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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01 Feb 2019

Today in Islamophobia: In Bangladesh, thousands of Rohingya children in the world’s largest refugee camp are going without an education while in Xinjiang, China’s attack on human rights and the rule of law continues. In Quebec, politician dismisses Islamophobia as a real problem, and in Alabama, a Muslim death row prisoner is denied an imam by authorities. Our recommended read of the day is by Steve Chao, who writes on Beijing’s spying of Uighurs at home and abroad. This, and more, below:


01 Feb 2019

Thousands of Rohingya children in the world’s largest refugee settlement are going without an education

It’s been 16 months since a brutal Myanmar military operation left thousands of Rohingya Muslims dead and sent at least 800,000 fleeing over the border to Bangladesh. Now, in what has become the world’s largest refugee settlement, there are half a million children in need of a formal education, which an international relief effort is failing to provide. Rohingya families and Bangladeshi officials have sharply criticized the United Nations-backed humanitarian operation — which has received $655 million in international aid over the last year — for providing inadequate classrooms and curriculum. The needs are particularly great, they say, because most refugees have little hope of returning to Myanmar anytime soon. read the complete article


01 Feb 2019

China’s attack on human rights and the rule of law continues

On July 2015, China launched its war on lawyers. Over the course of a few weeks, some 300 lawyers, legal assistants and other advocates for the rule of law were rounded up. One of the most prominent, Wang Quanzhang, disappeared into secret detention on Aug. 3, 2015; after being held incommunicado for nearly 3½ years, he was the last to go on trial. On Monday, he was sentenced to 4½ years in prison on charges of subversion, putting a punctuation mark on one of the principal means of repression used by President Xi Jinping to consolidate power. read the complete article

01 Feb 2019

Opinion | Exposed: China's surveillance of Muslim Uighurs | Recommended Read

Steve Chao writes on Beijing's internment of Uighurs, and its surveillance of Uighur Muslims at home and abroad. "Amat says the government is 'outright lying' and he himself spent a year and a half in a detention center, having been arrested for trying to fly to the Middle East and join Muslim fighters. It was while he was serving his sentence that he says authorities recruited him. Once he agreed to be an informant, Amat says he was given the job of cleaning the detention facilities. His rounds gave him access to many areas of the center. 'I've seen many people being beaten in interrogations inside. At times they used bare electrical cords - which inflict pain beyond what you can imagine. Those who were beaten made horrible shrieks, especially the young ladies my age. What I can't forget is the blood - human blood on the floor, on the walls, everywhere, afterwards." read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
01 Feb 2019

Erik Prince company to build training center in China's Xinjiang

Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group (FSG), co-founded by former U.S. military services contractor Erik Prince, has signed a deal to build a training base in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, the company said in a statement. FSG told Reuters in 2017 that it planned to set up an office in Xinjiang. Xinjiang is an important part of China’s sprawling Belt and Road infrastructure network but the region has faced attacks blamed on members of the Muslim ethnic Uighur minority, to which the government has responded with a security clampdown that has drawn condemnation from rights groups and Western governments. read the complete article

United States

01 Feb 2019

Muslim death row prisoner seeks stay after being denied imam in chamber

Dominique Ray, who is due to be executed in Alabama next Thursday for the murder of teenage girl in 1995, has been told that only the prison chaplain, a Christian, is allowed to be present in the execution chamber. In papers filed at a district court in Alabama, Ray’s lawyers argued that the prisoner’s right to free exercise of religion was being violated. The papers said the prison warden refused Ray’s request for an imam to take the place of the chaplain and subsequently refused a request for the chaplain not to be present at the time of execution. Ray’s lawyers have argued that the prisoner will be executed under “conditions that substantially burden the exercise of his religious belief” and violate the first amendment. read the complete article

01 Feb 2019

Mark Krikorian Among Nativist, Anti-Muslim Figures Who Conferred With Trump During White House Meeting

A closed-door meeting between a far-right group and President Donald Trump took place at the Roosevelt Room on Jan. 17, a report last week by The New York Times revealed. The 16-member delegation was led by right-wing activist Ginni Thomas and featured Rosemary Jenks of the nativist group Numbers USA and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney. Another participant in the meeting was Mark Krikorian, the longtime executive director of the anti-immigrant hate group Center for Immigration Studies, as revealed during a radio interview Krikorian conducted with Gaffney. Krikorian has a history of hobnobbing with extremists, citing white nationalist thinkers and advocating for harsh “broken windows” style immigration enforcement, a policy he boasts would deport any undocumented immigrant caught committing any kind of offense, no matter how minor. read the complete article

01 Feb 2019

Muslim congresswoman calls out GOP lawmaker’s bigotry — and he predictably ‘loses his marbles’

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) took a shot at the Minnesota Democrat, based on her religious background, when announcing his own selection as the ranking member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “Was just selected as Ranking Member of the @HouseForeign Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations!” Zeldin tweeted Tuesday. “Just learned Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar was also put on this committee w oversight of US foreign policy. Crazy to watch what House Dems are empowering/elevating.” read the complete article


01 Feb 2019

No Islamophobia in Quebec, premier says days after anniversary of mosque attack

Francois Legault said on Thursday that he doesn't think it's necessary to devote a day to combating Islamophobia because it's not a problem in Quebec. "I don't think there is Islamophobia in Quebec, so I don't see why there would be a day dedicated to Islamophobia," Legault said, as reported by CBC News. Rights groups, such as as National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), called Legault's statement "an absolute insult". Ihsan Gardee, executive director of NCCM, said Legault’s comments “are an absolute insult to the families of the victims and to Muslim communities in Quebec and across Canada who continue to grieve this tragedy”. read the complete article

United Kingdom

01 Feb 2019

Opinion | Why are Muslims speaking about justice in universities seen as a ‘threat’?

Moazzam Begg writes on the vilification of Muslim academics speaking out against "Prevent"- UK's countering violent extremism program. "It is no surprise then that I was included on a list of 'extremist' speakers at universities by Student Rights, a project – which enjoys little support among students themselves – sponsored and tutored by the right wing Henry Jackson Society. Incidentally, and to illustrate one way in which organisations within the counter-extremism sector bolster each other, Student Rights has also provided briefings to the Home Office’s Extremism Analysis Unit of so-called “extremists” among students and staff at many universities in the UK". read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 01 Feb 2019 Edition


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