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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12 Feb 2020

Today in Islamophobia: A new exhibit in the New York Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center warns of a Holocaust reoccurrence as Muslims throughout Asia fall prey to state-sponsored violence. In India, the ruling BJP loses the Delhi elections. Our recommended read today is by Harsha Panduranga, who argues that the expansion of the Muslim Ban is illustrative of its inherent bigotry towards nonwhite immigrants. This, and more below:


United States

12 Feb 2020

Trump’s Expanded Travel Ban: New Countries, Same Bigotry | Recommended Read

More than half a billion people — and a quarter of Africa’s population — are now barred from seeking permanent residency in the United States because of the president’s prejudice, whether against Muslims or people from what he has referred to as “sh*thole countries.” These bans selectively shut off immigration from countries Trump doesn’t like, and in the process prevent Americans from bringing their spouses and children to come live with them in the United States. They’re in direct conflict with the main purposes of American immigration law, which Congress passed the existing framework for in 1965. To reassert its authority, Congress needs to pass the No Ban Act, which would repeal the restrictions and make it harder for the president to take similar biased actions in the future. read the complete article

Recommended Read
12 Feb 2020

Bloomberg and Trump are two sides of the same sinister coin

Bloomberg must never become president of the United States. He and Trump are two sides of the same white supremacist billionaire coin. Heads for a national Muslim ban, tails for spying on thousands of Muslims in New Jersey and New York. Actually, Bloomberg is much more explicit in his intolerable views on people of color. Political commentator Benjamin Dixon recently unearthed and shared a clip of Michael Bloomberg’s 2015 speech at the Aspen Institute: “95% … murderers and murder victims fit one MO. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city. And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of the people that are getting killed. You want to spend the money on a lot of cops in the streets. Put the cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods..." Bloomberg’s logic illustrates Michelle Alexander’s argument in The New Jim Crow, that politicians exploit real concerns and fears about violent crime to push racially biased and punitive approaches to harass and incarcerate black people for all types of harm. read the complete article

12 Feb 2020

'Same God' shows true solidarity is always costly

In theory, faculty with tenure have safety to pursue academic freedom, but four years ago Dr. Larycia Hawkins, then an associate professor of political science at Wheaton College, exposed the reality that for women of color tenure is vulnerable, even to online trolls. When Hawkins became the center of a national controversy over a Facebook post expressing solidarity with Muslim women during a wave of anti-Muslim rhetoric sweeping the nation, her employer did not protect her. Instead, it hung her out to dry. Now Hawkins is at the center again, this time as the subject of the documentary film Same God, directed by Wheaton alumna Linda Midgett. read the complete article

12 Feb 2020

Study: Muslim students graduate at top of pluralism scale

Led by research teams at North Carolina State University, Interfaith Youth Core and The Ohio State University, a long-term project known as IDEALS (Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey) recently conducted a multi-year study across 100+ colleges and universities examining how American undergraduate students of different religious backgrounds experience—and engage with—religious and worldview diversity during their respective college years. Overall, the IDEALS researchers found that Muslim college students began their college journey with strong pluralism scores — 73% were “high scorers” in pluralism orientation — compared to Evangelicals who scored lowest at 58%. Interestingly, the IDEALS study also found that Muslim college students made the greatest gains throughout 4 years of college relative to other groups (e.g. Buddhists, Evangelicals, Atheists) on this metric. By the end of their senior year, Muslim seniors were the most pluralistic group in the entire study (88% high scorers). read the complete article

12 Feb 2020

I’m an American in Kyrgyzstan. The travel ban has my U.S.-loving students despairing.

Last month, news broke that, along with citizens of Myanmar, Eritrea and Nigeria, citizens of Kyrgyzstan will be barred from receiving visas to immigrate to the United States. Though the ban affects immigration-related travel — not travel for tourism, business or educational purposes — it is nonetheless chilling. For my colleagues here, the expansion of the ban deepened the paradox in which we find ourselves: We teach at a university emblazoned with the name of a country where our students would not be permitted to live. We impart to them American cultural ideals even as the United States signals that that culture must remain out of reach. The students I advise write papers on the First Amendment; they pattern their Student Senate election posters after the campaign ads of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and get a break for Thanksgiving as well as for Nowruz, the Persian new year celebration. Above all, they are promised a liberal arts education grounded in the values of freedom, respect, openness and diversity — values framed, implicitly and explicitly, as American values. (The school’s largest U.S. funder is the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has provided more than $10 million since the university was founded in 1993.) Now the Trump administration is effectively declaring that the United States will not be treating those students in a way that reflects those values. read the complete article

12 Feb 2020

After Seattle, Cambridge, MA, passes resolution against India’s new citizenship law

Cambridge City Council has passed a resolution asking the Indian government to repeal its controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) fast tracking Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees fleeing religious persecution from three Islamic neighbors. Passed late on Monday, the unanimous Cambridge City Council resolution also seeks an end to the proposed National Register of Citizens, or NRC. read the complete article


12 Feb 2020

BJP loses seats where Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Singh made provocative statements

In the three Delhi Assembly constituencies in which provocative statements made by Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Sahib Singh at rallies attracted a campaigning ban for the BJP MPs, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has either won or is leading in all three seats by a huge margin. In Rithala constituency, where Thakur encouraged the crowd at a rally to chant “desh ke gaddaron ko goli maaro (gun down traitors)”, BJP candidate Manish Chaudhary lost to AAP’s Mahinder Goyal by 13,994 votes. While in Vikaspuri, where Singh claimed that Shaheen Bagh protesters could “enter homes and rape sisters and daughters”, the BJP candidate is trailing by 31,513 votes. The AAP candidate Mahinder Yadav is in the lead with 1,08,178 votes to BJP candidate Sanjay Singh’s 76,665 votes after 22 rounds of counting. And in Madipur, the constituency in which Singh called Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a terrorist, the BJP candidate lost by 22,753 votes. read the complete article

12 Feb 2020

In Bitter Delhi Election, Modi’s Party Suffers a Setback

On Tuesday, election results showed that Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, or B.J.P., picked up five more seats in the assembly than it won in the last election here, in 2015. Still, the showing was a major disappointment, falling short of expectations and the seats needed to beat the opposition, the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party, or A.A.P., to take over the critical office of chief minister for Delhi. Taking over that office was a priority for the B.J.P., amid nationwide anti-government protests against Mr. Modi’s policies that are now entering their third month. The unrest has posed the biggest challenge yet to the prime minister and has taken on more issues, evolving into an expression of resistance against what many demonstrators see as a long-term plan by his party to redefine India’s secular foundation and turn it into a Hindu-centric state. Cabinet ministers for Mr. Modi’s party came out in full force during the campaign, using starkly sectarian language to imply that support for the incumbents was like supporting Islamist “terrorism” or committing treason. In the two weeks since one deputy minister implored crowds to “shoot the traitors,” there have been two cases of guns being fired at protesters. read the complete article

12 Feb 2020

How this Delhi leader fought and defeated Modi’s BJP — and why it matters

Arvind Kejriwal is set to be Delhi’s chief minister for a third time, winning in the face of the most divisive, hate-filled campaign the national capital has seen in decades. Given that Home Minister Amit Shah, the second most powerful person in India, personally ran the war room against Kejriwal, the win is extraordinary. The BJP deployed parliamentarians, chief ministers and thousands of party workers, including from neighboring states, and spent freely from its bank of millions of rupees. Worse, some of its key leaders, including ministers in the central government, actively incited violence by exhorting crowds at their rallies to chant “shoot the traitors.” Kejriwal’s party has voted against the citizenship legislation in Parliament. But he tried not to talk too much about it during the Delhi polls. His campaign has been managed by Prashant Kishor, a clever and enigmatic strategist who has worked for Modi in the past but has now emerged as one of the key voices against the new citizenship law. Kishor was on the same page as Kejriwal about sidestepping the protests, especially the high-octane Shaheen Bagh gathering, understanding that it was smarter to avoid the minefields the BJP was laying for them and to live to fight another day. Muslim voters did not seem offended by this: They have overwhelmingly voted for the AAP. Kejriwal understood that he had to be fiercely centrist — left-leaning on economic issues and right on matters of national security — to ensure the BJP didn’t find an opportunity to shift the conversation from development to nationalism or identity politics. No surprise, then, that he supported the abrogation of Kashmir’s special status. “I am a staunch nationalist,” he told me. The AAP has even promised to offer a patriotism curriculum in Delhi’s schools. This centrism — which blends effective administration, a strong personality, visible Hinduism and proud nationalism — has appealed even to those who may be BJP supporters otherwise. read the complete article

New Zealand

12 Feb 2020

New study underway into ongoing psychological effects on Christchurch’s Muslim community

An expert team comprising of clinical researchers from the Canterbury District Health Board and the universities of Otago and Canterbury will interview as many people as possible who were in the mosques at the time and the families of those who died – although participation is completely voluntary. They're hoping to identify and track ongoing issues in the wake of the terrorist attacks. The team will look at "not just the attacks but everything that's followed from that - so immigration issues, financial issues, family issues… the whole change to life it's resulted in," Dr Caroline Bell, one of the lead researchers, told 1 NEWS. It's being endorsed by the imams of both Al Noor and Linwood mosques, who will be encouraging people to take part. read the complete article


12 Feb 2020

Long Island Advocates Warn of Muslim Genocide Occurring in Asia

Sounding the alarm are leaders of the Islamic Center of Long Island (ICLI) in Westbury and Glen Cove-based Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County (HMTC), which opened a joint exhibit Sunday called Never Again is Happening Again: The Persecution of Muslims in Asia. “What is going on in Western China, India, Kashmir, and Myanmar — where there is state-sponsored genocide, racial purity laws, concentration camps, and exclusion of people from society, their jobs, their livelihood, and schools simply because they are Muslim — is no different than what the Jews experienced in Germany and other parts of Europe during [World War II],” said Steven Markowitz, chairman of HMTC. “We will not be silent and we will not allow the world to be silent again.” At least 1 million Uighurs — an ethnic minority in China — and other Muslim minorities are being held in deceptively named Vocational Education and Training Centers, which human rights observers say are actually forced labor camps, in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province. Experts say at least 100,000 Muslims have been killed in what experts term a genocide in the Indian territory of Kashmir. And human rights observers say more than 10,000 Muslims have been killed in the Rohingya genocide that has displaced about 1 million people in Myanmar. read the complete article

12 Feb 2020

Stranger than fiction: How ‘pre-crime’ approaches to “Countering Violent Extremism” institutionalise islamophobia

This publication compares Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) policies in Britain, France and the Netherlands - three European countries where Muslims form a minority. It will also trace how, both through their overwhelming focus on Muslims, and by their nature as tools of lateral surveillance, they help institutionalise Islamophobic prejudice and suspicion. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 12 Feb 2020 Edition


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