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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27 Feb 2020

Today in Islamophobia: As anti-Muslim riots in India  leave hundreds injured and at least 24 dead, Senator Sanders blasts Trump for a “failure of leadership on human rights.” In China, the coronavirus outbreak brings renewed repression for Uighurs, including a shortage of food in the camps. Our recommended read today is by Joel Swanson on AIPAC, and how it serves as a platform for anti-Muslim bigotry. This, and more, below:

United States

27 Feb 2020

Bravo, Bernie, for skipping AIPAC. It’s a platform for anti-Muslim bigotry | Recommended Read

Sanders announced his decision to skip this year’s AIPAC conference on Sunday, in a fiery statement denouncing “the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.” When Bernie Sanders says AIPAC hosts speakers “who express bigotry,” he is undeniably correct. Here are some people who will be speaking at the AIPAC 2020 annual conference next week: Sebastian Kurz, the chancellor of Austria, who brought an Austrian political party founded by a literal former Nazi into the Austrian government, the first time since the end of World War II that a political party with Nazi origins became part of a European governing coalition — a party that only recently proposed requiring Jews to obtain permits to purchase kosher meat. Then there’s Aleksandar Vučić, president of Serbia, who gave a speech just days after the July 1995 Srebrenica genocide of 8,000 Bosniak Muslims, the deadliest act of ethnic violence on European soil since the end of World War II, in which he declared, “You kill one Serb and we will kill 100 Muslims.” The conference has in the past hosted such speakers as Steve Emerson, who absurdly claimed Muslims had taken over Birmingham, England. AIPAC likewise gave $60,000 to a group run by Frank Gaffney, who played a major role in convincing Trump to implement a Muslim ban, and whom the Reform Jewish movement called a purveyor of “anti-Muslim bigotry.” read the complete article

27 Feb 2020

Bernie Sanders represents an opportunity for Jewish-Muslim unity

As a Muslim American, I have often bonded with Jewish Americans over our shared experience of being a religious minority, especially over the past three years. Islamophobia and anti-Semitism have both increased under the vitriol of Trump’s presidency: Two years ago, a white supremacist attacked a synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing eleven people, the largest targeted killing of a Jewish community in American history; and Trump’s signature Muslim ban has torn apart families, legally sanctioned discriminatory immigration policies, and fueled xenophobia. And it’s in this fellowship born of grief and fear between Muslims and Jews that Bernie Sanders’ campaign is poised to make a deep impact. Sanders enjoys large Muslim support, especially among younger Muslim Americans who affectionately refer to him as “Uncle Bernie.” When Sanders had a heart attack in October, a WhatsApp chain of Muslims praying for his health went viral. Many have noted this popularity with surprise, as though it is unnatural for Muslims to support a Jewish candidate. And yet, Muslims support Sanders for the same reasons that other Americans support him: his strong commitment to social reform, his consistent foreign policy stance against the constant barrage of U.S interventionism, and his stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. read the complete article

27 Feb 2020

Michael Bloomberg Has a Long History of Islamophobia

In many respects, Bloomberg’s record on racism is just as bad as Trump’s, and his fourteen years as mayor of New York provide many of the details. While his anti-black stop-and-frisk program has in recent weeks faced some criticism, Bloomberg’s record of Islamophobia has thus far evaded scrutiny. A glance at that record reveals that Bloomberg offers no meaningful alternative to Trump’s divisiveness. On the contrary, Michael Bloomberg is just another billionaire Islamophobe. During his time as mayor in the aftermath of September 11, Bloomberg and his New York Police Department (NYPD) implemented a surveillance program to spy on every mosque in the city, plus those within a hundred-mile radius, leading the NYPD (well beyond its jurisdiction) to New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Police stationed cars outside of mosques to take pictures and videos of those coming and going, as well as recording the license plate numbers of congregants. They also employed a culture of “create and capture,” sending police informants into mosques to create conversations on topics relating to terrorism, and then arrest and prosecute those reeled in. In the New York of Bloomberg’s mayoralty, just being Muslim was adequate grounds for suspicion. Muslim Americans lived in violation of their constitutional rights to freedom of religion and to privacy from unwarranted surveillance. read the complete article

27 Feb 2020

Sanders blasts Trump for 'failure of leadership on human rights' after Indian anti-Muslim riots

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) condemned President Trump’s response to riots in New Delhi targeting India’s Muslim minority that occurred during Trump’s visit to the country. At least 27 people have died amid the unrest, which began over protests against a law making it easier for non-Muslims from neighboring countries to obtain Indian citizenship. Sanders on Wednesday blasted Trump for his response. “Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more,” Sanders tweeted Wednesday. “Trump responds by saying, ‘That's up to India.’ This is a failure of leadership on human rights.” read the complete article


27 Feb 2020

As New Delhi Violence Rages for 3rd Day, Modi Urges Calm

As the death toll from sectarian violence that has convulsed India’s capital passed 20 on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a quick restoration of “calm and normalcy.” “Peace and harmony are central to our ethos,’’ Mr. Modi said via Twitter, a day after hosting President Trump. “I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times.” Streets that had been a battle zone were much quieter on Wednesday, with a few sporadic attacks reported but no large-scale mayhem. The weapons that police officers were carrying had been upgraded to assault rifles from sticks. The whiff of char, from scores of burned-out buildings, clung to the air. read the complete article

27 Feb 2020

Delhi protests: death toll climbs amid worst religious violence for decades

The death toll from the worst religious violence in Delhi in decades has risen to 24, as Muslims fled from their homes and several mosques in the capital smouldered after being attacked by Hindu mobs. More than 200 people were admitted to hospitals for injuries mainly from gunshot wounds as well as acid burns, stabbings and wounds from beatings and stone pelting. Several of those who died had jumped from high buildings to escape the attacking mobs. A local Muslim, who asked not to be named out of fear for his safety, described how the mob had set about destroying the mosque for over three hours, shouting Hindu nationalist slogans as they went. “They came in the afternoon and burned everything inside and then they looted and burned the shop inside the mosque and then two Muslim houses next door,” he told the Guardian. “I do not even know what to say. In 35 years I have never seen a situation like this, Hindus and Muslims always lived peacefully here. We all celebrated Eid and Diwali together. Hindu women often came into the mosque with their children, so this was not just a building for Muslims but for the whole community. But whatever peace we had is now gone.” read the complete article

27 Feb 2020

‘Targeted for being Muslim’: Inside the mosque burnt by rioters in worst Delhi violence for decades

His was one of around eight homes belonging to Muslims targeted by a rampaging mob in this Delhi neighbourhood on Tuesday afternoon, picked for destruction because they sat next to a mosque in this otherwise mostly Hindu-populated neighbourhood, vandalised, looted and then gutted with fire. The mosque was also attacked in what has now become a high profile and especially contentious incident amid three days of religious riots that have so far claimed at least 24 lives. Khursheed said around 400 people came to the Ashok Nagar neighbourhood in the morning and started attacking Muslim properties. Police officers rescued the residents and escorted them to a nearby station for their own safety but, outnumbered, retreated as the vandalism of the mosque began. “We were targeted because we are Muslim,” said another resident, Parveen. “All the shops belonging to Muslims were burnt, while none of the Hindu shops were touched. They want to single us out, to separate us from the other religions.” She said Hindus and Muslims in the neighbourhood had “never had any problems”. “We have always prayed together, Hindus and Muslims, in mosques and temples. We have always believed that we are all equal.” Like the other residents, Parveen says she bears no ill feelings for her Hindu neighbours, saying that when the mob first came from outside “they tried to save us”. read the complete article

27 Feb 2020

Anti-Muslim violence in India reaches alarming proportions

Eerily, the same Hindu nationalist goons had marked Hindu-owned properties with saffron-coloured flags to help attackers identify Muslim targets, borrowing a sinister measure used on the eve of the 2002 Gujarat riots, which left more than 2,000 Muslims killed and thousands more battered, raped, and abused. By Wednesday morning, the death toll had risen to at least 20. Among the dead are a 22-year-old rickshaw driver, a labourer, and a father of six. All across India, Modi radicalised saffron terrorists are assaulting, raping, and lynching Muslims with impunity, as government leaders openly refer to the religious minority as "termites" and "pests,” while they declare an urge for another 1947-scale Muslim exodus. read the complete article


27 Feb 2020

The coronavirus brings new and awful repression for Uighurs in China

The Chinese government has subjected tens millions of its citizens to draconian restrictions to try to contain the coronavirus. But for millions of Uighur and other ethnic minorities who were already living under severe repression, Beijing’s cruel and thuggish response to the pandemic is now compounding their anguish and pain. The Uyghur Human Rights Project released a briefing Wednesday that included Uighur-language videos and social media posts about the dire conditions in Xinjiang. The videos, which could not be independently verified, show Uighurs confronting a desperate shortage of food. The group says its claims are corroborated by news reports and messages members of the Uighur diaspora have received from family and friends in recent weeks. “The reports of desperation and agony among Uighurs are genuine,” said Omer Kanat, the group’s executive director, at a Wednesday press conference. “Early this year, as soon as we started hearing about the coronavirus outbreak, Uighurs in the diaspora immediately began to warn that we now face a whole new threat, a threat that could easily wipe out even more of our people.” read the complete article


27 Feb 2020

Interpol official warns of dramatic rise in extremist right-wing violence

The secretary general of Interpol, Jürgen Stock, spoke to The Washington Post about the dramatic rise in extremist right-wing violence and the use of social media as a “sort of incubator” for far-right ideas. Q: Do you see a trend of globalization in the case of right-wing extremism? Are people much more connected? A: This is a key question. So far, we still have to work on the bigger picture. What we see is that of course in parallel, the number of these kinds of incidents is increasing dramatically. And I think we have some information that just in the last couple of years, primarily in the Western countries, particularly Western Europe, North America, Oceania — the number of cases attributed to far-right groups has been increasing by 320 percent. We have seen in some of the cases that of course social media was used as a sort of incubator, as the modus operandi for any ideas. read the complete article

27 Feb 2020

Trump in India: Anti-Muslim prime minister puts on a big show, bamboozles our president

I don't know whether anyone's noticed this, but Fidel Castro is dead. It's interesting that such a dull observation about literacy programs in communist countries would cause such hand-wringing when you consider that our current president's favorite global leaders are all authoritarian strongmen who are very much alive. In fact, Donald Trump was being fêted and fluffed by one of those at the very moment the press was calling for the smelling salts over Sanders' mundane comments. Trump was on a state visit to India, which he's been very excited about ever since Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to America and filled a stadium in Texas with 50,000 people, promising Trump he would deliver something even better when the president visited India. Trump is likewise unconcerned with human rights violations, either in India or anywhere else. In the past he's excused Russia's authoritarian President Vladimir Putin's killing of journalists, admired Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's violent crackdown on drug users and, of course, has relentlessly bragged about his bromance with Kim Jong-un, the sociopathic leader of North Korea. We can add to that list Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazil's thuggish President Jair Bolsonaro and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, all of whom know that Trump is a fool. Modi is just the latest of those to flatter him and shame America in the process. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 27 Feb 2020 Edition


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