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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05 Jan 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In the U.S, police arrest Proud Boys leader over Black Lives Matter flag burning. The move comes even as experts warn that the end of the “Trump era” won’t halt the rise of domestic extremism across the country. In Sri Lanka, mass outcry continues over forced cremation of Muslim coronavirus patients. Our recommended read today is on China’s retaliation against activists speaking up against its mass detention of Uighur Muslims. This, and more, below:


05 Jan 2021

China brings its cruel crackdown on Uighur advocates to the U.S. | Recommended Read

Gulshan Abbas, a retired doctor, disappeared in September 2018 in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region, where China has been waging a campaign to eradicate the culture of the mostly Muslim Uighur people. More than 1 million have been subjected to reeducation in concentration camps, and lately many have been transferred to forced labor. Ms. Abbas’s sister, Rushan Abbas, formed a Washington-based advocacy group, the Campaign for Uyghurs, to raise awareness of this extraordinary human rights crime. Her elderly sister’s disappearance came just days after she took part in a public panel at the Hudson Institute and discussed conditions in the concentration camps. Now, Rushan Abbas and her niece, Ziba Murat, have learned that Gulshan Abbas was sentenced to 20 years in prison on terrorism charges. Her alleged crime was association with her sister’s advocacy group, which Beijing has designated as a terrorist organization. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day


05 Jan 2021

Renaming Aurangabad a ploy to divide Hindus, Muslims, says Prakash Ambedkar

Mr. Ambedkar said it was Pune which had a fair claim of being renamed after Chhatrapati Sambhaji (son of Chhatrapati Shivaji) as Sambhajinagar, given that the samadhi of the Maratha king, who was tortured and murdered by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1689, was in Vadhu Budruk village in Pune. “What is the need for such religion-based politics? There are about 80% Hindus in this country, so why play politics based on religion?” said the VBA chief, who is the grandson of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Echoing Babasaheb’s thoughts, Mr. Prakash Ambedkar said disintegration of the country’s social fabric was certain once religion-based politics began to hold sway in the general discourse. “This is exactly what is happening in the country today. The established political parties want to do politics based on caste and religion and are not interested in the politics of development,” he said. read the complete article

05 Jan 2021

Opinion | India's law against 'love jihad' reflects dangers of populism

The “Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance” was passed into law in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on November 28, providing jail sentences of up to 10 years for Muslim men who marry Hindu women with the intention of converting them. “Love jihad” must be stopped at all costs to preserve the Hindu majority in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi (occasionally known in the White House as “India Trump”) depends almost exclusively on Hindu votes to win elections, so anything that threatens to reduce the number of Hindu voters is obviously a problem for him. People with mathematical skills, however, may calculate that the threat isn’t really very big. read the complete article


05 Jan 2021

Missing and incarcerated: What is happening within China’s borders?

When asked about the charges against specific citizens missing or detained in Xinjiang or other parts of China, the government often names ambiguous and vague charges -- and has denied many of ABC News' requests for further details about some of those incarcerated. The Chinese government did not respond when asked for more details concerning Ekpar's charges, his whereabouts or proof of life -- furthering Rayhan’s concern. "He was never critical of the Chinese government," she said. "In fact, the Chinese government on multiple occasions on Chinese media extolled him as a bridge builder and positive force between ethnic groups and the majority." read the complete article

05 Jan 2021

When Your Credit Card Funds Systemic Persecution: The Truth Behind China’s Uyghur Re-Education Camps

The internment and subsequent extraction of forced labor is not primarily for monetary gain, but rather to confine Uyghurs to the factories, to uproot them from their homes, and to indoctrinate them with political reeducation and Mandarin language classes. According to James Millward, professor of History at Georgetown University, the most direct links between Western brands and the Uyghur human rights violations are the forced-labor factories in Xinjiang that are built adjacent to or even in the reeducation camps themselves. To keep these projects economically profitable, local Xinjiang government officials have started strong-arming “graduated” detainees directly from the reeducation camps to fill these facilities: “To say no, is … to say you are an extremist.” read the complete article


05 Jan 2021

Rohingya photographer Abul Kalam gets bail

Abul Kalam was arrested on Tuesday while taking photographs of buses departing from Kutupalong camps for Bhashan Char. Award-winning photographer and Rohingya refugee Abul Kalam has been granted bail and is likely to walk out of jail on Tuesday. “The bail was granted by the court on Monday. As per procedure, the camp chairman of the respective camp where he resides needs to come to the jail to sign the documents on his release, which was not done on Monday,” Shafiur Rahman, a journalist and a documentary filmmaker, told Dhaka Tribune. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

05 Jan 2021

Outcry in Sri Lanka over cremation of Muslim coronavirus victims

Every few days, Sri Lankan Muslims take to the streets in hopes that their protest will help to change government guidelines and allow them to bury their coronavirus dead. Before the coronavirus outbreak, funeral rites of Muslims were not a problem for the country’s Buddhist and Hindu majority groups which practice cremation. Even when the pandemic approached in March last year, the Health Ministry issued a notification permitting Muslim burial of those infected. Everything changed, however, when the disease claimed its first Muslim victim, Mohammed Jamal from Negombo city, and on March 30, hospital workers cremated him without the consent of his wife and children. On April 11, government guidelines were updated, introducing mandatory cremation of all coronavirus deceased, regardless of their faith. read the complete article

United States

05 Jan 2021

Police arrest Proud Boys leader over Black Lives Matter flag burning

The leader of the US far-right Proud Boys group was arrested Monday in Washington, police said in a statement. Officers charged 36-year-old Enrique Tarrio with destruction of property at the Asbury United Methodist Church, a largely African-American church in Washington, DC. Tarrio and others allegedly stole and burned a Black Lives Matter banner from the church during violent protests on December 12. read the complete article

05 Jan 2021

End of Trump era won’t halt extremism’s rise, experts say

Watchdogs and the U.S. intelligence community observed with growing concern as domestic extremist groups rose in prominence in recent years, escalating into a crescendo of chaos and violent outbursts around the presidential election. They are not going away in 2021, experts told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Things indeed are escalating,” said Eric Ward, executive director of the Western States Center, a progressive nonprofit that promotes democratic engagement. “We have elected officials who are now being escorted into legislative session by law enforcement because of the level of threats they are experiencing. … Political violence is going to be part of our reality in 2021.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 05 Jan 2021 Edition


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