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
07 Feb 2019

Today in Islamophobia: Yemeni mother impacted by the Muslim Ban speaks out about her son’s death, while a Quebec minister labels hijab as a sign of oppression. Cubs owner Joe Ricketts comes under fire for Islamophobic emails while hate mails sent to a Edmonton mosque touches off a provincial political battle. Our recommended read of the day is by Reid Standish, who writes about Sayragul Sautbay, the only person to have worked inside an internment camp in Xinjiang and spoken publicly about it. This, and more, below:

United States

07 Feb 2019

Yemeni Mother Affected By The Travel Ban Speaks Out After Her Son’s Death

At the State of the Union address Tuesday night, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) brought Shaima Swileh, a 21-year-old Yemeni national, as her guest. In December, Swileh was granted a waiver to travel from Egypt to the U.S. to be with her only child, 2-year-old Abdullah Hassan, a U.S. citizen, who was dying from complications of hypomyelination, a genetic degenerative brain disease. Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) brought Swileh’s husband, Ali, a 23-year-old American citizen who works for a delivery service, as his guest to the State of the Union. This interview by HuffPost outlines her story. read the complete article

07 Feb 2019

Rep. Krishnamoorthi: ‘Outraged’ by Joe Ricketts’ Islamophobic emails

Krishnamoorthi, from Schaumburg, who represents the northwest suburban 8th Congressional District, said in a statement, “I am outraged to read about the Islamophobic emails written by Joe Ricketts. As a country, we need to send the message that this language and these ideas are unacceptable. There are strong forces in our country seeking to divide us and turn communities against one another. We are all Americans, and we all have the constitutional right to practice our religion free of government interference, but our society needs to demand acceptance and respect that go beyond that minimum standard. “Muslim-Americans, and allAmericans, should be able to live their lives and follow their paths of worship free of hate-filled speech and denunciations. Although the Cubs Organization has already distanced itself from Joe Ricketts’ comments, I call on the Chicago Cubs organization to convene a meeting of leading Muslim-Americans in the Chicago area with members of the Ricketts family to engage in a constructive dialogue regarding the importance of religious freedom and respect in America.” read the complete article

07 Feb 2019

Joe Ricketts: Chicago Cubs family patriarch's Islamophobic and right-wing emails leaked - ‘Muslims are naturally my enemy’

Several emails, from 2009 to 2013, show Mr Ricketts sending his son, the Nebraska governor, racist jokes and Islamophobic conspiracy theories. Some of them include messages where the elder Ricketts referring to Islam—an Abrahamic faith belonging to 1.7bn people worldwide—as a “cult,” and sending a link to a heavily-edited video claiming former President Barack Obamaadmitted to being Muslim. Pete Ricketts, who was elected to Nebraska’s governorship in 2015, rebuked his father when he sent another email in 2010 that spewed anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, and recommended he look up stories on Snopes—a fact-checking website—before sharing them. Other emails Mr Ricketts sent include debunked birther memes about Mr Obama, jokes including the n-word as a punchline, and long-winded screeds about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. read the complete article

07 Feb 2019

Two years later, the ‘Muslim ban’ still shuts the door on Pennsylvanians | Opinion

The human impact of the ban has been profound across the U.S. and in Pennsylvania. U.S. citizens married to a spouse from a banned country have been separated for months and even years. Similarly, students admitted into top-rate programs at universities are prevented from studying in their field because of the ban. And parents or grandparents who wish to come to the U.S. to watch their daughters and sons graduate from college or visit their grandchildren for the first time have been unable to do so. Directing an immigration clinic at Pennsylvania State University, I have personally witnessed the impact of the ban on individuals, families, and institutions. More recent data from the Department of State, analyzed by the Migration Policy Institute, shows just how significantly immigration has dropped for nationals from countries covered by the ban. According to its analysis, between fiscal year 2017 and 2018, immigrant visa issuances were down by an average of 72 percent for nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. read the complete article

07 Feb 2019

Execution of Muslim inmate in Alabama blocked over concerns about his religious rights

The 11th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals granted an indefinite stay for Dominique Ray, 42, a day before he was scheduled to die for the slaying of a teenager more than two decades ago. Alabama allows inmates to visit with their spiritual adviser beforean execution, and they can have the adviser witness the execution from a room adjoining the execution chamber. A Christian chaplain who works for the prison typically stays in the execution chamber, but Ray objected and asked for a Muslim cleric to be present. The state agreed to remove the prison chaplain from the chamber but cited security reasons for why it would not allow an imam in the room. The federal appeals court said the case merited review. read the complete article


07 Feb 2019

She Fled China’s Camps—but She’s Still Not Free | Recommended Read

Sayragul Sauytbay—an ethnic Kazakh Chinese national—provided some of the earliest testimony about Beijing’s vast internment camp system for Muslim minorities in its western Xinjiang region. As a former instructor at a camp, Sauytbay had crossed the border illegally into Kazakhstan four months earlier, as she feared internment herself, and now stood on trial with prosecutors in the Central Asian country vying for her deportation back to China. In an interview with Foreign Policy, Sauytbay, 42, said she fears that she may be sent back to China and that despite the August court ruling, her status in the country remains in limbo. Facing a growing set of obstacles—from attempts to ensure her silence to absent legal representation to having been repeatedly denied asylum status by the government—she said her time in Kazakhstan, where her husband and two children are both citizens, could be coming to an end. read the complete article

Recommended read of the day


07 Feb 2019

Hate mail sent to Edmonton mosque touches off provincial political battle

A piece of hate mail sent to an Edmonton mosque prompted immediate condemnations by politicians and sparked debate about how provincial leaders are denouncing such acts in the lead up to an election. The bottom of the letter displays the logos for the United Conservative Party and a group called "The Clann." The letter to Markaz-Ul-Islam arrived less than two weeks after a pair of "suspicious men" walked into a different Edmonton mosque, one wearing a toque with the word "infidel" written on it in Arabic. Faisal Suri, president of AMPAC, said he doesn't think the UCP had anything to do with the letter. But he said the party needs to firmly denounce Islamophobia. read the complete article

07 Feb 2019

Muslim head scarf a symbol of oppression, insists Quebec's minister for status of women

Speaking to reporters after being named to the portfolio Tuesday, Isabelle Charest said the head scarf "is not something that women should be wearing." Charest didn't back down from those comments Wednesday, though she acknowledged that some women choose to wear the hijab themselves, and she "respects their decision." "When they are dictated by a religion on what they have to wear, for me it's a lack of liberty, and it doesn't meet my values," Charest said. read the complete article


07 Feb 2019

Former member of Dutch anti-Islam party becomes a Muslim

Joram van Klaveren was a lawmaker in the Party of Freedom, led by Dutch anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders, from 2010 to 2014. He made headlines and raised eyebrows in the Netherlands this week after announcing his religious conversion in interviews connected to a book he has written titled “Afvallige,” the Dutch word for Apostate. His publisher says his conversion came as Van Klaveren, who was brought up as a Protestant, was researching a book that was intended to be critical of Islam. “With this book, we hope to contribute to getting rid of the many misconceptions about Islam and prevent polarization in our society,” said Mohamed Ben Hammouch, chairman of the book’s publishing house. read the complete article

United Kingdom

07 Feb 2019

Sayeeda Warsi on Islamophobia, the changing face of Conservative politics and human rights policy | Video

Sayeeda Warsi talks to Krishnan about wanting an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory Party, why she thinks politics has gone backwards and how a globally adopted human rights policy would change things. read the complete article

07 Feb 2019

[CW: racial slur] West Ham and police investigate alleged Islamophobic abuse of Mohamed Salah

In the footage, recorded in a home area of the ground, someone is heard shouting “Salah, you f*cking Muslim, f*cking Muslim c*nt” at the Egyptian forward. Kick It Out, football’s anti-discrimination charity, expressed its dismay at “yet another high-profile incident of discrimination in English football”. The Metropolitan police said they were aware of the video and in the process of reviewing the footage from the Premier League match. “No arrests have been made and inquiries continue,” a Met statement added. West Ham are examining CCTV footage and are working with the police as they attempt to identify the perpetrator. The club has vowed to take firm action against anyone found guilty of racial abuse. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 07 Feb 2019 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results