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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17 Jun 2019

Today in IslamophobiaMuslims targeted with arbitrary arrests in Sri Lanka after Easter massacre, Quebec bans religious symbols in some public service jobs. An op-ed argues that Islamophobia will not solve Europe or Asia’s problems, another looks at the complex life of Sajid Javid. Our recommended read of the day is on the Belgium embassy, which called Chinese police on a Uighur family. This, and more, below:


17 Jun 2019

Belgium’s Beijing Embassy Calls Chinese Cops on Uighur Family | Recommended Read

Ablimit Tursun, a Uighur from Urumqi, Xinjiang, holding Chinese citizenship, was on a business trip to Turkey in 2017 when he was informed that his brother had been detained. His family in Urumqi warned him not to come back, for fear a similar fate could await him. Tursun fled to Belgium, where he was granted asylum in 2018 and now works full time in a major Belgian company. He immediately began the process of applying for a Belgian family reunification visa for his wife and four children. The visa application included a letter describing the family’s situation as critical, stressing the risk such an application put them in and the need for discretion. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
17 Jun 2019

China claims broad consensus after UN envoy's Xinjiang visit

The Chinese government on Sunday said that it has reached a broad consensus on counter-terrorism with the UN following the controversial visit by a top ranking envoy to Xinjiang where an estimated 1 million ethnic Muslim Uyghurs are living in confinement. The visit to Xinjiang by the Under Secretary of the UN counter-terrorism office, Vladimir Voronkov, has been strongly criticized by the US which, on Friday, called it "highly inappropriate in view of the unprecedented repression campaign underway in Xinjiang against the Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslims", reports Efe news. read the complete article


17 Jun 2019

German court lifts city's ban on burkini swimsuits

Wearing the garments in municipal pools in the western city of Koblenz was forbidden at the beginning of this year after the local council narrowly approved a ban. Officials argued that the suite makes it impossible to check whether wearers have open wounds or diseases. The rules were challenged by a Syrian asylum-seeker, a pious Muslim who said doctors had recommended that she use a swimming pool to tackle pain caused by a back problem. Rhineland-Palatinate state's top administrative court said Friday it has issued an injunction lifting the burkini ban pending fuller consideration of the case. It found the rules violated the German constitution's call for people to be treated equally. read the complete article

17 Jun 2019

Opinion | I will quit if Boris Johnson becomes PM - Tory Muslim chairman

Mohammed Amin, a longtime party member, called the Tory leadership frontrunner a “buffoon” and criticised how he “mocked Muslim women who wear niqab and burka for his own purposes”. “I am not prepared to be a member of a party that chooses him as its leader,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “I would resign after 36 years.” Asked about Johnson’s popularity with party members, Amin said: “There are many horrible people who have been popular. Popularity is not the test. The test is: is this person sufficiently moral to be prime minister, and I believe he fails that test.” read the complete article

17 Jun 2019

Opinion | Sajid Javid and the complex life of a Muslim Conservative leadership hopeful

Javid’s official campaign video shows him as a family man. It opens with the husband and father at home with his white British wife, their children and the family’s pet dog. They are a picture perfect portrait of multicultural Britain. It includes a visit to his childhood home in Bristol on what he described as one of Britain’s most dangerous streets, where he previously also that he could have had been drawn into a life of crime. Towards the end of the video, Javid is seen visiting his mother, who is dressed in traditional shalwar kameez, frying pakoras in the kitchen. She allows her son to taste one. Mum’s cooking is the best, he says appreciatively. read the complete article

17 Jun 2019

Trump Renews Feud With London Mayor, Calling Him a ‘Disaster’

The president offered his harsh view while reposting a tweet on crime over the past day written by Katie Hopkins, a conservative commentator who referred to “20 hours in Stab-City,” in which four stabbings and a shooting resulted in three deaths. “This is Khan’s Londonistan,” Ms. Hopkins added, using a disparaging term referring to the city’s Muslim population. Mr. Khan is Britain’s first Muslim mayor. Mr. Trump has waged a particularly nasty war of words with Mr. Khan dating to 2016, when the mayor criticized him for proposing a ban on all Muslim visitors to the United States. It flared most recently when Mr. Trump visited Britain this month. read the complete article

17 Jun 2019

Islamophobia will not solve Europe or Asia's problems

It is indeed strange that both Aung San Suu Kyi and Orban expressed concern over "growing Muslim populations" given that neither of their countries actually faces such a "problem". The biggest problem of both Myanmar and Hungary (and by extension Europe) is not Muslims per se. But presenting them as a threat is a useful strategy to deflect attention from the real problems of social disintegration, economic stagnation, the rise of populism and far-right movements, the erosion of traditional values, the failure of mainstream politics and a host of other issues that have practically nothing to do with Muslim or other minority groups. read the complete article


17 Jun 2019

Quebec Bans Religious Symbols in Some Public Sector Jobs

The Quebec government passed a bill late Sunday barring schoolteachers, police officers, judges and other public employees from wearing religious symbols in the workplace, prompting an outcry that civil liberties in the province were under attack. François Legault, the right-leaning Quebec premier, had called the bill a necessary measure to ensure the separation between religion and state in an abidingly secular province. It applies to Muslim head scarves, Jewish skullcaps, Sikh turbans and Catholic crosses, among other symbols. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

17 Jun 2019

Muslims 'targeted with arbitrary arrests' after Easter massacre

On May 17, police in central Sri Lanka arrested Abdul Raheem Mazahina, a soft-spoken 47-year-old grandmother, because of the pattern on her dress. Police in Hasalaka - which lies 130km east of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo - charged Mazahina under a hate speech law, as well as another law that prohibits insulting religions with the "malicious intention of outraging religious feelings", said her lawyer Fathima Nushra Zarook. read the complete article

United States

17 Jun 2019

Houston mosque threatened for second time in online forum

The user, who identifyed himself as a 24-year-old, wrote on the “4chan” internet forum that he was going to attack the Baitus Samee Mosque in the Northside. When asked why he wanted to attack the mosque, the user responded, “Simple, Kebab is like cancer, if you remove it early than [sic] you won't die.” The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relationships said this is the second threat the mosque has received recently. read the complete article

17 Jun 2019

A Vivid Tale of Father and Son

Director Eunice Lau structured her new documentary, “Accept the Call,” as a father-son story. We hosted Ms. Lau this week at our regular newsroom meeting on race, and she shared clips with us of her film, which tells the story of Zacharia Abdurahman, a Somali-American teenager in Minnesota who was arrested in an F.B.I. sting operation. read the complete article


17 Jun 2019

UN threatens to withdraw aid over 'policy of apartheid' against Rohingya

A letter seen by the Guardian, sent from UN resident coordinator, Knut Ostby, to the Myanmar government, relayed a decision by the UN and its humanitarian partners to withhold support “beyond life-saving assistance” in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps deemed “closed” by the government, unless fundamental changes occur. UN agencies have worked continuously in camps for Muslim communities displaced by violence in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state seven years ago. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 17 Jun 2019 Edition


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