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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15 Jan 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In Bangladesh, camp fire leaves hundreds of Rohingya refugees homeless. In the U.S, a Connecticut prison guard accused of anti-Muslim discrimination is placed on leave. Our recommended read today is by Adam Satariano on Facebook and Twitter, and how their barring of Trump is highlighting their inaction abroad. This, and more, below:


15 Jan 2021

After Barring Trump, Facebook and Twitter Face Scrutiny About Inaction Abroad

In Sri Lanka and Myanmar, Facebook kept up posts that it had been warned contributed to violence. In India, activists have urged the company to combat posts by political figures targeting Muslims. And in Ethiopia, groups pleaded for the social network to block hate speech after hundreds were killed in ethnic violence inflamed by social media. “The offline troubles that rocked the country are fully visible on the online space,” activists, civil society groups and journalists in Ethiopia wrote in an open letter last year. read the complete article

United States

15 Jan 2021

GOP leaders could give extremist members the Steve King treatment

I generally ignore press releases from various organizations, think tanks, and advocacy groups, but this one stood out for me this week. The letter read in part, "Promoting QAnon and white supremacist, anti-Muslim, and anti-Semitic ideas endangers the legitimacy of our government institutions and incites violence against vulnerable communities. We strongly urge you to demonstrate your disapproval of such ideologies and hold these Members accountable by denying them Committee assignments in the 117th Congress." read the complete article

15 Jan 2021

'Disturbed': Bay Area Muslim community appalled after prayer app reportedly tracks, sells user data

Salaat First, a mobile app that reminds Muslims of when to pray, has been pulled from the Google Play and Apple App stores following reports of misuse of user location data. "Disturbed, appalled, but not surprised," said Sara Mostafavi, a Bay Area attorney who has relied on technology during the pandemic to keep connected to her Muslim faith. There is frustration and disappointment among members of the Muslim community across the Bay Area following the news, first reported by Vice, that Salaat First was recording and selling delicate location data to a third-party data broker. The company that purchased the data is previously reported to have links to U.S. government agencies ICE and the FBI. read the complete article

15 Jan 2021

Prison Guard Accused Of Anti-Muslim Bias Placed On Leave

A Connecticut prison guard accused of anti-Muslim bias has been placed on administrative leave. In a letter written Wednesday to the chairman of the Connecticut Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, acting Department of Correction commissioner Angel Quiros said Officer Anthony Marlak will remain on leave pending the outcome of a high-level investigation. The move came after the organization called for the firing of Marlak, citing posts on Facebook. read the complete article


15 Jan 2021

A Rohingya Camp Fire Leaves Hundreds Homeless

The blaze claimed no lives but left hundreds of people without homes, according to aid workers and officials. It struck at a time when officials in Bangladesh look for long-term solutions for the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have crossed its border from Myanmar in recent years. The fire erupted around 1 a.m. in the Nayapara refugee camp in southeastern Bangladesh. Fire service officials there said that the fire was brought under control within two hours and that they had opened an investigation to determine the cause. About 550 shelters were lost, as well as shops and other facilities, said the Inter Sector Coordination Group, a humanitarian organization that works with the refugees who have gathered in Cox’s Bazar. read the complete article


15 Jan 2021

China A.I. firms and Huawei filed to patent technology that could identify Uighur Muslims, report says

Another patent highlighted by IPVM was filed by Chinese AI giant Megvii in 2019. It outlines an image recognition system that can help label images of people in a database. One of the classifications it can recognize is ethnicity. Megvii’s system can be used to identify and label images of Uighurs, the patent states. A Megvii spokesperson said the language in its patent is “open to misunderstanding.” However, the patent refers explicitly to classifying images of people “according to Han, Uighur, non-Han, non-Uighur” ethnicity, according to a CNBC translation of the document. The Han people are the ethnic majority in China. read the complete article

15 Jan 2021

China possibly committed ‘genocide’ against Xinjiang Muslims

China has possibly committed “genocide” in its treatment of Uighurs and other minority Muslims in its western region of Xinjiang, a bipartisan commission of the United States Congress has said in a new report. The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) said on Thursday that new evidence had emerged in the past year that “crimes against humanity – and possibly genocide – are occurring”. The CECC also accused China of harassing Uighurs in the US. read the complete article

United Kingdom

15 Jan 2021

English teacher, 50, is banned from the classroom for life after launching YouTube channel where he ranted against Muslims, gay marriage and transgender people

An English teacher has been banned from the classroom for life after launching a Youtube channel to rant against Muslim, gay and transgender people. Damien Ryan recorded episodes for his YouTube channel named The Ryan Review, which he broadcast on the video sharing site. Ryan, 50, blasted Islam as a 'hateful, bigoted fascist ideology' and said all Muslim countries had been stolen from others. He described transgenderism as 'bullshit' and urged his viewers to speak up against gay marriage. The teacher taught English in a Catholic secondary school in Rotherham that had a significant number of BAME pupils at the time. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 15 Jan 2021 Edition


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