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

Sign up for the Today in Islamophobia Newsletter
05 Dec 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In the UK, despite November’s Islamophobia Awareness Month running for it’s 10th consecutive year across the nation, author and activist Ms Manzoor-Khan says that it still attracts a limited interest from those outside the Muslim community, meanwhile in the U.S., New Jersey area Muslims are asking police to investigate several instances of intimidation and harassment, and in Canada, dozens of philanthropic and civil liberty groups are asking the Canadian government to ensure that the Canada Review Agency (CRA) is properly auditing Muslim-led charities after a 2021 report accused the CRA for implicit bias. Our recommended read of the day is by Rowaida Abdelaziz for The Huffington Post on a letter by lawmakers led by Rep. Ilhan Omar and Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the need for the U.S. Treasury Department to “modernize” policies after reports showed that lenders were discriminating against American Muslims. This and more below:

United States

02 Dec 2022

Dozens Of Lawmakers Urge Banks To Stop Discriminating Against Muslims | Recommended Read

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a letter on Friday urging the head of U.S. banking regulators to reassess policies that actively discriminate against Muslim Americans and communities of color. “Countless U.S. individuals, businesses, and charities have been victims of discriminatory policies and practices that appear to limit their access to financial services because of their religion or national origin,” reads the letter signed by over a dozen lawmakers. The letter was exclusively shared with HuffPost before being sent to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other banking officials. “Many Muslim and Arab, Middle Eastern and South Asian Americans, simply because of their connections — real or perceived — have been systematically cut off from financial services,” the lawmakers wrote. For American Muslims and individuals from countries impacted by U.S. sanctions, operating a bank account or sending money abroad has resulted in a litany of challenges that many say are disproportionate and discriminatory. People say they have been targeted by financial institutions based on their religious and ethnic origin, including having their bank accounts shut down without warning, their payments to loved ones abroad flagged and their accounts being unfairly scrutinized. read the complete article

02 Dec 2022

How Muslim American candidates made history in the midterms

The 2022 midterms saw the greatest number of Muslim Americans elected to office. According to a report from Jetpac Resource Center and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, 153 Muslim Americans ran for office across all levels of government. Ruwa Roman was recently elected to the Georgia House of Representatives and joined Geoff Bennett to discuss her motivation to run for office. Geoff Bennett: You are an immigrant. You're the granddaughter of Palestinian refugees. You're a Muslim woman who wears a hijab. What has the road to political office been like for you? Ruwa Romman: It's been long, and it's been unexpected sometimes. But it's also been one built by those who've come before me. The woman who ran in my seat four years ago is also a Muslim woman. Her name is Aisha Yaqoob. She founded the Georgia Muslim Voter Project. She's currently the executive director of Asian American Advocacy Fund. And my win is as a result of that investment, that almost-decade-long investment by the Muslim community, by other minority groups in Georgia that said, hey, we're tired of these decisions being made about us, but without our voices. It's time we were at those tables. And so, for years now, these organizations have worked to build the infrastructure needed for campaigns like mine. read the complete article

02 Dec 2022

Confusion and outrage after 'anti-Muslim truck' circles mosques in New Jersey

A mobile billboard truck emblazoned with anti-Muslim images that drove around the state of New Jersey and parked outside at least three Islamic centres last weekend was a deliberate attempt to intimidate and demonise the community, Muslim activists and community leaders have said. According to the Council for American Islamic Relations, New Jersey (Cair-NJ), a mobile billboard truck entered the parking lot of the Muslim Center of Middlesex County in Piscataway and the New Brunswick Islamic Center last Saturday, broadcasting video and photos from the horrific Mumbai attacks in India that killed at least 175 people in late November 2008. According to footage reviewed by MEE, the truck also stopped outside the Muslim Community of New Jersey Masjid in Fords, where it parked outside the entrance of the mosque and flashed scenes of explosions, names and faces of suspects responsible for the attacks and other messages of hate for 45 minutes, activists say. Dina Sayedahmed, Cair-NJ's communication manager, condemned the incidents, describing them as "deliberate and well coordinated" and "with intent". This week, several politicians, including a US senator and two assemblywomen, issued statements of condemnation and called for an investigation. read the complete article

02 Dec 2022

Community members ask police to investigate anti-Muslim messages

Members of New Jersey’s Muslim community are asking police to investigate trucks displaying hateful anti-Islamic messages. The trucks were reported circling three different mosques in Middlesex County last week, and at least one of the trucks was captured on surveillance video, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Gov. Phil Murphy showed support for the Muslim community, tweeting “Anti Muslim intimidation tactics are utterly unacceptable and downright shameful. No one should have to fear being harassed at their place of worship or in their community”. This follows an incident in August when a bulldozer was present during an Indian Independence Day Parade in Edison and Woodbridge. The New Jersey chapter on American-Islamic Relations has called on local leaders to condemn the offensive use of the bulldozer — which in India often symbolizes anti-Muslim sentiment. And local leaders now say they want these incidents to be taken seriously. “It has become an issue that is, you know, not just like the bulldozer, or maybe the truck episode. But it’s really impacting people’s lives and it’s causing a disturbance and it’s just another form of anti-Muslim animus that has now made its way to Jersey. So what we’re doing is, we’re calling on law enforcement to take this issue seriously to bring charges against the perpetrators of this, you know, coordinated effort that has targeted three mosques,” said Selaedin Maksut, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. read the complete article

03 Dec 2022

I fought for the right to wear the hijab in professional basketball. I'm finding hope in progress amid the Iranian protests over women's right to choose.

This is an as-told-to essay based on a conversation with Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, who made college basketball history by becoming the first Muslim woman player in a hijab. She is now the athletic director at a mosque in London and co-founder of Dribbling Down Barriers, a training program that promotes diversity in basketball. I didn't start wearing the hijab until I was a freshman in high school. Aside from my name, no one could physically see that I was Muslim until I started to display my faith that way. My mom, my aunts, and my sisters wear the hijab, and I knew this was a practice I was going to adopt, too. I never resisted it, though I did feel uncomfortable at first, physically and socially. The first time I heard anything about my headscarf was at a basketball game against a Catholic team in Massachusetts. When I was taking the ball out on the sideline, a kid from the stands yelled, "You look like Osama bin Laden's niece!" I wanted to turn around and throw the ball at his face. My coach, who was a very intimidating man, came storming across the court, but we both keep our cool. I think the school ended up suspending the kid. There were multiple occasions like that throughout high school and college, but I kind of got used to it. I instead used my skill and talent to make people understand that it doesn't matter what I look like, or what I wear. If I'm good at ball, then respect me for that. Becoming the first Muslim woman to play basketball in a headscarf in NCAA history was a great opportunity for me to represent my faith on a big stage. But I don't think I fully realized the sheer weight that held at the time. Being a woman, Black, and Muslim — it's a trifecta of sorts. It's a beautiful trifecta, but it meant I was exposed to that much more scrutiny. read the complete article


03 Dec 2022

Meet the headscarf-wearing football freestyler delighting fans at the World Cup

Outside the stadiums of Doha, 24-year-old Maymi Asgari performs for passers-by and football fans who've descended on the Qatari capital for the World Cup. Her football tricks and skills have not just amassed fans around the city, but also on social media as well. She's quickly gaining followers on TikTok where she posts some of her videos. The hijab-wearing football freestyler says she wants to show kids that, "no matter how you look and what you believe in, you can achieve what you want". "I want to show that, yeah, I wear the hijab and I'm Muslim and I'm a woman, but it doesn't mean that I can't play football," she said. "I can do the exact same thing as everybody else can do." The 24-year-old TikTok sensation's advice is to not change yourself but to change the game. "I am born and raised in Denmark - many of my teammates are blonde and not Muslim. But I didn't want to change and look like them just to be in the game. I tried to change the game so I could be in it." read the complete article


03 Dec 2022

India Ranks 8th Among Countries at Highest Risk for Mass Killing: US Research Org's Report

India is ranked eighth among the countries that are at the highest risk for mass killing in 2022 and 2023, a US-based research organisation has said. India has seen a drop in rank from second position in the earlier year. “There is a 7.4% – or approximately one in 14 – chance of a new mass killing beginning in India in 2022-2023,” the Early Warning Project, that identifies countries at risk of mass violence, has said in its report released in November. The Project is a joint initiative of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College. “This assessment identifies the risk – the possibility – that a mass killing may take place,” the report states as its objective. A mass killing, as per the report, is 1,000 or more civilians deliberately killed by armed forces (whether government or non-state), over a period of a year or less, because of their membership in a particular group. Virtually all cases of genocide include mass killings, if they match this definition, the report said. read the complete article

05 Dec 2022

India broadcast media on a precipice, observers say

When a billionaire industrialist close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi closed in on acquiring New Delhi Television, or NDTV, last week, longtime network anchor Ravish Kumar, decided he had had enough. The award-winning 47-year-old journalist, who made his reputation on serving as an independent news voice, quit his nearly three-decade association with NDTV and released a blistering video to explain his decision. Some Indian observers say that the impending hostile takeover by Gautam Adani, the third richest man in the world, of what in 1998 became India’s first 24-hour news channel could signal the death knell of independent voices in India’s mainstream media outlets. NDTV, they say, has been the only remaining Indian broadcast network that continues to question Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda. The other nearly 20 English or Hindi news channels across India, they assert, have taken to brazenly touting the party line. According to Reporters Without Borders, India stood at 132 out of 180 countries in its press freedom index in 2012. A decade later, it has slipped further to 150. The group’s 2022 report specifically mentions Modi, who became prime minister in 2014. “The violence against journalists, the politically partisan media and the concentration of media ownership all demonstrate that press freedom is in crisis in ‘the world’s largest democracy,’” it read. read the complete article


03 Dec 2022

Destroyed Quran left near entrance to mosque in Islamophobic attack

A destroyed Quran was left Friday near the entrance to a mosque in Stockholm in an Islamophobic attack. Images shared by the Stockholm Mosque show the damaged holy book of the Muslims chained up and hanging from an iron railing outside the mosque. The mosque said in a statement that it and its congregation frequently receive threats. The mosque has been subjected to Islamophobic attacks before such as anti-Islamic graffiti and writings painted on its door. read the complete article


03 Dec 2022

Review of how CRA audits Muslim charities ‘inherently flawed,’ groups say in open letter to PM

Dozens of Muslim philanthropic groups and several civil liberty organizations are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ensure that the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman office can access all the information it needs to conduct a systemic review of how the Canada Revenue Agency treats and audits Muslim-led charities, after a 2021 report accused the CRA of “implicit biases and practices.” The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), an advocacy organization that has helmed the push for a review of the CRA’s practices, released an open letter signed by multiple organizations Tuesday, outlining their concerns in light of what the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, François Boileau, recently said about the review before the Senate Committee on Human Rights. “Unfortunately, we write to you today to suggest that the above review is inherently flawed,” the letter states. “The frustration for us, is that while this review is being figured out, about access to information, Muslim charities are going to continue to be subjected to this [audit] experience. And that is the bigger problem,” Nadia Hasan, the chief operating officer at the NCCM, told in a phone interview. Government policy experts and Muslim organizations told that the stalling of a crucial equity review of a powerful government financial agency reveals significant transparency barriers in understanding practices of the CRA, that will continue to impact Muslim people in Canada. read the complete article


04 Dec 2022

World Cup host Qatar seeks to change minds on Islam

The Gulf emirate is the first Muslim nation to stage a football World Cup and its gas riches have endowed it with an array of grand mosques to pique the curiosity of visitors. Canadian couple Dorinel and Clara Popa listened to the call to prayer at an Ottoman-style mosque in Doha's Katara cultural district. It is known as Doha's Blue Mosque because of the sumptuous mosaics of blue and purple tiles on the walls. A guide took the couple on a tour of the elaborate interior dominated by a giant chandelier. Dorinel Popa, a 54-year-old accountant, said the couple were taking a first look at Islam. "We have prejudice against the culture and the people," because of a lack of exposure to others, he said. "We have some thoughts in our heads and now maybe some of them will change," added his wife, a 52-year-old doctor. The Qatar Guest Center, which supervises the Blue Mosque, has brought dozens of Muslim preachers from around the world to Qatar for the tournament. Outside the mosque there are booklets in different languages explaining Islam and the Prophet Mohammed, along with Arabic coffee and dates. Syrian volunteer Ziad Fateh said the World Cup is "an opportunity to introduce millions of people to Islam" and change "misconceptions" about a religion that many in the West link to radicalism. "We explain to people more about ethics, the importance of family bonding, and respect for neighbours and non-Muslims," he added. read the complete article


04 Dec 2022

Chinese security firm advertises ethnicity recognition technology while facing UK ban

A Chinese security camera company has been advertising ethnicity recognition features to British and other European customers, even while it faces a ban on UK operations over allegations of involvement in ethnic cleansing in Xinjiang. In a brochure published on its website, Hikvision advertised a range of features that it said it could provide in collaboration with the UK startup FaiceTech. These included using facial recognition for retail security, border control, and anti-money laundering checks for retail banking. The brochure also advertised “Optional Demographic Profiling Facial analysis algorithms”, including “gender, race/ethnicity, age” profiling. A second, Italian-based, company was also cited on Hikvision’s website as offering racial profiling. The company removed both claims from its website following an inquiry from the Guardian, and said the technology had never been sold in the UK. The document, it said, detailed the “potential application of our cameras, with technology built independently by FaiceTech and other partners”. FaiceTech denied ever having worked with Hikvision, and said the brochure was created and published without its knowledge or consent. read the complete article

United Kingdom

03 Dec 2022

Islamophobia 'relegated to Muslim issue', says Bradford author

While Islamophobia Awareness Month had just marked its 10th year, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan said it attracted limited interest beyond Muslim communities. Tackling Islamophobia was very much seen as a "Muslim issue", she said. Nahid Roshanali, from the campaign, said while engagement in the awareness month had grown, more was still needed. According to its website, Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM), held every November since 2012, aimed to "showcase the positive contributions of Muslims and raise awareness of Islamophobia in society". However, Ms Manzoor-Khan, Bradford-born poet and author of Tangled in Terror: Uprooting Islamophobia, said IAM had yet to really enter the wider public's consciousness. She said, in her view, that showed challenging Islamophobia remained "relegated to a Muslim issue". "The narrative around Islamophobia makes it seem like a problem Muslims alone deal with," she said. "But the Islamophobia story has justified repressive policies affecting everyone, like increased surveillance and policing." read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 05 Dec 2022 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results