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
10 Jul 2023

Today in Islamophobia: In Sweden, according to a new survey 53% of Swedes said that burning religious text of any kind should be considered illegal across the nation, meanwhile, protests across the globe continue to be held as Muslims and religious allies strongly condemn the burning of a Quran in Stockholm last week, and lastly, in the United States, former President and GOP frontliner Donald Trump said in a campaign event on Friday that he would bring back the Muslim travel ban and make it “even bigger than before”. Our recommended read of the day is by Wilmer Heck & Andreas Kouwenhoven for NRC on a campaign allegedly funded by the UAE that sought to discredit and smear Islamic organizations, activists and politicians in Europe by claiming they were part of the Muslim Brotherhood. This and more below:


This shadowy company destroyed the reputations of European Muslims | Recommended Read

It is Monday afternoon, July 9, 2018, when an editor of weekly Elsevier opens the mailbox. There's a hint in it. “Hello,” writes Laurent Martin . "This could be of interest to you." A week earlier, a number of Islamic organizations wrote an open letter to European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, calling on him to do more against Muslim hatred. But according to the tipster, the Muslim Brotherhood is behind this initiative. He explains how the signatories are "all in one way or another" associated with this "radical" Islamic movement. “Voilà!”, the Elsevier editor e-mails back the next day, with a link . The information from the e-mail was processed by a colleague into an article on the website of the opinion weekly. The headline: “Muslim brotherhood lobbies Frans Timmermans.” Elsevier writes that an open letter to the European Commissioner comes from "quite a few organizations that are connected in one way or another with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic movement that advocates Sharia law." After the publication of the article, a Swiss company proudly informs its client that “the equivalent of Time magazine” has written a “very negative article about the Muslim Brotherhood”, “with the elements we gave to the journalist”. Laurent Martin does not exist. It is a fake profile, created with the aim of causing reputational damage to prominent Muslims in Europe. The data shows that Islamic organizations, activists and politicians have been systematically discredited by associating them with the Muslim Brotherhood. It concerns at least one thousand Muslims and four hundred organizations in eighteen European countries. Their names were passed on to the Emirates and presented on a map as a "mafia-like network". read the complete article

Protest rallies across Pakistan over Quran burning in Sweden

Muslims in Pakistan have held rallies to observe a Quran Sanctity Day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called for protests over last week’s burning of the Muslim holy book in Stockholm. The biggest rallies took place in the country’s main cities of Karachi and Lahore after Friday prayers. Anger has grown in Muslim countries since last Wednesday when a man identified in Swedish media as a Christian from Iraq burned the Quran outside a mosque in Stockholm during the religious holiday of Eid al-Adha. In a televised speech to legislators in parliament on Thursday, Sharif questioned why the police in Sweden let the burning of the Quran go ahead. The parliament also adopted a unanimous resolution urging Sweden to take “appropriate steps” against the perpetrators involved in the desecration. read the complete article

Belgium summons UAE ambassador over 'Muslim Brotherhood smear campaign'

Belgium has summoned the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Brussels over the Gulf state's involvement in a smear campaign to link at least 1,000 individuals in Europe to the Muslim Brotherhood, according to a report published on Friday. Between 2017 and 2020, Alp Services, a Swiss private intelligence company, created files on people from 18 European countries and 400 organisations on behalf of Emirati intelligence services. The report was based on 78,000 confidential documents obtained by French online newspaper Mediapart and shared with European Investigative Collaborations (EIC). Among the documents was an infographic with hundreds of names and various arrows, in a purported attempt to link individuals with extremism. Eighty organisations and 160 individuals listed were from Belgium. Among them was Zakia Khattabi, the country's federal minister for environment and sustainability. read the complete article

United States

US must urgently treat men tortured at Guantánamo, UN investigator says

The first UN investigator to be allowed to visit Guantánamo has called on the US government to provide urgent rehabilitation treatment for the men it tortured in the wake of 9/11 to repair their severe physical and psychological injuries and meet its commitments under international law. In an interview with the Guardian, the UN monitor on human rights while countering terrorism, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, said that the US had a responsibility to redress the harms it inflicted on its Muslim torture victims. Existing medical treatment, both at the prison camp in Cuba and for detainees released to other countries, was inadequate to deal with multiple problems such as traumatic brain injuries, permanent disabilities, sleep disorders, flashbacks and untreated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “These men are all survivors of torture, a unique crime under international law, and in urgent need of care,” she said. “Torture breaks a person, it is intended to render them helpless and powerless so that they cease to function psychologically, and in my conversations both with current and former detainees I observed the harms it caused.” read the complete article

Trump says he'd bring back "travel ban" that's "even bigger than before"

Former President Trump said Friday for the first time publicly during the 2024 presidential campaign that he would bring back a travel ban "even bigger than before," alluding to his administration's restrictions on travelers from heavily Muslim countries. The first two bans faced steep challenges in court, but the third version of the ban was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in 2018. That ban barred nearly all travelers from five mainly Muslim countries, in addition to North Korea and Venezuela. President Biden signed an executive order reversing the ban his first week in office. Trump made the comment in Council Bluffs, Iowa, as he made his pitch to voters in the largely White state. "Under the Trump administration, we imposed extreme vetting and put on a powerful travel ban to keep radical Islamic terrorists and jihadists out of our country," Trump told his audience. "Well, how did that work out? We had no problem, right? They knew they couldn't come here if they had that moniker. They couldn't come here." "When I return to office, the travel ban is coming back even bigger than before and much stronger than before. We don't want people blowing up our shopping centers. We don't want people blowing up our cities and we don't want people stealing our farms. So it's not gonna happen." read the complete article

On LGBTQ issues, my fellow Muslims should balance faith with solidarity

Last month the all-Muslim, nonpartisan council in Hamtramck, Michigan, which also has a Muslim mayor, opted to remove a Pride flag from public grounds, fulfilling a campaign promise the mayor made last year when he ran for the office. According to a Washington Post story published Wednesday, Muslims (and some Ethiopian Orthodox Christians) in Montgomery County, Maryland, have called on the school system there to restore an “opt-out provision” that allowed parents to withdraw their children from class whenever a particular day’s lessons included books featuring LGBTQ characters. Those two stories have helped intensify an ongoing debate over whether some Muslim Americans are signing on to the GOP’s anti-LGBTQ agenda and knowingly trafficking in anti-LGBTQ bigotry for political gain. In other words, they're teaming up with the same conservatives who have demonized our communities. Some people with a different interpretation of what’s happening have gone as far as to strip Muslims of their agency and claim that they are being used as “puppets” of the right. Not surprisingly, that condescending characterization has caused some Muslim leaders to push back. The Muslim American community is now estimated to be about 4 million people, and as it grows in size and political activity, we can expect to see Muslims fall along a wide spectrum of political views. The young Muslim Americans I have met who are active in politics are, like me, on the progressive side of that political spectrum. But what we Muslims and the rest of the nation must understand is that just as in other faith groups, there are moderate and conservative Muslims. read the complete article


Most Swedes want ban on Quran burnings after global outcry

A majority of Swedish people support a ban on the public burning of religious texts such as the Quran or the Bible, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of Swedish national television broadcaster SVT, marking a significant shift in the Scandinavian nation where a man set Islam’s holiest book on fire last week. In the survey, carried out by Kantar Public, 53 percent of those questioned said that burning holy scriptures of any religion in public should be prohibited, while 34 percent answered that it should be allowed, and 13 percent were undecided. This marks an 11 percent increase in those looking to forbid such acts, from February when Kantar asked the same question in a Survey for TV4, a Swedish Television network. The new survey was released Thursday, amid a storm of protests that Sweden has faced since it allowed a man to burn the Quran in front of a Stockholm mosque on Eid-al-Adha last week. Multiple governments, especially in Asia and the Middle East, publicly condemned the act, with Pakistan’s prime minister calling for nationwide protests on Friday. The Pope said he was “angry and disgusted” by the burning. The United Nations is expected to meet soon to discuss the incident. That global reaction might have influenced the change in public opinion, Toivo Sjoren, head of opinion at Kantar Public, told SVT. read the complete article


ICC's chief prosecutor says more must be done to prosecute crimes in Myanmar

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor speaks exclusively with CNN's John Vause about the dire circumstances facing Rohingya refugees in Myanmar. read the complete article


In China, Tourists Can Visit Historic Kashgar Mosque But Worshippers Not Allowed

Chinese authorities have recently begun selling tickets for tourists to visit the iconic Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, a historic religious site that has been largely closed off to Muslim Uyghurs for years, except on select holy days and for propaganda purposes. The mosque, which holds immense cultural and religious significance for the Uyghur community, has been subject to strict restrictions on worship since 2016. This period coincides with the Chinese government's severe crackdown on Uyghur religious practices and culture, aimed at combating what they believe to be religious extremism fueling acts of terrorism. Information about the availability of tickets to visit the mosque initially emerged on the Chinese short-video platform Duoyin and was later mentioned in a report by Radio Free Asia. A travel agency based in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region reportedly stated that visitors would be required to pay a fee ranging from 20 to 40 yuan, depending on their age. Since 2017, government policies in Xinjiang have led to the destruction or damage of up to 16,000 mosques, accounting for approximately 65 per cent of all mosques in the region, according to the Uyghur Human Rights Project, an activist group based in the United States. While some mosques have been closed but left intact, others remain open but are subjected to constant surveillance. read the complete article


City of Toronto to launch new ‘Toronto For All’ Anti-Islamophobia Campaign to celebrate acceptance without exceptions

Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee and Councillor Ausma Malik (Spadina-Fort York) will be joined by Aasiyah Khan from the National Council of Canadian Muslims to unveil the newest Toronto For All campaign. In its 13th year, the Toronto For All campaign aims to raise awareness about the realities of Islamophobia present in our community today to help remind Torontonians that acceptance comes without exceptions. The goal of the Toronto For All public education initiative is to generate a dialogue among Toronto residents to create a city that says no to all forms of discrimination and racism. Previous campaigns have focused on anti-East Asian racism, anti-Black racism, ageism and antisemitism. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 10 Jul 2023 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results