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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27 Jul 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In the United States, protesters from the Uyghur community camped outside the the UN headquarters to demand the UN release its “report on what they call an ongoing genocide against China’s Muslim minority, and accused the world body of allowing Beijing to suppress the report,” meanwhile in Europe, a new study finds that “veiled Muslim women” face more discrimination than others when applying for jobs in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, and in Australia, Labor’s Fatima Payman, the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman in Australia’s federal parliament, encouraged girls who decide to wear the hijab to do so with pride in her first address to the Senate. Our recommended read of the day is by Ashley Cowburn for the Independent on how “Boris Johnson has admitted a long-running investigation into Islamophobia claims by the Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani must now wait until his successor is appointed.” This and more below:

United Kingdom

27 Jul 2022

Probe into Tory MP Nusrat Ghani Islamophobia allegations must wait for new PM, Boris Johnson admits | Recommended Read

Boris Johnson has admitted a long-running investigation into Islamophobia claims by the Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani must now wait until his successor in No 10 is appointed. It follows the Tory MP’s allegations over six months ago that she was informed by a government whip her Muslim faith was “making colleagues feel uncomfortable” when she lost her ministerial job in 2020. In January, a No 10 spokesperson said the prime minister had tasked the Cabinet Office with conducting an inquiry into the allegations made by Ms Ghani and to “establish the facts about what happened”. But in an update the Commons Liaison Committee — published on Tuesday — Mr Johnson told MPs the investigation had not been completed by his independent ethics adviser Lord Geidt before his resignation. Last month Lord Geidt became the second adviser to quit the post in two years in a major blow to the prime minister, who failed to appoint a successor and floated proposal to abolish the post of ethics adviser. It means the probe will now not resume until September at the earliest, with the foreign secretary Liz Truss and the former chancellor Rishi Sunak vying to replace Mr Johnson in No 10. read the complete article

27 Jul 2022

‘Kick in the teeth’: Black Labour MPs condemn party’s response to report uncovering ‘racism’

Black Labour MPs have attacked their party’s response to a damning report finding “overt and underlying racism” in its ranks, one calling it “a kick in the teeth”. Sir Keir Starmer is accused of claiming the problems had been overcome with the departure of Jeremy Corbyn and the “unacceptable culture” the former party leader fostered. In fact, the Forde report found that factional infighting predated Mr Corbyn’s election in 2015 – and pointed to “continuing concerns” about Labour processes, Dawn Butler argued. The former shadow minister condemned the “triumphalist ‘it was all the last lot’” stance, saying: “Racism isn’t ended by a change of leader, and neither is factionalism. “It requires hard, pain-staking cultural challenge – an acknowledgement of the problem and an open mind committed to real and lasting cultural change.” Kate Osamor, a former shadow cabinet member, echoed the criticism, saying: “As a Black Labour MP, the response from this party’s leadership to the Forde report feels like a kick in the teeth. “The report concluded that the party has failed to tackle anti-Black racism and Islamophobia. The leadership of this party needs to respond to that now.” The long-awaited 138-page report finally released last week, painted a devastating picture of a bitter party power struggle between two rival camps, one in Mr Corbyn’s office and the other at Labour headquarters. read the complete article

27 Jul 2022

Mum says her Muslim children were 'made to say the Lord's Prayer' at school

A mum claims her Muslim children were made to say the "Lord's prayer" in school. Emma Ben-Saīd said that she complained to Weston Point Community Primary School, in Runcorn, when her two children said they had to perform the Christian "Our Father" prayer. The 35-year-old, who also attended the school as a child, said the teacher and interim headteacher knew the children were Muslim and that it happened multiple times despite her raising the issue with them. She said she is now "physically and mentally exhausted" dealing with issues she has with the school. Emma was one of several parents who contacted the ECHO to raise concerns about an apparent culture shift at the school. read the complete article


27 Jul 2022

Rohingyas a step closer to justice

The Gambia’s case against Myanmar under the international Genocide Convention, for the alleged genocide committed against the ethnic Rohingyas, is now all set to be heard and judged by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), following its rejection of Myanmar’s preliminary objections on the grounds of the court’s jurisdiction and the Gambia’s legal standing. Besides rejecting Myanmar’s objections, the ICJ also ruled that the Gambia’s application filed on 11 November 2019 was admissible, thereby allowing the case to proceed on merits. The Rohingya victims of genocide, as well as all peace-loving people who believe in the rule of law, can be certain now that we are one step closer to justice. The ICJ decision really is a huge step towards an overdue reckoning with the Myanmar military’s atrocities against the Rohingyas. It is wellknown that the international justice system is a long-drawn complex process, which may take years to conclude. But at least the world court’s decision to proceed on substance should worry the Myanmar’s military junta that they can no longer shrug off their responsibilities for their murderous campaign against a minority ethnic group. read the complete article

27 Jul 2022

UN accused of complicity in ‘genocide’ after failure to release Uyghur report

Protesters from the Uyghur community have demanded the United Nations release its report on what they call an ongoing genocide against China’s Muslim minority and accused the world body of allowing Beijing to suppress the report. Camped outside UN headquarters in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday, a small group of protesters held aloft placards demanding the release of the report and the recognition of East Turkistan as an independent state. “You see the Chinese government getting away with genocide. In many ways, the failure of the UN to push back against this or to even make any substantial statement shows the complicity of the UN,” Prime Minister Salih Hudayar of the East Turkistan Government in Exile told Middle East Eye. The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) was established in Washington DC as an official government in exile in 2004 and is pushing for an independent state in China’s northwest, what is known officially as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Hudayar said the name is ironic given that the "autonomy" they experience is “colonisation, assimilation and genocide”. Uyghurs showing adherence to Islamic principles - including praying; fasting; abstaining from alcohol; growing beards; or wearing Islamic clothing - have been detained by authorities and forced to comply with Communist Party principles. The Chinese government dismisses the allegations as “The most preposterous lie of the century, an outrageous insult and affront to the Chinese people, and a gross breach of international law and basic norms governing international relations.” United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet visited China in May this year, but so far no report has been released on the situation in Xinjiang, where 12 million Uyghurs reside. read the complete article

27 Jul 2022

Veiled Muslim women face discrimination in Germany, Netherlands, Spain: Study

“Veiled Muslim women” face more discrimination than others when applying for jobs in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, revealed a survey conducted by researchers from the Netherlands, Germany, and the UK. Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Oxford University in the UK, and the German Center for Integration and Migration Research conducted a joint field survey on the discrimination faced by religious minorities seeking jobs in the three European labor markets – Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. The findings of the experiment were shared in an article published by Oxford Academic this month titled “Discrimination Unveiled: A Field Experiment on the Barriers Faced by Muslim Women in Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain.” The experiment was conducted with the CVs (curriculum vitae) of the same people by using the same content and information with both veiled and unveiled photos. As the photos on CVs show whether that person wears a hijab or not, the “cross-nationally harmonized” experiment aimed to demonstrate to what extent the responses these people receive from employers differ. The results in the Netherlands proved that 35% of women with headscarves got responses from employers while this rate rose to 70% among those not wearing them. The experiment claimed a similar scenario in Germany, showing that 25% of the veiled candidates and 53% of the unveiled ones received responses. read the complete article


27 Jul 2022

Fatima Payman encourages Muslim girls who wear the hijab to ‘do it with pride’ in first speech

Labor's Fatima Payman has encouraged girls who decide to wear the hijab to do so with pride in her first address to the Senate. The 27-year-old, who is the daughter of a refugee from Afghanistan, is the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman in Australia’s federal parliament. She is also the youngest member of this parliament, and the first Afghan-Australian to be elected. Senator Payman will deliver her official maiden speech in September, but used the address to reflect on her journey to parliament. “A hundred years ago, let alone ten years ago, would this parliament accept a woman choosing a hijab to be elected?” she said in the Senate. Senator Payman said it was welcome progress to see parliament starting to reflect the “true diversity” of Australia. The senator for Western Australia also addressed her status as the first parliamentarian to wear the hijab, saying she hoped her journey could inspire others. “For those who choose to judge me on what I should wear or judge my competency based on my external [appearance], know that the hijab is my choice,” she said. “I want young girls who decide to wear the hijab to do it with pride and to do it with the knowledge that they have the right to wear it. I won’t judge someone wearing boardies and flip-flops across the street. I don’t expect people to judge me for wearing my staff.” read the complete article


27 Jul 2022

French Court Upholds Burkini Ban in Grenoble’s Public Pools

Last month, the highest court in France upheld a ban on burkinis in the southeastern city of Grenoble, after a local court initially suspended the controversial policy. During a close-call vote, the local court scrapped old laws which prohibited Muslim women from wearing the one-piece swimsuit until it was appealed the following month which prompted the U-turn by the French courts. Fatima Bent of Muslim feminist group Lallab spoke of the recent ruling, saying: “Muslim women are not homogenous. [French authorities] look at Muslim women through a single prism.” She blamed a leftover colonial-era “fixation with the body of Muslim women by politicians who want to control them.” The burkini has been a topic of debate throughout the country for the past decade or so, but in more recent years, it has become a symbol of rebellion by Muslim women to stand against the obvious Islamophobia perpetuated by French lawmakers. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 27 Jul 2022 Edition


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