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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02 Jul 2021

Today in Islamophobia: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan publicly endorses China’s version of the current status of Uyghur Muslims living in Xinjiang, as Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. works with a Chinese developer to plan a new hotel on the site of what use to be a Uyghur mosque, which was forcibly demolished by the state. In India, a Delhi court grants interim protection to a woman who has been facing threats from vigilante groups, the media, and law enforcement after converting from Hinduism to Islam. Our recommended read of the day is by American PhD student Lallia Allali on her reflections of life in America as a Muslim American immigrant. This and more below:

United States

01 Jul 2021

Opinion: What does the American flag mean to me? I think of my story of discrimination and marginalization

When asked “What does the American flag mean to you?” some may say that it represents the “land of the free, home of the brave.” This may not be the case for individuals who belong to communities that have fallen victim to America’s imperialist violence. The very foundations of this country were built upon the genocide and forced displacement of an entire people. Moreover, Africans were forcefully brought to America, enslaved, and forced to abandon their culture, customs, religion and more.They were brutalized for years, through Jim Crow laws and the civil rights era, up until today. All of these atrocious acts of violence and oppression are very much prevalent today. The United States continuously drops bombs and supports oppressive leaders in the Middle East, including Palestine, killing thousands of innocent people. Ongoing violence in many foreign countries, which the United States is responsible for, has led to an influx of immigrants fleeing their homelands and coming to America in search of a better life for themselves and their children. In 2019, the immigrant population of the United States stood at nearly 45 million people. So when asked “What does the American flag mean to me?” I think about my own immigration story and how I fled my home to seek refuge here, only to meet discrimination and Islamophobia. I think of how my story of discrimination and marginalization is similar to many immigrants who came before and after me. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
01 Jul 2021

NYPD Releases New Surveillance Video Of Suspect In Anti-Muslim Attacks

Police have released new surveillance video of the suspect in two anti-Muslim attacks in Queens. Police say around 9:15 p.m., a man made anti-Muslim statements while following a 31-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman near Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard. The man allegedly punched the 31-year-old in the back, then tugged on the woman’s hijab and punched her in the arm. About an hour later, the same man allegedly made anti-Muslim statements while following a 64-year-old man and a 56-year-old woman near Inwood Avenue and Liberty Avenue. Police say the man punched the 64-year-old in the face multiple times before running away. read the complete article

01 Jul 2021

A Muslim family tried to befriend their neighbor – he ended up smearing bacon on their house and screaming at their security cameras

A Las Vegas man has been arrested on charges of harassment, stalking and being a nuisance after allegedly smearing bacon on the house of a neighboring Muslim family and screaming at their security cameras. Local news outlets KLAS and KTNV reported this week that Ricky Uwich is accused of harassing the family, including their two young children, in an apparent hate crime. The Muslim family said that they attempted to befriend Uwich several months ago, and even cooked him meals. However, he "was not happy with the efforts." Uwich reportedly told police that the family was "constantly" bothering him. The family showed police surveillance camera footage of Uwich smearing their door, doorknob, handrails and wall with raw bacon on June 19. A few days later, Uwich allegedly placed a piece of bacon on the family's car. Uwich told police that he did not like the family because they are Muslim and accused them of being terrorists. read the complete article


01 Jul 2021

Pakistan accepts Chinese version of how it says it treats Uyghur Muslims, says Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said Islamabad accepts the “Chinese version” how it says it treats Uyghur Muslims because of its “extreme proximity and relationship” with Beijing, The Dawn reported. According to researchers, there is a systematic dehumanization of Muslim minorities in southern Xinjiang. Chinese authorities have been accused of forced birth control, sexual abuse and torture to destroy the ethnic population. Last month, a report by Amnesty International said thousands of Muslims are living in a “dystopian hellscape” in the region, The Guardian reported. Muslims told the human rights organization that they are not allowed to practice Islam and forbidden from using their mother tongue. Despite this, Khan told reporters that the “Chinese version” was completely different from what was being reported in Western media. However, this is not the first time he has said this. “There are much worse human rights violations taking place in other parts of the world such as in occupied Kashmir,” Khan alleged. “But Western media hardly comments on this.” The Pakistan prime minister said it was hypocritical of reporters to just highlight the situation in China. read the complete article

01 Jul 2021

France probes fashion retailers for concealing 'crimes against humanity' in Xinjiang

French prosecutors have opened an investigation into four fashion retailers suspected of concealing "crimes against humanity" in China's Xinjiang region, a judicial source said on Thursday. The procedure is linked to accusations against China over its treatment of minority Muslim Uyghurs in the region, including the use of forced labour, the source said. The source told Reuters Uniqlo France, a unit of Japan's Fast Retailing (9983.T), Zara owner Inditex (ITX.MC), France's SMCP (SMCP.PA) and Skechers (SKX.N) were the subject of the investigation, confirming a report by French media website Mediapart read the complete article

01 Jul 2021

Why two Sikh women marrying Muslims triggered disputes in Kashmir

For more than a week now, a section of the minority Sikh community in Indian-administered Kashmir has been protesting against what they call the “forced conversion” of two women who married Muslim men – a claim denied by police officials and the men’s families who say the unions are interfaith marriages. After the woman’s family filed a complaint, Bhat was charged with kidnapping the Sikh woman. Police officials told Al Jazeera the couple turned themselves in on June 24 and have been detained in different police stations in Srinagar. Two days later, Manmeet gave her statement to a judge in a Srinagar court, denying her family’s allegation that Bhat kidnapped her. Officials said the two married in an Islamic ceremony held in secret after Manmeet converted and changed her name to Zoya. In a telephone interview with Al Jazeera, Danmeet said she married Shaban in June 2014. “I had converted to Islam in 2012, two years before I married my boyfriend. It was the wish of both of us, no one forced me. It was my decision because the Indian constitution grants me this right to choose my partner,” she told Al Jazeera. Danmeet, who has a master’s degree in political science, said she left home on June 6 to live with Shaban, telling her family not to look for her as she was now going to live with her husband. But her family went to the police and the couple was traced within two hours, she said. Shaban was arrested on kidnapping charges and Danmeet handed over to her parents. read the complete article

01 Jul 2021

Rohingya Repatriation Unlikely If It’s ‘Business as Usual’ in Global Politics

Days after the coup, junta chief General Min Aung Hlaing said in a television address that the junta would continue to repatriate the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh. Waves of Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh especially after the 2017 military-led crackdown on Muslims in Rakhine State in western Myanmar. However, there are few signs that refugees will be able return to a safe life in Rakhine. In May, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the visiting United Nations General Assembly President Volkan Bozkirn during his visit to Dhaka that safe and dignified repatriation of Rohingya seems uncertain amid the worsening situation in Myanmar. Earlier on April 22, Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said that the international community’s “business as usual” approach towards the coup in Myanmar was encouraging the Tatmadaw, as the Myanmar military is known, to continue committing atrocities on ethnic minorities. Alam’s comment came close on the heels of a string of stern statements emanating from Dhaka that urged the international community to resolve the refugee crisis. With foreign companies continuing to do business with the Tatmadaw, the latter’s coffers – which they can use to wage war on the people of Myanmar – continue to overflow. The link between international businesses and the Tatmadaw’s brutal offensives in Rakhine State, which forced over 750,000 Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, was highlighted in a 2019 United Nations report. The report pointed out that 45 foreign companies operating in Myanmar had paid over $10 million to the Tatmadaw in the weeks following the crackdown in 2017. Millions of dollars channeled into military-owned business enterprises like the Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited and Myanmar Economic Corporation did not flow into the economy but was parked with the military, strengthening the military’s “autonomy from elected civilian oversight” and facilitating its offensives against the Rohingya, the report said. read the complete article


01 Jul 2021

Delhi HC Grants Interim Protection to Women Who Willfully Converted to Islam

The Delhi high court on Thursday granted interim protection till July 5 to a woman who claimed that she and her family are facing life-threats and being witch-hunted by the UP police, media and vigilante groups after her willful conversion from Hinduism to Islam. Justice C. Hari Shankar asked Delhi Police to take appropriate steps to protect the woman till the matter is heard by the regular bench, noting that the petitioner is a young woman who has expressed apprehension regarding her security. During the hearing, advocate Sameer Vashisht, representing Delhi Police, submitted that the woman was not found residing at the address given in the petition and even her mobile phone was switched off due to which the police officials were unable to contact her. Advocate Tanya Agarwal, representing the woman, said due to the apprehensions, she had to frequently change her residence and added that she would email her present address to the counsel for the police. The court was hearing the plea by the woman, who is working in Delhi. She is from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh and seeking protection for her and her family as also her right to privacy, saying that because of her conversion she and her family are being targeted and malicious content is being published in media which should be stopped immediately. read the complete article

02 Jul 2021

India's Response to Rohingyas: A Gross Misuse of Defense of National Security and Turning Away from its International and Constitutional Obligations

The government has recently decided to deport 150-160 Rohingyas detained in Jammu. This was challenged in the recent case of Mohammed Salimullah v. Union of India and Ors. The government’s reasoning for its actions against the Rohingyas was that they were foreigners who came from another country seeking asylum, and the Indian government was authorized to regulate their entry under Section 3 of the Foreigners Act for national security concerns and non-application of the principle of non-refoulement on India, due to it being a non-signatory to these refugee conventions. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government and allowed the deportation of the Rohingyas, with due procedures. However, the judgment was problematic on various grounds. The Court accepted the government’s assertion of Rohingyas being a threat to national security. However, the allegation that was put forth by the government was not corroborated by any evidence. The government further argued that India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention, 1951. Therefore, it is not bound to follow the principle of non-refoulement. Thus, Article 51(c) of the Indian Constitution which enshrines to honor international law and treaties would not hold any value and would be non-applicable in the present case. The court accepted this argument too; however, the court, while accepting this argument, completely overlooks the present status quo of the principle of non-refoulement as a part of international customary law or jus cogens. Even the UNHCR has recognized this as a part of customary international law on several occasions. This ruling not only accepts the government’s baseless allegations but also fails to acknowledge international provisions and its own judicial precedents. read the complete article


01 Jul 2021

Hilton hotel to be built atop demolished Uyghur mosque

Plans for a Hilton hotel to be built in China upon the former site of a Uyghur mosque, demolished by order of China’s Community Party, have been met with outrage and condemnation from various Muslim groups. As first reported in the Telegraph, the grounds of the demolished Duling Mosque in Hotan, part of the Xinjiang province, were sold to a Chinese developer who has plans for a mixed-use development on the site, including a Hampton by Hilton hotel, which is owned by Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. A sign at the construction site for the new hotel asks passersby to “warmly celebrate the Communist Party’s 100th anniversary,” according to media reports. A review of Hilton’s website found there are already several Hilton properties in the Xinjiang province. A Hampton by Hilton hotel at Urumqi International Airport, 700 miles away from the site of the demolished mosque, and a Hilton in the center of Urumqi as well. A Conrad hotel is set to open for business in Urumqi, which is the region’s capitol, later this year. The plans have sparked the ire of Muslim groups in the United States, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “If the Hilton Corporation goes ahead with the building of a Hampton hotel on the site of a demolished mosque, they will be assisting the Chinese government in its campaign of cultural erasure against the Uyghurs. To assist in the erasure of the Uyghurs is to assist in their genocide,” CAIR said in a statement posted on the group’s website. read the complete article

United Kingdom

01 Jul 2021

EXCLUSIVE: Tories pause work on their own definition of Islamophobia two years after pledging to come up with one

The government is yet to come up with its own definition of Islamophobia, two years after pledging to do so and after it rejected a definition formulated by the APPG on British Muslims which other major political parties have adopted. A Muslim Council of Britain spokesperson told LFF: “In 2019, the Government refused to adopt the APPG on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia, the most widely endorsed definition across Muslim communities and wider society to date. “Instead of working with Muslim groups on this matter, the governing Party said they would carry out their own process to define Islamophobia. “Over two years later, it is shocking that the Government is no closer to establishing a definition of Islamophobia it deems suitable. “Given this total lack of progress, it is imperative that the Government reconsiders its stance on the APPG on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia and commits to working alongside Muslim communities to begin actively tackling both the institutional issue of Islamophobia across politics and wider society.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 02 Jul 2021 Edition


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