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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22 Jul 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In the United States, the SCOTUS used the term “ordered liberty” 16 times in their decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which is the “same legal term was also at the core of U.S. efforts to defend the state repression legalized through the creation of the USA PATRIOT Act,” meanwhile in the United Kingdom, British POC express their feelings about PM candidate Rishi Sunak and what his candidacy means for representation and progress, with one individual stating, “just because people of colour are elected does not mean that racism doesn’t exist,” and at the international level, the ICJ is set to rule on Myanmar’s preliminary objections to a genocide case brought over the military’s brutal 2017 crackdown on the mostly Muslim Rohingya. Our recommended read of the day is by Bridge’s Farid Hafez for Anadolu Agency on the 11th anniversary of the deadly Utøya massacre in which Anders Breivik, a white nationalist motivated by Islamophobia, killed 77 people (mostly teenagers). Hafez writes that Breivik has inspired numerous deadly far-right attacks since 2011, and his views have become mainstream. This and more below:


22 Jul 2022

ANALYSIS - Commemorating July 22, 2011: Violence in the name of 'fighting Islamization' | Recommended Read

Even before the facts were out, some news outlets had pretended to know the truth and published their articles on the worst attack done supposedly by “violent Muslims”. However, it soon became clear that they were mistaken, and on July 22, 2011, Europe would witness its worst violent attack in decades. And it was not the usual suspects but a far-right-minded individual that attempted to set an example against an alleged Islamization. Eleven years have passed since the far-right Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik massacred 77 people in a violent spree at a socialist youth camp in Utøya, Norway; Breivik believed the camp would let in Muslims who would “reshape the demographics of a white, Christian European continent.” The 1,500-page “manifesto” he left behind demonstrated that his copy-paste online publications drew from the literature produced by the “Counter-Jihad Movement”and well-established “mainstream” authors, who have been central to the spreading of anti-Muslim ideas in a more respectable and less aggressive way. In other words; his extreme act actually represented several quite “mainstream” thoughts about Islam and Muslims. In a way, July 22, 2011, could have been a wake-up call for national governments and supranational organizations to take a stance and do something against increasing anti-Muslim racism. But what we have been witnessing since 2011 on a large scale is less promising. On the contrary, Breivik has become a role model that is imitated around the globe. From the Christchurch attack that killed 51 people in two mosques in new Zealand in 2019 to the shooter of El Paso, the US in 2019 and to the murderer in Hanau, Germany in 2020, numerous individual perpetrators drew on Breivik and later terrorist Brenton Tarrant (Christchurch) to mimic their violent attacks in the name of fighting the “Great Replacement.”[4] Beyond individual acts of mass violence, organizing armed white supremacist underground movements in Europe is a trend that persists. read the complete article

22 Jul 2022

Finally, the victims of Utøya got a memorial

On June 18 this year, prime minister Jonas Gahr Store finally inaugurated a memorial to commemorate the victims of Europe's most infamous anti-Muslim racist murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed more than 77 people — primarily from Norway's Social Democratic youth organisation — as he thought they were "enablers of Islamisation". Some had wished it would happen a year earlier, on July 22 in 2021, which marked the 10th anniversary of the worst violent attack that happened in Norway post-World War 2 and also marks the most violent attack drawing on anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. But a legal battle between locals on the one hand and the state and the labour youth organisation on the other side postponed the inception of the memorial in remembrance of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik. The traumatised plaintiffs had argued that the memorial would prolong their trauma. Before killing 88 people and injuring more than 200 others in a combined car bomb attack on the government quarter of Oslo and later on the island of Utøya, the perpetrator Breivik had published a 1,518-page manifesto, which laid out his motivations that were primarily shaped by the great replacement and white genocide conspiracy theory, a belief that immigration by people of colour and especially Muslims combined with falling white birth rates and the promotion of multiculturalism are all part of a deliberate plot to destroy the "white race." This manifesto has since influenced other violent white supremacists that mimicked Breivik, be it the killer of El Paso, the mass murderer of the Christchurch attack in New Zealand, or more recently the shooting in Buffalo/New York. The deadly violence of Norwegian Breivik, who has since spent his time in prison, showed that Islamophobia does not only harm Muslims but every single part of society that stands for defending the human rights of the disenfranchised, first and foremost refugees and the immigrant working poor. read the complete article

22 Jul 2022

ICJ to rule on Myanmar objections to Rohingya genocide case

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to rule on Myanmar’s preliminary objections to a genocide case brought over the military’s brutal 2017 crackdown on the mostly Muslim Rohingya. Akila Radhakrishnan, president of the Global Justice Center (GJC) in New York, says it is “reasonably likely” that the ICJ will reject the objections, allowing the court to move to the next stage of the process — the merits phase — when it will consider the factual evidence against Myanmar. “These objections were nothing more than a delaying tactic and it is disappointing that the ICJ has taken a year and a half to make its decision,” Tun Khin, president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK), told Al Jazeera. “The genocide is ongoing and it is vital that the court doesn’t allow any further delays.” The Gambia took the case against Myanmar to the ICJ in November 2019, with the backing of the 57-member Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, after a brutal military crackdown in the northwestern state of Rakhine forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh. Myanmar is accused of breaching the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide(PDF). The ICJ has already ordered Myanmar to take urgent measures to protect the Rohingya, with the judges saying it had “caused irreparable damage” to the group’s rights. read the complete article

22 Jul 2022

A year after his arrest in Morocco, Uyghur activist Idris Hasan fears extradition to China

After a year of his arrest at the Casablanca airport, the fate of the Uyghur activist Idris Hasan, also known as Yidiresi Aishan, remains shrouded in ambiguity. "Last time I visited him, two months ago, he was physically and mentally well. However, fears of extradition, execution, and torture, are always there," said Lkbir Lmseguem, the activist's lawyer, to The New Arab. On the night of 19-20 July 2021, Hasan was arrested at Casablanca airport arriving on a flight from Turkey, where the activist had lived with his family since 2012. The 34-year-old activist was arrested based on a red notice issued by Interpol at China's request "for belonging to a terrorist organisation." In December 2021, Rabat's Court of Cassation issued a favourable opinion on the extradition request, despite Interpol's August 2021 cancellation of the red notice issued against Idris. The red notice was cancelled because it violated Idris' status as an applicant for refugee status with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Since the Moroccan court's decision, the issuance of an extradition decree by the Moroccan prime minister is the only step separating Idris from being sent to China where he can face torture, 45 human rights organisations warned. read the complete article

United States

22 Jul 2022

The Supreme Court Cited “Ordered Liberty” to Overturn “Roe.” What’s Next?

What the hell is “ordered liberty”? Most people in the United States are not familiar with this archaic legal term, but it reveals the direction that the current attacks on our freedoms and civil rights are headed. Right-wing members of the Supreme Court used the term “ordered liberty” — defined as “freedom limited by the need for order in society” — 16 times throughout their recent Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The same legal term was also at the core of U.S. efforts to defend the state repression legalized through the creation of the USA PATRIOT Act. For example, former President George W. Bush’s attorney general, John Ashcroft, discussed “ordered liberty” in depth at the Eighth Circuit Judges Conference in Duluth, Minnesota, in 2002 to justify the overreaching powers of the PATRIOT Act. The act exploited Islamophobia to develop new law enforcement agencies, new legal departments and increased surveillance. Those laws and policies were then leveraged to increase police powers against Black people protesting violence and immigrants going about their daily lives. Both Bush administrations relied heavily on the legal playbooks, reports and staffing recommendations generated by the Federalist Society, a right-wing organization established in 1982. Made up of tens of thousands of conservative law students, faculty and scholars, including Ashcroft, the Federalist Society has strategically advanced the legal concept of “ordered liberty.” Leonard Leo, a former president and current board chair of the Federalist Society, has been identified as a major force behind this Supreme Court’s judicial nominations. The idea that freedoms could be “limited by the need for order in society” is dangerous because it enables right-wing forces that are in power to determine what “order” means and what freedoms should be limited. read the complete article

22 Jul 2022

Disney’s ‘Ms. Marvel’ features 1st Muslim superhero

A new Disney+ series called "Ms. Marvel" features the first Muslim superhero in the marvel cinematic universe, and is now one of the highest-rated shows of its kind. Amna Nawaz talks to the director about bringing this character to life as part of our arts and culture series, "CANVAS." Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Director: If you had told me that this story would be told 20 years ago, when I was growing up, I would have laughed at it. But my daughters are going to have a superhero that looks like them, that are use — about curfew just the way they do, or that are given what they should be wearing. What "Ms. Marvel" does is, it takes audiences into our world, lets them in into our secret, that we have this beautiful, colorful, incredible culture. Amna Nawaz: Today, Kamala Khan is breaking ground and taking up space in a world that's long sidelined and silenced voices like hers. A report last year from the University of Southern California's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative looked at the 200 top-grossing films between 2017 and 2019; 90.5 percent didn't feature any Muslims and speaking roles. Among those that had any Muslim characters, less than a quarter were women. The representation on screen, Obaid-Chinoy says, is rooted in the team off-camera, like executive producer Sana Amanat, lead writer Bisha K. Ali, and their teams. read the complete article

United Kingdom

22 Jul 2022

'The representation we don't want': What do people of colour really think about UK’s PM candidate Rishi Sunak?

The Tory government has been accused of Islamophobia, Xenophobia, racism and an unsympathetic stance towards refugees over the years. Boris Johnson had initially pledged to launch an investigation into Islamophobia but failed to do so and even went as far as dismissing its existence within the Tory party. Furthermore, a report on Race and Ethnic Disparities was heavily criticised as being ‘divisive’, adding to the list of reasons why many people of colour are reluctant to support the current candidates. "As once a refugee myself, I can say that none of the POC candidates would have supported me or understood what we have been through," Nasreen continued. "The Tories have never even backed an enquiry into Islamophobia – they all seem to dismiss it. They are not interested in addressing problems that we (people of colour) experience daily in and out but instead pander to right-wing policies." While some people celebrate the fact that many POC candidates had contested the race, others feel that the candidates could not relate to the majority of the UK’s 6.9 % Asian and 3% Black community. "Representation has many levels and on a superficial level, seeing someone who looks the same as you has power," Jaya, the Co-Executive Director at Yet Again and member of the Executive Committee of the Labour Campaign for International Development, adds. She continues, "Just because people of colour are elected does not mean that racism doesn’t exist. It absolutely still does. And people can’t excuse that just because there are POC MPs. These are two different issues which have a different set of causes and require a deep systemic change." read the complete article

22 Jul 2022


As the Conservative leadership election passes to the party’s 160,000 mostly old, white, male members, it is increasingly clear that any reset after the excesses of Boris Johnson will be personal rather than political. Not only is the legacy candidate, Liz Truss – who believes that on balance Johnson should have stayed in Downing Street – the bookies’ favourite, but her rival Rishi Sunak represents no more than a minimal break with the disgraced Prime Minister’s regime. Much has been made of the diversity of the 2022 candidates, but not much hope can be derived from a slate of potential prime ministers who are super-wealthy and are willing to defend racist policies. We have only to compare this year’s bout to the 2019 leadership election, which still had room for Rory Stewart (and in which Sajid Javid successfully bounced Johnson into an inquiry on Conservative Islamophobia), to see how things have moved during the last three years. The once centre-right Conservative Party has now undergone a decade of tracking to the far-right, and a Truss victory would mark a new stage in this process. The party had already shifted rightwards under Margaret Thatcher and later leaders, but a new strain of radicalism emerged first of all in Nigel Farage’s leadership of UKIP, in opposition to David Cameron’s attempt to ‘detoxify’ the Conservatives in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Farage’s success in linking racist anti-immigration politics and Europhobia (in other words: complete hostility to European institutions) emboldened the Tory right and together they forced Cameron to promise a limit to immigration and a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. A far-righted mainstream party is different from an insurgent, populist far-right party, even one like UKIP which had ambitions to become mainstream. On the ground, the Conservatives are largely the party it has always been – many members support the new leaders through the same deference they showed to the old; and despite a strong authoritarian tendency, it remains a movement in which, as we are seeing, parliamentarians and members retain significant influence. read the complete article


22 Jul 2022

ANALYSIS - Historical roots of Hindutva

Closely linked with Narendra Modi, who started his political leap from the presidency of the state of Gujarat to the prime minister of India in the 2014 elections, the increasing hatred of Islam in Indian society has been on the agenda for a long time. According to Human Rights Watch 2022 report, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party-BJP) not only embraces acts and policies that discriminate against Muslims and other non-Hindu religious minorities (Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, etc.) but also turns up its pressure on civil society and the media. Academics, journalists, or activists who criticize the government and its policies are suppressed. The ruling party also calls for an economic boycott of Muslims' employment and trade. The Islamophobia and violence against Muslims supported by the ruling party, combined with the pacification of the police, have made Hindu nationalists even more daring. A blind spot to be highlighted in this regard is what the historical starting point of Islamophobia in India is. The Islamophobia, which unfolded in the world public opinion with Narendra Modi in India, counterintuitively relies upon racism that is supported by the social base and has historical roots in the society. These Islamophobic waves were realized by the global public opinion when the radical Hindus (1992) demolished the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya claiming that the masjid was the birthplace of their God, Ram. The roots of the Hindutva movement, which later come out and spread in India through the BJP's rise to power, actually date back to the 19th century. The roots of Hindus' hostility toward Muslims are grounded in the times of liberation of India from British colonialism and the nation-state building. Under the influence of nationalist movements, two types of nationalism waves were embraced in the country: moderate and radical. Both were inviting Indians to return to "their own self-identity" and included religious reforms to make Hinduism attractive. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 22 Jul 2022 Edition


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