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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03 Jan 2023

Today in Islamophobia: In the United States, a university instructor has been dismissed from their position after they showed an image of Prophet Muhammad during an art history lesson, meanwhile the election of the Speaker of the House of Representatives is up in the air as GOP leader Kevin McCarthy does not have an assured majority to take the gavel, and across the country, many American Muslims continue to face “hostility and surveillance, mistrust and suspicion, questions about their Muslim faith and doubts over their Americanness.” Our recommended read of the day is by Sean Beckner-Carmitchel for Knock LA on how training videos used by the LAPD contain “racist stereotypes and false information that continue to be used in police education.” This and more below:

United States

03 Jan 2023

California’s Bizarre, Racist Law Enforcement Training Videos | Recommended Read

A look at training videos supplied to the LAPD by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) shows potentially troubling attitudes in policing being taught to police officers taught as part of training videos containing racist stereotypes. POST sets minimum selection and training standards for California law enforcement, and is funded by California taxpayer money as well as criminal and traffic fines. In early December 2022, Hatewatch, a branch of the Southern Poverty Law Center, first broke that a video produced by POST entitled “Radicalization” contained anti-Muslim messaging. At least 71 current LAPD officers watched the video, at least one as recently as August 2022. LASD did not comment on Hatewatch’s article. At the time of publication, the video was no longer available on POST’s training portal. Knock LA has obtained portions of another video titled “Radicalization Countermeasures,” which also includes anti-Islamic views. The video’s first few minutes contain right-wing tropes about Islam. In another video also titled “Radicalization Countermeasures,” a man attacks a white woman who is wearing a dress. The man tells her “a Muslim woman doesn’t dress this way.” The woman replies “I’m not a Muslim woman,” and the man strikes her in the face and forces her into his home. read the complete article

03 Jan 2023

The US House may not have a speaker when it convenes. Here’s why

The election of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives — usually a formality — is a nail-biter this year. Although Republicans narrowly won the House in November’s midterm elections, GOP leader Kevin McCarthy does not have an assured majority to take the gavel amid opposition from a few members of his own caucus. So when the incoming Congress meets for the first time on Tuesday, a majority may fail to materialise in support of a new House Speaker. And that, in turn, would practically make the chamber nonfunctional. Several far-right Republicans have already promised not to back McCarthy, painting him as a career politician who does not share their populist ideals. McCarthy, a California Republican, has also called on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign over his handling of migration at the southern border and threatened to investigate and impeach him. Moreover, he promised to restore the committee assignments of Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was kicked off congressional panels in 2021 over anti-Semitic and Islamophobic comments. Greene has been one of the few far-right firebrands backing his bid for the speakership. read the complete article

03 Jan 2023

Academic Freedom vs. Rights of Muslim Students

This fall, an instructor at Hamline University, in Minnesota, was teaching global art history. For one class, the instructor (who has not been named) was discussing Islamic art and included for a brief period (under 10 minutes) a screen image of Muhammad, the founder and prophet of the Muslim faith. The instructor had warned students of her plan. The image (above) shows Muhammad receiving instruction from the angel Gabriel. The original painting is in a collection at Edinburgh University Library in Scotland. The reaction to the lesson surprised the instructor and many others. One or more students complained about the image, believing (as many, but not all, Muslims believe) that showing the image was wrong. The university said that because the instructor was an adjunct, her dismissal was not a firing. Mark Berkson, chair of the Department of Religion at Hamline, tried to explain the situation in a letter to the editor of The Oracle, the student newspaper. “The professor gave students both written and verbal notifications that the image would be shown. I don’t know the nature of the conversations that followed, so I am only reflecting on one key question—Is the showing of an image of the Prophet Muhammad in an academic context necessarily an instance of Islamophobia, as has been claimed by some members of the administration?” he wrote. read the complete article

03 Jan 2023

Supporting Muslim Americans and Awareness of their Issues

The 2020 U.S. Census shows that the nation’s diversity has grown significantly. Over the past decade, we have seen more immigration to account for the growing population. With this, hate, discrimination, bias, and racism have grown. Each minority group that resides in the U.S. experiences different hate crimes. Muslim Americans have seen exponential growth since the four terrorist attacks that occurred on 9/11, especially after Donald Trump’s presidency in 2016-2020. According to an article released by NBC News, “Many have faced hostility and surveillance, mistrust and suspicion, questions about their Muslim faith and doubts over their Americanness.” Based on the PEW research center, approximately 3.85 million U.S. population is Muslim American. The American public resides in a growing divide against race, economic status, religion, gender, sexual preference, and much more. Supporting the Muslim American community is a solution to closing the systemic gaps they are placed in and educating generations to come. There are many ways to support the Muslim American community and be an ally. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 03 Jan 2023 Edition


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