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.

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13 Feb 2020

Today in Islamophobia: As the U.S House Judiciary Committee advances bill to repeal Trump’s Muslim Ban, Muslims lobby in Maryland to discuss the strengthening of anti-hate crime laws. Across the world, Uighurs in exile raise concern over the threat of coronavirus spreading inside the camps in Xinjiang. Our recommended read today is by Asim Ali on the recent elections in Delhi. Asim argues that while BJP might have lost the elections, the party succeeded in normalizing anti-Muslim discourse in Indian politics. This, and more, below:


13 Feb 2020

Modi Lost in Delhi. It Doesn’t Matter. | Recommended Read

Mr. Modi and his party might have lost an election but they won the ideological battle by setting the terms of electoral politics: For electoral success in India, it is no longer acceptable to speak about equal citizenship and political rights of India’s Muslims or speak out against the violence and hostility they encounter. Mr. Kejriwal spoke against the citizenship law, calling it a distraction from Mr. Modi’s failure on the economy, but assiduously avoided confronting the Hindu nationalist rhetoric during the elections and ignored the attacks on Muslims. When the police entered Jamia Milia Islamia and attacked the students, Mr. Kejriwal stayed silent for several days. When asked about the protests in Delhi, he declared that he would have cleared the road through Shaheen Bagh in two hours if the police in Delhi, which reports to the federal government, were under his control. To emphasize his being a Hindu, Mr. Kejriwal publicly sang Hindu religious prayers and visited a temple soon after his victory speech. Essentially, he worked around the boundaries set by the Hindu nationalists and embraced a softer version of their politics. The Delhi election suggests that India has entered an era where the ideological terms and the language of politics are set by the Hindu nationalists. To be electorally competitive, political parties will need to adhere to some variant of the Hindu nationalism and jingoism exemplified by Mr. Modi. The “Modi consensus” has ensured that India’s Muslims are not only politically powerless but also politically invisible. read the complete article

Recommended Read
13 Feb 2020

Assam Decides To Tweak Its Muslim Survey, To Drop The Word 'Indigenous'

The Assam government has decided to 'tweak' its ambitious plans of an 'extensive' socio-economic survey of its 'indigenous' Muslim population that many believe is aimed to 'segregate' the 'Bhumiputra' Muslims of Assam from the those who are of Bangladeshi origin. The BJP-led government in Assam has decided to drop the word 'indigenous' from this special census drive that it wants to proceed with in two months' time and rather name it based on the indigenous Muslim communities like the Goria, Moria , Deshi and Jolah. read the complete article

13 Feb 2020

Meet the Women Challenging India’s Anti-Muslim Law

Tucked away in Southern Delhi and marked by winding allies, open drains, and dangling overhead power cables is the working-class Muslim-majority neighborhood of Shaheen Bagh. Hundreds and at times thousands of women have gathered here for peaceful sit-in protests in a tent in the middle of a major highway — all day, every day, since December 15. Many are housewives who, until now, had rarely left their homes. Some of them pitch in to look after the babies and grandmothers while others organize rugs for people to sit on. And in this leaderless movement, there’s always enough food and water to go around. The demonstrations at Shaheen Bagh began in the days after the Indian Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act, granting amnesty to non-Muslim immigrants from three neighboring countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan). Ahmed, a makeup artist by profession, balances the daily protests with her household obligations at home, leaving the sit-in each morning to get home by 6:30 to wake her kids for school. While they dress, she cooks them a packed lunch and makes sure they have finished their homework. On a recent chilly morning, as her children hurriedly wolfed down breakfast, she sat down to catch her breath. Three hours later, she awoke with a start, the kids long gone. “I am constantly exhausted these days but this is an important fight,” she says. “…We have finally woken up. We are not going to allow this government to divide this country on the basis of religion. I am very proud of the fact that the women of Shaheen Bagh have reminded this country what it means to have a spine and more importantly, we have people of all faiths fighting against this injustice with us,” Ahmed adds. read the complete article


13 Feb 2020

Prevent and Countering Violent Extremism usher in ‘whole society’ surveillance

Five years to the day of Prevent being enshrined into law in the UK, one year on since the Counter-terrorism and Border Security Act entrenched it further; in the shadow of recent attacks and with the spectre of further counter-terror powers on the horizon – there is a real need to grapple with what this “whole society approach” actually entails, and the dangers of accepting as any kind of commonsense the idea that spying is a civic duty. This is something we at CAGE have sought to address in our comparative study, Stranger than Fiction, published today by the Transnational Institute, which looks at models of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) operating in the pre-criminal space, across the UK, France and the Netherlands. While the CVE models in the countries concerned differ in terms of their specific rationales and historical approaches, all are now actively pushing for a whole society approach. Though not the first European country to develop its CVE policy, Britain’s Prevent programme has established itself as pre-eminent in the field, and it has taken some of the most concrete steps towards instituting the whole society approach. Today, CVE policies are the tip of the iceberg; the whole society approach to countering extremism is made possible by a vast infrastructure spanning private companies, governments, civil society organisations, tech giants, academic clusters and multinational policy forums. read the complete article

13 Feb 2020

Cambridge follows Seattle in passing resolution against India's controversial citizenship laws

The Cambridge City Council has adopted a resolution urging India to repeal its Citizenship Amendment Act and halt a planned national citizenship registry, both of which have prompted massive international backlash and allegations of anti-Muslim bias. Cambridge is the second U.S. city to adopt such a measure. On Feb. 3, the Seattle City Council approved a similar resolution condemning the CAA and opposing the National Registry of Citizens. The resolution called on the Parliament of India to uphold its constitution by repealing the Citizenship Amendment Act, which makes it easier for non-Muslim refugees fleeing India’s neighboring Muslim-majority countries to become Indian citizens. read the complete article

13 Feb 2020

European Diplomats Check India's Loosening of Kashmir Clampdown

More than two dozen diplomats are visiting Indian-administered Kashmir, New Delhi said on Wednesday, as the country tries to reassure foreign allies following several months of unrest in the contested territory. A proposed vote in the European Union parliament next month could chastise India for its actions in Kashmir. read the complete article

13 Feb 2020

Deaths of 16 Rohingya at sea raises fears trafficking ring has been revived

Activists fear a dangerous transnational trafficking network is being revived after at least 16 Rohingya refugees drowned in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday morning. Bangladeshi officials said a wooden fishing boat carrying about 138 people capsized near Bangladesh’s St Martin’s island in the early hours. A joint statement by the International Organization for Migration and the UN refugee agency said at least 68 people had been rescued. The UN estimated that more than 170,000 people were trafficked to south-east Asia by boat from 2012–2015, when Thailand found mass graves at detention camps used to hold the refugees until family members paid ransoms. The network had been largely dormant since then but fears of new activity have risen since more than 700,000 Rohingya fled the Myanmar military in 2017, taking Bangladesh’s total population of Rohingya refugees to more than a million. read the complete article

United States

13 Feb 2020

US white supremacist propaganda incidents 'rose by 120% in 2019'

Incidents of white supremacist material being spread across the US rose by 120% in 2019, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). It was the second year that the circulation of racist and nationalist posters and banners more than doubled, the hate monitoring group said. One Texas-based group was responsible for two-thirds of all propaganda.The ADL found that white supremacists held 20% fewer events, "preferring not to risk the exposure" to the public. The ADL Center on Extremism's report released on Wednesday documented 2,713 cases of propaganda in the past year, compared to 1,214 cases in 2018. The cases amounted to an average of seven reported incidents per day. University campuses were frequent targets, the ADL found, with all but seven out of 50 states reporting incidents of banners, posters and flyers. read the complete article

13 Feb 2020

'We want our voices heard': Muslims in Maryland showcase power of door-to-door lobbying

Groups of Muslims, both young and old, arrived in the state capital earlier in the day with a key aim in mind - to meet with lawmakers and their staffs to discuss how they planned to strengthen hate crime laws and ask what they were doing to oppose ineffective and unconstitutional "countering violent extremism (CVE)" programs. As they entered to register for the event, the activists - representing a diverse range of Muslims sects and ethnicities - were given a packet on some of the key issues they needed to discuss before they rushed off to find delegates willing to hear them out. The event, co-organised by the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the United Maryland Muslim Council, is an annual day of lobbying aimed at trying to empower the Muslim community. Organised lobbying campaigns are rarely seen in Muslim-American communities. "We want to encourage civic participation; we want to make sure that the Muslim voice is heard," Zainab Chaudry, CAIR's Maryland outreach director, told Middle East Eye. "Our goal is to ensure that our communities are visible and engaged and our voices are being heard." read the complete article

13 Feb 2020

US House panel advances bill to repeal Trump's travel ban

The United States House Judiciary Committee voted on Wednesday to advance a bill that would repeal Donald Trump's travel ban that targets several Muslim majority countries, and would limit the president from imposing future restrictions based on religion. The House of Representatives panel voted along party lines in favour of advancing the "NO BAN Act", which was introduced amid widespread outrage over Trump's travel ban. The measure now moves to the full House. read the complete article


13 Feb 2020

Uighurs in exile fear spread of coronavirus in China's internment camps

Members of China’s Uighur minority living in exile are sounding the alarm over the risk of the coronavirus spreading in camps inside the country, where it is believed up to a million people are being detained. So far, official figures released by Chinese state media give no major cause for concern in the north-eastern region of Xinjiang that is home to the Uighurs, a Muslim minority who speak a Turkic language. It is far from the epicentre of the outbreak and just 55 cases have been reported in the region so far. The first patients to fully recover in the region have already left hospital, according to official media. "People are starting to panic. Our families are there, dealing with the camps and the virus, and we do not know if they have enough to eat or if they have masks,” said Dilnur Reyhan, a French sociologist of Uighur origin. The World Uyghur Congress (WUC), one of several groups representing Uighurs outside China, said it was very concerned that if measures were not taken to further limit the spread of this virus, it could rapidly infect large numbers of people in Xinjiang. “These people are in a vulnerable and weakened state due to the Chinese government’s abuses and mistreatment,” said its president Dolkun Isa. “This has just further compounded the suffering of the Uighur people, as our friends and family are now in even greater danger.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 13 Feb 2020 Edition


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