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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10 Jun 2019

Today in IslamophobiaChina uses WeChat for social control,  New Zealand mosque massacre suspect becomes first to face country’s anti-terrorism laws. An op-ed looks at YouTube as an avenue of online radicalization, another interrogates the vilification of Muslim communities in the West by looking at the case of the Muslim Brotherhood. Our recommended read for today is by Basit Mahmood titled “Muslims have to be as exceptional as Mo Salah not to be discriminated against”. This, and more, below:

United Kingdom

10 Jun 2019

Opinion | Muslims have to be as exceptional as Mo Salah not to be discriminated against | Recommended Read

‘You’re different from the other Asians/Muslims,’ or ‘wow, you’ve really broken the mold,’ are just some of the things I’ve had said to me by well-intentioned people. Such statements are designed to praise the work you’ve done for earning your place at the table, for going over and beyond what many, it seems, might have expected of you. You’ve exceeded their expectations. And what is it exactly that is expected of those of us ‘who are different from others’? What do you think the rest of us are like? It seems the default expectation of a son or daughter of immigrants, especially if they happen to be from a Muslim background, is not much at all. We’re likely to be trouble makers, suspect, lazy, sponging off the state, or within the same breath, taking all your jobs and being lazy – a contradiction I’ve never quite understood. So, when the outstanding Mo Salah of Liverpool Football Club was being praised for reducing hate crimes in Liverpool, it once again reminded me of the conversations I and so many other people of colour are used to having, about those of us who are classified as ‘good immigrants’ and those of us who are ‘bad immigrants’. Relying on how exceptional some of Muslims are, so that the rest of us – who are equally brilliant in our own way – can live a little easier, isn’t the best way to tackle racism. It fills me with much unease to know that my worth and value as a human being will be determined by how brilliantly a footballer, or an athlete or a baker is performing so that Britain can get a positive view of the rest of us. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
10 Jun 2019

Muslim Council asks why Trump banquet excluded Sajid Javid

Britain’s leading Islamic organisation asked the outgoing prime minister why the home secretary appeared to be the only senior cabinet minister not invited and whether that was done to avoid antagonising the US president. “There are fears that our nation is willing to give up on our principles of fairness and equality for all, in order to placate President Trump, even going so far as to exclude our home secretary solely due to his Muslim heritage,” the letter concludes. “In this letter, we are seeking to clarify whether this was actually the case,” writes Harun Khan, the secretary general of the MCB. “We are all aware of the Islamophobia that President Trump has propagated and tolerated at the highest levels of his administration, both in rhetoric and policy,” Khan wrote, citing the Muslim travel ban, and Trump’s retweeting of posts from the far-right British group Britain First and his criticism of the London mayor, Sadiq Khan. read the complete article

10 Jun 2019

Everyone but Boris: Where do the Conservative Party candidates stand on Islamophobia?

MEE asked the 11 men and women competing to be the UK's next prime minister about allegations of Islamophobia in their party. Only Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary who is currently considered to be the front-runner in the contest, failed to do so. MEE asked each candidate whether they believed there was a problem of Islamophobia within the party and whether they backed calls for an independent inquiry into the matter, as called for by Sayeeda Warsi. We also asked them whether they agreed with a definition of Islamophobia suggested in a report last November by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, a cross-party group of MPs, and whether they felt it should be adopted by the government. read the complete article


10 Jun 2019

China social media: WeChat and the Surveillance State

China's WeChat is a site for social interaction, a form of currency, a dating app, a tool for sporting teams and deliverer of news: Twitter, Facebook, Googlemaps, Tinder and Apple Pay all rolled into one. But it is also an ever more powerful weapon of social control for the Chinese government. I've just been locked out of WeChat (or Weixin 微信 as it is known in Chinese) and, to get back on, have had to pass through some pretty Orwellian steps - steps which have led others to question why I went along with it. One reason is that life in Beijing would be extremely difficult without WeChat. The other is that I could not have written this piece without experiencing the stages which have now clearly put my image, and even my voice, on some sort of biometric database of troublemakers. read the complete article

United States

10 Jun 2019

The hate, lies, and misinformation of Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham has a long history of spreading hate speech, from her prime-time Fox News show, former radio show, and, now, new podcast. Ingraham has made scores of racist and anti-immigrant statements, including echoing white supremacists. On numerous occasions, she has propagated the popular white nationalist “replacement theory,” wherein non-white citizens “replace” white citizens. More recently, Ingraham came under fire for defending white nationalist Paul Nehlen. In the past, advertisers have fled from her show after Ingraham mocked a Parkland school shooting survivor and when she attacked the concept of diversity, saying, “Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people, and they are changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don't like.” read the complete article

10 Jun 2019

The Making of a YouTube radical

Caleb Cain was a college dropout looking for direction. He turned to YouTube. Soon, he was pulled into a far-right universe, watching thousands of videos filled with conspiracy theories, misogyny and racism. Mr. Cain, 26, recently swore off the alt-right nearly five years after discovering it, and has become a vocal critic of the movement. He is scarred by his experience of being radicalized by what he calls a “decentralized cult” of far-right YouTube personalities, who convinced him that Western civilization was under threat from Muslim immigrants and cultural Marxists, that innate I.Q. differences explained racial disparities, and that feminism was a dangerous ideology. “I just kept falling deeper and deeper into this, and it appealed to me because it made me feel a sense of belonging,” he said. “I was brainwashed.” Over years of reporting on internet culture, I’ve heard countless versions of Mr. Cain’s story: an aimless young man — usually white, frequently interested in video games — visits YouTube looking for direction or distraction and is seduced by a community of far-right creators. Some young men discover far-right videos by accident, while others seek them out. Some travel all the way to neo-Nazism, while others stop at milder forms of bigotry. read the complete article

10 Jun 2019

Muslim leaders say woman who burglarized Tempe mosque in hate video deserves chance at redemption

Tahnee Gonzales was sentenced to 225 hours of community service and two years of supervised probation during proceedings before Judge Mark Brain in Maricopa County Superior Court. Gonzales, who in the live-stream made anti-Muslim remarks, also was ordered to write a letter of apology to the Islamic Community Center of Tempe. Omar Tawil, an assistant imam at the mosque, said he forgives Gonzales for the "wildly ignorant" stereotypes she promoted in the video but that he mostly blames the sources that gave her those ideas. "The people who definitely know better, who still willingly spew false information and rhetoric that just encourages hate, that encourages and promotes fear are definitely far more responsible than people who are on the receiving end of that," he said. read the complete article

10 Jun 2019

Suspect in killing of three North Carolina Muslims expected to plead guilty

Craig Hicks is expected to enter guilty pleas to the three counts of murder he was charged with nearly four years ago, Durham County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Sarah Willets said by telephone. Prosecutors were notified by Hicks' attorney of his intent to enter the pleas at a court hearing next Wednesday, she said. Hicks is also expected to plead guilty to a charge of discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, she said. Deah Barakat, 23, a University of North Carolina dental student; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, a student at North Carolina State University, were gunned down in a condominium about 2 miles (3 km) from the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill. Then-President Barack Obama called the killings "brutal and outrageous murders." read the complete article

New Zealand

10 Jun 2019

New Zealand mosque massacre suspect first to face country’s anti-terrorism laws

The man accused of carrying out the twin massacres at New Zealand mosques in March will become the first suspect charged under the country’s anti-terrorism laws passed after the 9/11 attacks. The decision will be closely watched around the world as a test of bypassing regular criminal statutes for an apparent hate crime and opting for terrorist charges, which opens the door for examinations of ideology and political motivations during the trial. Terrorist charges open up different paths for both the prosecution and the accused. “The prosecution is drawn into the business of ideology and political views and so on, which make their work a lot harder potentially,” Gillespie said. “The risk of this is that you end up potentially giving the accused a platform to try to justify his actions,” he added. “Terrorists seeking notoriety crave these types of chances, as a few sound bites could echo around the world as quickly as his live-streaming of the actual killings.” read the complete article


10 Jun 2019

Opinion | Criminalizing Muslim Civil Society in the West

What is the history of designating the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States a “Terrorist Organization”? What are the implications of the Brotherhood label by the western governments? What does the Muslim Brotherhood allegation mean? How are Muslim civil society organizations threatened by the designation of the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization? According to the New York Times, the order to look again at the designation came in the wake of the Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah Sisi’s visit to the White House on April 9, 2019. But the reality of the United States’ relationship with the Brotherhood has been oscillating between “a principled attitude and a politically motivated approach,” as Mohamed-Ali Adraoui from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service argues. According to Adraoui, irreconcilable ideological differences always came second to political pragmatism. The Carnegie Endowment published a list of nine reasons, ranging from legal, diplomatic, pragmatic, to civil rights reasons, why declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a FTO would be a mistake. Accordingly, United States law does not permit designation based on ideology rather than violent actions. Such a move would be a politicization of the process, leaving the grounds of rule of legal procedures. read the complete article

10 Jun 2019

The Guardian view on facial recognition: a danger to democracy

The pressure group Liberty has denounced automatic facial recognition as “arsenic in the water supply of democracy”. It has the potential to abolish privacy in public places. In a country like Britain, which already has the highest density of CCTV cameras in the western world, it could mean that there was nowhere in any city anyone could walk with their face uncovered without being potentially visible to the police. The city of San Francisco has already barred the use of automatic facial recognition by law enforcement on similar grounds, and Liberty argues that this shows the use and spread of the technology is not inevitable. One of the arguments against the police’s deployment of the technology is that it doesn’t yet work very well. It is especially inaccurate and prone to bias when used against people of colour: a recent test of Amazon’s facial recognition software by the American Civil Liberties Union found that it falsely identified 28 members of Congress as known criminals, with members of the Congressional Black Caucus disproportionately represented. For the security forces in China, where such surveillance is already widely deployed, the arrest of innocents may be entirely welcome collateral damage, spreading fear in the target populations. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 10 Jun 2019 Edition


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