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

Sign up for the Today in Islamophobia Newsletter
05 Feb 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Trump’s policies– including the expanded Muslim Ban– seek to turn Iranian Americans into second class citizens. In the UK, Jewish and Muslim groups condemn Tory party member for attending a far-right conference in Italy. In India’s UP, Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath incites vitriol by claiming Muslims “did India no favor” by staying in the country after partition. Our recommended read is on the impact of the new NRC laws in India on women who do not have access to documents proving their citizenship. This, and more below:


05 Feb 2020

India’s New Laws Hurt Women Most of All | Recommended Read

The police brutality gave further impetus to national protests, and quietly, the women of Shaheen Bagh joined in. Today, those women have become the face of the resistance. They are also the face of the uncertainty that women across India have felt since the Modi government began updating the NRC. Their fears are not unfounded. After the implementation of the NRC in Assam, 1.9 million people were found to be lacking papers for citizenship and, according to activists, 69 percent of them were women. “I have no idea where my birth certificate is or where my degrees are,” said Nusrat Ara, one of the conveners of the protest at Shaheen Bagh. “Most women don’t even have these documents.” Ara has broken from years of conservative upbringing to stand shoulder to shoulder with men on the streets because she knows instinctively what the NRC would mean for women like her across the country. In India, a woman’s life is defined not by papers and documents but by dispossessions. Under the NRC process, people are required to submit documents proving their ownership of land, their lineage, and their education. Most women in India do not have their names on those kinds of documents. “Women in this country have the vaguest ideas about when they were born or where they were born,” said Kavita Krishnan, a gender activist and secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association. “And documents are, of course, totally nonexistent.” That, however, is to be expected in a country where only 66 percent of women are literate as compared with 82 percent of men. And among the women who begin an education, most are unable to finish because of the prevalence of child marriages. According to UNICEF, one in every three of the world’s child brides lives in India. Of the 223 million child brides in the country, 102 million were married before the age of 15. The NRC makes things worse. Women have been historically “excluded from entitlements to land and access to education and have almost no documentation to prove their existence as citizens,” according to a statement by Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression, a countrywide group of women activists who conducted a fact-finding mission in Assam after the NRC. read the complete article

Recommended Read
05 Feb 2020

Gandhi’s Killer Evokes Admiration as Never Before

Indians consider Gandhi one of the fathers of their nation. But the rise of a Hindu nationalist government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has uncorked many extremist beliefs, and admiration for Gandhi’s killer, among some, has become more open. It is a sign of how much India has changed in the five and a half years since Mr. Modi took power. “Gandhi was a traitor,” said Pooja Shakun Pandey, who blames Gandhi for partition and who participated in a recent ceremony worshiping Mr. Godse on the anniversary of Gandhi’s assassination. “He deserved to be shot in the head.” Prominent Hindu nationalists still invoke Gandhi, but in many cases they are trying to co-opt his legacy — presenting their policies, however divisive, as congruent with his beliefs. One example: a recent citizenship law pushed by Mr. Modi’s government that, critics say, discriminates against Muslims and threatens the secular state that Gandhi had envisioned. Other Hindu nationalists, though, continue to overtly vilify the man admired worldwide as an apostle of peace. The ceremony at the statue venerating his killer, in Meerut, in the north of the country, is not the only sign of respect for Mr. Godse in India these days. Across the country, more than a dozen statues of Gandhi’s killer have been erected. Several Hindu temples are being converted into Godse temples. read the complete article

05 Feb 2020

Yogi Adityanath: 'Muslims did no favour to India by staying here'

Muslims who chose to stay in India when it was partitioned following independence from Britain had done the country "no favours", Yogi Adityanath, one of India's most controversial right-wing politicians, has said. "They should have opposed partition, which led to the formation of Pakistan," he said in an exclusive interview with BBC Hindi's Nitin Srivastava. Mr Adityanath is the chief minister of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state and home to nearly a quarter of India's 200 million Muslims. He is also a top leader in the governing Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. read the complete article

United States

05 Feb 2020

The Racism at the Heart of Trump’s ‘Travel Ban | Opinion

There’s one other country on the expanded list — Nigeria. Home to more than 200 million of Africa’s 1.2 billion people, Nigeria has the largest economy on the continent and has worked with the American military on joint operations. There’s little to no evidence that this group is a threat to Americans, nor is there any history of Nigerian terrorism on American soil. But I don’t think President Trump is actually worried about Nigerian terrorism. In 2017, The New York Times reported on a meeting between Trump and several members of his cabinet in which he raged against foreign visitors to the United States. Citing a memo from Stephen Miller, the president’s chief immigration hard-liner, Trump complained about the pending arrival of thousands of people from Muslim and predominantly African nations. They “all have AIDS,” Trump reportedly said, about immigrants from Haiti. As for Nigerians? Once they saw America, they would never “go back to their huts.” All of this was separate from the president’s remarks on what he famously called “shithole countries” — those came the next year, when he found a fresh way to articulate his racist vision of immigration policy, where white Europeans are welcome and nonwhites are not. Which is to say that it does not matter that Nigeria isn’t much of a national security threat or that Nigerians are among the most successful immigrants to the United States, surpassing native-born Americans in income and educational attainment. What matters is that they’re black and African and, for Trump, at the bottom of a racial hierarchy. read the complete article

05 Feb 2020

Trump’s policies are turning Iranian Americans into second-class citizens | Opinion

Iranians were among the first groups of people targeted by President Trump’s travel ban, which barred citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. More than half of the people denied visas under the ban were Iranians. Now, though, Customs and Border Protection officials are also cracking down on people with ties to Iran — including U.S. citizens in good standing who came here from the country, in some cases many years ago. A memo to CPB staff leaked to CNN last week listed “updated procedures” in response to a vow from Iran’s supreme leader to take “forceful revenge” for the targeted killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani on Jan. 3. The guidelines call for — among other things — extra vetting of all people born between 1961 and 2001 with any links to Iran. read the complete article

05 Feb 2020

What U.S. Religious Liberty Means — Especially When It Comes To Islam

CORNISH: So what you saw was the creation of a hierarchy of faiths, even within this world of law. UDDIN: To me, I saw even beyond just the creation of a hierarchy. I actually saw denial of Islam even being a religion that had access to religious freedom. Another suggestion that President Trump brought up during the campaign was to close down mosques. When you create such a stark disparity between the types of things that you're willing to protect for, quote-unquote, "religion" and then say that the most basic of religious freedom rights are not afforded to a particular group of people, you know, how exactly are you explaining that? What's the logic there? And it didn't take much to figure out what that is because unfortunately, an increasingly common talking point among many people in the White House and in that sort of larger network is that Islam is not a religion. It is a dangerous political ideology. And therefore, Muslims don't have religious freedom rights. read the complete article

05 Feb 2020

New travel ban reflects Trump administration's discriminatory intent

Unlike the previous version, which is still in effect, this is not a total ban. But in seeking to limit legal immigration from these countries, the ban fits into a now familiar pattern — executive actions by the Trump administration seemingly designed to curtail legal immigration by nonwhite people, Muslims and those with lower incomes. And in doing so, the order will do what previous travel bans have done — hurt American families and communities. Four of the six affected countries are in Africa and represent 25 percent of the continent’s population. All six have significant Muslim populations. The impact of this latest ban on citizens of these countries will be severe. But what the American public may not realize is that the ban will also result in family separations for Americans. It specifically targets immigrant visas for four of the countries. Instead of waiting for President Trump to continue to issue further discriminatory and overbroad travel bans, Congress should pass the “NO BAN Act.” This bill, introduced last April, would prohibit religious discrimination in immigration decisions and repeal the previous travel bans. read the complete article


05 Feb 2020

'Seattle is leading the way': US city passes resolution against India's CAA and NRC

The resolution passed unanimously at Seattle City Council on Monday, making it the first US city to pass legislation against India's actions, which rights groups have denounced as discriminatory towards Muslims by favouring non-Muslim immigration. The measure states that "the Seattle City Council opposes the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act in India, and finds these policies to be discriminatory to Muslims, oppressed castes, women, indigenous, and LGBT people". As members of India's ruling party cited Donald Trump's Muslim ban as a justification for their targeting of Muslims, "Americans have a unique responsibility to stand up and speak about this human rights crisis", Equality Labs, a South Asian human rights group in the US, said in a statement. "We are glad that Seattle is leading the way on this." read the complete article


05 Feb 2020

Two Rohingya Women Killed in Myanmar Shelling

Two women, one pregnant, were killed and seven other people were wounded when shells hit a Rohingya village in Myanmar's Rakhine state on Saturday, Jan. 25. The army rejected accusations from a local lawmaker, a villager and the Arakan Army (AA), a rebel group, that the Myanmar military was responsible for the shelling at Kin Taung, two days after the United Nations' highest court ordered Myanmar to protect the Rohingya. A military statement confirmed the deaths, but blamed the AA, a Rakhine ethnic rebel group which has been fighting for greater autonomy in the state for more than a year. Two military spokesmen did not answer calls seeking comment. "AA terrorists committed firing at Bengali villages with the use of heavy weapons and planting mines," the statement said. read the complete article

United Kingdom

05 Feb 2020

Jewish And Muslim Groups Have Condemned A Tory MP For Attending A Conference With Far-Right Politicians In Italy

BuzzFeed News revealed on Wednesday that Daniel Kawczynski would be speaking alongside far-right leaders, such as Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy's Lega party, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, and Marion Maréchal of France's National Rally (formerly known as the National Front). He defended his decision to attend, writing in a letter to his local newspaper that his critics were "hysterical". Salvini and Orbán "represent serious ideas and concerns, some of which are shared by many citizens of the UK", Kawczynski said. The Board of Deputies of British Jews — the main representative body of Jewish people in Britain — called on the Conservative party to take disciplinary action. The Muslim Council of Britain said: "It is unacceptable that anyone holding the position of MP speaks at a nationalist conference alongside Islamophobes and anti-Semites. It is even more disturbing that the Conservative chief whip appears to have known that Daniel Kawcyznski MP was going to speak at a nationalist conference alongside far-right, racist politicians, and yet chose to take no action. read the complete article


05 Feb 2020

Report calls for end to program that involves police officers in public schools

The report, titled Deconstructing Racism and Islamophobia, is based on written submissions, complaints and discussions with HWDSB students who agreed to share their experience, according to the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI) which put it together with information gathered by a group called HWDSB Kids Need Help. The board refuses to take racism and discrimination seriously on a systemic level, instead relying on "Band-Aid solutions," said Gatchi Issa, a 20-year-old who attended Westdale Secondary School and a member of HWDSB Kinds Need Help. Sabreina Dahab, also a member of HWDSB Kids Need Help, said: "Marginalized students face high levels of racism, discrimination, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism specifically homophobia and ableism." Maria Felix Miller, the HWDSB trustee for Ward 3, attended the media conference and told CBC the board has received the recommendations and will be "pursuing them further," noting questions around police involvement in schools "warrants deeper ... discussion." read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 05 Feb 2020 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results