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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24 Feb 2021

Today in Islamophobia: France summons Pakistan envoy over criticism of ‘separatism’ bill. Sri Lanka Muslims protest Covid cremations as Pakistan PM arrives in the country. On Buzzfeed, Pranav Dixit writes about “Koo”India’s hate filled alternative to Twitter. Our recommended read today is by Hanan Zaffar and Hasan Akram marking one year of anti-Muslim riots in Delhi. This, and more, below:


24 Feb 2021

Fear, silent migration: A year after anti-Muslim riots in Delhi

The neighbourhood had been tense for a couple of days as violent Hindu mobs had started targeting Muslims who were protesting against the new citizenship law passed by the Hindu nationalist government led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “But we didn’t expect it to hit us. Our family thought we would be safe in our home.” They were wrong. Nisha’s neighbourhood, along with several other areas, were engulfed in anti-Muslim violence that led to the killing of more than 50 people, mostly Muslims, in India’s capital New Delhi. As the cries in the neighbourhood intensified, Nisha and her family, fearing for their lives, hurriedly left their home and took shelter at a relative’s place in an adjoining Muslim-majority area. They stayed away for 15 days, and when they returned, it was clear they were not welcome. read the complete article

24 Feb 2021

India Has Its Own Alternative To Twitter. It's Filled With Hate.

A BJP party worker posted a poll asking followers to choose from four denigrating labels for Muslims, including “anti-nationals” and “jihadi dogs.” A person whose bio says he teaches at the Indian Institute of Technology, a top engineering college whose graduates are coveted by Silicon Valley, shared a hateful comic strip depicting Muslim men as members of a bloodthirsty mob. Some people shared conspiracy theories about Muslims spitting in people’s food to spread disease, while others shared news stories about crimes committed by people with Muslim names in attempts to demonize an entire religion. One person warned Muslims not to follow him and called them slurs. “I hate [them],” one of his posts said. read the complete article


24 Feb 2021

What has killed more people in France since 2000? Islamic terrorism or ‘la chasse’?

According to figures from the French National Office for Hunting and Wild Animals just after his death, more than 420 people have died at the hands of hunters so far this century. That office now no longer has an independent existence. Since the start of this year, the department has been merged into a new French Office for Biodiversity. The new title is just one of the ways in which President Emmanuel Macron has played to the gallery of the hunting community since being elected. read the complete article

24 Feb 2021

Why Has France’s Islamist Separatism Bill Caused Such Controversy?

On Feb. 16, France’s National Assembly passed a controversial bill meant to protect the country against the dangers of what the government deems “Islamist separatism,” the latest French effort to reinforce the country’s traditional embrace of a secular identity. Despite plenty of centrist support, including from President Emmanuel Macron, the bill has proved controversial, especially with French Muslims, who feel the legislation—which doesn’t name Islam or Muslims—unfairly targets them. read the complete article


24 Feb 2021


A BBC investigative report describing Chinese authorities’ sexual violence and torture of Muslim Uighur women in Xinjiang has sparked outrage and calls for action across the world. The reactions came as a “people’s tribunal” was convened to examine allegations against China of anti-Uighur brutality, chaired by a British lawyer who led the United Nations’ prosecution for war crimes of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. read the complete article

24 Feb 2021

France summons Pakistan envoy over criticism of ‘separatism’ bill

The French foreign ministry has summoned Pakistan’s envoy to protest against claims by President Arif Alvi that a French bill cracking down on what it terms “Islamist extremism” stigmatises Muslims. Addressing a conference on religion on Saturday, Alvi said: “When you see that laws are being changed in favour of a majority to isolate a minority, that is a dangerous precedent.” “I urge the political leadership of France not to entrench these attitudes into laws … You have to bring people together – not to stamp a religion in a certain manner and create disharmony among the people or create bias.” read the complete article

24 Feb 2021

What Biden should do about China's atrocities against the Uyghurs

Biden has the chance to do better. A clear and consistent position from the US would allow for a whole-of-government response and ensure the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act and Section 307 of the Tariff Act are fully enforced. These laws sanction parties involved in human rights abuses, identify where goods produced with forced labor are entering the US supply chain, and bans their import. Whole-of-government means this can't just be a concern for State Department diplomats who work on human rights. Stopping a genocide should be a priority for every government agency that deals with China. It should come up in conversations about trade, technology, terrorism, climate, and global health. Beijing should understand that this isn't a concern that can be brushed aside -- it will be front and center in every interaction. read the complete article

24 Feb 2021

My Brother’s Keeper: a former Guantánamo detainee, his guard and their unlikely friendship

Former Guantánamo detainee, Mohamedou Ould Salahi, and his guard, Steve Wood, reunite in Mauritania 13 years after last seeing each other, rekindling an unlikely relationship that profoundly changed their lives. Mohamedou was a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay for 14 years. During his incarceration he was subjected to torture and solitary confinement, but never charged with a crime. His memoir, Guantánamo Diary, became an international bestseller and was adapted into the film, The Mauritanian, starring Tahar Rahim and Jodie Foster. My Brother's Keeper is BAFTA longlisted for British Short Film 2021. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

24 Feb 2021

Sri Lanka Muslims protest Covid cremations as Pakistan PM arrives

Sri Lanka's minority Muslims demonstrated in Colombo Tuesday demanding an end to forced cremations of Covid-19 victims as Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived on an official visit. Dozens of Muslims carried a mock janazah, or coffin, denouncing the Sri Lankan government's policy of banning burials of virus victims disregarding their funeral rites. The demonstration was aimed at the visit of Khan who two weeks ago had weighed in on the plight of Muslims in Sri Lanka. read the complete article

United States

24 Feb 2021

Stephen Miller set to brief House conservatives

The gathering was organized by the 147-member Republican Study Committee, a group of traditionalist conservative lawmakers that also has met recently with other Trump administration officials, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The group met with former Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday. Immigration policy is quickly emerging as a prime motivator for conservatives in the Biden era. The promise of more lenient and humane policies has led to confusion and fears of a massive influx of migrants at the border. The opening of a migrant facility for minors has sparked rebukes from the left and accusations of hypocrisy from the right. And Republicans, including Miller, have criticized the ambitious, 357-page immigration plan introduced on the president’s behalf last Thursday by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), in apocalyptic terms. “It is the most radical immigration bill ever written, drafted, or submitted in the history of this country,” Miller said during an appearance on Fox News. “It is breathtaking.” read the complete article

24 Feb 2021

How US’ war on terror became a war in court — my 13 trips to Guantanamo Bay

Hollander is, in real life, among the hundreds of lawyers I interviewed for my forthcoming book, “The War in Court: The Inside Story of the Fight against Torture in the War on Terror,” from the University of California Press. This book traces the work of lawyers who fought the U.S. government over the post-9/11 torture program and how, against the odds, they won a few key battles and changed the way the United States waged the war on terror. Guantanamo was selected because it was under full control of the military and relatively close to the mainland, but outside the U.S. and therefore beyond the reach of American courts – or so the Bush administration assumed. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 24 Feb 2021 Edition


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