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

Sign up for the Today in Islamophobia Newsletter
01 Jul 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In the United States, a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge argues that the government’s reasoning to continue holding individuals at Guantanamo Bay without charge is “immoral, un-American and unconstitutional, and their effects are exquisitely unlawful,” meanwhile in India, Muslims are moving from mixed-population areas for Delhi’s Muslim enclaves, which often lack basic amenities and are broadly stigmatized as lawless or unclean, due to fears over safety, and in the United Kingdom, the Met Police has been accused of Islamophobia and racism in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. Our recommended read of the day is by Alison Killing, Megha Rajagopalan, and Christo Buschek for Buzzfeed News on how China’s genocide of Uyghur Muslims also includes the erasure of Islamic heritage including the razing of mosques, noting that the CCP is “systematically hollowing out Uyghur culture in Xinjiang’s towns and cities, degrading Muslim landmarks, and inviting non-Uyghurs to move in — or visit for a vacation.” This and more below:


01 Jul 2022

China Destroyed Muslim Culture In This Ancient City — Then Turned It Into Disneyland | Recommended Read

For centuries, the arched entrances and ornate patterned brickwork of Kashgar’s mosques signaled Uyghur culture’s essential place in the ancient city. Then the mosques fell into the crosshairs of China’s campaign targeting Muslims, including Uyghurs and Kazakhs, in the province of Xinjiang. The government removed minarets and painted over Arabic calligraphy, according to video obtained by BuzzFeed News. Police officers and metal detectors greeted worshippers as they entered. Inside Id Kah, Kashgar’s largest and most revered mosque, cameras spaced 6 meters apart kept watch over the carpet lining the prayer hall. A photograph of Chinese President Xi Jinping hung over one of the doors, even though Islam forbids most figurative images. Now the government is using the mosques that remain as part of another campaign: to draw tourists to Xinjiang. Travelers pose in the mosques’ doorways for Instagram photos to which they append hashtags such as #travel, #streetphotography, #travelblogger, #chill, and #holiday. The city has been optimized for social media, and the mosques fit right into this image. A tree outside one is filled with hanging ornaments, and beneath it sits one of many new rustic-style benches found in the city’s public squares — a perfect view for a holiday snap. In the span of a few years, China assembled a vast and sophisticated infrastructure to lock up Muslims in Xinjiang and to force them to labor in factories. The government built enough space to detain 1 million people at any given time. The camps and detention centers form the fulcrum of a campaign that the US and other governments have labeled a genocide. But China has also been systematically hollowing out Uyghur culture in Xinjiang’s towns and cities, degrading Muslim landmarks, and inviting non-Uyghurs to move in — or visit for a vacation. read the complete article

01 Jul 2022

Assimilation: China’s Failed Strategy in Xinjiang

The story of the Xinjiang Police Files, which I wrote about in this space last month, deserves continued attention. The files were delivered to an international consortium of media, and then further authenticated, analyzed, and curated by Dr. Adrian Zenz, an expert on the internment campaign targeting Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic minorities in China’s northwest Xinjiang region. Zenz said that the files are irrefutable evidence of what is “most likely the largest incarceration of an ethno-religious minority since the Holocaust… The new evidence really underlines the nature of this atrocity.” The files were obtained from an anonymous source who hacked into police computers in two counties in Xinjiang, both of them mostly populated by Uyghurs and other minorities. As Zenz relates in a brief video on the website of the files,, the files offer for the first time “a first-hand account of police operations inside re-education camps.” There are over 2,800 images of detainees, and over 23,000 detainee records. The databases that were leaked hold over 300,000 personal records. The documents indicate that the camps and the prisons are over-crowded, and that Beijing will therefore fund more of each. This, said Zenz, “shows how closely and intimately the central government has been involved in this atrocity from the beginning.” Beijing’s master plan, Zenz said, is “to break the back of entire ethnic groups” by interning them. Data show that the elderly and “key” people are detained in the camps, as both groups are the sources of “cultural and spiritual knowledge” from which younger generations learn. “It’s a whole program of assimilation, of assimilating an entire ethnic group,” said Zenz. read the complete article

United States

01 Jul 2022

The forever prisoners at Guantanamo need our attention

The Bill of Rights was ratified in just a few months' time and with little resistance. Even many anti-federalists, who had opposed ratification of the Constitution, supported ratification of the Bill of Rights. Among the amendments ratified was the Fifth, which guarantees that "No person ... shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Due process means that all defendants in criminal cases and all persons detained by the government are entitled to know the charges against them, are entitled to a fair jury trial with a neutral judge, and enjoy the right to appeal an adverse verdict. Due process also means that the government cannot imprison a person without filing charges at the time of imprisonment nor keep him confined after he has served his prison term. I offer this sterile background in basic American constitutional history in order to address a lamentable constitutional mess now going on at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The age-old clash between order and freedom, about which Jefferson wrote, often comes down to uneasy cases. Cases are uneasy when the litigants whose rights are being violated are unpopular, unsympathetic or unknown. Two such cases are making their way through the courts — and in both cases, the Trump administration and the Biden administration argued that somehow, under the Constitution, the government can lawfully confine convicted felons even after they have served their full prison terms and can even confine dangerous persons without filing charges. These arguments are chilling. The arguments are also immoral, un-American and unconstitutional, and their effects are exquisitely unlawful. Yet the feds — under both political parties — continue to get away with trashing the Constitution that, to a person, they have all sworn to uphold. read the complete article

01 Jul 2022

Let's all stop ignoring The Fandom Menace. It's real, and it's winning

One of the first highly public instances of "Ms. Marvel" trolling happened nearly a decade ago, courtesy of Stephen Colbert. "Ladies and gentlemen, America has lost another battle in the culture war, which is surprising because we've got all the guns," he says. "This time the battlefield is comic books. And folks, that saddens me because I'm a fan." Colbert was referring to Marvel's announcement in November 2013 that Kamala Khan, a Muslim teenager from Jersey City, was set to assume the Ms. Marvel mantle. "This affront has taken me aback. A Muslim cannot be a superhero, for Pete's sake! They're on the no-fly list," Colbert imperiously huffs. ". . . It's even more upsetting when you consider the original Ms. Marvel. She was wholesome and all-American! Blonde! Family values! With two bulging chest muscles and clearly wearing her Sunday church panties! This is nothing more than Sharia creep, plain and simple." Nearly a decade later another group of self-important white guys are railing against Kamala Khan's right to exist in the Marvel Universe. The difference is they're not joking, even if some of them insist that they are. The actors are as varied as their motivations, you see. Some engage in review bombing, as they did to Disney+'s "Ms. Marvel" hours after its debut, because it's an easy way to kick what they see as the social justice warrior hornet's nest. Others camp out on in Facebook groups that have been recycled to manufacture the illusion of inflated offense for their own entertainment. read the complete article

01 Jul 2022

Why Ms. Marvel matters so much to Muslim, South Asian fans

Viewers can partly credit Ms. Marvel’s success to the comic series’ co-creator and editor, Sana Amanat, a Pakistani American Muslim, and its first writer, G. Willow Wilson, a white American convert to Islam. Wilson wrote Kamala so beautifully that her struggles appealed to a large audience. As The New Yorker reports, Amanat and Wilson knew that as a breakthrough Muslim superhero, Ms. Marvel would face high expectations: “traditional Muslims might want her to be more modest, and secular Muslims might want her to be less so.” Their work was also unfolding in the charged post-9/11 climate when representations of Muslims, while gaining some nuance, have also reiterated long-standing orientalist stereotypes — and Islamophobes framed debates that questioned the compatibility of Islam with the West. I’m excited about Kamala’s screen debut because of what she signifies to her South Asian, Muslim and racialized female fans after a lifetime of seeing sparse or orientalist representations of ourselves. After watching the first two episodes, journalist Unzela Khan said she feels like her “day-to-day reality (minus the superpowers) was finally being shared accurately and safely with the whole world.” In an audience study I conducted on the Muslim superhero archetype as part of my doctoral research, participants of many different Muslim backgrounds indicated an eagerness to receive Ms. Marvel. Respondents expressed relief at seeing Kamala as a unique three-dimensional Muslim superhero in American comics, because she is a break from the relentless terrorist and oppressed women tropes entwined with representations of Islam that have dominated the western popular culture landscape. They regard her as “relatable” because she connects both to her ancestral culture and American one. read the complete article


01 Jul 2022

Seeking safety: Muslims move to Delhi ‘ghettos’ amid demolition drives

Eight months ago, Imaad Hassan moved out of the posh, Hindu-dominated Sarita Vihar neighborhood in New Delhi to Abul Fazal Enclave – a riverside area that’s long struggled with poor water and electricity access. “I moved from a gated society to a ghetto for my own safety,” he says. “Every time the news carried events of Hindu-Muslim clashes, my neighbors would stop responding to my greetings. Only Allah knows what would’ve happened had I continued to stay there.” Reports of hate crimes against religious minorities have spiked since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014. At the same time, BJP leaders have advanced new laws and policies that restrict interreligious marriages and Muslim immigration. And in recent months, bulldozers have become a symbol of Hindu nationalist groups as authorities raze Muslim homes, mosques, and shops under the guise of anti-encroachment drives, government campaigns that purport to demolish illegal or unauthorized buildings. Amid all this, many Delhi residents are leaving mixed-population areas for the city’s Muslim enclaves, which often lack basic amenities and are broadly stigmatized as lawless or unclean. Experts say that Hindutva – an ideology that promotes Hindu hegemony – has become so mainstream that Muslims are forced to choose between expressing their religious identity and their safety. With regard to Hindutva groups, “their constant messaging [is] that this is our country,” says Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, a journalist who’s written several books on Indian politics. “Muslims can stay here, but as long as they’re invisible. You don’t offer namaz [prayers] on roads, you don’t wear the hijab, just be invisible.” The short-term refuge offered by Muslim-majority areas comes at a cost, experts warn, but Mr. Hassan says the trade-offs are worth it. “I don’t have to fear being a Muslim in a ghetto,” he says. “I don’t have to worry about being socially boycotted.” read the complete article

01 Jul 2022

‘Historic hurt’ is a modern phrase. Muslims were integral to South Indian gods

Every year, millions of devotees congregate at the gold-plated shrine of the Hindu god Ayyappa in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. Thousands undertake an arduous forest trek of over 60 kilometres to reach there. Of those, many start from the town of Erumely where they perform an ecstatic dance; they break coconuts and offer them, along with pepper and rice, to the god. They do all this on the premises of a grand mosque of Vavar Swami, a Muslim saint believed to have lived between the 9th and the 14th century, joined by Muslim devotees of Ayyappa. After arriving at Sabarimala, they also pay their respects to Vavar in a shrine at the foot of the Ayyappa temple itself. Today, both Hindu and Muslim devotees believe that they must take Vavar’s permission before worshipping Ayyappa since the former was his devotee or companion. Some claim that this tradition is a way of assuring good relations between religious communities. But exploring the legends of Vavar, and other South Indian deities venerated by both Hindus and Muslims reveals that the history of religious interactions in the region is much more complex and fascinating. Today, occasional examples of Indian Muslim kings attacking temples are portrayed as ‘proof’ that relations between Islam and Hinduism have always been driven by hate and intolerance. But the truth is that temple destruction was not always seen as hatred towards Hindus even by Hindus. If that were really the case, we would certainly not see local ‘Hindu’ communities such as Khandoba, Ayyappa and Draupadi worshippers actively incorporating Muslim occupational groups. read the complete article

United Kingdom

01 Jul 2022

Met accused of ‘racism and Islamophobia’ at Grenfell Inquiry

The Met Police has been accused of Islamophobia and racism in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. Alison Munroe QC, a lawyer acting on behalf of some of the bereaved and survivors of the tragic fire, alleged police were worried there could be outbreaks of “crime and disorder” because victims were Muslim. A police note written four days after the blaze killed 72 people said community tensions could be made worse because victims were from a “Muslim background” and the fire had taken place during Ramadan. While making closing statements to the latest stage of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry on Monday, the QC said: “Questions of race are inextricably linked to Grenfell. We need to look no further than the MPS’s categorising of risk and threats in the aftermath. “[A police risk assessment] attributed imminent threats of an outbreak of crime and disorder to the Muslim background of the victims.” read the complete article


01 Jul 2022

Online booklet to combat hate among young people launched

“We know that many of our Jewish students and families have had racist epithets thrown at them. We know our Muslim students and families have been under attack for years,” Barriffe said Wednesday. Barriffe and members of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network told a news conference about scenarios that are described in a new online booklet that aims to educate parents, teachers and students on how to identify and confront various forms of hate in classrooms and online. The booklet was created by the network, a group that monitors hate groups and researches extremism in the country. It includes examples from educators and community members across Canada and provides steps on how to support impressionable children. It describes the ways a parent or teacher can intervene when they believe a student is being radicalized by a hate group. It also includes workshops and defines various extremist ideologies. read the complete article

New Zealand

01 Jul 2022

'Meet a Muslim' comes to Whanganui to break down anti-Islamic views

A collective coming to Whanganui this Saturday hopes to break down negative sentiments about Muslims and Islam. The initiative, called "Meet a Muslim", was started in 2017 by Ahmadiyya Muslim Community collective. Collective member Sabah Al-Zafar said the idea was to build bridges and remove misunderstanding. To do this, they set up a tent at markets around the country where anyone can ask the collective members questions. "There's no such thing as a controversial question, you can ask us anything," Al-Zafar said. "We hope that by being approachable and acceptable with this campaign it could give some the opportunity to ask questions and, hopefully, any misunderstandings could be removed." Last time the collective visited Whanganui with the campaign they experienced racism in the form of comments relating to the Christchurch terrorist attack. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 01 Jul 2022 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results