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
05 Jun 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Human rights watchdog investigates racial inequality in British COVID-19 deaths. Austria’s rising  Islamophobia worries EU experts. Our recommended read today is by Zainab Iqbal on Muslim participation in the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality. This, and more, below:

United States

05 Jun 2020

Muslims Against Police Brutality Protest: Bay Ridge To Barclays Center | Recommended Read

Three hours, seven miles, and 23,000 steps. That is how long it took about 2,000 people to march from Bay Ridge to the Barclays Center. It was pouring early on in the day yesterday, but by the time it was 4 p.m., the sun was brighter than ever. There were women in hijabs, children perched on their dad’s shoulder, and Black Muslims standing in the front, leading it all. They were chanting “Black Lives Matter” and holding posters that read, “Justice for George Floyd.” It was a peaceful protest. And it was organized by three Black Muslim women: Esraa Elzin, Nicole Najmah Abraham, and Nazahah Booth. “That’s like the three most hated identities,” Elzin laughed. “Muslim, women, and Black… It’s like society wants to erase us in every form.” For these women, it was important to hold a protest titled “Muslims Against Police Brutality.” We spoke with them this afternoon about how it feels to be Black and Muslim in America, and the racism they face both in the country as a whole, but more specifically, within the Muslim community. “Me being a Black Muslim woman, I represent being Black and being Muslim, so it’s not ok for me to be a Muslim, and my presence as a Muslim is not being seen against police brutality. Our presence as Muslims and as Black Muslims need to be seen,” she said. “A lot of the Muslim community was silent. There wasn’t any speaking out against what happened. There was no action.” read the complete article

Recommended Read
05 Jun 2020

'Day of Outrage': NJ mosques will preach against racism, police brutality on Friday

More than two dozen mosques across New Jersey plan to dedicate their sermons on Friday — their main day of prayer — to speaking out against racism and police brutality, a coalition of groups announced Wednesday. Friday's "Day of Outrage" is part of a larger effort from Muslim organizations and houses of worship to express solidarity with black Americans after the death of George Floyd, organizers said. The 46-year-old black man died in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white 44-year-old police officer, pressed his knee to Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed face down in the street. “We want to encourage Muslim leaders to act not only externally and issue statements against police brutality and racism, but also to commit to becoming better leaders of the Muslim community," said Selaedin Maksut, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "We are asking them to fight racism in their own circles." More than 60 groups — about half of them mosques — signed a June 3 letter agreeing to offer ongoing education, promote equal representation in leadership, offer spaces and resources to promote black voices and shut down racist rhetoric. read the complete article

05 Jun 2020

Race and religion are boiling over in the US

It is not just about the eight minutes and 46 seconds during which a white police officer pressed his knee into George Floyd's neck. It is about the 400 years that preceded it, as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey put it. Racism has been called America's original sin, as both the foundational event and initial corruption from which other corruption follows. President Donald Trump followed a speech in the White House Rose Garden, during which he described nationwide protests after Floyd's death as "domestic terror" and invoked the Insurrection Act to use military force, with a short walk to a nearby church. Police cleared a crowd of peaceful protesters so Trump could pose with a Bible, not his own, in front of the historic St John's Episcopal Church that had been briefly set on fire the day before. Both acts were condemned, by Episcopal and Catholic leaders. Washington's Catholic Archbishop said it was "reprehensible" that a Catholic facility could be so "egregiously misused and manipulated". The Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop said Trump used a church building and a Bible for "partisan political purposes". Even the country's evangelical community, who one might assume is the real audience for Trump's clumsy religious posturing, is divided. Influential evangelical leader Pat Robertson has condemned Trump's escalation. Rather than bridging the gaps, Robertson said, Trump has insisted on being "the president of law and order". What we are seeing is the crass and violent exploitation of racial and social divisions for short-term political ends. No one should be remotely surprised. The past 400 years led to this, but so did the past four. The horrific scenes we have seen over repeated nights in the US are the inevitable end point of Trump's pledge to "build a wall", his Muslim ban, his mockery of "s...hole countries", his targeting of journalists as enemies of the people and his claim that there were very fine people on both sides when white supremacists marched through Charlottesville and murdered a protestor. read the complete article

United Kingdom

05 Jun 2020

Black, Asian Londoners more likely to be fined under coronavirus laws

Black and Asian people are more likely than white people to be fined in London under coronavirus laws, official data showed on Wednesday, as tens of thousands gathered in the British capital to protest against racism. More than half the penalties issued by London police between 27 March and 14 May for breaching new laws created to stop the spread of the virus went to people from ethnic minorities, who make up about 40% of the capital’s nine million people. The Metropolitan Police force, which covers the city, said this was likely to reflect a range of factors including the make-up of the areas most targeted and geographical distribution of ethnic groups. But campaigners for racial equality said the statistics were part of a broader trend, echoing concerns in the United States, where the death of George Floyd has sparked mass anti-racism protests. read the complete article

05 Jun 2020

Man, 53, is arrested after a taxi driver was called a 'Muslim c***' by drunken passenger in racist rant

A man has been arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence after a viral video was published showing a taxi driver being subjected to a foul-mouthed tirade. In a minute-long video posted on social media, driver Abid Mustafa coolly handles a white male passenger who rants 'this is England', and 'we'll blow you out the f****** water'. The 39-year-old cabbie even warned the man at one stage: 'I will put this on Facebook now buddy, and more people will see you and what you're saying.' But the man, who could be heard apparently slurring his words during footage filmed in Birmingham, responded: 'I don't give a flying f*** mate. West Midlands Police said that a 53-year-old man was arrested in the Erdington area on Thursday afternoon on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. read the complete article

05 Jun 2020

Coronavirus: Watchdog to investigate racial inequalities in British COVID-19 deaths

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has announced it will carry out the inquiry after Public Health England (PHE) published a review into the disparities within ethnic minorities from COVID-19. The initial review, commissioned by the government, left many with "widespread concerns" and "doesn't go wider to address inequalities that exist", the chairman of the EHRC said. After accounting for the effect of sex, age, deprivation and region, the PHE review found people of Bangladeshi ethnicity are about twice as likely to die from coronavirus than white British people. Those of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, other Asian, Caribbean and other black ethnicity have between a 10% and 50% higher risk of dying from COVID-19 compared with white British people. In-depth analysis from the commission will deliver evidence-based recommendations for urgent action to tackle racial and social inequalities, which they believe has led to the disproportionately high number of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) deaths during the pandemic. read the complete article


05 Jun 2020

Rohingya Refugees Running Scared From Coronvirus Tests

Rohingya refugees infected with coronavirus are fleeing quarantine in their Bangladesh camps because they fear being transferred to an isolated island in the Bay of Bengal, community leaders said Thursday. At least two infected refugees have gone missing since testing positive for the virus after the first COVID-19 death was reported Tuesday, they said. About one million Rohingya — most of whom fled a military crackdown in Myanmar in 2017 — are packed into camps along the Bangladesh border, and the coronavirus has become the latest cause of misery. Aid agencies have long warned that the virus could cause chaos in the overcrowded camps, where social distancing is virtually impossible. So far only 29 infections have been detected, although 16,000 Rohingya are in quarantine zones within the camps. read the complete article


05 Jun 2020

Austria's rising Islamophobia worries EU experts

An annual report published Tuesday by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) elaborates that the public discourse has become “increasingly xenophobic,” and the political scene is taking part as well. The report describes political speeches as “highly divisive and antagonistic,” targeting Muslims and refugees. “Certain politicians and media persist in portraying Muslims in a negative light,” it said. “Claims about a presumed lack of integration of Muslims in Austria and about their alleged opposition to 'fundamental Austrian values' leading to violent extremism remain common in public discourse and contribute to a climate of mistrust and fear of Muslims.” read the complete article


05 Jun 2020

Rising Islamophobia In India: Exploiting The Pandemic?

Communal tensions in India have heightened as right-wing Hindu nationalists exploited the Hindu-Muslim divide to hype up threats from COVID-19 and foment hatred against the country’s sizable Muslim minority. The vilification of Muslims could further hamper India’s response to COVID-19 while institutionalised Islamophobia could damage the country’s pluralistic heritage. The ‘othering’ of Muslims ─ portraying them as different ─ is an integral part of the BJP’s strategy to stay in power and push its agenda of creating a unitarian nation based on a religio-cultural identity. The current hate-campaign against Muslims could also be a tactic to deflect public anger from the government’s failings in managing the COVID-19 crisis. read the complete article

05 Jun 2020

20 Hindus named in fresh Delhi riots charge sheets for killing 2 Muslim brothers

The Delhi Police Crime Branch Thursday filed two more charge sheets in connection with the February communal riots in northeast Delhi — this time, against 20 Hindus, charging them for the murder of two Muslim brothers, Hashim Ali and Amir Ali. While one charge sheet named nine Hindus, the other named 11. In the murder case of Hashim, nine Hindus have been named, while in the murder of Amir, 11 accused have been named by police. The two brothers were on their way home on a bike on 25 February when they were allegedly stopped by a Hindu mob, and then thrashed, stabbed, stripped naked, following which the bodies were dumped in a drain. According to the police, the accused men were part of a WhatsApp group, called ‘Kattar Hindu’, in which they discussed about “taking revenge from the Muslims”. read the complete article

05 Jun 2020

Amit Shah’s description of undocumented migrants as ‘termites’ was misinterpreted, claims Ram Madhav

Bharatiya Janata Party National General Secretary Ram Madhav has claimed that former party president Amit Shah’s remark in 2018 calling undocumented migrants from Muslim-majority countries “termites” was taken out of context. Madhav made the assertion during a BBC Hardtalk interview via satellite earlier this week. “If you are so sure that there is no racism, deep discrimination, communal hate at the heart of your party and movement’s ideology, how do you react when your own Home Minister Amit Shah describes migrants from Muslim majority Bangladesh living in India as ‘termites’ who will be thrown into the Bay of Bengal?” BBC Hardtalk host Stephen Sackur asked Madhav. In response, Madhav claimed that Shah’s comment was taken out of context, and asserted that all countries must keep out “illegal infiltrators”. “Please explain to me how illegal migrants can be a person of any religion by your definition,” Madhav said. “Illegal immigrants are not welcome in India, towards which we are taking some steps. But sometimes some statements are taken out of context.” Madhav claimed that the Narendra Modi-led government in India merely wanted to regulate the inflow of migrants, just like any other country. “We have quite a humanitarian sentiment about every person, but after all nations have to safeguard their people, their livelihoods and their economy from illegal infiltrators,” he said. read the complete article


05 Jun 2020

Mandatory Covid-19 facemasks expose bigoted nature of burqa bans in Europe

Lawyers and critics now say that in light of coronavirus, legal arguments against the burqa ban are much weaker and that it’s time to put an end to the criminalisation of women who choose to cover their faces in public. In 2014, London-based lawyer, Satvinder Juss, represented a French Muslim woman at the European Court of Human Rights who was seeking to appeal the ban in her home country. While the court agreed with some of the arguments, including on public safety and gender equality, she ultimately lost on the idea of “living together”. He told TRT World that the mask rules make the burqa bans significantly less defensible. read the complete article

05 Jun 2020

'Dismantling the System': Noam Chomsky, Aruna Roy Among 19 Signatories of Article on US Protests

Prominent politicians, intellectuals, and activists from over 10 countries – all council members of the global organisation, Progressive International – have written an article on the role of solidarity in light of the recent countrywide protests in the United States in the wake of the police’s murder of black American George Floyd. The article, titled ‘Solidarity means dismantling the system everywhere’ is signed by 20 luminaries across fields, including celebrated linguist Noam Chomsky, Turkish novelist Ece Temelkuran, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghathan founders Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey, former Bolivian vice-president Álvaro García-Linera and Mexican actor Gael García Bernal. The article states: "The last decade has witnessed a sharp turn in two terrifying directions: turning in and cracking down. A new cohort of authoritarians has shunned international cooperation in a retreat to the nation-state and its ancient myths of blood and soil. A new set of surveillance technologies has turned us in further, tightening and militarizing state control over our communities. And the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us further into locked-down isolation, introducing — in some cases — the threat of a permanent state of exception and the martial law attached to it. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 05 Jun 2020 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results