho’”—Why are you not calling out for Allah—“and kept thrashing me.” I spoke to Banka as he lay in a stretcher in the emergency ward of the Trauma Centre at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi. “I’m bleeding,” he said, pointing to his bandaged nose and spat out blood. The treatment of the detainees at the trauma centre offered a glimpse into the arbitrary nature of the police brutality unleashed in Jamia. read the complete article

18 Dec 2019

India Adopts the Tactic of Authoritarians: Shutting Down the Internet

India tops the world — by far — in the number of internet shutdowns imposed by local, state and national governments. Last year, internet service was cut in India 134 times, and so far this year, 93 shutdowns have occurred, according to, which relies on reports from journalists, advocacy groups and citizens. “Any time there is a sign of disturbance, that is the first tool in the toolbox,” said Mishi Choudhary, founder of, a legal advocacy group in New Delhi that has tracked India’s internet shutdowns since 2012. “When maintenance of law and order is your priority, you are not thinking about free speech.” read the complete article

18 Dec 2019

India school defends re-enacting Babri mosque demolition

A video that shows them cheering while bringing down a huge poster of the mosque went viral on Monday. School officials told BBC Hindi they were trying to promote national "pride" among the students. A union minister and a lieutenant governor were present at the event. "The demolition of the structure is a historical event," the school's managing trustee, Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi. The video spread quickly online after it was tweeted by Lavanya Ballal, a member of the main opposition Congress party. read the complete article

18 Dec 2019

Why India’s citizenship law is so contentious

The Citizenship Amendment Act was approved by India’s Parliament on Dec. 11 and makes religion a criterion for nationality in India’s citizenship law for the first time. It creates an expedited path to citizenship for migrants from three countries — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan — who illegally entered India by 2014, provided they belong to six religions. The religions are Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism. Notably absent from the list: Islam, the religion practiced by about 200 million of India’s more than 1.3 billion people. read the complete article

18 Dec 2019

Police Warn Rohingya Muslims To Stay Silent As CAA Protests Roil India

The memories of last year’s football season are still fresh, but Zubair and his friends from the 30 Rohingya Muslim camps in Balanagar have uncomplainingly accepted the loss of one of the few sources of joy in a country that has grudgingly given their community sanctuary, only for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to turn them into scapegoats for a communal and exclusionary law — the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019. read the complete article

United States

18 Dec 2019

Visiting the US? The government is reading your old Facebook posts

A new requirement recently imposed under President Trump’s “extreme vetting” program, an outgrowth of his odious Muslim ban, threatens the online freedoms of millions around the world – and by extension, our own. The little-noticed requirement, which the state department adopted in May, compels nearly everyone wishing to visit or move to the US from abroad to register their social media handles with the US government. The requirement enables government surveillance of more than 14 million visa applicants every year, even long after these would-be visitors and newcomers set foot on US soil. read the complete article

United Kingdom

18 Dec 2019

'Islamophobia a bogus label': Jewish Chronicle under fire over article

The Jewish Chronicle has come under criticism from Jewish groups after it published an article by Melanie Phillips claiming that Islamophobia is a bogus term that provides cover for antisemites. Philips, who also writes for the Times, wrote in the newspaper that the entire concept of Islamophobia was “profoundly anti-Jew” and had been invented to mimic antisemitism, adding: “To equate it with the dehumanising, insane and essentially murderous outpourings of Jew-hatred is obscene.” She said “the taunt of Islamophobia is used to silence any criticism of the Islamic world, including Islamic extremism” and “facilitates” antisemitism. read the complete article

18 Dec 2019

Tory Islamophobia inquiry runs into trouble as Conservative peer criticises academic appointed to head it

The launch of an independent inquiry into the handling of Islamophobia and other discrimination in the Conservative Party ran into immediate trouble as prominent Muslim peer Sayeeda Warsi questioned the suitability of the academic chosen to lead the probe. Baroness Warsi highlighted an article by Professor Sarwan Singh in which he accused Muslims of driving other communities out of Indian Kashmir. And the Muslim Council of Britain warned that the inquiry risked being a "whitewash" under Prof Singh's leadership. read the complete article


18 Dec 2019

Mike Pompeo backs Mesut Özil in criticism of China's Uighur persecution

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Tuesday came out in support of Arsenal player Mesut Özil for his criticism of China’s treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims, saying Beijing can censor the team’s football games but cannot hide human rights violations. “China’s Communist Party propaganda outlets can censor Mesut Özil and Arsenal’s game all season long, but the truth will prevail,” Pompeo tweeted. “The CCP can’t hide its gross human rights violations perpetrated against Uighurs and other religious faiths from the world.” read the complete article

18 Dec 2019

How China is using fashion to erase Uighur identity

Among the forms of repression used by the East Asian superpower against the Uighur minority are secret detention camps, forcing women to share their beds with male officials while their husbands are detained, forced marriages and the banning of religious scripts. But China is also using state-promoted fashion to dramatically alter Uighur identity, according to US-based academic Timothy Grose, who recently revealed details of an $8m campaign launched in 2011 to change the way Muslim Uighur women dress. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 18 Dec 2019 Edition


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