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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26 Jan 2021

Today in Islamophobia: U.S. declares China’s human rights abuses against Muslim Uighurs ‘genocide.’ UN labels Sri Lanka cremation of COVID-19 dead, including Muslims, a human rights violation. Oregon man arrested after trashing store, spewing Islamophobic slurs seen in viral video. Our recommended read today is by Abdullah Shihipar on Sri Lanka’s forced cremation policy regarding COVID patients, and its impact on Muslim minorities in the country. This, and more, below: 

Sri Lanka

26 Jan 2021

Sri Lanka’s baseless forced cremation policy inflicts trauma on Muslims | Recommended Read

However, there is no scientific evidence to back up this policy. The World Health Organization has said that there is no significant infection risk from burying bodies of people who have died from covid-19. Organizations such as the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have also condemned the practice. Experts believe the virus is primarily transmitted through respiratory and airborne droplets. Even with highly contagious viruses such as Ebola — where handling the dead body can easily transmit the virus — burials were permitted; in fact, in West Africa, highly specialized burial teams are thought to have saved thousands of lives through their work. The Sri Lankan government is considering sending Muslim bodies to the Maldives for burial, which begs the question: If bodies can be safely buried in the Maldives, why not Sri Lanka? Clearly, this is not about science or safety. read the complete article

26 Jan 2021

UN labels Sri Lanka cremation of COVID-19 dead, including Muslims, a human rights violation

"The imposition of cremation as the only option for handling the bodies confirmed or suspected of COVID-19 amounts to a human rights violation," they said in a statement. The World Health Organization has said there is no evidence to suggest that cremation prevents the spread of the disease. The College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Medical Association have also issued statements clarifying that there has been no proof that burial of COVID-19 dead bodies constitutes a public health hazard. read the complete article


26 Jan 2021

U.S. Declares China's Human Rights Abuses Against Muslim Uighurs 'Genocide'

The U.S. is now the only country to use these terms to describe China’s human rights abuses against the Uighurs. Rushan Abbas, an activist and leader of the Campaign for Uyghurs, says the declaration is a long-time coming. “What is happening in China is active genocide, and we have been crying out loud for years. I have been being very vocal and calling this as a genocide for past two years,” she says. “So this is rightfully being labeled as, you know, for what it is.” The U.S. government is now paying close attention to the Uighurs, recently banning imports of cotton and tomatoes from the Uighur region. Meanwhile, the European Union signed a major investment deal with the Chinese despite the human rights abuses. The U.S. ban on imports from the Uighur region is an important first step, Abbas says. One in five cotton garments can be traced back to the region. But it’s only a start. “There are so many more things that must be regulated, including the tech industry,” she says. “No products from the Uighur region should be entering the United States. This should be a wake up call to Western corporations and the other countries in Europe that they are completely complicit in genocide.” read the complete article

26 Jan 2021

China seized my sister. Biden must fight for her and all enslaved Uighurs.

On Sept. 11, 2018, the Chinese regime took away my sister, Gulshan Abbas. On Christmas Day in 2020, more than 27 months later, we finally heard news that she was sentenced to 20 years in prison in a sham trial. Gulshan, a medical doctor, has most likely been pressed into forced labor as part of the Chinese regime’s prison system. And so, for the past two years, our entire family has been living in daily torment, constantly reminded that many of the household and clothing items, as well as shoes, that surround us may have been produced by my own sister’s enslavement. read the complete article


26 Jan 2021

Why do Muslims join the RSS? This paper by a Yale researcher cites three reasons

Felix Pal, a researcher at Yale University in the US, has conducted an in-depth research and analysis to reach these conclusions, based on several dozen interviews of members of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch — the Muslim wing of the RSS. Pal, in his paper, titled ‘Why Muslims join the Muslim wing of the RSS’, has asked and attempted to answer the question — “How can Muslims join the RSS, an organisation famously predicated on violence against Muslim communities?” read the complete article

United States

26 Jan 2021

An old photo of Muslims praying in front of the US Capitol is being shared as a recent one

A photo of thousands of Muslims offering prayers in front of the US Capitol is being shared on social media claiming it as the picture of new America, under the Governance of new US President Joe Biden. In the wake of recent attacks on the US Capitol, this photo going viral on social media. Let’s verify the claim made in the post. Claim: Thousands of Muslims offered prayers in front of the US Capitol after Joe Biden became the US President. Fact: The photo shared in the post is an old one. On 25 September 2009, thousands of Muslims gathered in front of the US Capitol building to offer prayers during the ‘Islam on Capitol Hill 2009’ event. This photo has nothing to do with the new United Stated President Joe Biden. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE. read the complete article

26 Jan 2021

Oregon man arrested after trashing store, spewing Islamophobic slurs seen in viral video

An Oregon man spewing anti-Islamic slurs trashed a convenience store and threatened to gun down its clerk in an ugly confrontation captured on viral video, authorities said Monday. Brian Christopher Miller, 43, was originally arrested on suspicion of first-degree criminal mischief and third-degree robbery, both felonies, according to Multnomah County Sheriff's Office jail records. read the complete article

26 Jan 2021

I Want to Call the Capitol Rioters ‘Terrorists.’ Here’s Why We Shouldn’t.

Adama Bah was just 16 years old when FBI agents stormed her family’s Harlem apartment in 2005 and arrested her, falsely accusing her of being a potential suicide bomber. She was held for six weeks in a youth detention facility before being released with no charges. This was post-9/11 America, when ordinary Muslims were routinely targeted by laws intended to prosecute terrorists. In the video op-ed above, Bah argues that although we do need to combat white supremacist violence in America, creating new antiterror laws to do so — and expanding the War on Terror — will only backfire on innocent Black and brown people. read the complete article

26 Jan 2021

‘Undermining democracy’: Rashida Tlaib on why the Squad is against new terror laws after Capitol attack

While the deadly insurrection has revived calls for stronger domestic terrorism statutes, politicians including Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib – a member of the high-profile "squad" of progressive lawmakers – argue that dozens of existing laws can do the same job. Lawmakers say the inability to successfully target those responsible is not from the absence of authority or ability, but a lack of political willpower. A new War on Terror inside the borders of the US could ultimately end up placing more Americans in the government's crosshairs, they argue. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 26 Jan 2021 Edition


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