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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29 Jul 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In the United States, the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) criticizes the Anti Defamation League for routinely censoring Palestinian voices, while in France, the “separatism law” continues to receive strong rebukes from French academics, as a Chinese social media campaign seeks to conceal and minimize the brutal treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province. Our recommended read of the day is by Yousra Samir Imran on Sabeena Akhtar’s new book Cut from the Same Cloth?, a collection of 20 personal essays written by Muslim women in Britain from different walks of life. This and more below:

United Kingdom

28 Jul 2021

Cut from the Same Cloth? An examination of the intersectionality of identity as Muslim Women in Britain today

Cut from the Same Cloth? is a collection of twenty personal essays written by Muslim women in Britain from different walks of life, on the topics that matter to them, whether that is about the challenges of navigating the pressures of today’s ever-changing beauty standards in the era of social media as eloquently penned by Ruqaiya Haris in her essay The Quest for Modesty in the Digital Age, to what it is like living in the shadow of the Grenfell fire as related by Zahra Adams via Shaista Aziz in Grenfell, or a reflection on the realities of raising children in Britain today and what it is like dealing with racial and religious biases at schools as a mother, as illustrated by Suma Din in A Cartography of Motherhood. Some essays will make you laugh, while others will ignite a sense of shared anger and frustration, but all of them will make you reflect on what life is like today for different Muslim women in Britain. Some experiences are shared, such as those of Islamophobia, while others are unique to the individual. Also poignantly written is a number of essays by Black Muslim women on not only the added layer of racism they face in British society, but the colourism and discrimination they experience within the Muslim community itself, as found in Hodan Yusuf’s Waiting to Exhale: The Scarcity of Safe Spaces and Negla Abdalla’s Dirty Melanin, Precious Melanin: Bilal was Black. The title of the anthology itself says it all, questioning the widely held notion that there is just one cookie-cutter shaped “type” of Muslim woman, and challenging the way in which Muslim women are often painted with the same brush. “I think [the title] is more of a provocation, or at least an invitation to readers to interrogate the often narrow and monolithic mainstream representations of Muslim women that we are so used to seeing,” Akhtar adds. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
29 Jul 2021

An Abaya over my England shorts: being a Muslim, Bangladeshi England fan

Being a brown, hijab-wearing Muslim, the concept of ‘home’ has rarely been straightforward. Yet during the 2020 Euros, football made me feel at home in a country where people have often made me feel like an overstayed guest. As someone from a low-income background, I related to Marcus Rashford’s reliance on free school meals as a child. Having had slurs screamed at me on busy central London roads, I empathised strongly with the racism faced by Raheem Sterling in the midst of a heated game. Yet, such players were able to successfully progress in the world of football — all while elevating the national team to heights nobody else could. They do not only represent who I am; they represent who I want to be. These men are more than just a football team. They are a looking glass for a progressive and multicultural England that I unconditionally belong in. During some light post-match analysis with my non-Muslim, white British friends, I comfortably referred to England as ‘we’, their results as ‘ours’, and the fans as ‘us’. Walking through neighbourhoods with English flags pinned up on windows would usually cause me to nervously walk faster. Yet I found myself smiling at the sight. I wasn’t shocked that football finally seemed like it was coming home. I was shocked that I could refer to England as ‘home.’ We were relentlessly repeating those three words during the Euros, and no one — including myself — would question it. If the diversity, quality and values of these players remain prominent in the future of this team, I will support them. In doing so, I’m not aiming to build bridges with people who think my British-ness is subject to me making groundbreaking contributions to the UK, or black players bringing it home. I want to champion the representation of England at its best and will connect with the fans who also believe in that vision. read the complete article

United States

27 Jul 2021

Pro-Palestine groups denounce Paypal-ADL research into extremism funding

The Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) said in a statement on Tuesday that PayPal should scrap working with the ADL due to the organisation's "anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic" track record. The US-based Palestinian group said that while the ADL "claims to fight anti-Semitism", it has "a long and uninterrupted track record of working to censor and punish Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims for speaking out or organizing for Palestinian liberation". Paypal announced on Monday that it planned to launch an investigation into hate group funding, saying the initiative would be led through the ADL's Center on Extremism and would focus on uncovering and disrupting the financial flows supporting white supremacist and anti-government organisations. But the PYM, which describes itself as an independent, grassroots movement of young Palestinians in Palestine and in exile, said Paypal's partnership with the ADL, a pro-Israel organisation, is likely to result in the targeting of pro-Palestinian spaces. The ADL has a long history of describing Palestinian rights movements as antisemitic and has in the past worked with US law enforcement to spy on and target Arab-American groups, among others. It has also facilitated and funded US police training trips to Israel. The ADL has also denounced organisations including the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and has advised police forces to plant undercover agents within anti-racist demonstrations in order to use surveillance footage to prosecute protesters. Last year, more than 100 human rights groups signed a joint letter asking progressive organisations to stop working with the ADL. read the complete article

28 Jul 2021

Jamaica man arraigned on hate crime charges for anti-Muslim attacks in Queens

A Jamaica man faces hate crimes charges for three separate and random attacks on people he believed were Muslim, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. Naved Durrni, 30, of 106th Avenue, was arraigned Wednesday, July 28, before Queens Criminal Court Judge Edwin Novillo on a complaint charging him with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, assault in the third degree as a hate crime, menacing in the second degree as a hate crime and aggravated harassment in the second degree. Durrni allegedly pursued, struck and yelled anti-Muslim sentiments at the victims he encountered on the street over the last few weeks. read the complete article

28 Jul 2021

Report: Hate crime laws lack uniformity across the US

More than half a century since they were modernized, hate crime laws in the U.S. are inconsistent and provide incomplete methods for addressing bias-motivated violence, according to a new report by advocates for better protections. The report, first shared with The Associated Press ahead of its Wednesday release, is a comprehensive national review of hate crime laws that shows gaps and variances in the laws. Due to the complexity of hate violence, certain statutes meant to protect racial minorities and marginalized groups are less effective, as a consequence of bias in the criminal justice system, the report says. The existing laws can even discourage hate crime victims from coming forward, advocates say in the report, which also cites widespread flaws in the collection and reporting of data. The report's release comes after a more-than-yearlong focus on COVID-era hate violence directed at Asian Americans and Asian immigrants, and ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, which saw an uptick in anti-Muslim and anti-Sikh attacks. The majority of all U.S. hate crimes are committed by white people, according to available data, and the majority of all hate crimes are motivated by racial or ethnic bias. But data also show that hate crimes reported by state law enforcement to the FBI disproportionately list Black Americans as the perpetrators. According to the report, in at least 13 states, law enforcement-recorded hate crimes listed Black offenders at a rate roughly 1.6 to 3.6 times greater than the size of the state’s Black population. read the complete article


28 Jul 2021

France has no respectable data to support Islamophobic law: Experts

French political scientist and sociologist Vincent Geisser said that the separatism law, introduced by French President Emmanuel Macron's La Republique en Marche (LREM) party, is based on a sociological diagnosis that is derived from extremely weak statistical information and that, despite the state's many resources, the government could not find data to support the argument used to defend the law. Evaluating the "Republican values" bill, which was criticized for targeting and marginalizing Muslims in France, Geisser, who is a researcher at the French National Scientific Research Center (CNRS) and the Institute of Research and Study on the Arab and Islamic Worlds (IREMAM), asserted that associations, mosques and schools simply became targets of the law. He noted that despite all government resources, there has been "no respectable, quantitative data to support the argument of the government used to defend the separatism law." Geisser added that a legal basis is being created to legitimize France's intervention in Muslim affairs. Geisser said that France, which is a secular state in principle, should not interfere in religious affairs no matter what, but that the state is currently interfering with the mosques, imams, associations or schools of Muslims. read the complete article


28 Jul 2021

Chinese Social Media Campaign Gaslights Uyghur Genocide

China has turned the Uyghur heartland into a macabre version of the 1998 film The Truman Show, which depicts an idyllic but fake American town – set up to fool the main character, as played by Jim Carey, into believing it’s real. In Xinjiang, a similarly phoney version of reality is presented to foreign journalists and officials in “Uyghur Land,” where singing and dancing Uyghurs, many of whom are Han Chinese actors, parrot rehearsed lines to their inquisitive guests. The Chinese Government’s campaign to conceal and whitewash the Uyghur genocide has also extended into the online realm, as revealed in a recent months-long investigation by ProPublica and the New York Times, which found that Beijing has produced more than 3,000 videos in which Chinese citizens deny abuses and defend the Government’s human rights record in Xinjiang. Our Byline Times investigation has found evidence the Chinese Government is also behind a network of social media accounts used to spread disinformation about the Uyghur people, and positively identified several key users that are operating as a shop-front for propaganda, including actors posing as “random travel bloggers” and ordinary Uyghur citizens of Xinjiang. read the complete article


28 Jul 2021

'We're tired of it': Muslim family speaks to Islamophobia in Dufferin County

“We’re constantly experiencing discrimination, and we know why: it’s because Muslims are the minority in Dufferin County,” said Imam Yehya Soliman, leader of the Muslims of Dufferin, who provides Islamic guidance to the community. He and his family have been living in Canada for 20 years and moved to Orangeville in 2016. Near the mosque in town, he said there’s a neighbour who constantly uses racial slurs and hate speech toward them, including calling them “Muslim scum” and saying he hated them all. Soliman had to call the police on one occasion because the neighbour was pacing up and down the sidewalk shouting, “I’m going to shoot you all; I’m going to shoot you." “We’re tired of it. No human being should experience so much hate and oppression,” Soliman said. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 29 Jul 2021 Edition


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