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.

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12 Jul 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In India, organizers of a village council who called for an economic boycott of Muslim shopkeepers and asked the local authorities to conduct an enquiry to evict illegal immigrants, have met with a city magistrate to enquire about action taken so far, meanwhile in Canada, individuals are calling on Collin May to resign from the Alberta Human Rights Commission due to his past Islamophobic comments, and in the United States, two people threw an explosive device resembling a molotov cocktail at a mosque in Long Island, which local authorities are now treating as a hate crime. Our recommended read of the day is by Al Jazeera on the 27th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, in which Serb troops forcibly separated at least 8,000 Bosniak Muslim males from their wives, mothers and sisters, and chased them through woods around the eastern town, eventually killing them and burying them in mass graves.  This and more below:

Bosnia and Herzegovina

12 Jul 2022

Thousands gather in Bosnia’s Srebrenica to mark genocide | Recommended Read

Thousands of people have converged on the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica to mark the 27th anniversary of Europe’s only acknowledged genocide since the Holocaust to attend the funeral of 50 recently identified victims. As mourners from around Bosnia and Herzegovina and the world arrived in Srebrenica on Monday, families of victims reburied their loved ones and maybe find some closure after the decades-long search for their remains in mass graves scattered around the town. Idriz Mustafic was in Srebrenica to bury the partial remains of his son, Salim, who was only 16 when he was murdered in the July 1995 massacre, along with thousands of other men and boys from the Bosniak ethnic group, which is primarily Muslim. “My older son, Enis, was also killed; we buried him in 2005. Now I am burying Salim,” Mustafic said. “[Forensic experts] have not found his skull, [but] my wife got cancer and had to undergo surgery. We just couldn’t wait any longer to bury the bones that we found, to at least know where their graves are,” he added. The Srebrenica killings were the bloody crescendo of Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, which took place after the breakup of Yugoslavia unleashed nationalistic passions and territorial ambitions that set Bosnian Serbs against the country’s two other main ethnic factions – Croats and Bosniaks. In July 1995, at least 8,000 Bosniak males from Srebrenica were separated by Serb troops from their wives, mothers and sisters, chased through woods around the eastern town and killed by those forces. The perpetrators ploughed their victims’ bodies into hastily made mass graves which they later dug up with bulldozers and scattered among other burial sites to hide the evidence of the crime. read the complete article

United States

12 Jul 2022

Guantanamo Detainee Files Suit for Release Following Completion of 10-Year Sentence

On June 7, Majid S. Khan, a Pakistani detainee at Guantánamo Bay whose sentence ended on March 1, filed a 30-page petition for a writ of habeas corpus against President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Lance Okamura, the U.S. commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo. The lawsuit demands that the Biden administration approve Khan’s transfer anywhere outside of Pakistan, given that Khan could never return to the country without facing “substantial risk of persecution from myriad state and non-state actors” against whom he cooperated during his detention. “For the same reason,” the petition notes, “his wife and daughter must be safely resettled with him in a country other than Pakistan.” Khan, who was involved with al-Qaeda beginning in 2002, was tortured while held in CIA custody for three years, from 2003-2006, and was thereafter transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006. In October 2007, Khan was afforded access to legal counsel, at which point he “approached the U.S. Department of Justice and expressed his willingness to plead guilty and cooperate with U.S. authorities,” according to the petition. In Feb. 2012, Khan was charged with conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder in violation of the law of war, and spying. He pleaded guilty to these charges and agreed to cooperate fully with U.S. authorities in exchange for a reduced sentence of 11 years, set to begin on Feb. 29, 2012. On March 11, 2022, the Convening Authority for Military Commissions determined that having fulfilled his cooperation obligations, Khan’s sentence would be reduced to 10 years, meaning that his sentence had thereby ended on March 1, 2022. Despite this, the petition asserts, Khan “has not been transferred from Guantanamo… nor is his transfer reasonably foreseeable” and further, Khan’s “conditions of confinement at Guantanamo have become more punitive in certain respects since he completed his sentence.” read the complete article

12 Jul 2022

‘Ms. Marvel’ co-creator on how ‘woke' and ‘cringe’ show became franchise’s highest-rated

A month after "Ms. Marvel" was released and after a flood of negative review, the show is now the highest-rated Marvel project on Rotten Tomatoes — higher than "Blank Panther" and "Avengers: Endgame." Sana Amanat, the co-creator and executive producer of the Marvel Disney+ series and comics, said she wasn’t surprised by the initial backlash, which she also saw when the comics were first released in 2013. “I think it comes from a place of anger and a sense that their identities are being threatened. If they can’t connect with it, then that’s OK. I just wish they wouldn’t try to put it down,” Amanat told NBC Asian America. A wave of negative reviews was posted when the series was first released, criticizing it for its diversity and calling it too “woke” and “cringe.” Ms. Marvel was initially the lowest-rated Marvel Cinematic Universe series, with thousands giving the show one-star reviews — many of the reviewers were men over the age of 30. Amanat said everyone at the studio knew there would be negative reactions to the show, but she was more focused on the positive responses, which have been evident across social media and in reviews since the first episode streamed on June 8. Despite the negative backlash, representing a diverse teenager’s experience turned out to be the show’s superpower. In episode two, Kamala’s best friend, Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher), defied stereotypes in the show and ran for a seat on the mosque board. “The biggest challenge is making sure that we represented the feminism and strong voice that Nakia specifically has,” Amanat said. She said having Nakia join the mosque board also highlighted the fact that Muslim women, especially women who wear hijabs, are often misinterpreted as oppressed. “It’s a lovely way of showcasing the mosque and Nakia’s role at the mosque, but also the larger context of it because so many people have such a specific point of view of what mosque life is,” she said. read the complete article

12 Jul 2022

US: Explosive device targeting New York mosque is being treated as a hate crime

Just days before the Islamic celebration of Eid al-Adha, two people threw something resembling a molotov cocktail at a large metallic crescent moon symbol outside the Fatima al-Zahra Mosque in Long Island, New York. Local authorities are now treating the incident as a hate crime. On 3 July, the mosque’s imam, Ahmed Ibrahim, heard a big explosion and then saw flames. A neighbour came running to help put out the fire. No one was injured but it was later determined that an ignited device was deliberately thrown at either the general vicinity of the mosque or specifically at the crescent moon symbol. “They did not achieve anything but they expressed hate. Why?” Ibrahim said at a press conference days after the incident. Asiya, who only wanted to use her first name, is a resident in Ronkonkoma, the hamlet where the incident took place. She said that firebombing has left the community on edge. read the complete article


12 Jul 2022

Muslim woman wearing headscarf attacked in Germany

A woman wearing a headscarf has been assaulted in the German capital Berlin, with her head covering torn off, local media has reported. A 37-year-old attacker is said to have torn off the headscarf of the victim, 39, and hit her head and upper body, said the daily Der Tagesspiegel on Saturday. The attack took place in a restaurant in the Weissensee district, the daily added. According to the daily, another racist attack took place in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district on Friday during which a man, 52, racially insulted two women. The attacker was arrested and taken to a clinic for abnormal behavior before being released, the daily said. read the complete article

12 Jul 2022

After Germany's halal meat slaughter ban, Muslims head to Poland for Eid feasts

German butchers have resorted to importing halal meat for Eid Al-Adha in Poland after authorities in Berlin banned an integral process of slaughtering meat in a way that makes it religiously permissible for Muslims to eat. In Germany, slaughtering meat without electrocution is illegal, which effectively bans the domestic production of halal meat. German Muslims have resorted to neighbouring Poland to stock up on halal animal produce. Butcher Batal Turkman told Anadolu Agency that he slaughtered 100 lambs on a farm in Poland for German Muslims who are not allowed to carry out the sacrifice themselves without either breaking local, or religious laws. Transporting meat from Poland to Germany has been difficult, he said, but the joy of delivering meat to its owners makes up for it. As with the vast majority of European countries, the German government does not recognise Eid Al-Adha as a formal holiday, leaving many Muslims to continue with work and school during the four days of Eid. read the complete article


12 Jul 2022

After calling for economic boycott of Muslim shopkeepers in Manesar, panchayat organisers seek probe to evict illegal immigrants

Days after a panchayat in Haryana’s Manesar, claiming to represent the Hindu society, had called for an economic boycott of Muslim shopkeepers and issued an ultimatum to the administration to conduct an enquiry to evict illegal immigrants, the organisers of the panchayat met a city magistrate on Monday to enquire about the action taken so far and to demand a thorough probe. The organisers said that depending on the action taken by the administration in the next few days, they would take a call on holding a mahapanchayat of 70 villages in Manesar on the issue. In a memorandum to the deputy commissioner last week, the panchayat members had stated that “jihadist and fundamentalist elements had infiltrated commercial and residential spaces” in Gurgaon and Manesar and called for the eviction of illegal immigrants. “There should be an immediate enquiry into this and those found staying illegally should be evicted. Many here are involved in religious conversions and strict action should be taken against them,” the memorandum had read. Devender Singh, general secretary, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) said on July 3, they held a panchayat and had asked the administration for an enquiry in a week’s time, but no action had been taken. “We had gone to enquire about the action taken so far. Many Rohingyas and Bangladeshis are illegally staying in Manesar. They hide their identities and have set up shops in the names of Hindu deities. It is a part of a larger conspiracy. We had asked for an enquiry and to evict those found staying illegally. The matter is extremely sensitive. We are hopeful that the administration will take action. Depending on the action taken by the authorities, we will decide on holding a panchayat of 70 villages on a larger scale,” said Singh. read the complete article

12 Jul 2022

UP: Muslim Man Assaulted, Forced to Chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai; Two Arrested

A Muslim man was allegedly assaulted by some local residents of Farah in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district, who told him that people from his community have murdered Kanhaiya Lal. Lal, a tailor, was brutally killed at a shop in Rajasthan’s Udaipur on June 28 after he had extended support to suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, who had made allegedly offensive remarks on Prophet Muhammad. Mubeen Qureshi, a resident of Farah, had on Sunday, July 10 gone to his fields to gather fodder for his animals when a group of men from the Dharmpura Pulia area allegedly assaulted him and forced him to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. Later, one of the accused allegedly uploaded the video of the attack which went viral. “I had gone to the fields when a group of men stopped me and started hurling slurs and manhandling me. They made me chant slogans and recorded the video. Even then I had no issue, but they uploaded the video later and the whole village saw it,” Mubeen told The Wire. “Why were they behaving like this with me? We are from the same village. We know each other,” he said. According to the police complaint filed by Mubeen, the accused held him by the beard and told him that he’s an “anti-national” and that his people have murdered Kanhaiya Lal. “We won’t let you Kat*** live in this country now. We will erase you from here now,” the accused told Mubeen, as per the complaint. read the complete article

United Kingdom

12 Jul 2022

Britain’s Imperial Nostalgia Should Follow Johnson Out

Supporters of outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have turned on him after his downfall, accusing him of a breezy disregard for truth and integrity in public life. But no one can pretend that this fatal trait was previously unknown. If Johnson’s journalistic career was distinguished by fake news and fabricated quotes, as well as racist and Islamophobic jibes, his personal life has been dogged by allegations of official favors to mistresses. A political career boosted by the falsehoods of Brexit and tainted further by almost every kind of scandal has confirmed that Johnson is little more than a posh rascal. For people around the world who were consistently perplexed by his success, the questions always were: How did he manage to receive the biggest electoral mandate in decades in the world’s oldest democracy? How did the country’s once-respectable newspapers as well as its notorious tabloids become cheerleaders of a near-perfect embodiment of upper-class roguery? The answer lies in part in the elite culture of empire — a social pathology that has uniquely stultified Britain, committing its political and media class, in the absence of empire, to empty, repetitive performances of the power and authority that leaked away long ago. To gain a quick impression of it, you only have to glance at the image of Johnson preening, together with former Prime Minister David Cameron (a fellow alumnus of Eton), in tailcoats and bow ties at the Bullingdon Club, a riotous drinking club of privately schooled undergraduates at Oxford. This is a snapshot of Britain’s imperial style in its late and most decadent phase. Parodic and exaggerated, it is the source of such devastating acts of national self-harm as Brexit; Johnson represents its apotheosis. The original embodiment of the over-promoted public-school boy — famously described by the writer Cyril Connolly as a case of permanent adolescence — was of course the imperial proconsul. Forged on the playing fields of Eton, this representative of the British empire often possessed no other quality than confidence in his ability to rule much of the world. read the complete article


12 Jul 2022

Brands Apologize Quickly to China Consumers, Except on Xinjiang

Amid a rising wave of nationalism, Chinese shoppers have mounted at least 78 boycotts of foreign companies since 2016, more than six times the number seen in the preceding eight years, a new study found. And while consumer brands all face the same complex operating environment in China, how they get out of hot water differs depending on the issue, according to research by the Swedish National China Centre. In general, companies quickly apologize when they’re being boycotted for issues around territory China considers sovereign, but far less frequently when it comes to the topic of alleged human rights violations. More than 80% of companies apologized upon facing backlash for actions or advertising seen as infringing on China’s territorial integrity, such as the status of Taiwan and Tibet or the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. By contrast, only about a quarter of firms expressed regret after making a stance against sourcing products from Xinjiang -- the province where China is accused of human rights violations against the ethnic Uyghur group -- stirred social media furore. The varying degree of sensitivity at play is reflected in how the same company responded differently to boycott threats. Walmart Inc. apologized in 2018 over a signboard in one of its Chinese stores that listed Taiwan, and not China, as the origin of some products, but did not in 2021 amid social media allegations that Xinjiang-sourced products were taken off shelves, according to the study. The findings underscore how China’s 1.4 billion shoppers have gone from untapped goldmine to potential minefield for global consumer brands. read the complete article


12 Jul 2022

New chief of Alberta Human Rights Commission, must step aside

Next Thursday, Collin May is scheduled to become Chief of the Alberta Human Rights Commission for a five-year term. It is incumbent upon May, however, to do the right thing and resign from the commission before he takes office as its chief. Last Thursday, the Progress Report revealed that in 2009, May authored an article that can fairly be described as Islamophobic and offensive in a Calgary online publication called C2C Journal, which is affiliated with the former Manning Centre in Calgary. May opined in C2C Journal that “Islam is not a peaceful religion misused by radicals” but is “one of the most militaristic religions known to man,” in an enthusiastic review of a then-new book by controversial Israeli academic and polemicist Efraim Karsh. Professor Karsh may be “one of the best writers on the Middle East,” as May described him in his 2,700-word review of “Islamic Imperialism: A History.” Or he may be a historian “who follows the fashionable trend of wholesale denigration of Islam and the Arabs, and whose political interests clearly dominate his terminology and historical analysis,” as one scholar put it in a less favourable review. Be that as it may, May’s tub-thumping on behalf of the book’s thesis clearly disqualifies him from any role with the Alberta Human Rights Commission now, let alone as the commission’s chief. And despite the Stampede cone of silence that seems to have descended over the story since it was published by the media project run by Progress Alberta, it needs to be addressed by either May himself or the Alberta Government this week. In a statement to the Progress Report, May said he has changed his views about Islam and Muslims. “I wish to state clearly that I do not believe or accept the characterization of Islam as a militant religion or movement, especially in light of important recent and diverse scholarship that is working to overcome misconceptions regarding Muslim history and philosophy,” he wrote. “I commit to continuing my personal education about Islam, and all faiths, in my role as Chief.” Unfortunately, this is not good enough. May’s ability to lead the commission has been clearly compromised by the 2009 publication in C2C Journal, which should have been discovered during the vetting process before his appointment was announced. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 12 Jul 2022 Edition


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