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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16 Jun 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In India, a fire ravages through a Rohingya refugee camp rendering many homeless, while Human Rights Watch reports that the United Nations refugee agency improperly collected and shared personal information from Rohingya refugees with Bangladesh, which shared it with Myanmar. In Canada, the London, Ontario city council has unanimously approved a motion denouncing Islamophobia and committing to working with London’s Muslim community, while a mosque in Edmonton is targeted as someone sprayed a large swastika on the back of the building. Our recommended read of the day is by James Jennion on the how Hui Muslims, China’s “preferred Muslims,” are facing tightening restrictions on religious expression. This and more below:


16 Jun 2021

China’s Repression of the Hui: A Slow Boil I Recommended Read

Despite the perception that Hui communities have thus far avoided repression on the scale the Uyghurs have faced, there are warning signs of grievances brewing and discriminatory practices emerging that bear resemblance to those of Xinjiang in 2014. China’s official campaign to “sinicize” Islam in Hui communities has resulted in government officials ordering mosques to promote government-sanctioned values, such as socialism and traditional Han culture. Under sinicization, Hui schools in Inner Mongolia and mosques in Ningxia were restructured and redesigned to bear more traditional Han architectural traits. Perhaps the most alarming and obvious sign of repression is the fact that Hui people living in Xinjiang have been incarcerated in internment camps along with Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and members of other ethnic groups. read the complete article

16 Jun 2021

Mass detention in Xinjiang: 'My brother's fault is just being Uighur'

For the past four years, Rizwangul NurMuhammed (Riz) has been seeking justice and answers. In 2017, Riz’s brother, Maiwulana, was arrested on charges of separatism - charges Riz denies - and detained ever since in Xinjiang. Riz is one of hundreds of thousands of Uighurs whose family members have been arbitrarily arrested and sent to re-education and internment camps by Chinese authorities. read the complete article


16 Jun 2021

London, Ont. council unanimously support motion to denounce vehicle attack, Islamophobia

A motion to denounce last week’s vehicle attack in London, Ont., denounce Islamophobia and commit to working with London’s Muslim community received unanimous approval from city council on Tuesday. On top of denouncing Islamophobia and last week’s attack, the motion also called on city staff to work with the local Muslim community and other stakeholders “to help end Islamophobia and report back on the outcomes of that work.” This work may include identifying sources of funding for potential anti-Islamophobia initiatives, the motion said. City staff are also directed to seek input from the Muslim community on how to best remember and honour the victims of the attack, as well as how to best highlight and honour local contributions from the Muslim community. read the complete article

16 Jun 2021

Kenney declines to apologize for role in niqab ban, saying he never supported a proposed ban

Premier Jason Kenney declined on Tuesday to apologize for his role in the Stephen Harper government’s controversial niqab ban, saying he has never supported a broad face-covering ban. Kenney served as federal citizenship and immigration minister from 2008 to 2013. During that time, he imposed a ban on niqab face coverings during citizenship ceremonies — a move critics have deemed Islamophobic. In 2014, amid an ongoing lawsuit over the ban, Kenney said on social media people should take the public oath of citizenship with “their faces uncovered.” The ban has since been overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal. When asked Tuesday if he had regrets or if his views about the niqab have changed since he worked under prime minister Harper, Kenney said he’s always supported religious freedom. read the complete article

16 Jun 2021

Mazigh: The roots of Islamophobia are much deeper than most Canadians can comprehend

After years of experience in government policy, national security and Islamophobia over the past two decades, I have often argued there are two manifestations of anti-Muslim hate. Both are problematic and both have been left to fester. They can only be combatted through swift and rigorous government action. The first one is the most visible to the naked eyes. It takes the form of a woman wearing a hijab being spat on or physically attacked in broad daylight. It is horrible and despicable. Law enforcement usually deals with this form of Islamophobia as a hate-motivated incident or crime, but unfortunately it is rarely prosecuted, allowing the acts to become normalized. Most of the perpetrators are what someone can simply define as “ignorant people.” Ignorance breeds fear. Fear breeds hate. Hate hurts people. Sometimes, it kills them. The second type of Islamophobia isn’t visible. It is rooted in the system and for most Canadians, the implications are not obvious. It exists in our government institutions, whether it be the RCMP, CSIS, our military forces, or the CBSA. All have been exposed over the years. read the complete article

16 Jun 2021

‘Sad and troubled’: Police called after swastika painted on Edmonton mosque

The president of the Baitul Hadi Mosque in east Edmonton says he has felt awful ever since he discovered a large swastika that someone spray-painted on the back of the building. He said the vandalism was first spotted in the morning, and police were contacted. He said the symbol of hate will be removed once the investigation is complete. Global News has reached out to police for comment on the investigation. “(We are) sad and troubled,” Humayun said, adding that the mosque has had windows smashed before but “this is a different nature.” The vandalism comes as recent attacks against Muslims have thrust Islamophobia back into the national spotlight. read the complete article

16 Jun 2021

2 people arrested after attempted break-in at Scarborough mosque

Two people were arrested Tuesday after allegedly trying to enter a mosque in Scarborough and threatening building staff. Toronto police say they received a call at around 11: 50 a.m. from the Islamic Institute of Toronto at 1630 Neilson Rd, near Morningside Avenue and Finch Avenue East. Witnesses alleged a man and a woman tried to enter the building and uttered threats, notably to a custodian at the site. One witness told CBC News the intruders threatened to set off an explosive. read the complete article


16 Jun 2021

UN Shared Rohingya Data Without Informed Consent

The United Nations refugee agency improperly collected and shared personal information from ethnic Rohingya refugees with Bangladesh, which shared it with Myanmar to verify people for possible repatriation, Human Rights Watch said today. The agency did not conduct a full data impact assessment, as its policies require, and in some cases failed to obtain refugees’ informed consent to share their data with Myanmar, the country they had fled. read the complete article

16 Jun 2021

CAIR calls on Hilton hotels to drop Xinjiang project

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is urging Hilton Worldwide Holdings to drop plans to build a hotel in China’s Xinjiang region on the site where Chinese officials bulldozed and desecrated a mosque. “The notion that a corporation would do business in the same location of an ongoing genocide is unbelievable,” CAIR’s National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell told Al Jazeera. We say ‘never again’ but we never actually mean it. Hilton can either build a hotel and be complicit in genocide, or it can cancel the hotel and help stop a genocide,” Mitchell said. read the complete article

United States

Ramadan at Starbucks: How companies can profit by respecting religious diversity

In recent months, businesses have increasingly paid attention to racial and gender diversity. But religious diversity is still largely an afterthought – even though religious intolerance and faith-based hate crimes surged during the Trump presidency and show few signs of going away. One 2020 analysis of Fortune 100 companies by the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation found that religion receives less attention than all other major identity categories, including race/ethnicity, women/gender and sexual orientation. And more than half of those companies make no mention of religion or faith on their diversity homepages. That’s a costly mistake, in both human and financial terms. Corporations are uniquely positioned to help curb religious intolerance because they can provide employees with the tools to navigate diversity, and accommodating religious differences among staff can also boost morale and retention. Businesses also can tap into new markets by creating services that cater to the desires of different religious groups, boosting their bottom lines. read the complete article


16 Jun 2021

Rohingya refugees in fire-gutted Delhi camp say concerted effort to render them homeless

“We barely escaped with the clothes on our back,” Saleema Begum, a 22-year-old resident, said. While no one knew how the fire began, many refugees said there was a concerted effort to harass them. They used to earlier stay in a camp in the adjacent Kalindi Kunj area, till it was burned down in 2018. According to activists I spoke to, the Madanpur Khadar camp was built on land owned by the Uttar Pradesh government’s irrigation department, which wanted to evict the refugees. No deaths or injuries were reported from the fire, but residents told me about the losses they had endured. read the complete article

United Kingdom

16 Jun 2021

School Student Desecrates Quran, Rants Against Islam in Front of Classmates—Police

The first of the two incidents allegedly occurred at Fulwood Academy in Preston, England, on June 10. The high school claimed that a boy who had been making offensive comments about Islam desecrated the Quran in front of his classmates. The second incident allegedly occurred one day later on June 11, when a female student at the school was also accused of desecrating the Islamic holy book in front of fellow pupils. The school has not yet revealed specific details about both incidents. read the complete article

New Zealand

16 Jun 2021

Hui walkout: Terror comments 'securitisation of Islam', says Muslim leader

The walkout was led by Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ chairperson, Abdur Razzaq, who told Morning Report the politicisation of the event had been inappropriate, divisive and offensive. He said it was an example of the securitisaton of Islam, where the faith was conflated with terrorism and threat. "This is not a venue to talk about Palestinian-Israeli issues, this is a venue to talk about what happens in New Zealand - how we can face all this hatred and extremism. "This was a calculated attempt, in my view, to denigrate those who are there and wipe out the memory of those victims, otherwise you wouldn't rise it. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 16 Jun 2021 Edition


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