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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04 Dec 2020

Today in Islamophobia: China increases activities to destroy Islamic structures, suppress culture of minorities, as the U.S. takes aggressive steps against the CCP for forcing Uighurs into labor. ACLU files request over data US collected via Muslim app used by millions. Our recommended read today is by Sahar Ghumkhor on Australian war crimes committed in Afghanistan. This, and more, below:


04 Dec 2020

Opinion | Australian war crimes and racist fantasies in Afghanistan

While the details of the crimes have been widely reported on, there has been a curious reluctance in Australia to explain the violence and trace its racist origins. The local media coverage of the revelations had a defensive tone. Even when the horror of the war crimes was on full display and the sheer scale of the war crimes and depraved practices undeniable, white innocence was still desperately gasping for redemption. But what struck me the most as an Afghan living in Australia watching this fiasco unravel was how the coverage of the inquiry on Australian TV ended with the promotion of a mental health helpline for members of the military and their families. This, in a year of protests against uniformed men terrorising civilian populations and basking in impunity taking place around the world. The tone deafness was incredible and the narcissism – diabolical. Absent in the media coverage was any concern for the victims and the feelings of Afghans and Afghan Australians. Many of us carry the scars of war and many were certainly retraumatised by these findings. read the complete article

United Kingdom

04 Dec 2020

New head of UK equality watchdog opposed efforts to define Islamophobia

The new chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the UK's equality watchdog, has actively campaigned against a definition endorsed by hundreds of Muslim organisations describing Islamophobia as a distinct form of racism. Kishwer Falkner, a member of the House of Lords whose appointment was confirmed by the government on Tuesday, has described anti-Muslim public sentiment as “understandable” because of its association with “violent religious extremism, terrorism and... sex grooming gangs”. read the complete article

04 Dec 2020

Allegations of Islamophobia in the Labour party go far beyond one party donor

One study from the Muslim Council of Britain finds that most newspaper coverage of British Muslims is negative, including 78% of stories in the Mail on Sunday. Rod Liddle, columnist at The Spectator, can write columns arguing “there is not nearly enough Islamophobia within the Tory party” and for elections to be held when Muslims cannot vote, and have his journalistic career remain intact. Boris Johnson, a former Spectator editor, can pen a screed comparing veiled Muslims to “letterboxes”, triggering a 375% surge in Islamophobic incidents, and still become prime minister. Half of Conservative party members can express the belief that Islam – a religion observed by 2.5 million Britons – is “a threat to the British way of life”, and no general outrage is triggered. read the complete article


04 Dec 2020

How cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad mark a return to the propaganda of the Middle Ages

Contrasting the “enlightenment” of Europe with the “barbarism” of Islam is a central trope of Islamophobes, whether in Europe or North America. Yet, this dichotomy could not be further from the historical truth surrounding Europe’s Enlightenment, and even its Renaissance. Both were characterised by a repudiation of the fanatic hatred of Islam and Muslims that the church in the Middle Ages had preached, in favour of a much more balanced appreciation of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. Indeed, there is substantial evidence that an important number of prominent European intellectuals of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment were, if anything, Islamophiles. read the complete article

04 Dec 2020

Scholars at Risk Recognizes Imprisoned Uyghur Scholar Rahile Dawut and Releases New Report on Global Academic Freedom

Scholars at Risk, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting academic freedom, celebrates its 20th anniversary with the announcement of its 2020 Courage to Think award and the release of its annual Free to Think report. Both debuted at the group's virtual global conference, an event that has drawn 2,126 views from around the world, to date. The Courage to Think award went to anthropologist Dr. Rahile Dawut, currently believed to be imprisoned in China. In December 2017, Dr. Dawut, an expert in Uyghur culture studies, disappeared while she was traveling from her base in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to Beijing. The award was accepted by Dr. Dawut's daughter, Akida Pulat. read the complete article

04 Dec 2020

Bloomberg Equality: The Stench of Forced Labor Taints Big Brands

Earlier this year, a Congressional report found big name consumer goods companies, including Nike, Coca-Cola, and Calvin Klein, were suspected of relying on forced labor in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region. The Chinese government has arbitrarily detained up to 1.8 million people from predominantly Muslim ethnic minority communities. Many of the detainees are forced to work in internment camps or factories around XUAR region to help produce things like cotton, tea, cakes, and textiles, the report found. read the complete article

04 Dec 2020

U.S. takes aggressive steps against China for forcing Uighurs into labor

The Chinese government calls it poverty alleviation. Ethnic minorities and prisoners get low-skilled factory and agricultural work to improve their lives. Xi Jinping talked about it in September. But what Beijing calls security, the U.S. calls forced labor as business and governing model that profits Beijing $150 billion. Beijing's central planners pay companies in Eastern China to open factories in Xinjiang and train Uyghur workers. And the Xinjiang local government gets paid to build factories near Uyghur detention camps. read the complete article


04 Dec 2020

Police in India Make First Arrest Under New Interfaith Marriage Law

The arrest in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh came days after state legislators there approved the law aimed at curbing interfaith marriage, which makes forced religious conversion by marriage an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The law is the latest in a series of measures that have steadily marginalized the country’s Muslim minority, one of the world’s largest, since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party came to power in 2014. read the complete article

United States

04 Dec 2020

Discrimination from some California college professors? Fresno State student speaks out

CAIR’s Campus Climate Report looked at nearly 568 students across the Central Valley, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco areas this year found that nearly 40% of those surveyed experienced discrimination or Islamophobia while in college. Students who spoke with The Fresno Bee said they felt the most discrimination from professors who shut down discussions related to Islam and emboldened other students to make derogatory remarks. read the complete article

04 Dec 2020

ACLU files request over data US collected via Muslim app used by millions

The Freedom of Information Act (Foia) request, filed on Thursday by the ACLU and CUNY Law School’s Clear clinic, follows an investigation published last month in Motherboard that revealed tech companies, including the one connected to the Muslim Pro app, sold personal location data of its users to the US military and defense contractors. The Muslim Pro app has been downloaded by close to 100 million people and is used to aid Muslims in planning prayer, finding local halal food and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Data collected from a Muslim dating app, a Craigslist app, and an app used for tracking storms was also sold to US agencies. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 04 Dec 2020 Edition


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