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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07 Dec 2020

Today in Islamophobia:  Bangladesh begins relocating Rohingya refugees to remote island, despite human rights concerns. In the UK, The Times newspaper apologises to CAGE, pays £30,000 damages. Our recommended read today is by Megha Rajagopalan and Alison Killing on how detention centers in Xinjiang operate under a system of total control. This, and more, below:


07 Dec 2020

Inside a Xinjiang Detention Camp | Recommended Read

he three former detainees all described being beaten over small infractions, such as speaking Kazakh. They faced interrogations as often as once a week, where they would be asked the same questions over and over again about why they had gone to Kazakhstan, whom they knew there, and what their personal religious beliefs were. They were forced to pledge loyalty to the Communist Party. Sometimes they were asked to write and sign “self-criticism” documents. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
07 Dec 2020

Opinion | Slavery will never be history as long as we turn a blind eye to China

Forced labour is an essential part of the Chinese state’s programme to humiliate and destroy ethnic minorities. The parallels with the antebellum south reach to the cotton fields. The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) runs prison factories and its own paramilitary force to keep its captives in line. It helped create the Chinese cotton industry, which now supplies 20% of the world’s cotton market and, maybe, the clothes on your back. XPCC sends forced labour to pick cotton because no one has ever picked cotton unless poverty or slave masters forced them to. It’s hard to know what is worse: the backbreaking work or the exposure to pesticides. read the complete article

07 Dec 2020

Congress Isn’t Leading on Human Rights in China

Many members of Congress have expressed horror at China’s forced detention and labor camps for Uighur and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act and the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (both 2020), the two strongest pieces of legislation aimed at removing the products of forced labor from American supply chains, would presumably be no-brainers for most lawmakers looking to pick a fight with China. However, 163 House Republicans voted against the Disclosure Act, and although it passed the House it faces little chance of being picked up by the Senate. The Prevention Act, the narrower of the two, garnered near-unanimous approval from the House, but it also may very well not see a vote in the Senate. read the complete article

07 Dec 2020

US bans cotton imports from China producer, citing ‘slave labour’

The administration of United States President Donald Trump raised the economic pressure on China’s western region of Xinjiang, banning cotton imports from a powerful Chinese quasi-military organisation that it says uses the forced labour of detained Uighur Muslims. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency said on Wednesday its “Withhold Release Order” would ban cotton and cotton products from the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), one of China’s largest producers. read the complete article


07 Dec 2020

France, Belgium and Austria Move into the Frontline of a Battle for the Soul of Islam

The UAE and Saudi Arabia in effect gave the French leader welcome Muslim cover to target political Islam and Turkey more than six months before the attacks this fall as he gears up for an election in 2022 in which Marie Le Pen, the leader of the far right, nationalist and anti-immigration National Rally, looms large. Speaking in the French city of Mulhouse in February, Mr. Macron laid out his strategy to combat political Islam represented by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists who in his words insist that Islam’s legal code supersedes the laws of the French Republic and emphasize what he calls “Islamist separatism” and “Islamist supremacy.” The UAE and Saudi Arabia have both declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization. read the complete article


07 Dec 2020

Bangladesh begins relocating Rohingya refugees to remote island, despite human rights concerns

Human rights activists raised doubts over claims by Bangladeshi officials that all relocated refugees had volunteered for the move. “The Bangladesh government is actively reneging on its promise to the UN not to relocate any refugees to Bhasan Char island until humanitarian experts give a green light,” Brad Adams, the Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement on Thursday. “If the government were genuinely confident in the habitability of the island, they would be transparent and not hastily circumvent UN technical assessments." read the complete article

United Kingdom

07 Dec 2020

Shukri Abdi's death: from a 999 call to a coroner's verdict via global protests

Protests on behalf of the girl who arrived in the UK so excited and full of dreams for her future have grown as concerns about the circumstances of her death have intensified. Campaigners have questioned the role of structural racism in the way Ture’s alarm about bullying was dealt with and the way Shukri’s death was investigated. She has been adopted as an icon by the Black Lives Matter movement internationally. The Star Wars actor John Boyega, Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz and the US rapper and actor Ice Cube are among supporters of the campaign for justice for Shukri. read the complete article

United States

07 Dec 2020

Majority Of Muslims Voted For Biden, But Trump Got More Support Than He Did In 2016

Muslims make up a small percentage of the population, but their vote is key in states such as Michigan. It's a state where Biden won by about 155,000 votes. Trump won Michigan in 2016 by under 11,000. "We did see a weakening of Democratic support among Muslims," she said. "Just from 2019 to 2020, the percentage of Muslims who increased their approval rating of the president had gone up significantly." It jumped from 16% to 30%. The biggest predictor of whether or not a Muslim supported Trump based on the institute's data was not education or income. It was race. "Very few demographic variables came out as significant, with the only exception being race," she said. "Identifying as white was the only predictive demographic variable." The spring survey found 50% of Muslims who identified as white supported Trump, much like the general population. Among Arabs, Asians and Latinos identifying as Muslims that percentage dropped into the 20s and among Black Muslims the teens. read the complete article


07 Dec 2020

India police stop interfaith marriage citing ‘love jihad’ law

No case was lodged as both families agreed to postpone the wedding until they received the district magistrate’s permission, as mandated by the new law aimed at curbing forced conversion by marriage. The governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) describes such marriages as “love jihad”, an unproven conspiracy theory used by its leaders and Hindu far-right groups to accuse Muslim men of converting Hindu women by marriage. Gupta and Asif now have to wait for two months to get married. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 07 Dec 2020 Edition


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