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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06 Jan 2021

Today in Islamophobia: Reports suggest that the scope of forced labor in Xinjiang is bigger than previously estimated. German Muslims report being concerned about the rise of Islamophobia in the country. In Meerut, India, Muslims allege ongoing discrimination on the basis of religion. Our recommended read today is by Aarti Kohli and Hammad Alam calling on the repeal of the Muslim Ban as the first step in a deeper transformation of the nation’s policies. This, and more, below:

United States

06 Jan 2021

Opinion | Biden vowed to repeal Trump’s Muslim ban. That should be just the start

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to repeal the Trump administration’s cruel Muslim and African bans on his first day in office. That is, indeed, an urgent and necessary move. But the work of healing from the damage caused will not simply end with the stroke of a pen. Repealing the discriminatory travel bans is only the first step in what should be a deeper transformation of our nation’s policies. A few weeks ago, as part of our nearly four-year-long fight against the bans, our coalition met with members of the Biden transition team to reiterate the urgent need for repeal, make specific recommendations to address the harms suffered by those impacted, and underscore the need to undo the bigotry the bans are premised on. These are critical steps as we continue to work for a more just and inclusive America. read the complete article

United Kingdom

06 Jan 2021

I don’t want to ‘smash stereotypes’ about being Muslim – I want others to challenge them

The power carried in a single cloth suddenly made it a potent symbol for whatever people chose to read into it – whether one loved, loathed or feared it. One of my niggling concerns was that in wearing the hijab, people would stop interacting with me as an individual, but with their assumptions of what identifiably Muslim women are. That hunch turned out to be true, time and again. When a woman goes from looking like ‘one of us’ to being othered through hijab, then actions that are routine parts of a full and active life are suddenly framed as ‘shattering stereotypes’ and ‘breaking the mould’. Representing our post-graduate class to university management, or mentoring undergraduates in Psycholinguistics, were useful but unremarkable things that I did before I started wearing hijab. A simple head covering suddenly turned these same acts into ‘challenging norms’- though it was still same old unexceptional me behind it. read the complete article

06 Jan 2021

M&S signs call to action over Uighur forced labour

Retailer Marks & Spencer has signed onto a call to action on human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang region. In December, the BBC revealed new evidence that China is forcing hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other minorities into hard, manual labour in the cotton fields of Xinjiang. The report increased pressure on clothing retailers to remove Xinjiang cotton from their supply chains. read the complete article


06 Jan 2021

The scope of forced labor in Xinjiang is bigger than we knew

In the past three years, the Chinese government has forced hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang to perform seasonal labor in the region's cotton fields, according to a December investigation from the BBC. People are sent to the fields as part of a "labor transfer program," the BBC reports, drawing on Chinese government documents provided by Adrian Zenz, a leading expert on China's policies in Xinjiang. Beijing claims the programs alleviate poverty by providing well-paid employment for rural residents without a regular income. But researchers and rights groups say the labor transfer programs are part of the system of control, indoctrination and forced assimilation the Chinese government has deployed against Uighurs. Workers fear they will be sent to detention camps if they don't participate and are often underpaid. A new report from BuzzFeed, based on satellite imagery, interviews and government documents, found more than 100 mass detention facilities in Xinjiang that together contain more than 21 million square feet of factory space. Researchers identified more than 1,500 companies located in or near these facilities, with dozens of the companies exporting products to countries around the world. read the complete article


06 Jan 2021

Macron government advisor meets with neofascist Marion Marechal Le Pen

In 2017 Marion Maréchal left the National Rally (Rassemblement National —RN), which is led by Marine Le Pen, after the end of her term as a deputy. Some RN activists consider her to be the true heir to Jean-Marie Le Pen, and she is known for her extremist ideas, including her adherence to the fascist theory of the “great replacement.” The theory was developed by the right-wing French intellectual Renaud Camus and was used as the title for the manifesto of Brenton Tarrant, who slaughtered 50 Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019. Marechal Le Pen also calls for political unity of the right-wing around far-right demands. read the complete article


06 Jan 2021

SC Issues Notices to Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand Govts on 'Love Jihad' Laws

The Supreme Court on Wednesday, January 6, agreed to examine the ‘love jihad’ laws brought by the Bharatiya Janata Party governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices V. Ramasubramanian and A.S. Bopanna refused, however, to stay the controversial provisions of the laws and issued notices to both state governments on two different petitions. The laws attempt to regulate religious conversions necessitated by inter-faith marriages, giving legal sanction to the Sangh parivar’s bogey of ‘love jihad’, an imaginary conspiracy of Muslims to convert unsuspecting Hindu women. read the complete article

06 Jan 2021

‘This house is for sale’: How Muslims are being driven out of a Meerut village

“These people victimise us. We keep meeting with their elders but they aren’t listening. The police are also pressuring us. If they keep targeting us, how will we live here? So we are leaving,” said Shakeel Ahmed of Mawi Meera in Daurala area of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. His is one of about 20 Muslim families that have decided to abandon the village, putting up notices on their doors that declare, “This house is for sale. We are leaving.” By “these people” Shakeel meant some fellow Hindu villagers from the Gurjar community who vandalised Muslim houses and shot at them last month, and continue to harass them. It all started on December 23. Sundar Singh had bought cigarettes on credit from a Muslim shopkeeper on Muhammad Tayyab’s guarantee. That day, when Tayyab asked him to pay, Sundar got violent. People standing nearby broke up the fight, and Sundar left. Sometime later, he returned with a mob of about 20 men and attacked the Muslims. CCTV footage from cameras installed on a couple of houses shows the Gurjar mob vandalising Muslim homes and firing countrymade guns. read the complete article


06 Jan 2021

The Imam of Peace OR A FAKE SHEIKH?

However, to his hundreds of thousands of mostly Muslim-hating, far-right fans on Facebook and Twitter, Tawhidi is adoringly referred to by his Twitter moniker the “Imam of Peace” – despite having never attained the religious authority or credentials of an actual imam or being associated with any mosque or prayer centre. “Tawhidi is not recognised as an imam or sheikh by either the Australian National Imams Council or its South Australian equivalent, nor is he affiliated with any Australian mosque or prayer centre,” revealed a 2017 investigation by Australian news agency ABC News. Tawhidi has also claimed to have attained a bachelor and master’s degree from Al-Mustafa University in Iran, but the school has repeatedly stated that he failed to graduate, dropping out after only one year of tertiary studies. read the complete article


06 Jan 2021

Muslims concerned about rise of Islamophobia in Germany

Germany's Turkish-Muslim community is alarmed by the increase in Islamophobic hate crimes, senior figures told Anadolu Agency Monday. Kemal Ergun, president of the Turkish-Muslim association IGMG, said more and more mosques have become the targets of threats, vandalism or arson in recent months. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 06 Jan 2021 Edition


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