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 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is paying influencers and production companies to propagate against Uyghur Muslims according to a new investigation by the Australian Financial Review, meanwhile in Germany, the country has reported 120 anti-Muslim crimes in the third quarter of 2022, leaving ten people injured and several mosques damaged, and in the United States, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Senator Elizabeth Warren are leading an effort to urge American banking regulators to reassess policies that discriminate against Muslim Americans and immigrant communities. Our recommended read of the day is by Georgetown University Professor James Millward for The New York Times on why it’s important to remember that the current social unrest in China was sparked by a deadly fire in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, where acts of repression by the Chinese state may amount to “crimes against humanity” against Uyghur Muslim population of the region. This and more below: 


06 Dec 2022

Why It Matters That China’s Protests Started in Xinjiang | Recommended Read

Late last month, in a stunning display of frustration, people in multiple cities across China took to the streets to protest “zero Covid” policies. The catalyst for these remarkable nationwide, cross-society protests, the likes of which have not been seen since the demonstrations of 1989, was a deadly fire in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur region, where acts of repression by the Chinese state may amount to “crimes against humanity,” according the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. Those killed in the fire were almost certainly Uyghurs. Does the ethnicity of the victims here matter? Many would say it does not. Though the scenes of Han people across China mourning the dead from Xinjiang were remarkable and deeply moving, the grief seemingly arose primarily from basic humanity and solidarity with the victims as fellow Chinese, all suffering in common from the excessive, irrational and dangerous “zero Covid” regime. It is impossible to know, of course, what everyone involved was thinking, but in none of the many photos and video clips of the demonstrations that I have seen do protesters refer to the atrocities happening in Xinjiang directly. While some protests abroad have done so, as far as outside observers can tell, no one protesting in China made demands like “close the camps,” “end forced labor” or “stop the Uyghur genocide.” This disappointed Uyghurs outside China, even as they welcomed the protesters’ outpouring of compassion. read the complete article

07 Dec 2022

China spends huge amount to spread propaganda against Uyghurs: Report

China’s genocidal policy against Uyghurs, an ethnic Turkish group that inhabits Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, has witnessed another level as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is paying influencers and production companies to propagate against the minority. According to the investigation by The Australian Financial Review, the Chinese ruling party is spending as much as USD 620,000 to create propaganda and counter global efforts to expose human rights abuses against the Uyghur people. The Australian-based publication also revealed that the Chinese video-sharing app Douyin is one of the companies that has also received finance from the government. Xinjiang local government tenders for operations on Douyin include a 306,000 yuan (USD 64,000) contract won in July 2021 by a company whose founder is a member of multiple organisations linked to the United Front Work Department, an arm of the CCP that conducts influence operations outside the party. Among various activities, the body has created short films and novels to push CCP lines about Xinjiang. read the complete article


07 Dec 2022

Australia could lead the way on Rohingya crisis

The Rohingya people need a new deal. With Australia’s decision on 10 November to prioritise Myanmar nationals for humanitarian visas, now is the time for the government to step up and include the Rohingya in this arrangement. After facing decades of violence in Myanmar, the stateless Rohingya people are now scattered across the Asia-Pacific and Middle East, with the vast majority living in detainment camps. There are more than three million stateless Rohingya, and their plight is one of the most pressing and long-standing humanitarian stalemates of the last 40 years. The crisis has now reached boiling point, with close to one million Rohingya refugees currently detained in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh alone. People are stuck in overcrowded camps with no access to livelihoods and limited access to health services and education, increasingly at the mercy of hurricanes and floods. Diplomatic efforts to ensure the return of Rohingya to their homelands in Myanmar have all but failed. The current Australian approach – funding humanitarian aid through partner organisations – frames the Rohingya as a problem that needs to be contained rather than recognising Rohingya as people in search of safety. The Rohingya need what the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) calls a “durable solution” — permanent settlement in a place of safety where they can be self-reliant and part of a functioning community. read the complete article

06 Dec 2022

US diplomat for 'comprehensive approach' to deal with Rohingya crisis

US Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration Julieta Valls Noyes on Tuesday met Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and discussed a "comprehensive approach" to the protracted Rohingya crisis with international support. Talking to reporters, Momen said the government of Bangladesh wants to see better life for the Rohingyas. Asked about relocation of the Rohingyas by the United States, Momen said it is nothing but a drop in the ocean as Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas. He said the US did not say any exact number but he hinted the number could be 62 only at the beginning. Noyes thanked Momen for Bangladesh's life-saving support for Rohingya. She also had a "helpful conversation" with Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen about sustaining the humanitarian response for Rohingya and ensuring international accountability for the genocide in Myanmar. read the complete article

07 Dec 2022

Rohingya families welcomed to Blenheim after fleeing persecution in Myanmar

Blenheim’s burgeoning multicultural community continues to grow with the town recently welcoming the first of several families from the Rohingya community fleeing civil war. The families arrived in Blenheim after a long and arduous journey that had seen them driven from their homes and villages in Myanmar, before enduring the harsh, cramped conditions of a refugee camp in Bangladesh. From there, the families applied for refugee status and were granted the chance to resettle in New Zealand, 11,000km from home. New Zealand Red Cross migration manager Sue Price said despite their ordeal, the families were adapting well to their new lives in Marlborough. The Rohingya, a stateless, Muslim minority, had faced decades of institutionalised discrimination in the Southeast Asian country before violence flared in 2017 when the Myanmar Government launched a military campaign against the ethnic group, causing 700,000 to flee the country. read the complete article

United States

06 Dec 2022

US lawmakers demand banking regulators address discrimination against Muslims

US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Senator Elizabeth Warren are leading an effort to urge American banking regulators to reassess policies that discriminate against Muslim Americans and immigrant communities. The two lawmakers, along with Senator Ed Markey and congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Joyce Beatty, spearheaded a letter addressed to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and several other banking regulator heads, urging them to "modernise sanctions policies" and promote equal banking access for Muslims. "Countless US 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, which was sent last week. "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." Sending money abroad or even raising money for charities has been difficult for some Muslims in the United States due to US sanctions laws. And with the rise of mobile payment apps including Venmo, payments or transactions within the US have been flagged for using words like "Palestine". read the complete article

05 Dec 2022

Religious violence increases anxiety among Muslims and Jews, even if they have never been personally targeted

"Fear of Religious Hate Crime Victimization and the Residual Effects of Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia" appears in a recent edition of Social Forces. Using data from the 2019 edition of the nationally representative Experiences with Religious Discrimination Study survey, the authors found that among religious groups, Jews and Muslims were most likely to express fear of being targeted. These concerns were explained in part by individuals' personal experiences with being discriminated against, but also their knowledge of discrimination against close friends and family and their greater religious visibility (that is, they are more likely to wear outward symbols of their religion). "While individuals' fear of hate crime victimization might be partially explained by direct experiences, some of it is the result of historical and modern-day trauma suffered by religious peers," said Chris Scheitle, a professor of sociology at West Virginia University and the study's lead author. "We attribute this residual fear to the deep-seated culture of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia within the U.S. and violence attributable to that culture, as well as the collective memory of historical religion-based victimization of Muslim and Jewish communities," said co-author Elaine Howard Ecklund, director of Rice's Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance. read the complete article


06 Dec 2022

Babri Mosque’s demolition remembered as ‘Black Day’ for Indian democracy

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the historic Babri Mosque’s demolition, India’s prominent Muslim leaders on Tuesday said that Dec. 6 will forever remain a “Black Day” for Indian democracy. On Dec. 6, 1992, the 16th-century Babri Mosque in the northern Indian city of Ayodhya was torn down by Hindu hardliners, who claimed the site was the birthplace of their lord Ram. “6th December will forever remain a Black Day for Indian democracy. The desecration and demolition of #BabriMasjid is a symbol of injustice,” India’s leading Muslim politician and President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi, wrote on Twitter. “Those responsible for its destruction were never convicted. We will not forget it & we will ensure that future generations remember it too.” Asma Zehra Tayeba, a women activist and member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board – an apex umbrella scholar body in India – tweeted: “Fall of Babri masjid and conditions of Muslims in last 30 yrs need introspection.” In November 2019, India’s top court ruled that the historical site of the early 16th century Babri Mosque will be handed over to Hindus for the construction of the Ram temple. read the complete article


06 Dec 2022

Germany records 120 hate crimes against Muslims in three months

Germany has reported 120 anti-Muslim crimes in the third quarter of 2022, leaving ten people injured and several mosques damaged. According to the government's response to a question from the left-wing party at the German federal parliament (Bundestag), which was published on Thursday, the number of offences in the first quarter was 83 and 69 in the second quarter respectively. According to the federal government, “no suspect” has been arrested in connection with Islamophobic attacks in the third quarter. The Prosecutor General at the Federal Supreme Court of Justice also “has not initiated or begun any preliminary proceedings (...).” Eleven such attacks were targeted against mosques. Bodily injury, insult, incitement to hatred, vandalism or the use of prohibited symbols were the other forms of crimes against Muslims. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 07 Dec 2022 Edition


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