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 2023

Today in Islamophobia: Human Rights Watch notes that across Europe “civil society organizations, including groups that work to protect human rights, are under growing threat,” from governments, meanwhile in the UK, investigative evidence from several research groups shows that stereotyping and cultural insensitivity within the NHS is leading to British Muslim women not receiving an adequate level of reproductive healthcare in the country, and in Canada, Montreal police are investigating a video in which a man appears to chase after a pair of mosque-goers and tries to force his way inside the building. Our recommended read of the day is by Sravasti Dasgupta for The Independent on the protests in Haldwani, India, in which residents of the city are demanding that the demolition process ordered by the government over their homes and businesses in the area be stopped, which authorities have claimed to be “illegal encroachments.” This and more below:


04 Jan 2023

Government in India set to oust Muslim families in hill state over ‘illegal encroachment’ | Recommended Read

Hundreds of people in India’s hill state of Uttarakhand have been congregating every afternoon in Haldwani demanding that the demolition process ordered over their homes and dwellings in the area be stopped, which authorities have claimed to be “illegal encroachments”. The protests started last week following an order by the Uttarakhand high court on 20 December calling for the demolition of all encroachments along the railway line in Haldwani. According to a joint survey of the district administration and the railways in 2016-17, 4,365 ‘encroachments’ had been marked in the area, reported The Indian Express. Along with the 4,000-odd homes, the area also includes four government schools, 11 private schools, a bank, two overhead water tanks, 10 mosques, and four temples, besides shops, according to a report by Indian broadcaster NDTV. The notice said that failing evacuations, all encroachments would be demolished and the cost recovered from the encroachers. Since the notice, hundreds of people, mainly Muslim women, have been gathering in the area to offer prayers and protest against the demolition order. The case has also got political momentum with several opposition leaders, activists and commentators accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of targeting Muslims. read the complete article


04 Jan 2023

China's buildup of the surveillance state — "Intelligence Matters"

This week on "Intelligence Matters," host Michael Morell speaks with Wall Street Journal reporters Liza Lin and Josh Chin about their new book "Surveillance State: Inside China's Quest to Launch a New Era of Social Control." Their new reporting examines how China's data collection goes beyond that of other countries as China seeks to create a model to export as an alternative to democratic governance. Lin and Chin detail Silicon Valley's involvement in the buildup of China's surveillance state and how the technology is used to surveil Uyghurs in Xinjiang. read the complete article


Video shows man chasing after Montreal mosque-goers, trying to enter building

Montreal police are investigating a video in which a man appears to chase after a pair of mosque-goers and try and force his way inside the building. The video, captured by security cameras at the Islamic Centre of Verdun on Dec. 30, shows a man shouting at two male mosque attendees from across the street. As the pair enters the building, the suspect runs across the road, cutting in front of a car. The door is shut before he can access the building. According to Islamic Centre director Mohamed Hamrani, the suspect was hurling insults at the two men. Given previous attacks on mosques, including the killing of six men at a Quebec City mosque in 2017, the centre is on high alert. read the complete article

United Kingdom

04 Jan 2023

Discrimination in the NHS and the effect it has on British Muslim women's reproductive health

Last year was a landmark year for the many Black, South Asian, Arab, and other ethnic minority women in Britain, who for years have been saying that there is systemic discrimination in the NHS’ maternal and reproductive healthcare services. A number of reports and research papers were published last year, including the NHS Race and Health Observatory’s review of ethnic inequalities in healthcare, UK charity Birthrights’ inquiry Systemic Racism, Not Broken Bodies, and a scientific impact paper authored by several academics at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, all making the case that when it comes to the reproductive healthcare of Black and ethnic minority women in Britain, their medical issues are taken less seriously, they receive untimely healthcare, and they are not given the means or choice to give informed consent. For British Muslim women who are Black, South Asian, Arab, or from other ethnic minority backgrounds, there is an added layer of discrimination. For the last two decades, UK charity Maternity Action has argued that British Muslim women face a disparity when it comes to reproductive healthcare from the NHS, and qualitative research as recent as 2020 demonstrates that stereotyping and cultural insensitivity by NHS healthcare professionals leads to British Muslim women not receiving an adequate level of reproductive healthcare. The New Arab spoke to three British Muslim women from South Asian and Arab backgrounds living in three different regions in the UK, whose poor experiences with the NHS’ maternal and gynaecological services have had a dire impact on their reproductive health. read the complete article


04 Jan 2023

Creeping Civil Society Curbs in Europe Threaten Rights in 2023

Civil society organizations, including groups that work to protect human rights, are under growing threat in Europe. The threat these days doesn’t come just from repressive governments like those in Russia or Turkey. Nor it is even confined to democratic states on the road to authoritarianism like Hungary and Poland. It now also comes from elected governments in states whose democracies appear in better health, such as France, Greece, Italy, and the UK. Now we see efforts to restrict civil society space, with government ministers and officials openly criticising the work of these groups. Governments have imposed legal restrictions, including in some cases on the use of foreign funding. Officials use the criminal justice system to prosecute and intimidate activists. Regulators curb or threaten groups, and governments and ruling parties try to influence the activities of publicly funded organisations through funding or board membership. In France, state efforts to define the place of Islam and Muslims in society under President Macron’s government have extended to curbs on groups that speak out against those efforts, including bans by government decrees and asset freezes, notably against the anti-discrimination organisation Collective Against Islamophobia in France, known by its French abbreviation CCIF. read the complete article

United States

04 Jan 2023

Guantanamo — Still open, still wrong

Many people may be surprised to know that Guantanamo Bay Prison in Cuba is still open and will mark its 21st unhappy anniversary on Jan. 11. Of the 780 prisoners whom the Bush Administration assured us were the “worst of the worst,” that same administration quietly returned 533 of the men to their homes without interference from Congress. Nine men have died there, most by suicide. Subsequent administrations have further reduced the number of prisoners to 35, 20 of whom have been cleared for transfer if and when foreign governments step forward to take them in. As for the handful of Guantanamo prisoners who are suspected of crimes such as masterminding the 9/11 attacks and who should be tried, their planned military commissions have stalled for more than a decade because their torture-induced testimony is inadmissible. Many families of 9/11 victims have waited more than two decades for justice and closure that is still not forthcoming. Despite the prison’s attrition and the Pentagon’s failure thus far to try terrorism suspects who have been tortured, the Pentagon has spent millions on new court facilities that will allow judges to hold multiple court proceedings simultaneously. The military also is planning to replace Guantanamo’s aging base hospital with a new, $435 million health care facility, scheduled to open in 2029. Our government needs to hear from all of us that Guantanamo Bay Prison is a failure and must close. It has ruined the lives of hundreds of men and their families, has virtually destroyed the U.S.’s reputation as a nation of laws, and has increased the risk of violence against men and women who serve in the U.S. military. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 05 Jan 2023 Edition


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