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 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In Myanmar, two protestors are killed by the police as anti-coup protests continue. UN group says Sri Lanka virus cremation rule violates rights. UK’s anti-terror chief fears rights group boycott threatens Prevent review. Our recommended read today is by Rowaida Abdelaziz on Muslim immigrants fleeing persecution, and how they often find themselves fighting anti-Islam bias in a rapidly changing U.S. immigration system. This, and more, below:

United States

22 Feb 2021

Family Battles ICE For The Same Reason They Fled Their Home: They're Muslim | Recommended Read

One of the first times Muhammad was harassed for being Muslim ― and there were many times ― was in his home country of Tajikistan. He was 23 years old. It was August 2014, and he’d returned home from Russia, where he was living and working, for his upcoming wedding. One day while out shopping, he was stopped by the Tajik KGB, who brought him in for questioning. At their offices, Muhammad says, he was interrogated for nearly six hours, verbally abused and accused of being an anti-government extremist, simply because he was Muslim. The men set fire to his beard. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
22 Feb 2021

Opinion | Trump is gone – can we now talk about fake news at the NYT?

There is no point in listing all of its failings, as they are so many and each one of them is symptomatic of much larger issues the Times has failed to address. There are books written on the subject. But we can briefly look at the newspaper’s most recent failings to understand the level of trouble it is currently in. In June 2020, one of the paper’s top editors, James Bennet, had to resign after publicly defending his decision to publish an op-ed by Republican Senator Tom Cotton. In the op-ed, titled Send in the Troops, the fanatical Trump ally called on the then-president to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 and order US military forces to crush the Black Lives Matter uprising launched in response to the police killing of George Floyd. There was an outcry from Black journalists at the Times, and Bennet had to leave. read the complete article

22 Feb 2021

Oversight Board’s First Rulings Show Facebook’s Rules Are a Mess

Indeed, many of the issues raised by the board reflect longstanding criticisms from civil society about Facebook’s content-moderation scheme, including the company’s use of automated removal systems, its vague rules and unclear explanations of its decisions, and the need for proportionate enforcement. Facebook’s ongoing inability to enact a clear, consistent, and transparent content-moderation policy may well lead the board to overturn Facebook’s decision to bar former President Donald Trump, a case that the company has voluntarily brought to the board. read the complete article

22 Feb 2021

The Backstory: Why newsrooms flourish when diverse voices speak out, create, lead

That 5-year-old kindergartner is now a 25-year-old audience editor at USA TODAY. Farha says that day – and the Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment that followed – continues to shape her life as a Muslim woman. She wanted to tell her story. The suspicion of strangers. Her family's fear. And she wanted to hear from other young people who had stories to tell about what their cultures and identities truly mean and what they've experienced as a result. read the complete article

22 Feb 2021

Biden’s immigration reset

The first thing President Biden has done is change the narrative on immigration dramatically. For five years, Mr. Trump controlled the immigration policy discussion nationally, largely through lies, misinformation, hyperbole, and skewed data. As a candidate and as president, he convinced legions of Americans that immigrants from Mexico composed the vast majority of new undocumented individuals; that terrorist organizations were infiltrating caravans in Central America and entering the United States; that undocumented individuals were largely rapists, murderers, and drug dealers; and that immigrants contributed nothing to the American economy. Each claim (and many more) were entirely incorrect. read the complete article

22 Feb 2021

Muslim ban: Advocates want Biden to do more to prevent discriminatory policies

Kohli is hopeful about the Biden administration's response. Biden included a "No Ban Act" in the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 unveiled in Congress last Thursday. If passed, the Act would prevent any future administration from imposing similar bans to the one imposed by Donald Trump. For Anwar Omeish and Sarvin Hahghighi, a "No Ban Act" would be just one step toward healing a wounded relationship between the U.S. and its Muslim community. read the complete article

22 Feb 2021

US: Ex-policeman implicates NYPD, FBI in Malcolm X murder

On February 21, 1965, minister and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot dead inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom in New York by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam. Three men were convicted of murder and imprisoned, and all were eventually paroled. “I participated in actions that in hindsight were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own Black people. My actions on behalf of the New York City Police Department were done under duress and fear,” said Reggie Wood, a relative who read Raymond’s letter aloud at a press conference on Saturday. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

22 Feb 2021

UN group says Sri Lanka virus cremation rule violates rights

A group of U.N experts has criticized Sri Lanka's requirement that those who die of COVID-19 be cremated, even it goes against a family's religious beliefs, and warned that decisions based on “discrimination and aggressive nationalism” could incite hatred and violence. The experts, who are part of the Special Procedures of the U.N Human Rights Council, said in a statement Monday that rule amounts to a human rights violation. read the complete article


22 Feb 2021

Not cricket: religious divide threatens a last bastion of secular India

In recent weeks cricket’s position as one of the final bastions of a secular India has come under attack, as the anti-Muslim sentiment that has been on the rise in India under the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) reared its head in an ugly cricketing scandal. Wasim Jaffer, one of India’s greatest living cricketers who has scored more runs than any batsman in Indian domestic cricketing history and Muslim, found himself accused of selecting players based on religion for the Uttarakhand state team, which he began coaching in June 2020 when he retired as a player. read the complete article

22 Feb 2021

Will this radical nationalist monk be India’s next divisive leader?

Adityanath’s talent for stoking communal polarization while hiding behind a market-friendly facade is right out of the Modi playbook, and many see him as the leader who could carry the torch to establish Hindu supremacy in India. But in many ways, Adityanath is even more dangerous than Modi. He doesn’t even bother to camouflage his disdain for Muslims. read the complete article


22 Feb 2021

Emmanuel Macron’s Government Is Mounting a Witch Hunt Against “Islamo-Leftism” in France’s Universities

In recent years, charges of “Islamo-leftism” have become a common attack line against the Left and anti-racist groups in France, claiming that those who fight racism are themselves sowing racial animus. In the mouths of Marine Le Pen or hard-right pundits like Éric Zemmour, this amalgam paints the Left and minorities as a united front of “separatist” and terrorist-adjacent forces that threaten the Republic and its values. But such talking points are becoming ever more mainstream. In this article for Mediapart, here presented in abridged English translation, Lucie Delaporte explains how Emmanuel Macron’s higher education minister, Frédérique Vidal, has taken up the crusade against “Islamo-leftism.” In an interview this weekend, Vidal endorsed lurid claims that social science departments are under its spell — and called for a witch hunt in response. read the complete article

22 Feb 2021

'Islamo-leftism': a sinister word meant to smear and silence French academics

The "Islamo-leftism" tag is today used uncritically by members of the government, large sections of the media and conservative academics. It is reminiscent of the anti-semitic "Judeo-Bolshevism" slur of the 1930s which blamed the spread of communism on Jews. In reality, "Islamo-leftism" is an elusive pseudo-concept which voluntarily confuses Islam - and Muslims - with Islamic extremism, and points the finger at "left-wing academics" who allegedly collude with these nebulous Islamic entities. read the complete article


22 Feb 2021

State Department Lawyers Concluded Insufficient Evidence to Prove Genocide in China

The U.S. State Department’s Office of the Legal Advisor concluded earlier this year that China’s mass imprisonment and forced labor of ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang amounts to crimes against humanity—but there was insufficient evidence to prove genocide, placing the United States’ top diplomatic lawyers at odds with both the Trump and Biden administrations, according to three former and current U.S. officials. read the complete article

22 Feb 2021

UN experts: Loss of Kashmir autonomy undermining minority rights

United Nations human rights experts have expressed concern over India’s decision to strip Kashmir’s limited autonomy in 2019 and the subsequent passing of new laws, which they warned “could curtail the previous level of political participation of Muslims and other minorities”. The statement on Thursday came a day after nearly two dozen foreign envoys from African, European and Latin American nations visited the disputed region on a government-guided tour to assess the situation. read the complete article

United Kingdom

22 Feb 2021

BBC to 'reflect' on Muslim Council interview condemned as strikingly hostile

The director general of the BBC, Tim Davie, has endorsed a statement from Woman’s Hour that says the programme will “reflect” on concerns raised by an Emma Barnett interview with Zara Mohammed, the first woman to lead the Muslim Council of Britain. This week 200 people, including more than 100 public figures such as the Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi, the Labour MPs Diane Abbott and Naz Shah, and the comedian Deborah Frances-White, signed an open letter to the BBC criticising the “strikingly hostile” interview with Mohammed on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 22 Feb 2021 Edition


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