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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11 Jun 2019

Today in IslamophobiaIndian court convicts six in rape and murder of Muslim girl, Israel arms expo hosts Myanmar military in spite of  weapons ban. An op-ed looks at the impact of gendered Islamophobia, another investigates institutional Islamophobia in Austria. Our recommended read of the day is by Azad Essa on the intersection of Ilhan Omar’s identities and how it singled her out for discrimination. This, and more, below:

United States

11 Jun 2019

Opinion | Somali. Black. Muslim. Woman. Refugee. American: The making of Ilhan Omar | Recommended Read

Ilhan Omar, as the first Somali-American to make it to the Minnesota state legislature and then to Congress, is part of a new cohort of path-breaking politicians daring to challenge not only US President Donald Trump but the broader American political establishment. But Omar is more than just a congresswoman with fight. She is a refugee from a country that is now part of the president's Muslim ban; she is black, visibly Muslim; a walking antithesis to Trump's purview of America. Within months, she has shaken the halls of Congress. As an "other" she is now the embodiment of what is fast becoming a fight for America's soul. I had gone to Minneapolis to find out who Omar is and what she means to the people who know her. What was it in her journey from war-torn Somalia and a sweltering refugee camp on the Kenyan coast to a second childhood and adolescence in Minnesota that was key to unlocking who she is and where she may be headed? These were some of the questions still swirling inside my head. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
11 Jun 2019

‘FBI’ Star on Importance of ‘Playing an Arab American Muslim as the Hero’

Prior to his role on CBS crime procedural “FBI,” Zeeko Zaki laments, he usually found himself in parts that perpetuated stereotypes about Arab Americans and Muslims. As Special Agent Omar Adom “O.A.” Zidan on the Dick Wolf-produced series, though, he is one of the few Arab American leading men on television, let alone broadcast. As such, Zaki hopes to change audiences’ perceptions of Arabs and Muslims. Zaki: “I got there and was the only one testing, and they changed the guy to be an Arab American. That was the moment where I was like, ‘We might have a shot at this.’ The rest is history. It was the first Arab American Muslim playing an Arab American Muslim as the hero on network. It’s an honor to have that chance be taken on me. read the complete article

11 Jun 2019

District Attorney Craig Northcott under state investigation after comments about Muslims

A Tennessee district attorney who called Islam "an evil belief system" and said he refuses to prosecute domestic violence cases involving same-sex couples is now under investigation by the state Supreme Court's Board of Professional Responsibility. Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott, who faced increased scrutiny after being named a special prosecutor in a case involving a Nashville activist being charged with assault on House Speaker Glen Casada, is now being investigated by the board. More than 200 Nashville lawyers last week called on the professional standards board to open an ethics investigation into Northcott. In Facebook posts, Northcott called Islam "an evil belief system,” and equated practicing Islam to being part of the Ku Klux Klan or Aryan Nations hate groups. "I will not be cowered into pretending that their belief system is legitimate or one of peace," Northcott wrote earlier this year. read the complete article

11 Jun 2019

N Carolina court filing: Video shows 3 slain Muslim students

The filing by prosecutors concerns a report by Tufts University psychology professor Samuel Sommers that contends the video casts doubt on claims by accused killer Craig Hicks that the students insulted him on the day of the shootings. Prosecutors want a judge to allow Sommers' report as evidence. "The cell phone video of the shootings shows no evidence of disrespect — indeed, there was insufficient time for much interaction before Hicks began shooting," wrote Sommers, a psychologist who studies unconscious discrimination and stereotyping. He suggested their ethnic and religious backgrounds could have played a role in Hicks' actions. Sommers wrote that, "Hicks' efforts to explain wounds on his hand as possibly the result of a physical altercation initiated by Barakat are not supported in any way by the cell phone video of the shootings." Hicks was known in the condo community for disputing parking spaces, but he displayed a gun only when confronting minorities, Sommers wrote. Hicks also assumed Barakat and the Abu-Salah sisters were renting the condo and didn't own it, giving them less right to park there, Sommers said. read the complete article


11 Jun 2019

CW: sexual assault | Indian Court Convicts 6 Hindus in Rape and Murder of Muslim Girl, 8

After a closed trial, the men, who included police officials, were handed sentences ranging from five years to life imprisonment for their crimes against the 8-year-old girl, which occurred in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir. A seventh person was acquitted for lack of evidence. Beyond its brutality, the crime was noteworthy for the role religion played in heightening tensions. According to investigators, the man behind the plot, Sanji Ram, a retired government revenue officer, had targeted the 8-year-old girl to strike fear in her Muslim nomadic tribe, the Bakarwal, and drive them from the rugged Himalayan region where they live as shepherds. read the complete article


11 Jun 2019

Israel arms expo hosts Myanmar military officials despite weapons ban over Rohingya genocide

Photos published in Israeli media last week showed Myanmar military officials in uniform touring the weapons and security conference in Israel last week. Representatives from foreign militaries, including from countries with no official diplomatic relations with Israel, also attended the arms expo. In 2017, Israel claimed it had stopped selling weapons to Myanmar following High Court ruling. It followed mounting pressure from human rights groups. But in the same year, tens of millions of dollars' worth of arms were reportedly sold to the Myanmar navy despite ongoing allegations of genocide. News of the sales emerged amid reports that similar boats were used to sink vessels filled with refugees fleeing state violence. read the complete article


11 Jun 2019

US envoy decries lack of response from Islamic world to China's attacks on Uighurs

Sam Brownback, ambassador at large for international religious freedom, said some majority-Muslim states did not want to draw attention to their own human rights record. He was hopeful that the more Muslim populations around the world heard about the imprisonment of an estimated more than 1 million Uighurs, the more they will put pressure on their governments to speak out. Washington’s closest allies in the Islamic world – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt – have been silent in the face of the mass incarceration of Muslims in Xinjiang. At the beginning of March, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation passed a resolution which praised China for “providing care to its Muslim citizens”. The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has also defendedChina’s “right to carry out anti-terrorism and counter extremism work for its national security”. read the complete article

United Kingdom

11 Jun 2019

Opinion | What is Gendered Islamophobia?

Samayya Afzal, Community Engagement Officer for the Muslim Council of Britain: "I was attacked when I was walking home from school where a group of girls ripped off my hijab and called me derogatory words. When I was at university, I had lecturers saying that Muslims who fully believe in their faith shouldn't be allowed entry into university. Gendered Islamophobia is the experience that Muslim women have of being at the intersection of two different identities, so being women and being Muslim. A lot of the Islamophobia, the way that it is being produced, the way that it is packaged, is often targeted towards women. And this is because of their dress, this is because of this idea that Muslim women are oppressed by people in their own community. This idea that there is an extra level of misogyny within Muslim communities, all of which does not make sense. read the complete article


11 Jun 2019

In Austria, institutionalised Islamophobia is here to stay

After the Freedom Party left the coalition it supported a no-confidence vote initiated by the Social Democrats. As a result of all of this, a new government, led by the country's first female chancellor, was sworn in this week by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen. Kurz's government, which lasted one and a half years, was dominated by myriad xenophobic and anti-Muslim policies. Many of them were initiated by the Freedom Party, which took over key ministries like the Interior and Defense Department, and supported by their conservative colleagues, including the former chancellor himself. read the complete article


11 Jun 2019

Opinion | Hate crimes are rising and Muslims are increasingly targets

Almost half of Canadians (47 per cent) believe racism is a major issue confronting society today. One in four Canadians (23 per cent) have been a victim of this growing tide. And though Jews and Blacks have also been targeted, some 59 per cent of the respondents believed, Muslims were the most likely targets. The same poll finds that more than a quarter of Canadians think, over the past five years, it has become “more acceptable” to be prejudiced against Muslims and Arabs. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 11 Jun 2019 Edition


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