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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09 Dec 2019

Today in Islamophobia: As a new Guardian investigation unmasks how foreign groups are spreading disinformation on Islam through Facebook, Nobel Prize winner Peter Handke refuses to comment on accusations of genocide denial. A new swarm of Chinese bots spread disinformation about Xinjiang, as Pensacola’s Muslim community remain on edge after Naval Air Station shooting. Our recommended read today is an open letter from Mehdi Hasan to Mark Zuckerberg. This, and more, below:

United States

09 Dec 2019

Dear Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook Is an Engine of Anti-Muslim Hate the World Over. Don’t You Care? | Recommended Read

Back in December 2015, you spoke out loudly and proudly against anti-Muslim hatred. “I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world,” you wrote in a post on Facebook, two days after then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced his plan for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the country. “After the Paris attacks and hate this week,” you added, “I can only imagine the fear Muslims feel that they will be persecuted for the actions of others.” The headline in the New York Times? “Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook Reassures Muslim Users.” Yet here we are in December 2019. Four years later, you and Facebook have gone from reassuring Muslims to amplifying hate and bigotry against us. You have allowed what the actor Sacha Baron Cohen recently described as “the greatest propaganda machine in history” to be used to target and persecute some of the most vulnerable Muslim communities on Earth. read the complete article

Our recommended read today
09 Dec 2019

Pensacola Muslim community on edge after Naval Air Station shooting

Pensacola area Muslims worry there could be backlash after Friday's shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. The accused shooter at NAS is from Saudi Arabia and was a Muslim. The local Muslim community, like all other people of faith, have been praying for the victims and the families of Friday's shooting. So far there have been no credible threats to the mosque or the local Muslim community. The thought of any potential backlash right now is simply out of fear. On any given Sunday there are at least 80 students at the mosque's Sunday school program. Only 37 showed up for class. Some parents keeping their children at home as a precaution. read the complete article

09 Dec 2019

Kamala Harris Leads Senators In Demanding ‘Immediate Removal’ Of Stephen Miller

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and a large group of Democratic senators have signed a letter that will be sent to the White House on Monday calling on President Donald Trump to fire senior adviser Stephen Miller in light of leaked emails showing the extent of his white nationalist beliefs. “We write to demand the immediate removal of Stephen Miller as your advisor,” states the letter, a copy of which was provided to HuffPost by Harris’ office. Harris, the second Black woman to ever serve in the U.S. Senate (who ended her presidential campaign last week), is the lead signatory of the letter. Twenty-six other senators signed, including four presidential candidates: Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). read the complete article

09 Dec 2019

Opinion | Can Islamophobia be overcome through education?

Although the debates about defining Islamophobia can be fierce, opposing camps tend to agree on one fundamental aspect: Islamophobia presents an undesirable facet of the societies to which it applies. Islamophobia refers to attitudes and perceptions that depend significantly on ignorance or misinformation about Islam and Muslims. More often than not, these misperceptions persist in the West. A major objective of education is to help people get basic facts and terminologies right, so that they can make informed choices as citizens. read the complete article

09 Dec 2019

Islamophobic Conspiracy Theorist Helped Produce Infamous Trump Report Linking Immigration to Terror

The Trump administration has made Frank Wuco, a conspiracy theorist who suggested dropping nuclear bombs on Afghanistan, a senior State Department adviser on arms control issues. Now, emails obtained by Mother Jones reveal another perverse twist in Wuco’s work for the administration: Wuco, who has a long history of Islamophobic remarks and a habit of role-playing as a jihadist, was one of two Department of Homeland Security officials tasked with coordinating a now-infamous 2018 report linking immigration and terrorism—a report so filled with errors and anti-Muslim bias that it’s the subject of an ongoing lawsuit. read the complete article


09 Dec 2019

Inside the hate factory: how Facebook fuels far-right profit

Over the past two years, a group of mysterious Israel-based accounts has delivered similar messages to the heads of at least 19 other far-right Facebook pages across the US, Australia, the UK, Canada, Austria, Israel and Nigeria. A Guardian investigation can reveal those messages were part of a covert plot to control some of Facebook’s largest far-right pages, including one linked to a rightwing terror group, and create a commercial enterprise that harvests Islamophobic hate for profit. read the complete article

09 Dec 2019

'Ignorant questions': Nobel winner Peter Handke refuses to address controversy

Nobel literature laureate Peter Handke brushed off questions about his support for the genocidal regime of Slobodan Milosevic at a press conference on Friday, telling gathered journalists that it was not the moment to answer “ignorant” queries. The Austrian author’s Nobel prize win in October has been widely criticised by writers and politicians over his stance on the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. A petition signed by almost 60,000 people is calling on the Nobel committee to revoke the award from the “apologist for the ‘butcher of Balkans’ Slobodan Milosevic”. Handke spoke at Milosevic’s funeral in 2006, calling him “a rather tragic man”. The petition is due to be delivered by protesters on 10 December in Stockholm, when Handke is scheduled to receive his SEK9m (£743,000) prize. read the complete article


09 Dec 2019

China is trolling and hacking Uighur exiles across the world

Two days later, Abbas is at Washington airport, waiting for a flight. Between her full-time job and her activism, she hasn’t had a moment to check her website,, until now. She opens it on her iPhone. The page loads slower than usual. When it does, the site is a jumble of images, videos and adverts. It’s been hacked. “The website was completely destroyed,” Abbas says. She would later learn the site was infected with malware 24 hours after her Senate testimony. All its files were deleted and it would take a month to get back online. To Abbas, this was digital retribution for speaking out on the Uighur crisis. She has one suspect: the Chinese government. “Beijing is extending its oppression with its black tentacles to the Uighur living abroad,” she says. read the complete article

09 Dec 2019

Beijing’s Big Secret Was on Her Laptop

‘You’ll end up in pieces in the black garbage bin in your front garden.’ Just one example of the kind of threats hurled at Asiye Abdulaheb. For months, this Dutch woman of Uyghur origin has been sitting on a bomb in the form of Chinese state secrets regarding the infamous camps in Xinjiang province. Thanks to her these documents became world news, but now Asiye is living in fear of retaliation. ‘I need protection.’ She is sitting on a bomb: documents that undermine the official version of the Chinese government. Beijing describes the camps as benign ‘training centres’ where Uyghurs and other Muslims are voluntarily ‘cured’ of extremist ideas. These documents, however, read more like a manual for a prison camp. ‘Strictly control locks and keys - the doors giving access to dormitories, hallways and floors must be doubly bolted immediately after opening and closing them.’ read the complete article


09 Dec 2019

Thousands protest Indian citizenship bill excluding Muslims

More than 1,000 students marched Friday in India’s northeast against a bill approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from India’s three Muslim-majority neighbors. Main opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi said Thursday the bill was discriminatory as it aimed at excluding Muslim migrants. It will entitle only communities like Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians for India’s citizenship. read the complete article

09 Dec 2019

Opinion | The Ayodhya verdict is a cornerstone of the Hindu Rashtra

Maps of the Hindu Rashtra typically depict the Indian subcontinent drenched in a uniform saffron. Some see a lofty vision of unity in that colouring, but I see the violent and painful erasures of buildings, cultures and people that such uniformity would require. On 6 December 1992, a Hindu mob enacted one such purge by ripping apart a historical monument, a rare sixteenth-century mosque, brick by brick. This year, what the mob began extrajudicially, the Supreme Court finished through judicial opinion. However, much of the judgment’s text explores and misstates the precolonial past. Consistent with Hindutva ideology, the opinion abjures both historical reality and any pretense of equal treatment of religious communities. read the complete article


09 Dec 2019

High stakes: Myanmar's Lady gambles image in Rohingya genocide lawsuit

From democracy champion to defending Myanmar against genocide charges, the shock decision by civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to face the UN's top court risks further damaging her image overseas and deepening the siege mentality at home. "We stand with you," proclaim billboards across Myanmar, sporting beaming portraits of the Nobel laureate as she prepares to face the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the Rohingya crisis. Suu Kyi's supporters are printing off T-shirts, organising rallies and even signing up to VIP tours to The Hague to offer their backing. read the complete article

United Kingdom

09 Dec 2019

James Cleverly apologises over Tory Islamophobia and racism allegations

The chairman of the Conservatives, James Cleverly, has apologised after a string of allegations of Islamophobia and racism by the party’s parliamentary candidates. The Guardian revealed on Friday that at least four ministers had gone on election campaigning trips to endorse Tory candidates who had, among other things, argued that Muslims had divided loyalties and blamed immigrants for bringing HIV to Britain. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 09 Dec 2019 Edition


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