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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13 Feb 2019

Today in IslamophobiaMIT faces backlash over invited speaker’s anti- Muslim comments, Rep. Steve King pushes GOP to reinstate his committee assignments. Uighurs in China demand to know if their missing relatives are alive even as Turkey condemns China’s internment of the Muslim minority. Our recommended read of the day is by Peter Beinart, who writes on the double standard in the Ilhan Omar controversy. This, and more, below:

United States

13 Feb 2019

Opinion | The Sick Double Standard In The Ilhan Omar Controversy Read | Recommended Read

Peter Beinart takes on the Ilhan Omar controversy, arguing for a double standard at play. "Omar’s tweet was inaccurate. Yes, of course, AIPAC’s influence rests partly on the money its members donate to politicians. But it also rests on a deep cultural and religious affinity for Israel among conservative white Christians, who see the Jewish state as an outpost of pro-American, “Judeo-Christian” values in a region they consider hostile to their country and faith. That doesn’t mean it’s illegitimate to talk about AIPAC’s fundraising, any more than it’s illegitimate to talk about O.J. Simpson killing a white woman. Given the toxic stereotypes that such discussions evoke, however, they must be handled with care." read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
13 Feb 2019

MIT faces backlash over invited speaker’s anti-Muslim comments

This year’s sold-out MIT India Conference, planned for Saturday (Feb. 16) at the MIT Media Lab, will feature a keynote address from Subramanian Swamy, an economist and member of the Indian Parliament from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Swamy has drawn controversy for his long history of inflammatory statements against Muslims, LGBT people, the mentally ill and members of India’s repressed Dalit caste. In interviews and public comments, Swamy has said that homosexuality is “not normal” and a “genetic flaw” and that bipolar people are violent and unfit to join politics. He has also called Dalit protesters “dogs” and said that hundreds of Indian mosques should be destroyed. Two weeks ago, nine MIT faculty members launched a petition calling for MIT President Rafael Reif to revoke the university’s invitation. read the complete article

Rashida Tlaib Says This Is The Hardest Part About Being A Historic “First” In Congress

After becoming one of the country's most prominent Muslim women, Tlaib has already found herself on the receiving end of Islamophobia. In January, for example, a city commissioner from Florida publicly posted a comment on a petition to remove Tlaib from office, saying "A Hamas-loving anti-Semite has NO place in government! She is a danger and [I] would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill," as USA Today reported. Tlaib responded to those remarks by shining a light on the ways in which President Donald Trump and his party have encouraged such rhetoric. "This sort of hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric doesn’t happen in a vacuum - this President embraced it and Republicans have happily gone along with it," Tlaib tweeted in response. read the complete article

13 Feb 2019

Rep. Steve King pushes GOP to reinstate his committee assignments

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is pushing House GOP leaders to reinstate his committee assignments that he lost last month after questioning why the terms "white supremacist" and "white nationalist" had become offensive. King released a letter on Tuesday from more than 200 of what he described as "pro-family leaders" asking House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to reinstate his committee assignments. "Unlike North Korea, we in the United States are 'innocent until proven guilty' and hold to the principles of Western Civilization, as Rep. King so admirably does," the letter states. "Don't make the fatal mistake of turning the reins of the U.S. Congress over to the liberal media, allowing them to target, misquote, and falsely brand any member of Congress they wish to remove." read the complete article

13 Feb 2019

Cubs’ Theo Epstein confronted Joe Ricketts’ hate head on — and it was very good

The Joe Ricketts scandal continues to follow the team, with his Islamophobic emails taking up a large portion of a news conference Tuesday featuring Maddon, president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer. It wouldn’t be accurate to say the Cubs are trying to distance themselves from Joe Ricketts’ opinions (among them, ‘‘Muslims are naturally my [our] enemy’’). They’re trying to confront those opinions head-on. They’ve realized his worldview is antithetical to what major-league baseball, a mix of different races and cultures, purports to be all about. And they want to do something about it. read the complete article


13 Feb 2019

“Are they alive?”: Uighur Muslims demand videos of relatives in Chinese internment camps

China accidentally opened a can of worms when it released a video this weekend purporting to prove that an imprisoned Uighur musician was alive and well, contrary to recent reports that he’d died in Chinese custody. But the tactic backfired — within hours, Uighurs around the world took to social media to post pictures of their loved ones believed to be in Chinese internment camps. They demanded that China post “proof of life” videos for them, too. Keen not to let Beijing get away with using technology to repress vulnerable citizens, Uighur activists around the world bent technology to their own ends. On Monday, they started a social media campaign under the hashtag #MeTooUyghur. It invited Uighurs with relatives in the camps to demand that China release videos of their family members. read the complete article

13 Feb 2019

Turkey Criticizes China Over Treatment Of Muslim Minorities

Turkey's Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning what it called the violation of the Uighur's fundamental human rights. The statement says, quote, "the reintroduction of internment camps in the 21st century and the policy of systematic assimilation is a great shame for humanity."Turkey singled out a Uighur poet and musician Abdurehim Heyit who had reportedly passed away in prison. That assertion drew a quick response from China. Beijing released a video showing a man who identified himself as Heyit. read the complete article

United Kingdom

13 Feb 2019

Clicking on terrorist propaganda even once could mean 15 years in prison under new law

Anyone who views terrorist propaganda once online can be jailed for up to 15 years under new laws that have sparked human rights concerns. MPs had urged the government to scrap plans to criminalize viewing “information useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”, which goes further than much-used laws that made physically collecting, downloading or disseminating the material illegal. A United Nations inspector accused the government of straying towards “thought crime” with the proposal, which originally stated that people would have to access propaganda “on three or more different occasions” to commit a terror offence. But the benchmark was removed from the draft law, meaning a single click is now illegal. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 13 Feb 2019 Edition


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