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
25 Jul 2022

Today in Islamophobia: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 22, 2022, rejected Myanmar’s preliminary objections to the case brought by Gambia under the international Genocide Convention, meanwhile in the United Kingdom, a new study finds that Muslim women’s labour and birth is being over medicalized, as women said they were being “bullied” into having labour inductions, without “reasonable medical justifications,” and a new study in Europe finds that veiled women job candidates received significantly less positive feedback from employers in the Netherlands and Germany. Our recommended read of the day is by Shweta Desai for Article 14 on how Indian citizens are “taking personal and professional risks to document rising instances of hate speech and hate crimes in the country.” This and more below:


25 Jul 2022

With Fact & Faith, A Growing Band Of Concerned Citizens Battles Hate Speech In India | Recommended Read

In coastal Karnataka, a stronghold of Hindu right-wing groups, such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bajrang Dal, 19-year-old A* has been leading a double life. Neither his Muslim family nor the Hindus in his hometown know of the secret online identity of this civil engineering student. When he is not studying, A* spends eight hours daily trawling news reports for violent acts or speeches by Hindutva forces against Muslims and Dalits in Karnataka. The verified information, videos, and photos, carefully culled from the 30 odd Kannada news media he subscribes to, are posted on his Twitter handle, "Hate Watch Karnataka” (HWK) in English. A wants people across the country to witness how his native state, celebrated as an information-technology powerhous, was now also the epicentre of communal politics down south. In the nine months since HWK came into existence, the account, with 7,506 followers when this story was published, has gained prominence among journalists, activists and those allied with Hindu right-wing organisations. For publicising under-the-radar communal violence, Hindutva trolls have threatened HWK with arrest, tagging handles of law enforcement agencies, and accused him of spreading "fake news". “They call me criminal and anti-national,” A said. “If showing the facts and the rampant hate against the minorities is a crime, then yes, I am a criminal.” Since the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) electoral victory in 2014, there has been an unprecedented increase in the incidents of anti-Muslim hate speech and hate crimes by the right-wing Hindu groups, Hindutva followers, ruling government politicians, and pro-government supporters, multiple studies show (here, here, here and here). A University of Massachusetts Amherst 2019 research paper by Deepankar Basu based on a “novel state-level panel data set for the period 2009-18 on the incidence of hate crimes in India”, which was later pulled down, showed that where the BJP was the winner of the largest share of popular votes hate crimes against religious minorities increased, and an increase in the BJP’s vote share caused hate crimes against religious minorities to increase. A member of the Hindutva Watch, speaking on anonymity, said the crackdown on hate-crime trackers is because the government has made the “act of documenting hate crimes a criminal offence”. “People documenting hate crimes are at a greater risk of prosecution than those who are committing the hate crimes,” the member said. read the complete article

25 Jul 2022

Us and them: Behind a brutal killing in an Indian city now divided by religion

Udaipur, a city of about 600,000 in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, has been a tinderbox since the gruesome slaying last month of Yash’s father, Kanhaiya Lal Teli, a Hindu tailor. In a video posted online by his attackers, identified by police as two local Muslims, the elder Teli can be seen in his shop measuring a man who then attacks him with a cleaver, joined by the man filming. They later accused the tailor of insulting Islam. The killing shocked people across India, a majority-Hindu country of 1.4 billion, where religious violence is more often aimed at Muslims amid rising discrimination experts say is fueled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Shamseer Ibrahim, a 36-year-old Muslim activist, said that state endorsement of anti-Muslim violence was damaging the democratic and secular values of India, whose long history of interreligious co-existence has been punctuated by bloody outbreaks of strife. “Under the Modi regime, the spirit of the Indian Constitution is being diminished,” he said in a phone interview. “A very dangerous future awaits Indian society.” The killing has been widely condemned by India’s Muslim leaders, who say it violated the tenets of Islam. But Hindu nationalist protests around the country have been rife with anti-Muslim speeches and slogans, and even calls for violence. “Us and them” attitudes are nothing new in India, which has long struggled with religious, ethnic and linguistic divisions. But critics say that under Modi and the BJP, the conflict between Hindus and Muslims — who make up about 14 percent of the population and constitute the third-largest Muslim population in the world — has taken a violent turn toward “us versus them.” “There are organized forces that are riling prejudices and instigating Hindus against Muslims,” said Apoorvanand, a political commentator and professor of Hindi at the University of Delhi who goes by one name. “The BJP’s entire politics surround this: to divide the nation permanently.” read the complete article

Ndileka Mandela: Without intervention, India risks becoming an apartheid state

More recently, Indian Islamophobia has corroded what was once the world’s largest democracy. Today, laws that properly belonged to South Africa’s apartheid past are popping up across India, from banning marriages, to stripping Indians of citizenship, to rampant mob violence. And while these policies often affect all of India’s many minorities, they are disproportionately affecting the country’s huge Muslim population, inspired by and driving cycles of Islamophobia that impact the wider world. India risks becoming the very apartheid state that leaders like Mandela and Gandhi would have abhorred. And by indulging in Islamophobia, India is missing chances to heal religious divides, which could lead to grave repercussions during a period of geopolitical and economic instability. read the complete article


25 Jul 2022

World Court Rejects Myanmar Objections to Genocide Case

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 22, 2022, rejected Myanmar’s preliminary objections to the case brought by Gambia under the international Genocide Convention, Human Rights Watch said today. The case concerns Myanmar’s alleged genocide against the ethnic Rohingya population in Rakhine State, with a focus on military operations launched in October 2016 and August 2017. Gambia filed the case before the ICJ in November 2019 alleging that the Myanmar military committed the genocidal acts of “killing, causing serious bodily and mental harm, inflicting conditions that are calculated to bring about physical destruction, imposing measures to prevent births, and forcible transfers … intended to destroy the Rohingya group in whole or in part.” “The ICJ decision opens the door toward an overdue reckoning with the Myanmar military’s murderous campaign against the Rohingya population,” said Elaine Pearson, acting Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “By holding the military to account for its atrocities against the Rohingya, the World Court could provide the impetus for greater international action toward justice for all victims of the Myanmar security forces’ crimes.” By rejecting the preliminary objections, the ICJ is allowing the case to proceed on the merits to examine Gambia’s genocide allegations against Myanmar. Myanmar will now have to submit its response to Gambia’s main arguments filed in October 2020 detailing its case. The ICJ case is not a criminal case against individual suspects, but a legal action brought by Gambia against Myanmar alleging that Myanmar bears responsibility for genocide as a state. read the complete article

25 Jul 2022

How Can ICJ Ruling Open Door For Rohingya Return To Myanmar From Bangladesh?

According to academics and rights campaigners, the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) ruling has opened up fresh opportunities for the international community to put pressure on the Myanmar military to provide justice for the Rohingyas. The International Court of Justice ruled on Friday (July 22, 2022) that the Gambia’s case for genocide against Myanmar would proceed despite Myanmar’s preliminary objections to all of it. According to media reports, Myanmar must now submit its counterargument by April of the following year. The International Court of Justice will then likely issue its ruling by 2024. According to the reports, the Myanmar military has long-standing records of committing serious human rights crimes. A year after the military took over the democratically elected civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the US also ruled in the early months of this year that the Myanmar army had committed genocide against the Rohingyas. Since decades, genocidal atrocities have been committed against the Rohingya people in Myanmar, forcing hundreds of thousands of them to migrate to Bangladesh from Rakhine State, where they are denied citizenship and basic rights. We can see that the ICJ has backed the Rohingya cause from the start. Additionally, it referred to them as Rohingyas, an ethnic identifier. Therefore, this decision is significant for Rohingya justice and their ability to return home. Under pressure from the ICJ ruling, Myanmar will finally take the repatriation of the Rohingya seriously. Bangladesh will be better able to bargain with Myanmar as a result. However, Bangladesh must exercise caution so that Myanmar does not treat it as a token repatriation. It’s important to deal with the issue’s underlying causes. read the complete article

25 Jul 2022

Denied jobs, hijab 'discrimination unveiled' in the Netherlands, Germany

Veiled women job candidates received significantly less positive feedback from employers in the Netherlands and Germany, new study finds. A strong evidence of job discrimination against hijab wearing Muslim women in the Netherlands and Germany has been made public in an academic article published by European Sociological Review journal. The blatant discrimination generally occurred when the job required face-to-face public dealings with clients and customers, according to an extensive field experiment. The researchers also found that veiled women in Spain were less discriminated against compared to the Netherlands and Germany. The three researchers Marina Fernandez-Reino, Valentina Di Stasio and Susanne Veit identified whether employers discriminated against all Muslim applicants (veiled or unveiled), or just those who adhered to Muslim religious practices such as wearing the hijab or headscarf. They picked a set of candidates and filed two job applications for each one of them. One application was attached with a hijab-wearing photograph and the other without a hijab. Religious affiliation of unveiled Muslim women were signaled through their volunteering activities in a religious centre. In the Netherlands, almost 70 percent of job applications that included a photograph of an unveiled woman received a positive callback for jobs requiring high customer-contact. But for applications with hijab-clad photographs the positive rate was 35 percent. “The high level of discrimination we found in the Netherlands, where the institutional context has traditionally been open to the accommodation of religious minority rights, is particularly surprising and points to the possibly stigmatizing effect of recent policies geared towards the cultural assimilation of immigrants,” the researchers noted. The field experiment in Germany has given similar results. While 53 per cent of unveiled Muslim women got a positive feedback from employers, only around 25 per cent of veiled women heard back from the workplaces. In Spain, however, the level of discrimination against veiled Muslim women were not statistically significant. read the complete article

United Kingdom

25 Jul 2022

Muslim Women Even Face Discrimination During Labour And Pregnancy

“I’ve had a nightmare time during my pregnancy and I’ll be going in to labour with the full knowledge that as a brown woman I face significant bias from medical professionals,” says Mariam*, 41, a South Asian writer from London. Mariam isn’t alone in that feeling. According to a report by the Muslim Women’s Network and the All-party parliamentary group (APPG), one in five Muslim women say their maternity care is very poor, leading to a “culture of maternity abuse”. During the research, 1,022 Muslim women completed an online survey, 37 women gave in-depth interviews and one focus group was held with Somali women. The study suggests that Muslim women’s labour and birth is being over medicalised. Women said they were being “bullied” into having labour inductions, without “reasonable medical justifications”. When experiences were compared to national average statistics, data showed that Muslim women from racialised minority communities were 1.6 times more likely to have their labour induced, and 1.4 times more likely to have forceps or a ventouse suction cup used to help deliver the baby. They are also 1.5 times less likely to be given an epidural for pain relief and 2.1 times more likely to be in a prolonged labour, with a 2.4% more likelihood of postpartum haemorrhage. There was also evidence of bias against women from specific sub-ethnic groups, such as Bangladeshi, Arab and Black women and other Asian women. read the complete article


25 Jul 2022

It's time to stop blaming police for Winnipeg's violent crime

I was confused when the Winnipeg Police Union and Premier Heather Stefanson recently criticized Chief Danny Smyth for his statement about the increase in violence in our city. I found the chief's comments and observations well thought out and offering a critical analysis of what is needed to assist and help. The issues facing us today are not just policing issues. They are a reflection of where our city has failed when it comes to basic humanitarian services and honouring human dignity. For more than two years now, community-based social services organizations have been raising red flags. The impact of social isolation has brought to the surface the ailing social structure and support systems in our city. The glaring lack of mental health services, the dwindling number of domestic violence shelters, unemployment, inflation and homelessness have increased frustration and desperation and, as a result, are eroding the social harmony and cohesion of our fair city. Add to this growing racism, discrimination and hate, and the horrors of colonialism against the First Nations of Turtle Island. There is also the growing right- and left-wing extremism, white supremacy, and a lack of services for those living with war trauma. This all has created the perfect storm for the social disharmony we are witnessing today. I have worked with clients with all the right credentials and yet, facing racism and Islamophobia at the workplace, they've suffered breakdowns that have rendered them unemployable because of anxiety and depression. Their family life is impacted and has suffered. Chronic racism in our institutions is playing havoc with our social harmony. Victims of hate speech and hate incidents either feel abandoned or lash out. The lack of trust in police and political leaders is reaching a critical stage, with growing divides and uncertainty as to the role of law enforcement and justice, especially when it comes to Indigenous and racialized Winnipeggers. read the complete article


25 Jul 2022

Our mosque was attacked, but our faith keeps the doors open to all

One morning when we tuned in, instead of these kids’ classics, we saw two buildings burning. It was Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The Islam I had loved and practised my whole life was suddenly associated with horrible things. This inspired me to choose a path where I could show the beauty of this faith to my fellow Australians. One of the most remarkable things I learned in those years was that the commonalities of world faiths outweigh the differences. For Muslims, this is fundamental. A Muslim can only be a Muslim if he believes in every single prophet and messenger of God, not just the biblical prophets but also the founders of Hinduism, Buddha and Zoroaster among others. In recent years, Islamophobia has gripped society, leading to discrimination and abuse. Over the years, I have personally experienced hatred and vandalism at my Bait-us-Salam (House of Peace) Mosque in Langwarrin. In the early hours of June 19, as my wife and two young children slept on the ground floor, my mosque upstairs was attacked by a gang of 12 intruders. Police have charged eight men, aged 18 to 62, with burglary and trespass. The Koran tells us that the first condition of seeking divine help is patience. However, showing patience and restraint after such an event is easier said than done. We knew we needed to respond the way the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always done, with the sincere belief that all forms of ignorance can be countered through education. So once again we opened our doors for Mosque Solidarity Day and invited people from all walks of life to our spiritual sanctuary. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 25 Jul 2022 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results