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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22 Feb 2019

Today in IslamophobiaChina uses biometrics to track its citizens with the help of American expertise. In the U.S, Tampa’s Muslim community tests its muscle in elections, and an op-ed traces Malcolm X’s legacy 54 years after his death. Feds allege that the Coast Guard officer plotting terror was inspired by a Norwegian mass murderer, even as Indiana refuses to treat the murder of Mustafa Ayoubi as a hate crime. Our recommended read of the day is by Rowaida Abdelaziz, who writes on the challenge of being a black Muslim woman in America. This, and more, below:

United States

22 Feb 2019

Hate In 3 Dimensions: The Challenge Of Being A Black Muslim Woman In America | Recommended Read

Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American elected to Congress. She is also one of the two first Muslim women elected to Congress and the first hijabi congresswoman. But alongside those milestones, Omar has had to deal with an onslaught of bigotry targeted at her race, religion or gender — and sometimes all three. As a black Muslim woman, and one in the public eye, Omar is a frequent target of xenophobia, racism and sexism ― from conspiracy theories about her Somali family to online harassment by elected representatives. But others like her say her experience is one they personally know all too well. Speaking to HuffPost, black Muslim women described feeling assaulted by hatred across three dimensions, including anti-black racism, blatant sexism and anti-Muslim sentiment. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
22 Feb 2019

‘They hate white males’: A Norwegian mass murderer inspired the Coast Guard officer accused of plotting terror, feds say

According to court records, Christopher Paul Hasson found inspiration for beefing up elsewhere — in a 1,500-page manifesto prepared by Anders Behring Breivik, a right-wing Norwegian extremist who killed 77 people, many of them children, in a bomb-and-gun rampage in 2011 that he called his “martyrdom operation.” The inspiration that he drew from Breivik, 40, illuminates the global exchange of extremist ideas binding apparently lone-wolf actors who portray themselves as martyrs for “Western civilization,” under siege, they claim, by immigrants and elite opinion makers espousing multiculturalism. The European allegedly emulated by the American extremist had quoted generously from American figures such as Robert Spencer, director of the Jihad Watch website, and had modeled his act on the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, whose main perpetrator, executed in 2001, is now a hero to some on the far-right fringes. The recycling of fearmongering shows how a nationalist, anti-immigrant vision has become international, often with fatal consequences. read the complete article

22 Feb 2019

Opinion | The fraught and unforgettable: How Malcolm X's legacy lives on in America

Sister Aisha al-Adawiya still remembers the first time she heard Malcolm X speak. “I don’t think I have the words to describe the atmosphere. It wasn’t a religious setting as much as a political awakening. People were hearing - often for the first time, about their history and who they were before enslavement. It was like a shot of pride just running like an electric current through the people." Malcolm X, also known as el-Hajj el-Malik Shabazz, was born as Malcolm Little in 1925. After losing his father in 1931 and being placed in foster care due to the illness of his mother, Malcolm entered a world of crime and was imprisoned for robbery in 1946. read the complete article

22 Feb 2019

Remembering the Islamophobic side of late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld

"His Islamophobia sparked outrage multiple times. One of his most controversial moments took place in 2017 during a French talk show. Lagerfeld claimed that Germany's acceptance of refugees from Muslim-majority countries was an "insult" to Jewish Holocaust victims. He had also criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for welcoming more asylum seekers from war-torn Muslim-majority countries including Syria. He called her policy a "huge error." She "had already millions and millions [of immigrants] who are well integrated and who work and all is well ... she had no need to take another million to improve her image as the wicked stepmother after the Greek crisis," he said, according to The Telegraph." read the complete article

22 Feb 2019

Opinion | The Department of Justice Loves Publicizing Arrests of Alleged Terrorists — but Not the White Nationalist Coast Guard Officer

Last year, a Institute for Social Policy and Understanding study found that cases of attempted violence involving Muslim suspects received 7 1/2 times more coverage from major media outlets than those involving non-Muslims. While Hasson’s case was picked up after court filings were posted on social media, it seems that in this case, the government was uninterested in publicizing information about a white nationalist terrorism plot that its own filings claim would have resulted in catastrophic violence. This selectivity also seems to be part of a pattern. read the complete article

22 Feb 2019

His Family Calls His Killing A Hate Crime — But Indiana Law Won't See It That Way

Thirty-two-year-old Mustafa Ayoubi was shot and killed on Feb. 16 in Indianapolis. Police officers arrested Dustin Passarelli as a murder suspect and are calling the incident a case of road rage turned violent. But Ayoubi’s family believe the Muslim American was killed in a hate crime. The encounter began at approximately 7:30 p.m. on the I-465 highway when Passarelli, 33, was on his way home from work. He told police that he spotted another vehicle driving aggressively behind him, according to court documents obtained by Fox 59. Passarelli claimed that he heard “a bang on the passenger side of his car” and thought that his car had been hit by the other vehicle or by something thrown at his car. He said he pursued Ayoubi’s car until Ayoubi stopped outside an apartment complex where he had planned to meet friends to play pool. read the complete article

22 Feb 2019

Muslim community tests its political muscle in Tampa elections

Several thousand people showed up at Waterworks Park on Sunday for the Arab American Community Center festival, along with two mayoral candidates and more than a dozen City Council candidates — a sign of the political influence of Tampa’s growing Muslim and Arab-American community. It’s concentrated in the Temple Terrace-New Tampa area, drawn by the University of South Florida, and community leaders want to make it into a political force. “It’s following the strategy of the Cuban-Americans, recognizing our electorate is very split and a one-percent swing can change the outcome of an election,” said Laila Abdelaziz, who came to USF in 2009 because of the Muslim community and then worked as a community organizer. Abdelaziz said the community is politically diverse, with conservatives including well-to-do business owners and physicians, and liberals uneasy with the anti-Islamic rhetoric of Republicans including President Donald Trump. read the complete article


22 Feb 2019

China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American Expertise

Collecting genetic material is a key part of China’s campaign, according to human rights groups and Uighur activists. They say a comprehensive DNA database could be used to chase down any Uighurs who resist conforming to the campaign. Police forces in the United States and elsewhere use genetic material from family members to find suspects and solve crimes. Chinese officials, who are building a broad nationwide database of DNA samples, have cited the crime-fighting benefits of China’s own genetic studies. read the complete article


22 Feb 2019

Tommy Robinson Supporter Cites 'Lovely Little' Muslim Friend As He's Cleared Of Abuse

A Tommy Robinson supporter who had an altercation an al-Jazeera journalist has been cleared of a religiously aggravated offence after telling magistrates he has a “lovely little” Muslim friend. William Eve, 57, confronted reporter Sonia Gallego during a rally for the English Defence League founder while he was in custody for allegedly committing contempt of court. A video played at City of London Magistrates’ Court on Thursday shows Eve accusing the reporter of being “Muslim-backed”, asking if she is “f*****g stupid” and calling her “a slag”. He told magistrates he has no issue with Islam or people of other races, adding he has a Muslim friend from Bangladesh who works a greengrocer near his wife’s restaurant. read the complete article

Opinion | How to tackle Islamophobia – the best strategies from around Europe

Since a great deal of Islamophobia is based on the notion that Muslims threaten the European way of life, values and culture, one way to challenge these ideas is to highlight the many everyday roles Muslims occupy in society. And since we found that Islamophobic perceptions are often based on the idea that Islam and Muslims are sexist, projects that champion Muslim women, their work and their voices will go some way towards breaking down these preconceptions. All this amounts to a four-step approach: first defining, and second documenting Islamophobia, next deconstructing its narratives, and then reconstructing new positive and realistic narratives around Muslims. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 22 Feb 2019 Edition


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