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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08 Jan 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Aziz Huq highlights how anti-terrorism laws might help law enforcement agencies to crack down on Iranian Americans. In India, Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone joins student protests as reports of police brutality continue. Our recommended read today is by Matthew Gabriele and David Perry on religious insignia on Donald Trump Jr’s rifle, and what it signals about the right’s obsession with the Crusades. This, and more, below:

United States

08 Jan 2020

Donald Trump Jr.’s rifle shows how obsessed the right still is with the Crusades | Recommended Read

This gun, dubbed the “Crusader,” has been in the news before, when it caused controversy for its anti-Islamic imagery. This new version, as with the original, was marketed as something to be used by American citizens against Islamic terrorists and is described on the seller’s website as “inspired by some of the most fierce warriors who fought in nearly 200 years of epic conflicts known as the Crusades. … Technology evolves, warriors never change.” read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
08 Jan 2020

Iranian-Americans Questioned at the Border: ‘My Kids Shouldn’t Experience Such Things’

Arriving at the United States border in Washington State early Sunday morning after a skiing trip to Canada, Negah Hekmati and her family were pulled out of line for further questioning by Customs and Border Protection agents. The family found itself in a room filled with fellow Iranian-Americans, many of whom had already been held for hours. The agents wanted to know the identities of Ms. Hekmati’s parents, siblings, uncles and cousins. Her husband, a software engineer at Microsoft, was asked about any military service in his past. The agents left, and then came back with more questions. read the complete article

08 Jan 2020

7 Americans on the Islamophobia They Faced at Home Because of War Abroad

By killing Qassem Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful military figure, in an airstrike on January 3, the United States escalated tensions with Iran and pushed us closer to the possibility of another war in the Middle East. According to experts, the human cost in Iraq, Iran, and the greater Middle East if the violence continues will likely be devastating. In the U.S., some American Muslims fear the same increase in Islamophobia and xenophobia which began in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq War. read the complete article

08 Jan 2020

Photo of Donald Trump Jr. holding a rifle raises flags with hate group researchers

While symbols and references to the Crusades still hold religious and historical significance -- the Crusader Cross is included on the flag of the country Georgia -- far right groups have seized upon them, using them to represent an anti-Muslim ideology, according to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, two organizations that study hate groups. read the complete article

08 Jan 2020

How anti-terrorism laws equip law enforcement to crack down on Iranian Americans

Already, there are harbingers of a potential crackdown on Iranian Americans. On Sunday, U.S. citizens of Iranian origin returning to the United States from Canada via the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Wash., were detained and questioned for up to 10 hours. Asked why, one was told by a border official, “This is a bad time to be an Iranian,” according to an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) who had talked with the travelers. read the complete article


08 Jan 2020

Bandaged JNUSU president recounts mob attack

JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh, who received 16 stitches on her forehead and was left with a broken hand after she was attacked by a mob during Sunday’s violence on campus, said the attack on her was an attack on the 8,000 students of the university. Ms. Ghosh said that a man sitting in a car near Sabarmati Hostel singled her out after which 30 masked men attacked her with an iron rod and hammers. read the complete article

08 Jan 2020

Mumbai Police Are Now Trying to Arrest a Woman for Carrying a ‘Free Kashmir’ Sign

It prompted fresh protests across the country, perhaps most notably the #OccupyGateway one in Mumbai, where students, working professionals and even the elderly spent more than 24 hours staging a peaceful sit-in with charged speeches, echoing chants of “Azadi”, inspirational protest songs, some really creative posters and a sense of unity. But the scene that saw a formidably large number of people who showed up to support a cause they strongly believed in was quickly blown out of proportion. Reports are now saying that authorities not only tried to break up the peaceful display of dissent by detaining participants and forcibly evicting them to and holding them inside the confines of Azad Maidan, but now they’re also cracking down on words used even in posters. The Mumbai police have now launched a probe against a woman for carrying a ‘Free Kashmir’ sign at the Gateway of India. read the complete article

08 Jan 2020

Quietly defiant, Kanpur’s Muslims persist in the face of police brutality and state apathy

As per my reporting, on 20 December, the police shot at least 12 men in and around Eidgah Maidan. Apart from the three who died, eight others are undergoing treatment at the Hallet Hospital. The locals told me that one more man was dead, but his family took away the dead body from the spot to their native village for fear of the police. They did not want to identify the family. On 20 December, at least 16 people died in police action against anti-CAA protestors across Uttar Pradesh. The next day, OP Singh, the state police chief said that “not a single bullet was fired at protesters” and that the “protesters died in firing among themselves.” I did not find a shred of evidence to support this during my reporting either in Bijnor or Kanpur. According to their families, none of the deceased had carried any weapons, participated in any of the protests or had any criminal antecedents. read the complete article

08 Jan 2020

Bollywood actress visits India's JNU where students were attacked

Deepika Padukone, 34, on Tuesday visited New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), where alleged members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) brutally assaulted dozens of students and teachers with sticks, sledgehammers and rocks on Sunday. Aishe Ghosh, president of the JNU students' union who was seriously wounded in the attack, was present among the students when Padukone joined their protest. According to The Wire website, after Padukone left, Ghosh in her address to the crowd said: "When you are in a position, you should speak up." As part of a film industry where its top stars have been slammed for their silence on political issues, many lauded the actress for her act of solidarity with the JNU students. read the complete article

08 Jan 2020

Why BJP is persisting with its CAA pitch

The BJP believes in religious monoliths on the lines of Hindus and Muslims. The protests have shown them that the reality can be more varied, diverse, regional and plural. The BJP has cranked up the propaganda machinery to show the resistance as being Islamist. That is the dominant part of the counter-strategy, but the other facet is to crack down hard on Left student unions that have had a role in nuancing and shaping the protests on campuses. read the complete article

08 Jan 2020

I Saw Police Stand by As Masked Men Attacked Students at a Top Delhi University. It Was Yet Another Assault on India's Intellectuals

Videos trickled into our WhatsApp messages, showing students bleeding from the attack, among them Aishe Ghosh, the President of the Students’ Union. We drove toward JNU, only to be stopped midway by police officers, and the roads leading to the university were closed. We walked for 30 minutes in the pitch dark, since the street lights leading to the campus were mysteriously shut off. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 08 Jan 2020 Edition


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