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

Sign up for the Today in Islamophobia Newsletter
18 Jun 2021

Today in Islamophobia: A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice finds that in attempting to tackle far-right violence, the Biden administration is adapting strategies developed as part of the war on terror that are ineffective and likely to harm the very communities of color. In Xinjiang, where Chinese authorities have imprisoned millions of Uighurs in concentration camps, the government is encouraging a domestic tourism drive with some new attractions just a short drive away from the camps. Meanwhile, in Canada a number of MPs who have spoken out against rising Islamophobia following a deadly anti-Muslim attack, previously voted against M-103, a motion first introduced in 2016, to condemn Islamophobia. Our recommended read of the day is by Billy Perrigo on the Indian authorities latest attack on freedom of expression, escalating a crackdown on press freedom and social media platforms. This and more below:


18 Jun 2021

They Shared a Video of a Muslim Man Being Attacked in India. Now They're Being Investigated by Police

Indian authorities have launched a fresh attack on freedom of expression, escalating a crackdown on press freedom and social media platforms. It’s yet another indicator that India, often called the world’s largest democracy, is lurching toward authoritarianism. The trigger was a video of a violent assault on a Muslim man that went viral on Twitter, which ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) officials say was used to spread misinformation aimed at stoking religious tensions. Late Tuesday night, Indian police opened an investigation into three Muslim journalists and three Muslim members of the opposition Congress party who had shared the video, along with Twitter and news site The Wire—one of the few media outlets in India that have remained independent. India’s IT Minister also accused Twitter of failing to comply with the government’s new Internet rules on Wednesday, intensifying an ongoing confrontation that some observers have speculated could culminate in the social media platform being banned in the country. read the complete article


18 Jun 2021

Laurier staffer connected to Islamophobic Facebook posts no longer with university

A man who worked as an international recruiter for Wilfrid Laurier University is no longer with the school following an investigation into Islamophobic posts on Facebook. Late last month, the Coalition of Muslim Women of KW issued a news release about “blatantly racist and Islamophobic” posts found on what appears to be a private Facebook group. The Laurier employee allegedly connected to these posts was placed on leave. On Thursday, a Laurier spokesperson said the individual no longer works at the university. read the complete article

18 Jun 2021

Why this London, Ont., MP voted against a 2017 motion to condemn Islamophobia

Following Tuesday night’s vigil, Karen Vecchio, the Conservative MP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, is among those who took to social media, and said, “Last night I stood amongst 10,000 Canadians who came together to grieve, commemorate and address the issues of Islamophobia.” But in 2017, after six people were killed in an attack on a Quebec City mosque, Vecchio voted against M-103, a motion first introduced in 2016, to condemn Islamophobia. read the complete article

18 Jun 2021

Muslim mother, daughter victim of hate-motivated harassment at Kingston Canadian Tire: police

A verbal racist attack against two Muslim people has come to light in the Kingston area, according to the family victimized and local police. Jena Badawi, who is 13 years old, was with her mother at the Canadian Tire on Division Street when they say they were harassed by a white customer. Jena, who spoke for her family as she was the most fluent in English, says she’s still shaken after being verbally attacked by the stranger while waiting in line for a curbside order at the Canadian Tire on Division Street. “She turned to me she started calling us names, saying we are not white, why are we over here, we don’t belong here,” Jena said. Both Jena and her mother wear a hijab and are visibly recognized as Muslim. The Kingston incident was reported to police, who have charged the woman in question with assault and determined the incident was motivated by hate. read the complete article

18 Jun 2021

The terrorism charge filed in the London attack is the first of its kind in Canada

One week after the intentional truck attack that targeted a Canadian-Muslim family in London, Ont., killing four members of the same family and orphaning a child, the alleged attacker has had terrorism charges filed against him. It is significant because it’s the first use of Canada’s antiterrorism laws to prosecute an alleged Islamophobic act. According to the Public Safety Canada 2018 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada, there have been 55 people charged with terrorism offences under the Criminal Code. A vast majority of them were charged with international terrorism offences inspired by al-Qaida or the Islamic State, not homegrown domestic attacks. The addition of terrorism to the murder charges already being faced by the London truck attack suspect is indicative of a pattern of domestic extremists increasingly facing terrorism charges for their violent criminal acts. read the complete article


18 Jun 2021

WIDER IMAGE-In China's new Xinjiang: patriotic tourism, riot police and minders

As visitors to China's Xinjiang enjoyed new theme park-style tourist centres showcasing the region's Muslim Uyghur culture on a recent national holiday, signs of heavy security and state surveillance were never far away. Tourists smiled and posed in traditional dress on camels for photographs amid billboards extolling the ruling Communist Party. Some new attractions in southern Xinjiang are just a short drive away from the camps and prisons built to service Beijing's anti-extremism drive. In the city of Kashgar, as Uyghur musicians serenaded tourists from the balcony of a picturesque tea shop, around a dozen police carrying shields and batons emerged from surrounding alleyways in an afternoon shift change. In the city streets and countryside of Xinjiang, Communist Party propaganda urges loyalty and ethnic unity. Billboards show President Xi Jinping standing among a crowd of smiling Uyghur children. Murals on the walls of houses in one small village outside Hotan warn against the evils of extremism and depict happy mixed Uyghur and Han families. "Build ethnic unity, build a Chinese life, build a better Xinjiang," read a banner in a residential building in Urumqi. "Eternally strengthen every ethnic group's approval of the motherland," read another on a mosque wall in Changji city. The tourist drive is mostly targeted at domestic travellers, offering Xinjiang a new revenue source amid U.S. sanctions. read the complete article

18 Jun 2021

'China, where is my family?' Uighurs in the US speak out on plight of missing relatives in Xinjiang

Ilshat Kokbure is an ethnic Uighur activist based in New York who fled China after he felt his life was in danger. In 2003, he was subjected to torture and beatings from Chinese police whilst being in Xinjiang, due to a protest he organised speaking out against early oppressive policies of the Chinese government against the Uighur community. “I was tortured and interrogated in China whilst police used electric rods to hurt me. They kicked and punched my mouth so hard that it was bleeding uncontrollably,” Kokbure tells The New Arab. Kokbure explains how he had experienced signs of a growing rise in discrimination against Uighurs and their right to practice their religion freely from an early age and this only further worsened in the years to come. “My grandfather was an Imam in the mosque but was forced to work as a carpenter and not allowed to fast. I remember when I was young I would wake up at midnight and saw my grandparents would cover the windows and lock the door from the inside to start their fast secretly during Ramadan.” The Chinese Communist Party reportedly would send police to come and check houses to see whether Uighurs were fasting or not. “My grandparents had to pretend that they were eating otherwise they would be in trouble,” said Kokbure. read the complete article

United States

18 Jun 2021

Community Investment, Not Criminalization

The Biden administration has now identified far-right violence as a rising threat and has sought to focus more resources and attention on addressing it. But the administration is adapting strategies developed as part of the war on terror that are ineffective and likely to harm the very communities of color that are so often the target of far-right violence. The violence prevention programs run by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) faced many problems, ranging from a lack of evidence of effectiveness to a historical near-exclusive focus on Muslims to the generation of new avenues for surveillance to concerted opposition from targeted communities. However, instead of taking a hard look at these issues, the Biden administration has featured such programs in its National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, released on June 15, 2021. Just over a month before this strategy was announced, DHS’s violence prevention activities were rebranded and organized under the Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3), which was rolled out on May 11, 2021. This is not a fulfilment of the promise President Biden made when he was running for office that he would end the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) program. Instead, CP3 puts a new name on that old approach, which the federal government is now doubling down on. read the complete article

18 Jun 2021

Two More Guantánamo Detainees Are Cleared for Transfer to Other Nations

Two men who have been held for years without charge at Guantánamo Bay following detention by the C.I.A. have been approved for transfer to other countries, bringing to 11 the number of detainees cleared to be sent elsewhere even as the State Department has yet to name someone to negotiate with other governments to take them. Both of the men, Abdulsalam al-Hela, 53, and Sharqawi Abdu Ali al-Hajj, 47, are Yemeni citizens, and present a particular challenge to the Biden administration as it seeks places to resettle cleared detainees as part of its aim of closing the military operation holding 40 detainees at the U.S. naval station in Cuba. The latest decisions were disclosed on Thursday by the interagency Periodic Review Board. Beyond the 11 detainees who have been approved for transfer, 12 have been charged with war crimes, including a prisoner who pleaded guilty as part of an agreement that will permit his transfer. Now the administration needs to find governments willing to take the detainees who have been cleared to be repatriated or sent to third countries. read the complete article


18 Jun 2021

Two Killers. Two Trucks. One Was a Muslim. Guess Who Got More Media Coverage?

On the afternoon of 7 April, 2017, I started to get text messages on my phone from Stockholm. I was in England at the time and it quickly became clear that something terrible had happened back in Sweden. It turns out a man had hijacked a truck and used it to kill four pedestrians. Three weeks later, a fifth person would die in hospital from their injuries. The immediate assumption was that this had been a deliberate terrorist attack committed by a Muslim. This proved to be correct. The international media coverage was widespread, immediate and intense. Almost every major outlet gave the attack sustained attention over several days. Fast forward to 6 June, 2021. A 20-year-old man deliberately drove a truck into a family out for a Sunday walk in the city of London in Canada, just a few miles from the US border. Four people were killed and the sole survivor was a nine-year-old boy, now an orphan. Police quickly established that the attack had been pre-meditated and that the victims had been targeted for one specific reason: they were Muslims. Several days later, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau labelled the attack as “terrorism”. Despite the similarities in both cases, the killings in Canada received nowhere near the volume of international media coverage as the killings in Stockholm. The attack in Canada was not immediately labelled as terrorism, but often framed as simply a “pre-meditated attack”. This was in stark contrast to how the press immediately called the Stockholm truck attack terrorism. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 18 Jun 2021 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results