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

Sign up for the Today in Islamophobia Newsletter
14 Feb 2019

Today in IslamophobiaBangladesh proposes safe zone in Myanmar for Rohingya, while Swiss burqa ban campaigner calls for ban on Muslim prayers in public. In Australia, a hoax letter claiming the introduction of Sharia law is being investigated by police, and the trial of a man accused of hate speech against a Muslim begins in Boston. Our recommended read of the day is by Megan Goodwin, who writes on Alabama’s decision to deny a Muslim prisoner’s request to have an imam at his execution. This, and more, below:

United States

14 Feb 2019

Opinion | Absent an imam, Domineque Ray’s execution by Alabama disenfranchises Muslims | Recommended Read

The events leading up to Ray’s execution betray an indifference, if not an outright hostility, to the Muslim inmate’s right to final religious accommodations. The state specified that Ray had been given a Quran and, “incidentally,” was allowed a prayer mat in his holding cell. But according to Kagan, “the prison refused to give Ray a copy of its own practices and procedures,” so Ray was not told until Jan. 23 that his imam could not be in the chamber with him. (Thus the “last-minute nature” of his complaint.) Having his imam by his side, instead of looking on from a viewing room, allegedly constituted a security risk. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
14 Feb 2019

Christian student challenged a school history lesson on Islam and lost in court

As a high school junior, Caleigh Wood refused to complete a history lesson on “The Muslim World” that she said forced her to embrace Islam in conflict with her Christian faith — and the Constitution. A federal appeals court this week disagreed, saying school officials in Southern Maryland had not violated Wood’s First Amendment rights because the curriculum did not endorse a particular religion “and did not compel Wood to profess any belief.” “School authorities, not the courts, are charged with the responsibility of deciding what speech is appropriate in the classroom,” wrote Judge Barbara Milano Keenan, who was joined by Judges Pamela Harris and James A. Wynn Jr. “Academic freedom would not long survive in an environment in which courts micromanage school curricula and parse singular statements made by teachers.” read the complete article

14 Feb 2019

Trial of man accused of yelling anti-Muslim slurs at woman on Orange Line begins Wednesday

Sean Devlin, 36, is accused of yelling at a 61-year-old woman wearing a headscarf and accusing her of having a bomb that would kill everyone on the train on June 19, 2017, according to prosecutors. The North Reading man also hit the woman in the back with an umbrella as she exited the train at North Station, according to the victim and a witness. He then kicked and punched a window of the train until it shattered, prosecutors said. read the complete article

FBI Report: Homemade bombs for alleged attack on Muslim community were real

Three men and a 16-year-old were charged last month after police confiscated what appeared to three pipe bombs from one of their homes. Under arrest are Andrew Crysel, Vincent Vetromile, Brian Colaneri and Nicholas Pheilshifter. An FBI lab report says, if the devices were used, they could cause damage, injuryand death. There is also new information indicating the suspect alleged to have made them also showed one of them off. Police say 16-year-old Nicholas Pheilshifter harbored a secret. In November, two months before his arrest, he would offer a glimpse - inviting a friend to his home on Milford Street, allegedly to show him something homemade. read the complete article


14 Feb 2019

Bangladesh proposes safe zone in Myanmar for Rohingya refugees

Bangladesh's Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has called on Russia, China and India to help the country tackle the Rohingyarefugee crisis. In an interview with Anadolu news agency on Sunday, Momen said his government has proposed to establish a safe zone in Rakhine state in Myanmar from where the refugees fled state persecution in late 2017. "If a safe zone is created under the vigilance of China, Russiaand India along with the ASEAN states, Rohingya people will be encouraged to return to their own land," he said. Momen added that guaranteeing the refugees who return Myanmar's citizenship will be a precondition of the proposal, which he said has been appreciated by India. He hoped other countries would follow suit. read the complete article


14 Feb 2019

Opinion | The Rohingya Diaspora Is Crucial to Achieving Justice in Myanmar

Today, more Rohingya reside outside Myanmar than inside the country. The diaspora initially comprised Rohingya uprooted by decades of violence and institutionalized discrimination — including sporadic military campaigns and a denial of citizenship. This longstanding exodus has established outposts around the globe, including refugee camps in Bangladesh, as well as communities resettled in America, Europe and Australia. Now more than ever, the international community needs to work with both arms of the Rohingya diaspora to push for accountability and justice. No one knows this better than the Rohingya themselves­ — they are the witnesses, the survivors, the people who remain with these issues long after international attention fades. Rohingya groups around the world have also been crucial in the push to accurately label the situation in Myanmar a genocide. In December 2018, 23 Rohingya-led organizations issued a joint statement calling on the U.S. government to make a genocide determination and compel tougher punitive action against Myanmar, which denies atrocities. Later that same month, the House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring the ongoing persecution a “genocide,” even as the Trump administration continues to avoid the term. read the complete article


14 Feb 2019

Opinion | Why François Legault is wrong about Islamophobia in Quebec

This week, the CAQ made banning public sector workers who wear religious symbols a priority in their legislative agenda, despite widespread concern that their plan ranges from Islamophobic and xenophobic to unworkable and unfair. In addition to Muslim women, it would also target people who wear turbans or men who wear a kippa. The obsession with the hijab is rooted in Islamophobia, but also misogyny. On Tuesday, when Isabelle Charest made her first public statement as newly-appointed MNA for the status of women, she told reporters that a hijab, “…symbolizes a form of oppression toward women, the fact they have to cover themselves up. It is not in my values and I think women should be free to wear what they want.” The irony that women should be free to wear what they want but are also oppressed if they choose to wear a hijab, was clearly lost on her. Charest appeared to be wearing makeup, another one of those “oppression is in the eye of the beholder” things that women do. read the complete article

14 Feb 2019

Why did it take three years to shut down the most hate-filled publication in Canada?

If Canada’s anti-hate laws were written to confront the most contemptible forms of anti-Semitism, rape advocacy, Islamophobia, Holocaust denial, LGBTQ hatred and anti-Black discrimination, then the Beaches-area tabloid Your Ward News (YWN) meets the definition. On January 24, YWN editor James Sears (aka Dimitri The Lover) and publisher LeRoy St. Germainewere found guilty of promoting hatred, in particular against women and Jews. Ontario Court Judge Richard Blouin described the evidence against the publication, known for articles advocating rape and blaming immigrant “parasites” for everything from crime, pollution and gridlock to high taxes, as overwhelming, stating in his decision that YWN "repeatedly and consistently... intended to publish hate.” read the complete article

14 Feb 2019

Forty years for a mosque killer, when murderers of white victims get 75?

Last Friday, in an unusual judgment, Bissonnette was sentenced to life in prison, with 40 years before he is eligible for parole. The massacre sparked intense and continuing debate about Islamophobia in Quebec public life, and these tensions played out in the trial. The prosecution, seeking six consecutive life sentences totalling 150 years before he was eligible for parole, framed the case as a violent hate crime. The defence, seeking parole eligibility after 25 years, said Bissonnette was a mentally unstable victim of school bullying, who was afraid that the mosque housed terrorists who might hurt his family. When the sentence was delivered, Quebec’s Muslim community reacted with dismay. Saïd El-Amari, who was wounded during the shooting, said: “Today, I feel a Muslim Canadian citizen is worth less than another citizen.” He pointed out that in 40 years’ time many people – including the victims’ children – will relive the trauma of the massacre. read the complete article


14 Feb 2019

Muslim Uighurs to China: Release proof kin are alive in Xinjiang

Ethnic Uighurs have launched a global campaign to press China for video proof that their missing relatives are alive, turning the tables on Beijing's use of video to counter claims that a renowned Uighur had died in custody. The social media campaign was launched on Tuesday under the hashtag #MeTooUyghur after China released a video of a man who identified himself as Uighur poet and musician Abdurehim Heyit saying he was alive and well. read the complete article

14 Feb 2019

Opinion | China is brainwashing more than a million Uighurs. The world must demand justice.

China has sought for years to assimilate the Muslim Uighur population into the majority Han Chinese, partially by flooding Xinjiang province with migrants from elsewhere. But the effort to crush the population has picked up speed under President Xi Jinping, whose government set up an archipelago of bleak outposts for carrying out forced indoctrination, to eradicate the Uighur language, traditions and culture. At first, China denied these camps existed; then China admitted that they exist but claimed they are for “re-education” and vocational training. As eyewitnesses have verified, the real purpose is much darker, to coerce the detainees to give up their language and culture. Experts have said more than 1 million Uighurs are now detained, out of a population of more than 11 million. Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uighur Congress, told us there may be 2 million or more imprisoned, based on word leaking out to Uighur families and those who have been released. read the complete article


14 Feb 2019

Swiss burqa ban campaigner calls for ban on Muslim prayers in public

The move by political maverick Giorgio Ghiringhelli comes in the wake of a number of social media posts in the Italian-speaking canton showing photos of Muslims praying in the street and referring to the region as “Ticinistan”. Ghiringhelli, who refers to himself as 'il Guastafeste' (“the killjoy” or “the spoilsport”) has now petitioned the cantonal parliament to make such public prayers illegal. He argues the ban is necessary as there is a passage in the Muslim prayers which contains an implicit message of hatred against Jews and Christians – an idea based on the work of Sami Aldeeb, a Palestinian-Christian lawyer with Swiss citizenship. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 14 Feb 2019 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results