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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15 Feb 2019

Today in IslamophobiaTurkey condemns China’s internment of Uighurs, Edmonton mosque fights hate with letters of love. In Boston, the courts find man guilty of attacking a Muslim woman on the train, and Arab – Americans and Muslims mourn the passing of John Dingell. Our recommended read of the day is by Anna Hayes titled “Who are the Uyghurs, and why is the Chinese government detaining them?” This, and more, below:


15 Feb 2019

Explainer: who are the Uyghurs and why is the Chinese government detaining them? | Recommended Read

China’s President Xi Jinping has overseen a hardline approach towards Muslim minorities living in Xinjiang, especially the Uyghurs. In recent years, the government has installed sophisticated surveillance technology across the region, and there has been a surge in police numbers. Muslim minorities are being arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned. It’s estimated around one million Uyghurs have been detained in what China calls “vocational training centers”. These are purpose-built detention centers, some of which resemble high-security jails. A recent ABC investigation found 28 detention camps had expanded across Xinjiang as part of China’s program of subjugation. There is growing evidence of human rights violations inside the centers as well as reports of deaths in custody and forced labor. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
15 Feb 2019

Turkey Calls Out China’s Repression of Uyghurs

“It is no longer a secret that more than one million Uighur Turks incurring arbitrary arrests are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in internment camps and prisons,” said Hami Aksoy, the spokesperson of Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The reintroduction of internment camps in the twenty-first century and the policy of systematic assimilation against the Uighur Turks carried out by the authorities of China is a great shame for humanity.” Turkey’s statement is all the more remarkable since the Chinese government has had no qualms about throwing its economic weight around to silence critical governments. This strategy has so far allowed the Chinese government to avoid the scrutiny and international censure that it deserves for its Xinjiang policies. read the complete article

15 Feb 2019

Chinese company leaves Muslim-tracking facial recognition database exposed online

A Dutch security researcher who specializes in finding unsecured MongoDB databases on the Internet, recently made a disturbing discovery when he stumbled upon a database used by a Chinese firm to track facial recognition data on 2,56,5724 citizens of the Xinjiang province where the oppressed Uyghur Muslim minority is located. The data included GPS coordinates and other very sensitive information including names, birth dates, addressesand ID card info. The leaky database was actively tracking citizens when the researcher obtained access. read the complete article

United States

15 Feb 2019

Meet Sadaf Jaffer, America’s first female Muslim mayor

She might also be the first American mayor with a doctorate from Harvard who specializes in Islam, gender studies and South Asian history. Mayor Jaffer also serves as a postdoctoral research associate in South Asian studies at Princeton University, where she teaches courses on South Asian, Islamic and Asian-American studies. "Growing up as a Shia Muslim, I always had this sense that we should fight injustice wherever we find it. Since I decided to pursue research on Islam in South Asia for my Ph.D., I’ve also come to see the ways in which religion and culture have always been intertwined and I find much hope in how cosmopolitan societies have functioned in the past. They certainly weren’t perfect, but I see the Islamic past as one of great beauty and cultural efflorescence. That inspires me for the future." read the complete article

15 Feb 2019

Opinion | America Loves to See a Black Woman Suffer: The Racism and Islamophobia Behind the Backlash Against Ilhan Omar

"We must recognize the frame of analysis we are using when discussing the issue of race in politics,” noted Islamophobia expert and anthropologist Mariam Durrani during a phone call. “The fact that Omar is Black, a refugee, and a woman who is visibly marking her Muslim identity factors into how she has been discussed in the U.S. political sphere.” Durrani, who is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hamilton College, explained how Omar’s status as a Muslim woman factored into the level of criticism she was subjected to. read the complete article

15 Feb 2019

Muslims and Jews must focus on facing the common threat of white supremacy

Anti-Semitism, like Islamophobia, is undoubtedly on the rise. Now more than ever, it is essential that Jews and Muslims recognize one another as natural allies against the common threat of white supremacy and continue to cultivate an alliance rooted in social justice, dignity and recognition.This is a critical time for our communities and we cannot afford division. For the first time in our nation’s history, two Muslim Congresswomen were elected to serve in the House of Representatives. Unsurprisingly, they became immediate targets of Islamophobic attacks and criticisms of being anti-Semitic for not supporting a bill which effectively penalizes businesses and individual contractors engaged in the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement. The ACLU has filed lawsuits for violations of the First Amendment for similar laws in states around the country. Yet, it has not been accused of anti-Semitism. read the complete article

15 Feb 2019

Judge Finds Man Guilty of Accosting, Attacking Muslim Woman on MBTA

In a jury-waived trial, a judge found 36-year-old Sean Devlin guilty on four counts of assault and battery and one count each of assault and battery to intimidate, violation of constitutional rights and destruction of property under $250. The North Reading man was arrested and charged in June 2017 after he yelled anti-Muslim slurs at a woman wearing a headscarf and falsely claimed she had a bomb during a tirade on an Orange Line train. "I'm so so happy. I'm so so happy that it's over," said 63-year-old victim Malika Touirtou. read the complete article

15 Feb 2019

Arab-Americans and Muslims remember John Dingell as a friend

The scene Monday at Dingell's public viewing at Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn — part of a week of ceremonies that ended Thursday — reflected the close ties that he had to the region's Arab-American and Muslim communities. He lived in Dearborn, a city whose population is approaching half Arab-American Muslim and was from a region that is known nationally as a center for people with roots in the Middle East. In the last 20 years of his time in Congress, Dingell often spoke up for the civil rights of Arab-Americans and expressed sympathy for Palestinians and Lebanese when they were embroiled in conflicts with Israel. While the community found itself under attack from bigots, Dingell was quick to protect them. read the complete article

15 Feb 2019

Opinion | Activist Urooj Arshad Wrote A Valentine’s Day Love Letter To Her Young, Queer, Muslim, Immigrant Self

"I want to tell her that it is not going to be easy settling into her adopted country. That no one would tell her that the more that she tries to assimilate and forget where she comes from, the more depressed she will become. The depression will come from internalizing the racism she will encounter both in high school and in college. From times like when a teacher asked her if he can call her “Paki” because her name was too difficult to pronounce, and when everyone in class laughed at that joke. Her depression will deepen when her father passes away, three years after immigrating, leaving her family feeling very vulnerable." read the complete article


15 Feb 2019

Edmonton church fights mosque 'hate' with letters of love

The Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in the city's southwest neighborhood of Malmo Plains is launching an "anti-hate" letter-writing campaign after two Edmonton mosques were targeted by hate groups last month."We just knew there were so many people in Edmonton who have love in their hearts for our Muslim neighbours here in the city and we wanted to give them a chance to show that," said associate pastor Lindsey Jorgensen-Skakum. "We need to overwhelm any voice of hate with so much love that it knows that it has no place to dwell in this community." read the complete article


15 Feb 2019

Sonia Kruger 'vilified' Muslims in Today show segment

Sonia Kruger vilified Muslim people when she called for Australia to close its borders to those of the Islamic faith during a segment on the Today show, but did not engage in racial vilification because Muslim people living in Australia are not a race, a tribunal has found. In a decision on Friday, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal said Kruger's"vilifying remarks" in July 2016 "amounted to a stereotypical attack on all Muslims in Australia" and had the capacity to "encourage hatred towards, or serious contempt for, Australian Muslims by ordinary members of the Australian population". read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 15 Feb 2019 Edition


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