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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05 Feb 2019

Today in Islamophobia: British MPs back right wing youth group while in the U.S, an anti- Muslim group stands by Laura Loomer’s “independent journalism”. In Canada, Gatineau’s councilor apologizes for saying Islamophobia does not exist in Quebec, even as two victims of the 2017 mosque shooting are awarded medals for their acts of courage. Our recommended read of the day is by Alia Al-Saji, titled “Why we should stop fixating on what Muslim women wear”. This, and more, below:

United Kingdom

05 Feb 2019

Tory MPs back youth group with apparent links to US far right

A number of Conservative MPs have praised the work of a new UK right wing youth pressure group that is said to have links to far-right conspiracy theorists, and has in the US been accused of anti-Islam views and connections to racism. On Sunday, MPs including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel tweeted supportive messages for Turning Point UK, the offshoot of a controversial organisation established in the US. The UK outpost is headed by George Farmer, a Conservative donor and son of a Tory peer, who has been pictured socializing with Paul Joseph Watson, a senior editor at the far-right conspiracy theory website Infowars, and frequently retweets him. Watson has also praised Turning Point. On Islam, Farmer tweeted: “Can anyone explain to me why you need so much protection when you convert out of the religion of peace? Asking for a friend.” read the complete article


05 Feb 2019

Dutch former anti-Muslim politician converts to Islam

Joram Van Klaveren said he made the switch from critic to convert while writing a book about Islam. "During that writing I came across more and more things that made my view on Islam falter," he told Dutch radio. Van Klaveren was a member of parliament for the Freedom Party (PVV) from 2010 to 2014, but quit the party after Wilders' asked supporters during a rally in 2014 if they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands, to which the crowd chanted “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” After leaving the PVV, Van Klaveren set up his own party, For Netherlands, but failed to win a seat in the 2017 national election and quit politics read the complete article

United States

05 Feb 2019

The Anti-Muslim Hate Group Backing Laura Loomer’s ‘Independent Journalism’

Researchers at One People’s Project, a U.S.-based anti-racist organization, first noticed that Loomer listed a post office box address on a donations solicitation she posted on Instagram that was identical to the one used by the anti-Muslim hate group United West. Three days ago, after her arrest on the grounds of the California governor’s mansion in Sacramento, where Democrat Gavin Newsom presides, Loomer directed fans who wanted to support her “independent journalism” to send contributions to her PayPal account or to mail them to a P.O. box in Lake Worth, Florida. read the complete article

05 Feb 2019

UN pick Heather Nauert hosted panel on Sharia law conspiracies in 2009 Fox News webcast

Heather Nauert, a former host for "Fox and Friends" and the current spokeswoman for the State Department, pushed the theory in a 2009 Fox News hourlong special webcast titled "Terror from Within" that is still available on the network's website. Nauert fielded input from anti-Muslim activists Frank Gaffney and Robert Spencer, as well as Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah, who is a prominent Muslim critic of aspects of Islam. In 2009, Nauert introduced the program as exploring "a school of thought that there is a stealthy jihad taking place within the US. And the theory is that some in our country want to destroy our America from within." They would achieve this destruction, she continued, "by using our own legal system against us, by undermining our financial system and even taking away our holidays. The fact that we are a PC, politically correct country, well that will only be used against us." Nauert later added that the segment was "not intending in any way to malign the Muslim faith" but was looking at "one school of thought" that was "in part based on some things that are happening overseas, some things that are extremely relevant." read the complete article

05 Feb 2019

Gavin McInnes is latest far-right figure to sue anti-hate watchdog

Gavin McInnes’s lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is part of a wave of legal action by far-right figures against the Alabama-based anti-hate watchdog. McInnes founded the self-confessed “western chauvinist” group, and promoted them from his media platforms, before publicly quitting the group late last year in the wake of prosecutions arising from a brawl in New York City, and revelations about the FBI’s advice on the group to local law enforcement agencies. McInnes also made a string of on-air remarks asserting that “fighting solves everything”, “I cannot recommend violence enough” and, of anti-fascist opponents, “let’s destroy them”. He has described the Proud Boys as a gang. read the complete article

05 Feb 2019

Two years after Trump’s travel ban, faith-based refugee groups struggle

40-year-old Khadra Abdo is a Muslim mother of seven who was separated from her five oldest children from first a marriage nearly 12 years ago when she and her second husband fled civil war twice — first in Somalia, then in Libya. When they arrived in Columbus, Ohio, as asylum seekers in 2012, she filed a request for her four teenaged daughters and one son, living with her 75-year-old mother in Ethiopia, to join her through World Relief. Seven years later, she is still waiting. And the World Relief office that once helped her has been closed. That closure in 2017 was a “direct result” of President Trump’s executive order to cut the number of refugees resettled that year in the United States, World Relief said at the time. Over the past two years, the nation’s refugee resettlement system has been slowly dismantled. The process started after President Trump temporarily suspended the entire refugee program in the United States and issued the first version of a ban on travel from predominantly Muslim countries. read the complete article


05 Feb 2019

Opinion | Why we should stop fixating on what Muslim women wear | Recommended Read

Quebec's provincial government is preparing a new law to prevent public servants in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols. This includes judges, crown prosecutors, prison guards, police officers, and teachers from primary to high school. Quebec is not alone in passing its “secularism law.” France, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and some parts of Germany have all passed different laws, with different reasoning, aimed at controlling how Muslim women dress in public. Indeed, Quebec already has a law that bans covering one’s face when using public services and transportation. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
05 Feb 2019

Gatineau councillor apologizes for comments about Muslims Social Sharing

In a French-language newspaper interview last week, Coun. Nathalie Lemieux said she didn't believe Islamophobia exists in the province, and insisted Quebecers aren't as racist as some suggest. Lemieux said Muslim immigrants choose not to integrate the way immigrants from other cultures do, and "do bad things with their trucks.... It's normal to be afraid of them." In a Facebook post on Monday, Lemieux wrote in French that she never intended to hurt or offend anyone, and apologized for her words. But she added it was unfair to judge her based on a statement that she said didn't fully reflect her views. She repeated her belief that Quebecers are tolerant and open, and that Quebec is far from being an Islamophobic society. read the complete article

05 Feb 2019

Two victims of Quebec Mosque shooting receive medals for acts of courage

As a survivor of the 2017 Quebec City mosque attack was honoured by the province Monday for his bravery, he took Quebec Premier Francois Legault to task over comments downplaying the threat of Islamophobia. Aymen Derbali, who was among eight Quebecers receiving medals from the provincial government for their acts of courage, said he does not share Legault’s point of view. “There is Islamophobia — the proof is what happened at the mosque,” he told reporters. Derbali, who was hit by seven bullets, put himself in the line of fire in an effort to distract the shooter. He was paralyzed from the waist down and now uses a wheelchair. read the complete article


05 Feb 2019

Rights Groups Seek U.N. Inquiry Into China’s Mass Detention of Muslims

Human rights groups called on Monday for a United Nations investigation into China’s mass detention of Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang, seeking to galvanize an international response to allegations of widespread abuses. The rights organizations, presenting the issue as a test of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s credibility, urged it to set up an international fact-finding mission during its session that starts at the end of February. “The magnitude of abuses allegedly occurring in Xinjiang demand uncompromising scrutiny,” Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement released at a news conference in Geneva read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 05 Feb 2019 Edition


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