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.

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28 Dec 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In Indonesia, nearly 200 Rohingya refugees were finally rescued after weeks stranded at sea after they left Bangladesh last month, where around 1 million stateless Rohingya Muslims live after they fled a brutal campaign of killing and arson by the Myanmar military, meanwhile in India, 2022 was a year in which the country’s mega-popular film industry, Bollywood, became the target of boycotts, trolling, and abuse on social media following coordinated campaigns from right-wing Hindu nationalists. Our recommended read of the day is by Kaushik Raj for Article 14 on how this past year included numerous incidents of “Hindu extremists calling for violence and the economic exclusion of India’s Muslims,” which were met with little to no consequences, and resulted in in a “climate of impunity [that] allowed them to radicalize Hindus without fear of the law.” This and more below:


28 Dec 2022

2022: The Year Hate Got Away Scot-Free In India | Recommended Read

Article 14 revisited more than 20 events organised in seven states of India since August 2021, where Hindu extremists called for killing of Muslims and building a “Hindu nation”, gave a call to "finish Islam", took an oath to train in weapons and asked Hindu women to produce more children. An examination of media reports and follow up with police officials suggests people were booked and arrests made in very few cases. This climate impunity allowed for the same hate mongers to gather again and again in different cities to radicalise Hindus against Muslims. In five of the seven states we examined—Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Maharashtra—the BJP was in power. (It recently lost Himachal Pradesh to the Congress Party). In Delhi, the government was of the Aam Aadmi Party, but the Delhi police reports to the ministry of home affairs, presently under the BJP. In Chhattisgarh, where the government was led by the Indian National Congress, an FIR was filed in December 2021 and an arrest was made. Nine of the events were addressed or attended by the BJP lawmakers. They were: BJP MP from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur, BJP MP from West Delhi Parvesh Verma, BJP MLA from Delhi Ajay Mahawar, BJP MLA from Loni Nand Kishore Gurjar,, BJP leader Satish Upadhyay, BJP MLA from Ambala Aseem Goyal, BJP MLA from Koil Anil Parashar, BJP MLA from Aligarh Mukta Raja, BJP MLA from Sohna Sanjay Singh. The Supreme Court, while hearing a petition filed by journalist Shaheen Abdullah, against hate speeches on 21 October 2022, came down heavily on police’s inaction in curbing hate speeches and issued a set of directions. read the complete article

28 Dec 2022

Why 2022 was the year of #BoycottBollywood

On December 14, the home minister of Madhya Pradesh objected to a song in an upcoming Bollywood film due to the colour of an actor’s bikini. Hours later, effigies of the two actors – one of whom is Muslim, the other Hindu – were burned in Indore for “hurting religious sentiments”. Twitter was then flooded with furious tweets, their rage not directed towards the burning of effigies but towards the actors, towards the film, and towards the film industry as a whole. It’s just another day of #BoycottBollywood in India. Bollywood was boycotted, trolled, vilified and abused on social media numerous times during 2022. These campaigns weren’t organic – they were driven by Twitter handles, websites and social media “influencers” – and were usually timed around the release of specific films. Their politics tipped right (Bollywood was often called “Urduwood”, for example) and their tone was usually communal. A study by Joyojeet Pal, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, and Sheriyil Agarwal, a research assistant at IIT Delhi, revealed that between August 1 and September 12 this year, 1,67,989 Twitter accounts used the hashtag #BoycottBollywood at least once. These accounts collectively issued 14,38,221 tweets of which 2,12,428 were original tweets and the rest either retweets, quote-tweets or replies. Out of 1,67,989 accounts, 12,889 were “ghost accounts” with zero followers.“We study trending topics on social media in general, and found that topics around boycotting individual stars or even the entire industry had a dramatically large share of what was trending on Twitter,” said Pal on why they did the study. “We mapped the nodes in the networks calling for bans and found that they connected to various other social media groupings in India – which made for an interesting study.” read the complete article


28 Dec 2022

Nearly 200 starving Rohingya refugees rescued from stricken vessel

They battled hunger and dehydration after the engine of their rickety boat cut out, leaving them adrift in the Andaman Sea for weeks. Some grew so desperate, they drank seawater. Others prayed for rain, so they could briefly quench their thirst. Starving and without medicine, some reportedly succumbed to illness. Despite their perilous situation, multiple calls by aid agencies to rescue the group went unanswered, leaving the fate of nearly 200 Rohingya refugees to the elements. Then on Monday, 185 people – including many women and children – were rescued in Aceh, Indonesia, according to Babar Baloch, an Asia spokesperson for the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR). The rescue is a sign of hope for the group, which left Bangladesh last month, where around 1 million members of the stateless Muslim minority Rohingya live in what many consider to among the world’s largest refugee camps after fleeing a brutal campaign of killing and arson by the Myanmar military. While the boat’s rescue has been welcomed by rights groups and the passengers’ families, its harrowing journey is yet another example of the compounding misery faced by the Rohingya, one of the most persecuted minority groups in the world. read the complete article

28 Dec 2022

U.N. warns that more Rohingya refugees are likely to wash ashore in Indonesia

Muhammad Rafki Syukri, the Protection Associate at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said the agency would provide Rohingya language translators and counseling to determine if they were from the group of 190 Rohingya who were reported by the U.N. to be drifting in a small boat in the Andaman Sea for a month. "With prolonged conflict and insecure situations in their country of origin, it is possible that the movement of refugees to find safe places will continue to grow," he said. Myanmar security forces have been accused of mass rapes, killings and burning of thousands of homes belonging to Rohingya, sending them fleeing to Bangladesh and onward. Malaysia has been a common destination for many of the refugees arriving by boat, but they also have been detained in the country. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 28 Dec 2022 Edition


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