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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19 Feb 2019

Today in Islamophobia: New poll suggests that one in three in UK think Islam threatens British culture. In the U.S, a man is arrested for assaulting a Sikh 7/11 employee thinking him to be Muslim. In Orange County, reports emerge of passengers using anti- Muslim slurs in an uber, and an op-ed by Mustafa Akyol engages the liberalism seeping into American Islam. Our recommended read of the day is by Mohammad Zaheer who argues that Muslims face a constant battle to prove their humanity and loyalty to the country. This, and more, below:

United Kingdom

19 Feb 2019

Opinion | It shouldn’t have taken a report from outside the Muslim community for Tory Islamophobia to be taken seriously | Recommended Read

Despite countless high-profile incidents that should leave no room for ambiguity, attempts to raise awareness of Islamophobia are often met with such dismissive responses and gaslighting that no one would be blamed for questioning their own position or beginning to wonder whether they were making mountains out of molehills. Whether its conducting a mayoral campaign – the vilest in recent memory – that baselessly attempted to portray a Muslim candidate as an extremist after people’s jewellery; hosting anti Muslim hate preachers; or sharing overtly racist and Islamophobic memes, pictures and posts, the Tory party has consistently downplayed any concerns raised, and the perpetrators have by and large continued to operate without facing any serious repercussions. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
19 Feb 2019

Opinion | Prevent's work on far right extremism does not make it worth saving

Out of the 394 Channel referrals that were made, 179 were for “Islamist extremism”, while 174 were for right-wing extremism. This seems somewhat equal, until we understand the data in relation to the respective communities from which it comes: 179 Muslims from a population of 3,000,000 Muslims in the UK equates to a referral rate of around one in 17,000, while 174 far-right individuals from a population of 50,000,000 white people in the UK equates to a referral rate of around one in 287,000. This means that a Muslim child is 17 times more likely to be referred for “deradicalisation” than a white British child of no apparent faith group. This is a startling figure by any stretch of our understanding of discrimination. Even worse, the disproportionate numbers of Muslim referrals are not even up for debate. If anything, he believes Muslims might be being under-reported due to the fear of accusations over racism. Such assertions belie a disturbing underlying Islamophobia, resulting in a climate of suspicion not only towards Muslims, but towards those in society who might hesitate to report Muslims for what might well be valid reasons. read the complete article

19 Feb 2019

Report: One in three in UK say Islam threatens British culture

The anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate’s annual “The State of Hate” report, published Monday (Feb. 18), based on a survey of 10,383 Brits conducted in July last year, found that anti-Muslim prejudice has hardened in the past eight years and, among far-right groups, supplanted fears of increasing immigration. Among Britons who voted for the center-right governing Conservative Party in 2017, nearly half — about 49 percent — agreed that Islam threatens British culture in the more recent study. About 22 percent of those who support Britain’s main opposition Labour Party agreed. About 32 percent of English people also believe Britain has “no-go areas” where non-Muslims cannot enter and where Shariah law rules. Among Conservative voters, that number is 47 percent. read the complete article

19 Feb 2019

Maajid Nawaz: LBC presenter 'racially attacked' in London

Maajid Nawaz said a white man attacked him while he was standing alone outside the Soho Theatre in central London. The LBC radio presenter tweeted a photo of a cut to his forehead and said he was racially abused and then hit in the face with "maybe a signet ring". Mr Nawaz said his attacker took nothing and "ran away like a coward". "My forehead will probably be scarred for life. But we will find you, you racist coward, and you will face British justice," he added. He said there were witnesses "who heard the racial abuse and have given statements" and added police had his attacker's "face on CCTV". read the complete article


19 Feb 2019

'Free pass for mobs': India urged to stem vigilante violence against minorities

Hindu cow vigilante groups in India are escaping punishment for lynchings because of police inertia and complicity by local officials, leaving the family of those affected without justice, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. The report urges the government to prosecute mob violence by cow protection groups that have targeted Muslims, Dalits and other minorities in the five years since the Hindu nationalist BJP came to power. “According to a survey by New Delhi Television, there was a nearly 500% increase in the use of communally divisive language in speeches by elected leaders – 90% of them from the BJP – between 2014 and 2018, as compared to the five years before the BJP came to power,” the report, released on Tuesday, said. Cow protection formed an important theme in a number of these speeches. The report quoted studies showing that between May 2015 andDecember2018 at least 44 people, including 36 Muslims, were killed in attacks over beef consumption and the cattle trade. read the complete article

United States

19 Feb 2019

Orange County Uber driver says passengers used anti-Muslim slurs during ride from LAX

The driver, who goes by Bebe, said she picked up two passengers from LA International Airport during rush hour. The estimated travel time was an hour and a half. "I was scared. I was terrified in my own car. I was trying to do my work," she said. Bebe said the passengers grew angrier when she wouldn't speed. She said they began smoking marijuana in the backseat and got in her face. She told them she was going to call the police soon. "Acting more crazy and she was calling me names. 'You stupid Muslim. You stupid Arabic,'" she said. Bebe said she contacted Uber support immediately and received a message that said the company had reviewed her situation and could not reactivate her account. She claims she was removed from the app for reporting the bad behavior. An Uber spokesperson said any discriminatory language is unacceptable. They also said Bebe was removed not because of the one incident, but a repeated history of interpersonal conflicts with passengers. read the complete article

19 Feb 2019

Man arrested for punching, pouring coffee on Sikh 7-Eleven clerk — because he thought the man was Muslim

Surveillance footage shows the man, identified as John Crain, attacking the clerk near the store’s exit early Wednesday. The employee told the Marysville Police Department that Crain had tried to leave without paying for his coffee, the Sacramento Bee reports. Crain later admitted to assaulting the clerk and told the police that he hates Muslims, according to the Bee. Local news station CBS13 confirmed that the clerk was actually Sikh, not Muslim. Police said he was injured by the hot coffee and had a contusion on his face. read the complete article

19 Feb 2019

Tom Ricketts says Cubs will keep promise, follow plan set by local Muslim group

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts apologized Monday for the “pain” caused by Joe Ricketts’ racist emails and promised the Cubs will make an effort to mend their relationship with the Muslim community. That healing process will, he said, include steps outlined by the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago). CAIR-Chicago asked the Cubs to support three community initiatives, including anti-bullying efforts, diversity and inclusion training, and scholarships. It also proposed a plan for the “participation of notable Muslims in Cubs and Wrigley Field tradition” and to create anti-hate PSAs featuring Cubs personnel that would attempt to raise awareness against racism. read the complete article

19 Feb 2019

Opinion | The Creeping Liberalism in American Islam

When you examine the internal discussions among conservative Muslim leaders or pundits in America today, they don’t come across as concocting some “Protocols of the Elders of Mecca.” Instead of cheering for any creeping Shariah, they seem worried about a creeping liberalism within American Islam. Read Mikaeel Ahmed Smith, for example. He’s an imam in Virginia who has titled an internet article “A Spiritual Disease in American Muslims, Making Them Gods Above God.” His criticism targets a new genre of Muslim bloggers and writers who he says “challenge or outright reject the traditionally normative Islamic view on social issues and Muslim life.” These young people care less about traditional religious texts, the imam warns, because of “a rejection of any authority other than one’s own intellect. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 19 Feb 2019 Edition


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