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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25 Feb 2019

Today in IslamophobiaSaudi crown prince stands by the internment of over 1 million Uighurs, even as China uses its social credit surveillance to ban millions from buying plane tickets. A new op-ed alleges that under the UK’s counter terrorism strategy, Shamima Begum was never presumed innocent, while another investigates CVE as a flawed and ineffective program that disproportionately targets Muslims. Our recommended read of the day is by Murtaza Hussain titled “Liberte for Whom?” This, and more, below:

United States

25 Feb 2019

Opinion | CVE Is A Flawed and Ineffective Program, And More Evaluation Won’t Fix It

From the start, CVE has suffered from several critical flaws. First, it has focused almost exclusively on Muslim communities. Instead of resulting in genuine community engagement, it has reinforced the highly dubious assumption that Muslims are predisposed to violence and require specific interventions that other groups do not. It has therefore resulted in stigmatizing young people from Muslim communities as especially worthy of suspicion. The program continues to rely on religious stereotypes, for example by falsely identifying Muslims who choose to grow a beard as adhering to extreme religious ideologies. read the complete article

25 Feb 2019

Opinion | On Ilhan Omar and the white liberal feminists

Editor Batya Ungar-Sargon, former first daughter Chelsea Clinton and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came with fury at Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for exposing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)’s influence, lobbying efforts and money in US politics. Omar was stating the obvious, but due to the terrifying backlash, which included racial slurs and threats against her, she was forced to apologize. A few days later, the Wall Street Journal issued an article confirming that “AIPAC raises more than $100 million a year, which it spends on lobbying politicians and sending members of Congress on trips to Israel”. read the complete article

25 Feb 2019

Train stabbing suspect may use 'mental disease' defence

KGW-TV reports in documents filed Thursday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Jeremy Christian’s lawyer Greg Scholl writes he “intends to rely on the defense of mental disease or defect at the time of the charged conduct.” Authorities say Christian stabbed three people aboard a MAX train in May 2017 after they tried to intervene as Christian spewed anti-Muslim threats at two black teenage girls. Scholl says Christian lacked the capacity to form the intent to commit his crimes. Scholl says Christian was also “suffering from an extreme emotional disturbance” at the time of the incident. read the complete article

25 Feb 2019

Judge orders feds to list private groups receiving watchlist

A federal magistrate on Friday ordered the government to disclose to him and to plaintiffs’ attorneys a list of private organizations that receive access to the government’s list of known or suspected terrorists. Judge John Anderson issued the ruling at the conclusion of a hearing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria which he angrily questioned government lawyers about their failure to previously disclose that hundreds of private entities like universities and hospitals receive access to the list. read the complete article

25 Feb 2019

Opinion | Why It’s Time for Hollywood to Recognize the Muslim Community’s Diversity

The very recent inclusion of American Muslims doesn’t erase the years of vilification we have endured in Hollywood. From “The Sheik” in 1921 to any number of terrorist villains from the ’80s through the present,, the portrayal of Muslims in general has been caricature at best and demonizing at worst. And those portrayals have real world impact. They affect how we are seen by others, and even how we see ourselves. Today I’m encouraged by the successes of “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” which proved that movies with diverse casts and perspectives can do well at the box office. Simply put, inclusion isgreat business. But these blockbusters could not have been so successful without broad based appeal. Moviegoers from outside the African-American or Asian communities saw these movies because they were compelling stories that were beautifully told. read the complete article

25 Feb 2019

Sister of slain Muslim man calls for hate-crime probe, but Indiana doesn't have hate-crime law

The sister of an Indiana man who was fatally shot in the back after a road-rage incident has called for a hate crime investigation because the accused gunman was allegedly yelling “anti-Muslim slurs.” But the prosecutor pressing charges against Dustin Passarelli for the death of 32-year-old Mustafa Ayoubi said he can’t do that because Indiana is one of just five states in the U.S. that doesn’t have a hate crime law. “While the disturbing allegations underlying the charge in this case remain to be proven at trial, we are obviously unable to charge this alleged act as a hate crime,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said Friday. read the complete article

25 Feb 2019

Opinion | As a Muslim Woman in Trump’s America, I’m Afraid - but I Won’t Be Silenced

The United States may proclaim religious freedom for all, but today, people are in fear of their safety just because of the color of their skin, what language they speak, or what religion they choose to follow. The simple fact that Muslim-Americans reported being afraid to leave their homes in a hijab after Trump was elected was an alarming beginning to his presidency. Since then, Trump has reinforced an anti-Muslim climate in rhetoric and policy, with the Muslim ban bolstering his outright hatred alongside a 16 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents against women wearing hijab. Trump's vitriol does not deter me from continuing to wear the hijab. In fact, I've become more mindful. For me, the hijab is more than a piece of cloth. It reminds me that my speech, mannerisms, and conduct all come under the guise of modesty as ordained by God. Being able to decide what others see of me physically is spiritually and socially liberating. I would much rather be judged for my intellect instead of my looks. read the complete article


25 Feb 2019

Opinion | Liberté for Whom? | Recommended Read

In 2015, Yasser Louati had been briefly pushed into the spotlight. A wave of major terrorist attacks in France set off an international media fixation on a community — French Muslims — whose struggles and history had been of little interest to them before. At the time, Louati was working with Collective Against Islamophobia in France, a grassroots group focused on fighting discrimination. That November, extremists attacked the Stade de France and the Bataclan theatre, leaving 130 people dead and horrifying the country. Louati gave an interview on CNN, his first appearance on television. The clip became notorious. The cable news hosts forthrightly blamed the French Muslim community as a whole for the attacks, demanding that Louati accept responsibility on air. To their visible frustration, he refused: “Sir, the Muslim community has nothing to do with these guys!” Louati said. “Nothing. We cannot justify ourselves for the actions of someone who claims to be Muslim.” The interview captured a growing sentiment that French Muslims were not just a “problem,” but a possible fifth column inside the country. The failures of modern France weigh on Louati. The country has become a “laboratory” for discriminatory laws targeting minorities, particularly Muslims, he says. But this isn’t the criticism of an outsider, let alone an ungrateful foreigner. “It’s because you feel French, and you are French, that you criticize France,” he said emphatically when we spoke. “If something is wrong in this house, I’m going to say it, because I belong here.” read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day


25 Feb 2019

Saudi crown prince defends China's right to fight 'terrorism'

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman(MBS) has supported China's right to undertake "anti-terrorism" and "de-extremism" measures, according to Chinese state media, in remarks activists lambasted as a defence of Beijing's crackdown on its Uighur Muslim minority. In his talks with Xi, MBS hailed relations with China as trouble free, the official Xinhua news agency said, while Xi urged joint efforts to counter extremism and terror. Xi told the crown prince the two countries must strengthen international cooperation on de-radicalisation to "prevent the infiltration and spread of extremist thinking", according to Xinhua. read the complete article

25 Feb 2019

China uses social credit surveillance system to ban millions from buying plane and train tickets

Social credit offences including unpaid taxes and fines saw would-be air travellers blocked from buying tickets 17.5 million times last year. Others were barred 5.5 million times from buying train tickets, according to the National Public Credit Information Centre. In an annual report, it said 128 people were blocked from leaving China due to unpaid taxes. The system is part of efforts by President Xi Jinping's government to use technology ranging from data processing to genetic sequencing and facial recognition to tighten control. The Communist Party says social credit penalties and rewards will improve order in a fast-changing society after three decades of economic reform which have shaken up social structures. read the complete article

United Kingdom

25 Feb 2019

Opinion | Where does Shamima Begum exist?

Over the past four years, Shamima — along with Amina and Kadiza — have been featured in Prevent training sessions as a ‘hard lesson’ to be learnt. Four years later, after her escape and the suspected extrajudicial killings of her two friends by drone attacks, Shamima emerged earlier this week on our TV screens. She was in a refugee camp in Turkey and was asking to come back home. What followed has been a media frenzy where Shamima’s body and trauma are up for popular consumption. The persistent shoving of cameras in Shamima’s face has removed the pretense that there is any concern about the vulnerability of a young woman who had been susceptible to ISIL’s message in the first place. Commentator after commentator (including ourselves)have attempted to dissect the trauma of this 19-year-old woman within hours of giving birth to her third child in four years, two of which are now dead. read the complete article

25 Feb 2019

Opinion | Under the UK’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Shamima Begum Was Never Presumed Innocent

To consider the case of Shamima Begum – or indeed the similar cases of Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana or Sharmeena Begum – outside of the context of the war on terror is to miss the ways in which Muslims have been cast as inherently suspicious, not only in mainstream narratives about terrorism over the past two decades, but also through myriad policies, programmes, and mechanisms of policing. The presumption of innocence is not afforded to those caught up in an ever-widening web of surveillance that the domestic war on terror is not only reliant on, but produces. The framing of Begum and the other three girls as ‘Jihadi’ or ‘IS’ brides – a moniker that is almost always used when discussing them – puts them at a remove from their adolescence. It relies on the oriental trope of the child bride to displace Begum and her friends from the realm of contemporary political realities – namely, those which are bound up in decades of Western intervention in the Middle East and Central Asia. We need to ask not just what the trope of the ‘jihadi bride’ is meant to conjure, but what the consequences of the repetition of this narrative are. read the complete article

25 Feb 2019

[CW: abuse] Tommy Robinson supporters send racist abuse to personal trainer over fitness class for Muslim women

A personal trainer who set up a fitness class for Muslim women has been bombarded with racist abuse and death threats from Tommy Robinson supporters after the far-right activist attacked her on his Instagram page. Bianca Jade, a 30-year-old personal trainer from Nottingham, said she had been inundated with vitriolic abuse since Robinson shared the flyer for her fitness classes for women on Monday. She said: “It’s one after the other. It’s not even just the calls. I’m getting text messages. I’m getting people messaging me on Facebook and Instagram and on WhatsApp. “People have been FaceTiming me but not showing their face. They want to see what I look like. I answer but I don’t show my face.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 25 Feb 2019 Edition


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