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
02 Jun 2023

Today in Islamophobia: In Canada, the city of London is getting $500,000 from the Ontario government to fight racism and hate as it marks the second anniversary on of the deadly June 6th massacre of a local Muslim family, meanwhile in India, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker from Karnataka’s Raichur has been arrested for putting up a WhatsApp status depicting Muslim women as ‘baby-making factories’, and in the UK, The Muslim Council of Britain has expressed “deep concern” over the appointment of the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Israel as the chair of a review into civil unrest between Muslims and Hindus in Leicester. Our recommended read of the day is by Mimansa Verma for Quartz on how shareholders for the social media group Meta have voted against a proposal calling for an inquiry into the company’s role in spreading anti-Muslim hatred in India. This and more below:


Meta's shareholders voted against an inquiry into political bias and hate speech in India | Recommended Read

Meta shareholders voted against a proposal from fellow shareholders calling for an inquiry into allegations of spreading hate speech and content moderation failures in India. The proposal was put forth by a non-profit advocacy firm Eko, India Civil Watch International (ICWI), and Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) last week. The latter announced the vote’s outcome in a tweet from its official account on May 31. “The vote was not in favour of Proposal 7. This is a loss for Indian users of Meta’s platforms, but our fight for transparency & accountability from Meta does not end here,” the statement read. The proposal argued Meta was a catalyst of hate speech in India and called for a third-party assessment of “allegations of political entanglement and content management biases in its operations in India, focusing on how the platform has been utilized to foment ethnic and religious conflict and hatred” and of whether the company was well positioned to fight disinformation. India is Meta’s largest market, thanks to the large user base of its three brands Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. The shareholder proposal was motivated by concerns over the company’s role in spreading anti-Muslim statements in India. Months before the communal massacre in February 2020 that killed 53 people, a video featuring the head of a North Indian temple saying “I want to eliminate Muslims and Islam from the face of the Earth” garnered views well over 40 million on Facebook. Also in 2020, Facebook India’s then-top policy official Ankhi Das had dismissed calls to ban BJP politician T. Raja Singh from the platform after he termed Muslims traitors, threatened to raze mosques, and called for Muslim immigrants to be shot. Das had argued that banning Singh from Facebook would hurt its business in India, as the Wall Street Journal had reported in August 2020. read the complete article

An author's perspective on Islam

Former Catholic nun and author Karen Armstrong shares her perspective on Islam from her years of research with Al Jazeera's Samantha Johnson. Karen Armstrong is a renowned religious historian and best-selling author whose work has been translated into 45 languages. Armstrong has been described as one of the most intelligent contemporary defenders of religion. Samantha Johnson is a presenter and executive producer at Al Jazeera Digital. read the complete article

United Kingdom

Sadiq Khan on Islamophobia, Muslim representation and Trump

London Mayor Sadiq Khan became the first Muslim mayor of a major western capital in 2016. In this episode of Real Talk, we caught up with the mayor to speak about tackling Islamophobia, Muslim representation in the UK, and his feud with Donald Trump. read the complete article

Muslim Council of Britain concerned over chair of review into Leicester unrest

The Muslim Council of Britain has expressed “deep concern” over the appointment of the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Israel as the chair of a review into civil unrest between Muslims and Hindus in Leicester last year. Lord Ian Austin has been appointed to chair the independent review, announced on Friday, into the unrest between British Pakistani Muslim and Indian Hindu communities that descended into widespread violence and vandalism, including attacks on places of worship. He caused controversy in 2021 when he posted a tweet showing a fake new flavour for Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for people in Gaza, named “Hamas Terror Misu” after the company announced it would stop selling its products in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Speaking on Wednesday, the Muslim Council – an umbrella organisation representing Muslim groups across the country, said it “expresses deep concern” over Lord Austin’s appointment and urged the Levelling Up Minister, Michael Gove, to reconsider. In a statement, it said: “An independent review is an important step to address and understand the causes of last year’s unrest. “However, it is crucial to have an independent reviewer who is impartial, fair, and capable of gaining the trust and confidence of all stakeholders. “The appointment of Lord Austin, given his divisive record and the serious allegations of Islamophobia against him, has created deep apprehension among Muslims and other communities in Leicester." read the complete article

Interim manager appointment at Muslim charity is ‘politically motivated’, say civil society groups

Some 35 civil society groups and individuals have called the Charity Commission’s decision to appoint an interim manager at the Islamic Centre of England “politically motivated”. In a letter sent yesterday to chair Orlando Fraser, organisations including the Islamic Human Rights Commission and the Scottish Palestinian Society, alongside journalists, academics, and politicians, accused the regulator of perpetrating a vendetta against Muslim charities. They said that the regulator’s recent decision to appoint a non-Muslim interim manager to run the Centre “serves the interest of Islamophobes". Last month, the Commission appointed Emma Moody of Womble Bond Dickinson as interim manager of the Islamic Centre of England, which has been the subject of a statutory inquiry since November 2022. The signatories to the letter argued that Moody’s appointment is “politically motivated and serves the interests of Islamophobes who have been targeting this diverse community centre and place of worship”. “Rather than remaining a neutral arbitrator and serving to address any genuine shortcomings that may exist, you have shown a biased approach and used punitive measures that unfairly penalise Muslim charities,” they wrote. read the complete article

United States

White House orders Pentagon to probe antisemitism, Islamophobia

The White House directed the Pentagon to probe antisemitic and Islamophobic behavior across the U.S. military and offer an estimate about the prevalence of the problem by November. The order was part of the White House’s new national strategy to counter antisemitism, which includes 100 steps President Joe Biden’s administration and its partners plan to take to address the recent rise in antisemitic incidents. Biden’s strategy, outlined in a 60-page document, urges Congress to pass legislation that would create new laws against bias-motivated violence, as well as hold social media platforms accountable for spreading antisemitism and other hate speech. The administration also called on state and local governments, schools, the technology industry and religious communities to help stop the spread of antisemitic conspiracy theories. The White House included several mandates to federal agencies in its plan, one of which instructs the Defense Department to study antisemitism and Islamophobia in the ranks. The administration plans to use the Pentagon’s findings to establish programs or policies that could help put an end to those biases in the military or prevent them. read the complete article

Twitter not removing hate speech posted by verified users: report

Twitter has been overwhelmingly not removing hate speech posted on the platform from verified Twitter Blue accounts, according to a report from a nonprofit that opposes the spread of hate and disinformation online. The Center for Countering Digital Hate said Thursday its researchers collected tweets promoting hatred from 100 Twitter Blue accounts and reported them to Twitter’s platform for flagging hateful posts. But it said the platform did not act on 99 percent of the tweets flagged and all of the accounts remained active four days later. The posts the organization flagged make racist, antisemitic, homophobic or transphobic remarks. The report also notes one references violence against LGBTQ rights supporters. “Twitter failed to act despite the fact that the tweets surfaced by the Center clearly violate the platform’s policies against hateful conduct, which bans abuse on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity,” the report states. The group states that its previous studies have found Twitter has failed to act on 89 percent of antisemitic posts and 97 percent of anti-Muslim posts. Imran Ahmed, the chief executive of the organization, said Musk is reversing the progress that has been made toward tolerance at an “ever-accelerating rate.” “The Twitter blue tick used to be a sign of authority and authenticity, but it is now inextricably linked to the promotion of hate and conspiracism,” he said. “What gives blue tick hate actors confidence to spew their bile is the knowledge that Elon Musk simply doesn’t care about the civil and human rights of black people, Jews, Muslims and LGBTQ+ people, as long as he can make his 8 bucks a month.” read the complete article


See before-and-after photos of forced mosque alteration in China

Protesters clashed with riot police in China's Yunnan province in a last-ditch effort to prevent apparent alterations of a mosque belonging to local ethnic Hui Muslims - a move seen as a crackdown by the Chinese Communist Party on religious freedoms. read the complete article


Karnataka RSS worker posts cartoon showing Muslim women as 'baby-making factory', arrested

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker from Karnataka’s Raichur has been arrested for putting up a WhatsApp status depicting Muslim women as 'baby-making factory'. The RSS worker, Raju Thumbak, who hails from Lingasugur town of Raichur, had put up the status on Thursday evening. Thumbak’s post prompted widespread protests from the Muslim community. After the image on Thumbak’s WhatsApp status went viral, members of the community filed a police complaint and sought his arrest. read the complete article


Queen's Park pledges $500K in London fight against hate

London city hall is getting $500,000 from the Ontario government to fight racism and hate in the city. As London is poised to mark the second anniversary on June 6 of the death of four members of the Afzaal family, the province has pledged support for print and digital campaigns as well as an online library of anti-hate resources including guides and videos. “London is committed to fostering a community that rejects hate and embraces inclusivity. Not only must we speak out against hatred, we must also take decisive and tangible action and that’s exactly what this funding allows us to do,” said Mayor Josh Morgan. “Together, we will build a culture of respect and understanding that leaves no room for racism, intolerance or discrimination.” The new initiatives are intended to help raise awareness about the impact of hate and provide strategies for identifying and addressing it. They also aim to help prevent future incidents, according to a statement from the Ontario government. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 02 Jun 2023 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results