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 2021

Today in Islamophobia: Uyghurs abroad are watching from afar as loved ones disappear and a way of life is erased due to China’s genocide of Uyghurs. This is resulting in trauma and sparking a mental health crisis in the diaspora. Meanwhile, Muslim software developers are prioritizing the digital privacy and protection of Muslims’ personal data, especially given the very real fears of government surveillance and Islamophobia. In the United Kingdom, Peter Oborne notes that a recent report shows how a much slacker set of standards apply when it comes to the anti-Muslim attitudes pervading the British Conservative Party. Our recommended read of the day is by Leah Feiger on how conditions at the Guantanamo Bay Military Prison are deteriorating under the Biden administration. This and more below:

United States

17 Jun 2021

Guantánamo Detainees Say Conditions Are Worse Since Biden Became President

In the months since Biden took office, detainees there say, conditions have deteriorated. New cruelties, like forbidding guards to talk to prisoners, denying medicine, and restricting services, have recently been imposed. Several people have protested their treatment and engaged in a hunger strike; at one point around Ramadan this year, every detainee in Camp 6, one of the prison blocks, participated in a unanimous hunger strike. “How can it be that we are waiting for Biden to come, and it has become so much worse than when Trump was president?” Abdul Latif Nasser, a 19-year detainee at the prison without trial, told VICE News through his lawyers. read the complete article

17 Jun 2021

Facebook Makes an Awkward Legal Argument in Dispute With Muslim Advocacy Group

In April, the civil rights group Muslim Advocates sued Facebook and four of its top executives for failing to implement the company’s pledge to remove hate groups from the platform. Now, Facebook is looking to get the case tossed out, with its team of superstar lawyers making boundary-testing legal arguments about the breadth of the social media company’s legal immunity. read the complete article

17 Jun 2021

Faith groups among those granted money from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

A number of faith-based groups were among the nearly 300 recipients of $2.7 billion in grants announced Tuesday (June 15) by billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott to organizations addressing a range of social issues. It is the third round of no-strings-attached, major philanthropic gifts Scott has made since 2020. Faith in Action, Faith in Public Life, HIAS, Repair the World, Inner-City Muslim Action Network, Muslim Advocates, Pillars Fund, Homeboy Industries and Repairers of the Breach were faith organizations listed among those receiving funding. read the complete article

17 Jun 2021

Man rubbed ham on Quran, cartoons of Muslim prophet he hung at Wichita Islamic sites

A local man who took a gun to a Wichita mosque and yelled Islamophobic comments at a Muslim man pleaded guilty late last month to two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct over the incident where he also rubbed ham on cartoonish posters of the Prophet Muhammad and a copy of the Quran. In addition to following certain rules while he’s on probation — such as staying out of legal trouble and holding a full-time job — Arterburn has to write letters to the Islamic Society of Wichita and a Muslim man, apologizing for his actions and “any fear he caused or disrespect shown” when he went to the Masjid An Noor Mosque and the Islamic Society of Wichita on Oct. 30, 2020 read the complete article


17 Jun 2021

Uyghurs outside China are traumatized. Now they’re starting to talk about it

Watching from afar as loved ones disappear and a way of life is erased, trauma has set in, sparking a mental health crisis that leaders in the diaspora say is all too apparent. Many, though, are reticent to seek help, or even acknowledge the emotional pain of the past years, leaving the community’s needs both underassessed and unmet. But lately a small group of outspoken Uyghurs is trying to change that. Using social media, they’re starting conversations about grief and mental health and, through telehealth, connecting people across the country with volunteer therapists. read the complete article

17 Jun 2021

When Data Privacy Becomes a Subject of Faith

Many Muslim software developers are concerned with the possibility of troves of Muslims’ personal data being exposed in a data breach, whether it is a general leak of user data, or part of a targeted hack or harassment campaign by anti-Muslim groups. They are also wary of taking part in the multibillion dollar personal data sales industry. For Muslims, the matter of digital privacy is also deeply interwoven with fears of government surveillance and Islamophobia. Invasive post-9/11 counter-extremism and intelligence programs, such as the New York Police Department’s secret spying project and federal informant networks, weigh heavy on many young Muslims’ minds, as do new revelations about how tech companies have aided China’s repression of Uyghur Muslims. Such realities inform the choices of many Muslims building, or simply using, technology. read the complete article

17 Jun 2021

Zara Head Designer Spars With Palestinian Model, Sparks Boycott Calls

Vanessa Perilman, Zara's head designer for the women's department, reportedly said: "Maybe if your people were educated, then they wouldn't blow up hospitals and schools that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza." Perilman allegedly added: "Also I think it's funny that [you're] a model because in reality that is against what the Muslim faith believes in and if you were to come out of the closet in any Muslim country you would be stoned to death." Harhash posted screenshots of their conversation on Instagram, and social media users soon started sharing the hashtags "BoycottZara" and "ZaraMustApologize" and condemning the brand for Islamophobia. "If Zara wants to make a statement with me, they also need to address Islamophobia. When certain fashion designers said anti-Semitic things, they were fired from their jobs." He added, "So far, Vanessa Perilman hasn't been fired." read the complete article

17 Jun 2021

Human rights group accuses United Nations of sharing Rohingya data without informed consent

The rights group explained that since 2018 UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has registered hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladeshi camps. “The Bangladesh government has issued them identity cards, which are needed for essential aid and services. Bangladesh then used the information, including analog photographs, thumbprint images, and other biographic data to submit refugee details to the Myanmar government for possible repatriation,” the HRW said. read the complete article

17 Jun 2021

If Uyghur Lives Matter, the Olympics Should Move

The world seems to forget that China broke its promises related to the Beijing 2008 Olympics and is committing atrocities against the Uyghur and other Turkic communities in plain sight. The International Olympic Committee postponed last year’s Summer Olympics because of Covid. Why can’t it delay or move next year’s games instead of holding them in a country that is locking up millions of people in camps where torture, forced sterilization, rape and starvation are the norm? The IOC has deflected criticism by claiming that political concerns taint the spirit of the Olympics. But how are concerns for victims of genocide political? Despite touting “universality and solidarity” as its principles, the IOC refuses to stand in solidarity with those being denied their universal human rights. Allowing Beijing to host the Olympics without protest will solidify global complicity in its genocide while bolstering the Chinese Communist Party’s international standing and allowing it to profit from its repressive policies. read the complete article


17 Jun 2021

Concerns grow over rising incidents of anti-Muslim hate as mosque vandalized in Edmonton

Politicians and Muslim leaders are condemning the defacing of an Edmonton mosque with a swastika – the latest example in a string of anti-Muslim attacks and vandalism in the city. Crimes against Muslim Canadians have received renewed attention in the wake of an attack in London, Ont., in which four members of a family were killed and another injured when a man driving a pickup truck ran them over in what police described as a hate-motivated attack. There have been several incidents in recent months of attacks on Muslims in Edmonton, including assaults against women wearing hijabs. read the complete article

United Kingdom

17 Jun 2021

On antisemitism and Islamophobia, Labour and Tories are judged by different standards

Two years have passed since the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced, to massive media fanfare, its investigation into complaints of antisemitism against Britain’s Labour Party. The EHRC decision not to investigate allegations of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party at the same time seemed odd. There is widespread, authenticated evidence from reputable sources of anti-Muslim prejudice, stretching from party activists and councillors, to MPs and cabinet ministers, to the very top of the party. I will show how Singh’s report has judged the Tory party’s handling of Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination according to an entirely different - and much slacker - set of standards than the ones by which the EHRC judged Labour. It was not part of Singh’s remit to decide whether the Conservative Party had breached the Equality Act and was therefore guilty of unlawful conduct - the lethal charge levelled by the EHRC against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. Had the Tories been judged by the same standards as Labour, they would also have been at risk of being found guilty of unlawful conduct. read the complete article


17 Jun 2021

Indian police target Twitter over video of elderly Muslim man’s beating as questions mount over platform’s status

Already facing a row with the Indian government over new internet regulations, Twitter has now been targeted with a criminal complaint by the police after a video was shared on the platform of an elderly Muslim man being beaten up. Twitter has long argued that it is a platform rather than a publisher, meaning it is not criminally responsible for the content posted by users. But on Tuesday, the police in Uttar Pradesh state filed a case that named Twitter and several others as suspected of provoking unrest between members of different communities or religions. read the complete article


17 Jun 2021

China accused of meddling with population figures to counter Uighur genocide condemnation

Government census data suggests that from 2010 to 2020 the Uighur presence in their home province of Xinjiang rose to 11.6 million, The Times said on Tuesday. This is an approximately 16-percent uptick, which critics say is an attempt by Beijing to counter claims of genocide against the Muslim minority. Moreover, the figures saw an increase for every year in the range. Nevertheless, questions have been raised about this data. The authorities had before hugely cut figures for past years. Adrian Zenz, an anthropologist whose work on the Uighurs, said: "The revisions… conveniently ensure that there is no reported negative Uighur population growth for any given year." Beijing likewise faces allegations concerning the increasing regional presence of members of China's dominant Han ethnic group. This newest data indicates that the Han Chinese figures grew at a greater rate of almost 25 percent over the last ten years. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 17 Jun 2021 Edition


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