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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22 Jan 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Trump confirms plans to expand Muslim Ban, as an Iranian student faces deportation from the U.S ‘without explanation.’ Myanmar’s inquiry into the crisis in Rakhine comes under fire for ignoring allegations of SVGB crimes by the military. Our recommended read today is by Maha Hilal on Guantanamo– an enduring symbol of U.S Islamophobia. This, and more, below:

United States

22 Jan 2020

Guantanamo: An enduring symbol of US Islamophobia | Recommended Read

Though Muslims have long been targeted in the US, as a young Muslim, learning about Guantanamo Bay introduced me to the specifics of how this country would criminalise my community. To many Muslim Americans, this prison - an extrajudicial space deliberately opened off the US mainland - is a haunting symbol of Islamophobia. From its inception, Guantanamo was about creating a separate system of justice that would make it easier for the US to utilise tactics such as torture, based on the premise that US laws did not apply to prisons outside of the US mainland. Constructing terrorism as an inherently Muslim crime, exceptional in its scope and brutality, is what allowed it to exist in this alternate legal structure. This idea, captured in the oft-cited narrative that the prisoners sent to Guantanamo were “the worst of the worst”, has specifically justified the need for an offshore prison. Furthermore, the US government claimed that the men detained at Guantanamo were all “suspected terrorists”. With these narratives stacked against them, the Muslim men detained were denied the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
22 Jan 2020

Trump confirms plans to expand travel ban

President Trump on Tuesday confirmed he plans to expand his controversial travel ban that bars citizens of certain countries from entering the United States. The president's comments confirm an Associated Press report from earlier this month. Any additions or alterations to the travel ban would draw immediate legal challenges. Trump's openness to expand one of his most controversial policies at the outset of an election year signals that he will seek to rev up his base of supporters and double down on the isolationist ideas that he rode to the White House in 2016. read the complete article

22 Jan 2020

Architect of C.I.A. Interrogation Program Testifies at Guantánamo Bay

On the witness stand was James E. Mitchell, a psychologist and architect of the Bush-era interrogation program that had inflicted torture on prisoners held in secret C.I.A. prisons after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Defiantly, he described how the program came about and why in his view it was necessary, growing emotional only when recounting how he came to the conclusion that it was his patriotic duty to personally implement the techniques he had devised. read the complete article

22 Jan 2020

Iranian student with valid visa facing deportation from US ‘without explanation’

An Iranian student with a valid visa to study in the US was detained without explanation or direct access to legal counsel and threatened with imminent deportation as the country celebrated Martin Luther King Day, his lawyers said. More than 50 protesters gathered at Logan Airport in Massachusetts, where Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein was arrested by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and was due to be deported at 6:30pm local time on Monday. read the complete article


22 Jan 2020

Dozens Of Indians, Mostly Muslims, Have Been Killed By Police During Recent Protests

And now to India, where we've been reporting on weeks of protests against a new citizenship law - a law that excludes Muslim refugees. Tonight, we have a story about the government's response. Police have used violence against protesters on college campuses and in some of the country's poorest minority neighborhoods. The vast majority of those killed have been Muslims, and that has raised questions about whether police are targeting them. NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from New Delhi. read the complete article

22 Jan 2020

Protesting women in India are uniting Muslims, Hindus and religious minorities

The Shaheen Bagh protest remarkably has attracted Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and other religious minorities. These women represent nearly 600 million Indian women who believe in the democratic foundations of free speech, liberty, equality and religious freedom — ideals that seem to have come under threat by the citizenship law. The Shaheen Bagh protest reminds us that it is impossible to turn India’s religiously pluralistic society into a one-faith nation, which many believe is the subtle motivation behind the bill. Those protesting are fighting for the long history of India as a religiously diverse nation. The protest was initiated by a diverse group of Muslim women, from septuagenarians to young mothers cradling their children. Some of them wear hijabs; others don’t. And some are college-educated, while primary school is the highest educational attainment of others. These women aim to expose the lies that religious extremists have circulated in recent years — mainly that India’s democratic foundation has not worked for its multi-religious society and that Indians of minority faiths are anti-national. read the complete article

22 Jan 2020

Citizenship Amendment Act: Court refuses to put controversial law on hold

India's Supreme Court has refused to put on hold the implementation of a controversial new citizenship law. The court also asked the government to respond within a month to a clutch of petitions challenging the law's constitutional validity. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court hinted that it may refer the law to a larger constitution bench in the future - but for now, it has only asked the government to reply to pending petitions. Several petitions argue that the law is illegal, claiming that it grants citizenship on the basis of religion - which goes against the country's secular values enshrined in its constitution. Those challenging this new law include political parties, civil society and Muslim groups. read the complete article


22 Jan 2020

On the sinister objectives of Abu Dhabi's 'crusade' against political Islam

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the UAE’s foreign policy is far from secular. Its meta-narrative of “tolerance” and “religious coexistence” is not just a soft power tool to depoliticise Islam and undermine Islamism in the region; it also serves as a shell, albeit intellectually hollow, to promote a form of Islam that is politically quietist. The UAE well understands the power of religion and ideology to mobilise and demobilise civil society in the Arab world. Its promotion of Sufism is everything but secular: it serves as an ideological and religious footing for its aggressive foreign policy stance in the region. read the complete article

United Kingdom

22 Jan 2020

How Safe Are Our Mosques? | Video

As a young Muslim growing up in Bradford, Samayya Afzal has never felt anything but British but she’s no stranger to Islamophobic slurs and attacks. As she says, “It was at a young age that I realised I was different. And people want to punish that difference”. And when 50 people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand last year, Samayya noticed a sharp rise in Islamophobic incidents in the UK – a spike apparently confirmed by the monitoring group Tell Mama. read the complete article

22 Jan 2020

'Tried and tested': Muslim activists say left did not heed Prevent warnings

When the Campaign Against the Arms Trade was revealed to have been among other campaign groups including Greenpeace and the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign in a document produced by counter-terrorism police, alarm bells began ringing for activist groups across the UK. The 2019 document was produced to help public sector workers to meet their obligations under the Prevent Duty, introduced in 2015, which requires them to show "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism". Prevent is the controversial strand of the British government's counter-terrorism strategy which aims to stop people from becoming terrorists and which has long faced criticism over complaints that it discriminates against Muslims, has stifled free speech in schools and universities, and amounts to a mass surveillance programme. read the complete article


22 Jan 2020

Myanmar inquiry into treatment of Rohingya condemned as 'cover-up'

A Myanmar government-backed inquiry that dismissed allegations of genocide against the Rohingya has been condemned as a deeply flawed cover-up, after it failed to interview a single victim of rape. The full report of the panel inquiry, which has been criticised by the UN, was not made publicly available. It is not clear how many Rohingya were interviewed by the panel. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 22 Jan 2020 Edition


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