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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07 Jan 2021

Today in Islamophobia: Myanmar police arrest nearly 100 Rohingya after raiding a house in Yangon. In the U.S, CAIR condemns Rahm Emanuel for anti-Muslim ‘Sunnis and Shiites’ trope. Our recommended read today is by Knox Thames on why the persecution of Muslims should be on Joe Biden’s agenda. This, and more, below:


07 Jan 2021

Why the Persecution of Muslims Should Be on Biden’s Agenda

Based on my 20 years of work in this field, it is clear to me that no other community faces as high a level of government repression as Muslims—not just in certain countries where they are a minority, such as China and India, but also in places where Islam is the state religion and its practice is strictly enforced. In these countries, governments rarely tolerate dissident interpretations of Islam, let alone a citizen’s right to abandon the faith into which they were born. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
07 Jan 2021

Why Joe Biden Should Help the Rohingya People of Myanmar

There are upwards of one million Rohingya refugees now languishing in Bangladesh. They are experiencing trauma, depression, and anxiety at staggering rates. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 15 to 20 percent of adults will experience some type of moderate or mild mental health disorder one year after an emergency, and in theory, those figures should decrease over time. By contrast, a new report published by Fortify Rights finds that 89 percent of Rohingya refugees in sprawling camps in Bangladesh are experiencing serious depression. Eighty-four percent are experiencing severe emotional distress. And a staggering 62 percent are experiencing symptoms equivalent to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—a debilitating condition that can prevent its victims from leading normal and constructive lives. read the complete article

United States

07 Jan 2021

CAIR Condemns Rahm Emanuel for Anti-Muslim ‘Sunnis and Shiites’ Trope

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned Rahm Emanuel for “demeaning and Islamophobic comments” the former Chicago mayor made about Sunni and Shia Muslims during election coverage on ABC News last night. While speaking live on air, Emanuel compared post-Trump relations between Republicans and Democrats to Shia and Sunni Muslims, saying: “It’s going to make the Sunnis and Shiites look like a very calm family gathering.” CAIR said the offensive comments represented another reason why Emanuel “should not be included in the Biden-Harris administration.” read the complete article

07 Jan 2021

A Novelist’s Reckoning With Identity Politics

Homeland Elegies opens with Mary Moroni, the narrator’s teacher at Brown University, telling him that “America had begun as a colony and that a colony it remained, that is, a place still defined by its plunder.” For the narrator, this is a revelation. He has been raised by parents and a school system steeped in the myths of American exceptionalism. “I’d come of age in the era of the hilltop city gleaming for all to see,” Ayad says, about his years growing up in Reagan’s America. Moroni’s words are a corrective to the hubris of “endless American self-congratulation.” Ayad sets out to show us an America riven by debt, consumerism, low-paying jobs, home foreclosures, personal depression, and anxiety, where corporate capitalism and the attention economy have left behind “the toxic flotsam of a culture no longer worthy of the name.” Ayad glumly states that his stories “will no longer be songs of celebration,” unlike Walt Whitman’s poems of the American self, but hymns to “our ailing nation and its foundering myths.” read the complete article


07 Jan 2021

‘Only when you, your children, and your grandchildren become Chinese’: Life after Xinjiang detainment

In early 2020, just as COVID-19 was beginning to sweep across China, I traveled to Kazakhstan to interview Kazakhs and Uyghurs who had recently fled across the border. In a cold second-floor office building, I met dozens of China-born Kazakhs who came to talk to researchers about their family members who were lost in detention facilities in Xinjiang. I also spoke to nearly a dozen former detainees about their experience, and how they were struggling to recover their sense of self. read the complete article


07 Jan 2021

Traumatic attack on two Black Muslim women prompts family calls for political action

The family of two Black Muslim women who were assaulted in a hate-motivated attack last month spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday, amid calls for political leaders to take stronger actions to dismantle white supremacist groups. The women, a mother and daughter, were assaulted outside the Southgate Centre early last month, police say, the first of three reported hate-motivated incidents in the span of eight days. At a virtual news conference Wednesday a family member said the attack has left them traumatized. read the complete article


07 Jan 2021

Myanmar police arrest nearly 100 Rohingya in raid on house

Some 600,000 Rohingya live in Myanmar under what Amnesty International has called “apartheid conditions”, mostly confined to camps and villages and unable to travel freely or access healthcare or education. The vast majority lack citizenship and are considered illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, despite many tracing their ancestry in the country back hundreds of years. “It is outrageous that Myanmar authorities continue their policy of arresting Rohingya for merely travelling in their own country,” said John Quinley, senior human rights specialist at Fortify Rights. “The group arrested in Yangon should be immediately and unconditionally released.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 07 Jan 2021 Edition


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