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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07 Jul 2021

Today in Islamophobia: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met virtually on Tuesday with Uyghur Muslims formally detained in Xinjiang by the Chinese government, while in the UK two prominent Labour members call on Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the royal family to officially boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, and in India, anti-Muslim propaganda targeting Muslim street vendors in the Uttar Nagar area of Delhi is having a staggering impact on the hundreds of Muslim street vendors who’s living depends on daily market sales. Our recommended read of the day is by Shila Khayambashi on the disparity in Canadian media representation between news featuring Muslims and non-Muslims. This and more below:


07 Jul 2021

Implicit bias within Canadian media often means providing excuses for white accused

On Dec. 31, 2020, a police officer in Calgary was killed when struck by a vehicle trying to flee a traffic stop. On June 6, four members of a Muslim-Canadian family in were killed when they were out for an evening stroll in London, Ont. In the Calgary incident, those arrested and charged with first-degree murder were two Muslim teenagers. The suspect in the London attack is a 20-year-old white man. In the incident about the killing of the Muslim family members, some news outlets illustrated a story about the accused by using a photo of him from a recent fishing trip. While the Crown would add a charge of terrorism in addition to the murder charges, news outlets became a channel for the accused’s family and friends to send out their positive thoughts about him, praise him and deny his Islamophobia and racism. Friends spoke about a recent fishing trip and how the accused was “happy as ever,” how he had “trouble with the steering of his truck” and was distraught over a death in the family. Eventually, news outlets cited the accused’s mental illness, anger management and parent’s separation. In the Calgary incident, no friends or family of the accused were quoted by the media. No one spoke of their character or offered any other personal information about them. Photos used in media stories were police mug shots. Nancy Heitzeg, a professor of sociology and critical studies of race and ethnicity at Saint Catherine University in Minnesota, notes there is a “double standard” when it comes to the white people versus people of colour when they commit the same crime. When a white individual is committing a crime, she explains, there is always a life story that gives characteristics to the accused. However, when a minority individual is committing the crime, there are no backgrounds, no excuses and no side stories. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
06 Jul 2021

Volunteering at my mosque should feel safe. Instead, the Muslim community has faced abuse, attacks and death

Part of the reason I decided to volunteer, I suppose, was small gesture to Mohamed Aslim-Zafis, who did similar tasks at the IMO Mosque in Etobicoke before resting in the parking lot and living out what would be the last moments of his life. Aslim-Zafis’s murder entered and exited the news cycle rapidly, but it still lingers as an instance of inexplicable horror for Muslims in this city and in Canada. Many still think that such a brazen act of Islamophobic bloodletting should’ve drawn more disgust and shock from their neighbours. What this case further exposed was how mosques lack the security needed to protect against this unpredictable time of multiplying white supremacist groups and regular street attacks on visibly Muslim women. Not to mention mosque vandalism. In response, mosque leadership — including the mosque I attended and volunteered at — explored spending money on security, at least for Friday prayers when more people came out. Fear ran through our space and the questions piled on. What should we do if someone acted belligerently? Or, worse, attacked us? Maybe move all the shoes so they don’t block the door. Make sure to direct traffic one way for better flow. There’s a way for places of worship to get funding to build up their safety measures, but there needs to be more money to go around. We don’t need to spend more time debating if Islamophobia is real threat in Canada. Security issues should be addressed before disturbing incidents happen and more people are afraid to step into the mosque. read the complete article

06 Jul 2021

Islamophobia: Why is Canada unfairly targeting Muslim charities?

The Canadian government has played a major role in breeding Islamophobia, and two reports issued this year confirm some of the community’s worst fears when it comes to targeting Muslim charities. For decades now, there has been unease surrounding charities in the community, tied to the post-9/11 profiling of Muslims. Some of Canada’s 1.5 million Muslims are worried about being unjustly flagged for giving to Muslim charities. Several charities have had to shut down, as some institutions have attracted excessive scrutiny. We have acted for clients who have had their bank accounts frozen without due process, and even some whose attempts to send money overseas were blocked. Last month, a national civil liberties coalition representing dozens of groups accused the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) of singling out Muslim charities. Its report reveals how, as Canada ramped up attempts to counter terrorist financing after 9/11, the CRA and its charities directorate were enlisted to monitor the work of Muslim charities in Canada, under the premise that they posed the greatest terror-financing risk. This work has been carried out largely by the Review and Analysis Division (RAD), a secretive arm of the CRA that works with national security agencies. This has led to an unfair and disproportionate targeting of Muslim charities with little accountability and no independent review, the report notes. Among its findings, the report shows that the Canadian government’s risk assessment for terrorism financing in the charitable sector focuses almost exclusively on Muslim charities, with little to no public substantiation of the risk. According to the report, between 2008 and 2015, a full 75 percent of all charities who had their status revoked after RAD audits were Muslim groups. Since then, another four Muslim charities have had their status pulled. The report further notes that none of the groups nor individuals associated with them have been charged with any terrorism-related offences. read the complete article


06 Jul 2021

Blinken meets Uyghur ex-detainees

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met virtually Tuesday with Uyghur Muslims who were detained at camps in China’s northwest Xinjiang region to hear about their experiences and seek advice on how best to pressure China to halt repression there. The State Department said Blinken wanted to hear directly from the seven former detainees, relatives of others and advocates about conditions that they and the Uyghur community more broadly face. “The secretary thought it important to meet with these individuals to hear firsthand their stories, to hear firsthand their impression of the ongoing atrocities in Xinjiang and the internment of a million Uyghurs,” department spokesperson Ned Price said. “Also, it’s an opportunity for these participants to offer any recommendations they may have.” China has come under severe international criticism and sanctions for detaining more than 1 million Uyghurs and and other minorities for political re-education in Xinjiang. Price said the meeting showed continuity in American policy on the matter between the widely divergent Biden and Trump administrations. Both administrations have termed the campaign in Xinjiang a “genocide” and slapped sanctions on China for human rights abuses. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met several times with Uyghur ex-detainees during his tenure as America’s top diplomat. read the complete article

07 Jul 2021

Ministers urged to boycott 2022 Winter Olympics if China won’t allow human rights probe

Boris Johnson’s ministers and members of the royal family should boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing unless China allows UN investigators to examine alleged human rights abuses, Labour has said. Foreign secretary Dominic Raab and culture secretary Oliver Dowden have been urged to announce a political boycott if Beijing refuses to allow a thorough investigation into alleged atrocities in Xinjiang province. Beijing has strongly denied international claims about the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, despite reports indicating that more than a million people have been arbitrarily detained. Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy and shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens have written to their counterparts arguing a political response is needed to deny China a “PR coup” next year. “We cannot possibly roll out the red carpet and participate in what would be a major PR coup for the Chinese government,” Ms Nandy told Sky News. “We should use this moment to say to the Chinse authorities, ‘Open up access to Xinjiang [and] allow UN inspectors in’.” read the complete article

07 Jul 2021

Ex-Guantanamo prisoner Mingazov to be forcibly repatriated to Russia

The former Guantanamo detainee Ravil Mingazov is expected to soon be forcibly repatriated from the UAE to Russia. According to UN human rights experts Mingazov will face a substantial risk of torture should he be repatriated. Mingazov fled Russia for fear of religious prosecution. Mingazov is a Muslim Tartar, He was imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay prison camp for 15 years without being charged. He was transferred to the UAE in January 2017. According to Mingazov’s family the conditions in the UAE have been worse than the conditions at Guantanamo. Speaking to Al Jazeera, Moazzam Begg a former Guantanamo prisoner and director for outreach at the London-based advocacy organisation CAGE said: ‘I knew Ravil Mingazov when we were held together in Bagram in 2002 and tortured by the Americans. Like me, he was very worried about his family. We both went to Guantanamo but I returned home in 2005. Ravil remained in Guantanamo for 14 years without charge or trial. During that time, his family came to the UK – including the son he’s never seen. That child is now 19 years old.’ read the complete article


06 Jul 2021

Watch | Who Benefits From the Anti-Muslim Narrative Targeting Street Vendors

Uttam Nagar of Delhi is a densely populated area, with around 500 street vendors. Of them, around 80% are Muslim vendors and around 20% are Hindu vendors. If we talk about their daily income, then each seller makes gets Rs 400-500 a day. On June 18, after an altercation between two fruit vendors, the Bajrang Dal had put up posters in the Uttam Nagar area, which read, “All Hindus are requested to stop making any kind of purchases from any anti-social fruit vendors at the Uttam Nagar area.” The Wire‘s ground report unearths who this benefits and how. read the complete article

United States

06 Jul 2021

Muslim activists seek probe into new police chief’s comments

Muslim activists in Massachusetts are calling for an investigation into an alleged anti-Muslim statement made by the recently appointed police chief in a Boston suburb. The Council on American-Islamic Relations on Tuesday cited a recently filed lawsuit alleging a pattern of racist and discriminatory treatment in the Sharon Police Department. Sgt. Brian Mannetta said in his suit that Chief Donald Brewer made disparaging remarks about Muslims when he was a police lieutenant. In 2015, when the department announced it would be performing extra security checks at the Islamic Center of New England mosque in town, Brewer suggested officers should also “tell their kids not to make pipe bombs,” according to Mannetta, who is of Chinese and Ecuadorian descent, The Patriot Ledger reported. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 07 Jul 2021 Edition


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