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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30 Jan 2019

Today in Islamophobia: Foreign media reporting conditions worsen in China, while community groups join together to fight anti- Muslim backlash in Ontario, Canada. India continues to grapple with 40,000 Rohingya refugees while in the UK, a man is charged with racially aggravated assault. Our recommended read of the day is by Dora Mejour, who writes on America’s first Muslims. This, and more, below:

United States

30 Jan 2019

America's First Muslims Were Slaves | Recommended Read

Written in Arabic and recently acquired by the Library of Congress, "The Life of Omar Ibn Said” is not only a rare handwritten personal story of an American slave, but it's also one of the first intimate accounts of the early history of Muslims in the United States. Ibn Said was among the approximately one-third of American slaves who were Muslim. While the exact number of enslaved Muslims is unknown, up to 40 percent of those who were captured and enslaved came from predominantly Muslim parts of West Africa. “It challenges this notion of this being a Christian nation," says Zaheer Ali, an oral historian at the Brooklyn Historical Society and project director of the Muslims in Brooklyn project. "It opens us up to understanding that there were non-Christians present at the founding of this nation, and not only at the founding of this nation, but that helped build this nation...It challenges the idea that this was a quote ‘Christian nation’ from the beginning.” read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
30 Jan 2019

'Muslim ban': Democrats in Congress rally against Trump's order

At an event commemorating the second anniversary of President Donald Trump's Muslim ban, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar told the story of Shareefa, who has been denied a visa to join her family in America. "This upsets me because I just got off the phone with my three children, and I struggle with how this fits into any of the values that this country holds," Omar said. The parallels between Omar, who is Somali American, and Shareefa are apparent - both are mothers, both Muslims, both from a country targeted by the ban. One of them, however, is a sitting member of Congress while the other is being treated as a security risk and blocked from coming into the country. The juxtaposition may serve to highlight the arbitrary and unfair nature of the ban, which severely restricts travel from several Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen, Somalia, Iran, Syria, Libya and Iran. read the complete article

30 Jan 2019

Enabling hate: Muslims under attack in Trump's America

Home to just over 200 residents, the township of Islamberg was established in the early 1980s by a small group of African American converts to Islam, who sought refuge for their children, away from the violence and crime that had besieged many of the United States' economically depressed urban neighbourhoods. For the past three decades and more, the community has enjoyed close ties with non-Muslim residents in neighbourhood communities, working within the same businesses, shopping at the same stores, sending their children to the same schools, while forging mutually respectful ties with local law enforcement authorities. read the complete article


30 Jan 2019

India's Rohingya shame

For Rohingya refugees currently residing in India, who the authorities claims are as many as 40,000, this second deportation seemed to harbinger a frightful pattern, especially as India's far-right government had previously pledged to deport all Rohingya. Ruling party officials have made such threats despite international law prohibiting states from refoulement, sending persons to nations where they risk persecution. In Myanmar, such persecution is a near-certainty. Yet, given the pattern ofbehaviour the current Indian government has displayed towards the Rohingya, it is hardly surprising that many Indian officials feel emboldened enough to routinely violate international and national legal norms with impunity when dealing with Rohingya refugees. read the complete article


30 Jan 2019

Foreign media reporting conditions in China worsen, group says

Last year marked a “significant deterioration” in reporting conditions for foreign journalists in China, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China said on Tuesday, with no reporter saying in a new survey that conditions had improved last year. The group said 55 percent of respondents to its 2018 reporting conditions survey said they believed conditions deteriorated last year, the largest proportion since 2011. “Not a single correspondent said conditions improved,” the group said, unveiling results of a survey of its 204 foreign correspondent members, 109 of whom responded to questions. read the complete article


30 Jan 2019

Settlement groups fighting anti-Muslim backlash in Kingston, Ont.

A small meeting of settlement organizations is scheduled in Kingston, Ont., today and plans are underway for a larger community gathering as officials work to head off anti-Muslim sentiment following last week's terrorism-related arrests. Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson said the work being driven by community groups is feeding a feeling in the city that the arrests will "just unite us and help us push forward." On Friday, Suche James was in a room of community leaders gathered at Kingston police headquarters to hammer out how the city was going to prevent backlash against the city's Muslim population and groups that sponsor refugees. The response involves police protection for religious groups and organizations that help newcomers settle in the city, as well as public awareness campaigns and efforts to prevent potential bullying in the hallways of local schools. read the complete article

30 Jan 2019

'It could have been us': Canadians rally on two-year anniversary of mosque massacre

The attack on a house of worship sent immediate shock waves across Canada and sparked ongoing conversations about Islamophobia, hate crimes and racist rhetoric targeting some of the country's most vulnerable groups. A university student, Bissonette espoused anti-immigrant views and appeared to be fascinated by a bevy of far-right ideologues, frequently perusing the websites and social media feeds of US President Donald Trump, France’s Marine Le Pen, right-wing Daily Wire editor Ben Shapiro and Fox News' Laura Ingraham, among others. read the complete article

United Kingdom

30 Jan 2019

[CW: child abuse] Man arrested after Muslim schoolgirls filmed in 'disturbing' racist video

A man aged in his 60s has been taken into custody for questioning over the footage, which circulated on social media, the Metropolitan Police said. He was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public orderoffence on Monday. In the video, a man can be heard muttering racist abuse about girls wearing headscarves as they leave a school in Bow, east London. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 30 Jan 2019 Edition


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