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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08 Feb 2021

Today in Islamophobia: Harvard Law Review elects first Muslim president. Myanmar blocks Facebook, Twitter as anti-coup protests grow. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sues the state of Alabama for not allowing imam into execution chamber. Uighur advocates communicate alarm at the UK’s attempt to compromise on genocide law. Our recommended read today is by Hartosh Singh Bal who argues there is no freedom of press in India if the government can charge journalists for sedition for the crime of doing their jobs. This, and more, below:


08 Feb 2021

Opinion | If India can charge journalists with ‘sedition’ for doing their jobs, it has no free press | Recommended Read

The cases invoked sections of the law that included “sedition”, a non-bailable offence with a sentence that can range from three years to a life term. Those booked from the Caravan include the executive editor, Vinod Jose, Anant Nath, editor and executive publisher, and Paresh Nath, owner and publisher of the group that runs the magazine. Others booked include the politician Shashi Tharoor and a few other prominent journalists. The next day, a case was filed against Siddharth Vardarajan, editor of the digital website the Wire, for running a video story where Navreet Singh’s family alleged that he had been shot. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day

United States

08 Feb 2021

The media can’t ignore Marjorie Taylor Greene. Can they figure out how to cover her?

Reporters who used to ask Republicans in the hallways of the Capitol for their reaction to Trump’s tweets are now asking them to comment about Greene’s Facebook posts. Major newspapers have published front-page stories about the drama, including a Washington Post report on how key Republicans aided her political ascent. Since Election Day through midweek, Greene's name was mentioned about 400 times on MSNBC and 200 times on CNN, though just about 30 on Fox News — with mentions starting to rise last week, according to a review using media monitoring service Critical Mention. read the complete article

08 Feb 2021

A Century Ago, White Protestant Extremism Marched on Washington

Many rioters, a largely white group, were motivated by religious fervor and saw themselves as participants in a kind of holy war. Some brought Confederate flags, others crosses. Some who invoked the name of Jesus were members of far-right groups like the Proud Boys, whose participants have espoused misogynistic and anti-immigrant views. Some were motivated by conspiracy theories and QAnon falsehoods as well as their conservative Christian faith. read the complete article

08 Feb 2021

Harvard Law Review elects first Muslim president

The Harvard Law Review has named a Los Angeles-born Egyptian-American as what it believes is its first Muslim president in its 134-year history, elevating him to the top of one of the most prestigious U.S. law journals. Harvard Law School student Hassaan Shahawy said he hoped his election represented “legal academia’s growing recognition of the importance of diversity, and perhaps its growing respect for other legal traditions.” read the complete article

08 Feb 2021

Families affected by Trump ‘Muslim ban’ say process still stalled

But while al-Dailam, an American citizen, said he was initially relieved to see Biden sign an executive order overturning the ban, the decision so far has done little to change his family’s reality. His wife’s US visa application, which he submitted in 2015 shortly after they were married, is still in “administration processing”. She and the couple’s one-year-old son remain in war-torn Yemen, while al-Dailam lives with their two daughters, aged three and five, in Dearborn, Michigan. “The reversal did not erase that or change anything about it,” al-Dailam told Al Jazeera. “It’s a horrible feeling because I miss my wife and my young son,” he said, “and my daughters miss their mother.” read the complete article

08 Feb 2021

Repealing the Muslim Ban Is Not Enough. We Need Accountability.

Trump alone could not have accomplished this ban. He was aided by dozens of government workers, private lobbyists, and attorneys who implemented the ban and revised it so it would pass court muster. People’s tribunals can be critical in cases like this one, where domestic courts have effectively sanctioned an act even though its enforcement has implicated the U.S. government in a number of human rights violations. People’s tribunals are forums for justice initiated by grassroots organizations, social justice movements, organizers, lawyers, and academics. These forums provide space to adjudicate charges against the state outside of the formal judicial system. Unlike proceedings that involve state bodies, such as congressional investigations or litigation, people’s tribunals are not beholden to government bureaucracy in their truth finding and exposing missions. read the complete article

08 Feb 2021

First Thing: conspiracy theorist congresswoman has her wings clipped

The vote came in response to Greene’s repeated peddling of conspiracy theories and extremist views, including support for QAnon, and for the execution of prominent Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. Before the vote, the House majority leader, Steny Hoyer, delivered a fiery speech railing against Greene’s malice towards her fellow lawmakers. Hoyer showed an image Greene posted on Facebook which depicted her holding an AR-15 against the backdrop of pictures of “the Squad” group of progressive Democratic congresswomen, saying, “Squad’s worst nightmare”. read the complete article


Neurotic anxiety in Europe and hate narratives about Islam

A number of issues defined and discussed under “clash of values” have been turned into overt hostility towards Islam, with Muslim foreigners representing a highly unwelcome element in the “European home”. This hostility and aggression, whose magnitude calls for a reconceptualization of the term ‘Islamophobia’, is now perceived as a new form of anti-Semitism directed towards Islam and its followers. The perception of “antagonist”, built on the narratives of hatred for Islam and Muslims -- two hatreds that actually feed on each other --, stigmatizes Muslims as “inferior”, places them at the center of xenophobic, aggressive, and neo-racist hate speech, and these discourses are then instrumentalized by far-right political parties and radical groups in Europe. Anti-Islamic incidents that erupted one after another, especially in Norway, Sweden, Germany, Britain, and France, also reveal -- through hate narratives that have evolved into neo-racism -- the pathological neurotic anxiety that a group of people has developed and ontological insecurities arising from this anxiety. These marginalization efforts and populist narratives that have surfaced with far-right parties in Europe are accepted by certain segments of peoples, but the socio-psychological background of this acceptance is often overlooked. read the complete article

08 Feb 2021

Uighur advocates ‘appalled’ by UK attempt to compromise on genocide law

Boris Johnson's bid to see off a parliamentary rebellion over genocide determination is “tantamount to spitting into the faces” of survivors of Chinese detention camps, Uighur advocates told the U.K. prime minister. A cross-party group of MPs will this week make a fresh attempt to amend the British government's Trade Bill, aiming to add a clause to it that would scuttle trade deals with any country found by British courts to have committed genocide. After narrowly swerving defeat on the issue last month, the government has put forward a compromise plan that campaigners say still falls far short of their aims. read the complete article

08 Feb 2021

Over 30 Rohingya caught arriving in Malaysia by boat in January: police

Seeking refuge, Muslim Rohingya have for years boarded boats fleeing persecution in Myanmar and refugee camps in Bangladesh, some taking the dangerous option of travelling with people-smugglers to Southeast Asia. Malaysia does not recognise refugee status, but the Muslim-majority country is a favoured destination for Rohingyas seeking a better life. Seventeen Rohingya women, seven men and seven children, as well as five Indonesian women, were on board, police said of the arrivals, which were reported by AFP on Friday. read the complete article


08 Feb 2021

To shut down far-right extremism in Australia, we must confront the ecosystem of hate

And while he carried out his mass-shooting attack alone, he saw himself as a belonging to a global community of white supremacists. He was a vocal supporter of the notorious Australian extremist Blair Cottrell. He was very much a part of Australia’s far-right ecosystem of hate. Last month, a group of far-right extremists made headlines with a public and childishly provocative camping trip to the Grampians. It is easy to dismiss them as being a bunch of attention-seeking fantasists, but the danger is greater than it appears. read the complete article


08 Feb 2021

Myanmar massacre victims called the 'final problem' — the US must take action

While some human rights experts fear that Hlaing’s power grab will expose the Rohingya to even greater heights of persecution, others believe that the coup will have little impact. On one hand, the now-ousted Aung San Suu Kyi has been no friend of the Rohingya or other religious minorities. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient has faced harsh criticism since 2016 for denying genocidal intent behind the military’s actions and vigorously defending the military before the International Court of Justice. read the complete article

08 Feb 2021

Myanmar Blocks Facebook, Twitter As Anti-Coup Protests Grow

Days after a coup and the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected leaders, the military in Myanmar is moving to strangle free speech by blocking access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp. The Internet clampdown came as protests grew Saturday on the streets of Yangon, the country's commercial capital, where thousands turned out to demand the return of the legitimately elected government led by Suu Kyi. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 08 Feb 2021 Edition


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