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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06 Dec 2019

Today in Islamophobia: Ex Infowars staffer admits to fabricating stories on the threat of Shariah Law, as activists call for moving the 2020 Winter Olympics from China as a result of the government’s human rights violations in Xinjiang. Our recommended read today is on a far-right online operation amplifying Islamophobia and targeting Muslim Congresswomen on Facebook. This, and more, below:


06 Dec 2019

Recommended Read | Revealed: Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib targeted in far-right fake news operation

Two Muslim US congresswomen have been targeted by a vast international operation that exploits far-right pages on Facebook to inflame Islamophobia for profit, a Guardian investigation has found. A mysterious Israeli-based group uses 21 Facebook pages to churn out more than a thousand coordinated fake news posts per week to more than a million followers around the world. It milks the traffic for revenue from digital advertising. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who earlier this year became the first Muslim women to serve in the US Congress, have been singled out for vicious attacks by the coordinated effort. read the complete article

Recommended Read
06 Dec 2019

'Atrocity of the century': Uighur activist urges Australia to take tougher stance against China

A leading Uighur activist, Rushan Abbas, has urged Australian MPs to take a stronger stance against the Chinese regime, while backing controversial comparisons between the state’s authoritarianism and Nazi Germany. Abbas, who met with MPs in Canberra on Thursday and held a roundtable at the US Embassy on the plight of the Uighur Muslim minority in western China’s Xinjiang province, said that “modern day” concentration camps holding as many as 3 million Uighurs were a case of “history repeating itself”. The Liberal MP Andrew Hastie sparked a storm of controversy when he penned an opinion piece in the Nine newspapers in August, comparing the west’s complacency about China to France’s response to the rise of authoritarian Germany in the lead up to the second world war. read the complete article

06 Dec 2019

Monetising hate: covert enterprise co-opts far-right Facebook pages to churn out anti-Islamic posts

A mysterious group has used some of Facebook’s largest far-right pages to create a commercial enterprise that harvests anti-Islamic hate for profit and influences politics across the globe, a Guardian investigation has revealed. For the past two years the Israel-based group has co-opted at least 21 organically grown far-right pages, using them to churn out thousands of coordinated posts to more than 1 million followers across four continents and funnelling audiences to a cluster of 10 advertisement-heavy websites to milk the traffic for profit. The posts stoke deep hatred of Islam across the western world and influence politics in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US by amplifying far-right parties including Australia’s One Nation and vilifying Muslim politicians such as US Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar. The network has also targeted leftwing politicians at critical points in national election campaigns, posting false stories about the UK Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau. read the complete article

United Kingdom

06 Dec 2019

Tory ministers back candidates accused of Islamophobia

At least four ministers have gone on election campaigning trips to endorse Tory candidates facing allegations of Islamophobia since the claims against them came to light, the Guardian has learned. In constituency visits that appear to contradict Boris Johnson’s repeated claim that the party has a “zero tolerance” stance on the issue, Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock, Andrea Leadsom and Thérèse Coffey have thrown their weight behind the accused candidates – all of whom are fighting in key marginal battlegrounds. Incidents include one candidate who argued that Muslims have divided loyalties, as well as blaming immigrants for bringing HIV to Britain, and another who retweeted posts from former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson. read the complete article

06 Dec 2019

Man accused of plotting Fife mosque attack

Sam Imrie, 22, is also said to have made social media posts "glorifying terrorist acts" committed by others, including Anders Brevik. The offences are alleged to have taken place between June 2018 and July 2019. Mr Imrie, who denied the charges at the High Court in Glasgow, is due to stand trial in June 2020. Prosecutors also allege that the accused was offensive towards Muslim and Jewish communities as well as "encouraging acts of violence and threats". read the complete article


06 Dec 2019

India’s plan to identify ‘illegal immigrants’ could get some Muslims declared ‘foreign’

On Nov. 20, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah announced a plan to expand the National Registry of Citizens, a four-year documentation effort that recently concluded in India’s northeastern state of Assam, to the entire country. Shah claims that the effort will help identify illegal immigrants in a “nondiscriminatory” fashion. The news was met with some dismay. After Assam finished tallying its 30.5 million people in August, about 1.9 million were declared “foreign.” Some were Bangladeshi immigrants living in Assam illegally. Others were refugees who migrated to India after Bangladesh’s independence war in 1971. Most were women, members of oppressed castes, religious minorities or poor. Even some people with paper ID were rejected from the register because of misspelled names or incorrect formats. As a historian who studies identity and exclusion in India, I know that when governments try to determine who belongs and who does not, the most marginal are inevitably left out. read the complete article

06 Dec 2019

India’s Muslims split in response to Hindu temple verdict

India’s largest Muslim political groups are divided over how to respond to a Supreme Court ruling that favors Hindus’ right to a disputed site 27 years after Hindu nationalist mobs tore down a 16th century mosque, an event that unleashed torrents of religious-motivated violence. The sharp split illustrates growing unease among India’s Muslims, who are struggling to find a political voice as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government gives overt support to once-taboo Hindu nationalist causes. “We are pushed against the wall,” said Irfan Aziz, a political science student at Jamia Millia Islamia university in New Delhi. “No one speaks about us, not even our own.” read the complete article

United States

06 Dec 2019

I Worked for Alex Jones. I Regret It.

Unconvinced I could cut it as a reporter, Jones offered me a full-time position as a video editor. I quit film school and moved nearly a thousand miles to Austin, Tex., fully invested in propagating his worldview. By the time I found myself seated next to Jones speeding down the highway, I had seen enough of the inner workings of Infowars to know better. In December 2015, the day before Jones interviewed Donald Trump, still a candidate at the time, on his radio show, I made my way to upstate New York on assignment, along with a reporter and second cameraman. We were sent to visit Muslim-majority communities throughout the United States to investigate what Jones instructed us to call “the American Caliphate.” We landed in Newark at 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2015. The first stop was Islamberg, a Muslim community three hours north of Manhattan. It was founded in the 1980s by mostly African-American followers of a Pakistani cleric named Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, who encouraged devotees of his conservative brand of Sufi Islam to establish small settlements across the rural United States. His followers in Islamberg had no record of violence, and some of them had denounced the Islamic State in an interview with Reuters earlier that year, saying they didn’t believe Islamic State members to be real Muslims. But unfounded rumors circulated around far-right corners of the internet that this community was a potential terrorist-training center. Jones, who thought the media consistently ingratiated themselves with Islamic extremists, believed them. read the complete article

06 Dec 2019

Ex-Infowars Staffer: We Made Up Shariah Law Threat Stories

A former staff member at Alex Jones’s far-right conspiracy site Infowars has admitted to making up stories for Jones about the threat of Shariah law within the U.S. Writing for The New York Times, Josh Owens expressed his regret for helping Jones spread Islamophobic misinformation. The former Infowars video editor said that he made up lies about Islamberg, a Muslim community north of New York City, and accused it of harboring terrorists. After being told in interviews that the people of Islamberg were “kind, generous neighbors,” Owens writes that they decided to lie. “The information did not meet our expectations, so we made it up, preying on the vulnerable and feeding the prejudices and fears of Jones’s audience,” he wrote. “We ignored certain facts, fabricated others and took situations out of context to fit our narrative.” The fabrications led to headlines such as “Shariah Law Zones Confirmed in America,” “Report: Obama’s Terror Cells in the U.S.,” and “The Rumors Are True: Shariah Law Is Here!” Owens writes that he quit soon after the Islamberg assignment. read the complete article


06 Dec 2019

US likely to hit China over Uighur 'abuses' despite trade talks

The US Congress is poised to hand President Donald Trump a second chance in less than a month to anger the Chinese government and attack its record on human rights, as he tries to deliver a long-sought trade deal with Beijing. Members of the Senate said on Thursday that they expect to quickly and easily pass legislation calling for sanctions on Chinese officials and other measures to address the brutal crackdown on the ethnic Uighur minority in China's northwest. The House passed its version in a 407-1 vote on Tuesday. read the complete article

06 Dec 2019

China Must Not Be Allowed to Host the 2022 Olympic Games while it Persecutes its Uyghur Muslims

In 2015, the IOC awarded Beijing the hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games – two years before a trickle of information emerged regarding the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) establishment of a network of Muslim concentration camps in Xinjiang. In the four years since, the sheer weight of credible and corroborated reports, alongside thousands of personal testimonies, could not only fill a public library, but also narrate the screenplay to the most nightmarish of dystopian movies. Accounts of torture, family separations, forced labour camps, forced marriages, forced sterilisations, forced adoptions, public executions, pack rape, destruction of mosques, and even live organ harvesting programmes are as common as they are widespread. In June, the China Tribunal, a panel of lawyers and experts concluded that “many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason”, adding that many of China’s organ harvesting victims were “cut open while still alive for their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea and skin” for the purpose of having Chinese Muslim body parts “turned into commodities for sale”. Based on these testimonies, investigations and even satellite images of constructed camps and mosque demolition alone, how on earth can the IOC continue to stand by its decision to allow Beijing the right to host the 2022 Olympic Games? Failure to revoke Beijing’s right to host the 2022 Olympic Games would mean that the world’s top international sporting body hasn’t learnt a thing from its shameful decision to allow Nazi Germany to host the event in 1936. The IOC should know what it needs to do. The question is: will it? read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 06 Dec 2019 Edition


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