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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21 Feb 2019

Today in Islamophobia: A new study reveals that Muslim terror attacks get 357% more media coverage than those by other groups. The number of hate groups in the U.S reaches a record high, and a Muslim group seeks Congressional probe on terror watch list. Student groups in Ottawa call for investigation into Chinese interference in Canadian campuses, and a new op-ed investigates the racism underlying Britain’s decision to revoke Shamima Begum’s citizenship. Our recommended read of the day is by Aysha Khan, who writes about a Detroit organization working to educate Muslims on inter-sectional racial justice. This, and more, below:

United States

21 Feb 2019

Muslim terror attacks get 357% more Media coverage than those by other groups: Study

In a study published in Justice Quarterly, researchers at Georgia State University and the University of Alabama found that terror attacks by Muslims receive an average of 357 percent more media coverage than those by other groups. Though the study authors note there are “myriad potential factors” that can affect how much coverage an attack receives, the religion of the perpetrator can be the most potent of all. The team studied 136 terrorist attacks that took place in the U.S. between 2006 and 2015, and analyzed national print and online media using information form the Global Terrorism Database. Of these attacks, Muslims committed an average 12.5 percent. However, this “tiny” number of incidents received half of all news coverage, researchers explain. read the complete article

21 Feb 2019

Number of hate groups in US reached record high in 2018: SPLC

Driven by Trump's anti-immigration rhetoricand policy, the number of hate groups active in the US peaked at 1,020 in 2018, a seven-percent increase from 954 recorded in 2017, according to the SPLC, which began tracking hate groups in 1971. Trump's statements echoed by hate groups included describing immigrants as "invaders", calling for a Muslim ban, attacking African nations and speaking against the country's alleged demographic changes. In 2018, at least 40 people were killed by those motivated by or attracted to far-right ideologies, the watchdog group wrote in its annual report, released on Wednesday. Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, said she first heard of building a wall to separate the US from Mexico on a white supremacist site. The same demand became one of Trump's most famous campaign promises in 2016. read the complete article

21 Feb 2019

Bernie Sanders Hires First-Ever Muslim Presidential Campaign Manager

Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign manager will be American Civil Liberties Union national political director Faiz Shakir, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday. The move means that Sanders, who in 2016 became the most successful Jewish presidential candidate in American history, will have his campaign steered by the first-ever Muslim presidential campaign manager. Shakir is a former aide to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He has worked at the ACLU since 2017, where he helped lead the organization’s legal challenges to Trump administration policies like the travel ban from Muslim-majority countries and the family separation policy at the Mexican border. Like Sanders, Shakir and the ACLU have come out strongly against state and national anti-BDS laws on constitutional grounds. read the complete article

21 Feb 2019

In Detroit, one organization is schooling Muslims on racial justice | Recommended Read

As Black History Month approached in 2014, Namira Islam, a Bangladeshi- American lawyer living in Detroit, rallied a crew of about 20 activists and scholars to launch a new hashtag: #BeingBlackAndMuslim. “We wanted to reflect on the erasure of black Muslims in the conversations we were seeing online, as well as in our communities and institutions,” Islam said. “Because those erasures reflect what we’re seeing everywhere else.” According to the Pew Research Center, black Muslims make up a fifth of U.S. Muslims. While black Muslims are significantly more likely than non-black Muslims to say that Islam is important to their lives and that they pray five times a day, non-black Muslims sometimes believe that their black counterparts are not real Muslims. Part of that may be rooted in inaccurate assumptions that most black Muslims belong to the Nation of Islam, which many consider to be heretical. In fact, just 2 percent of black Muslims currently identify with the Nation of Islam, Pew reports. And while about 92 percent of black Muslims say black people face “a lot” of discrimination, only 66 percent of non-black Muslims agree. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
21 Feb 2019

Muslim group seeks congressional probe on terror watchlist

A Muslim civil rights group called for a congressional investigation Wednesday after its lawsuit revealed that the U.S. government has shared access to parts of its terrorist watch list with more than 1,400 private entities, including hospitals and universities. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Congress should look into why the FBI has given such wide access to the list, which CAIR believes is riddled with errors. Broad dissemination of the names makes life more difficult for those who are wrongly included, CAIR says. Many on the list are believed to be Muslim. "This is a wholesale profiling of a religious minority community," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "To share private information of citizens and non-citizens with corporations is illegal and outrageous." read the complete article

United Kingdom

21 Feb 2019

Opinion | Listen to Muslim women about Shamima Begum – they’re who Sajid Javid’s decision will hurt the most

While the conversation around Shamima Begum – the British Muslim schoolgirl who fled to Syria to join Isis at the age of 15, and now, four years later, wants to return to the UK – has been all over the news this week, the debate has largely been spearheaded and dominated by the voices of white people. At no point have the voices of actual British Muslims, especially British Muslim women, been considered or even listened to in all this. It’s as if the voices of white people are the only ones that carry any authority in the public sphere, despite the fact that this issue is far more complex than these exclusionary discussions allow for. Because when it’s all said and done, it won’t be white people who will have to contest with having abuse hurled at them on the street or threats of their hijab being pulled up because some bigot believes the actions of Begum speak for every other Muslim in the UK. read the complete article

21 Feb 2019

Opinion | Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is a crucial ally in the fight against antisemitism

Over 200 Jewish members and supporters of the Labour party sign a letter urging that anyone seeking an end to bigotry and racism should back Labour and Corbyn. "We are Jewish members and supporters of the Labour party concerned about the current rise of reactionary ideologies, including antisemitism, in Britain and elsewhere across Europe. We note the worrying growth of populist right wing parties, encouraging racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism. In Britain the far right is whipping up these prejudices, a threat that requires a resolute and energetic response. But instead we have seen a disproportionate focus on antisemitism on the left, which is abhorrent but relatively rare. read the complete article

21 Feb 2019

Opinion | Britain’s decision to revoke Shamima Begum’s citizenship is wrong and smacks of racism

This week, British Home Secretary Sajid Javid decreed that Shamima Begum, a British member of the Islamic State currently in a Syrian refugee camp, would be deprived of her citizenship. The overall media debate around Javid’s clearly political move shows that we’re far more concerned about what Begum and the Islamic State mean to us in the West than what extremism means for the people who have been most affected by it in places such as Syria. We fail to center their experiences in this discussion — as we have consistently done when it comes to most of our discussions on global terrorism. Syrians have suffered enough under the brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad and the Islamic State. We should not be leaving any of our own citizens who supported terrorism against Syrians there. read the complete article


21 Feb 2019

Student groups call for Ottawa to investigate alleged interference by Chinese officials on Canadian campuses

Any “malicious interference” in domestic affairs by foreign representatives here would be inappropriate, a federal official warned Wednesday in the wake of incidents that saw students from China angrily attack Tibetan and Uyghur activists at two Ontario universities. But the spokeswoman for Kirsty Duncan, minister responsible for universities, declined to address a call for Ottawa to investigate whether Chinese diplomats are using such students to meddle in Canadian post-secondary institutions. The request for a federal probe raised to a new level concerns over Beijing’s attempts atmoulding opinion in Canada — even as Chinese diplomats deny they played any part in the two recent episodes. Two Muslim student groups, Uyghur-Canadian activist Rukiye Turdush and Students for a Free Tibet raised the issue in a letter Wednesday to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. “We are asking for an investigation into the role of the Chinese Government in these two incidents to ensure that we can freely exercise our constitutional rights,” they said. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 21 Feb 2019 Edition


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