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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11 Mar 2019

Today in IslamophobiaAn op-ed investigates how World War II shaped the Rohingya crisis, and new reports show how the crisis has impacted Myanmar’s economic growth. In the U.K, the Tories continue to be mired in controversy over Islamophobia along party lines, in the U.S, the debate over Rep. Ilhan Omar rages on. China rejects Turkey’s condemnation of the Uighur crisis and denies poet’s death. Our recommended read of the day is from Belgium, where ritual animal slaughter leaves Belgian Musllims and Jews facing price hikes and shortages. This, and more, below:


11 Mar 2019

Opinion | How WWII shaped the crisis in Myanmar

The military violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority is an extension of discriminatory government policies that reached their height in 1982, when the Rohingya were stripped of their citizenship status under Myanmar’s citizenship act. This legal loophole has allowed the Myanmar government to pursue relentlessly its recent repression of the Rohingya. The virulent attacks on the Rohingya people, who are Muslims with a distinct language of their own, have surprised outside observers, who remain confounded by the nature of this violence. But the conflict has deep historical roots. read the complete article

11 Mar 2019

Myanmar’s growth slowed by Rohingya crisis

The Rohingya crisis has only made things worse. Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader and a former political prisoner for many years, has seen her international image suffer as she’s defended the military against what the United Nations (UN) called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” in the western state of Rakhine. That has contributed to a significant lag in Western money coming into Myanmar. Companies from the EU and US collectively invested US$894 million for the fiscal year through March 2018, according to the latest available data from Myanmar’s government. That compares with US$4.7 billion from companies based in Asia. read the complete article

United Kingdom

11 Mar 2019

Opinion | There’s no debate — the Tories must launch an inquiry into Islamophobia immediately

Any leading mainstream figure in the Muslim community who raised concerns about party attitudes would deserve to be listened to with respect. But Lady Warsi isn’t just any leading figure in the Muslim community. She has been chairman of the party. She has been one of its most articulate advocates. It should be unthinkable to ignore what she is saying on a matter she understands and on which she speaks with authority. read the complete article

11 Mar 2019

Islamophobia: The UK’s silent crisis

There is no doubt that the EU referendum in 2016 and the anti-immigrant rhetoric surrounding it was a significant contributor to the surge in Islamophobia. However, there are lesser known causes that have been just as important as Brexit and continue to pose a threat to the British Muslim community. An investigation by the Guardian newspaper found that there has been a 50 percent rise in UKIP membership in the last year and this surge has shifted the party to the far right as more moderate senior members, such as former leader Nigel Farage, have been replaced by a younger and ideologically extreme demographic that have been attracted by an increasingly anti-Islam agenda. read the complete article

11 Mar 2019

Andrea Leadsom urged to apologise for Islamophobia response

Naz Shah had asked her about a recently published definition of Islamophobia and requested a Commons debate. Mrs Leadsom's response "played into the idea that Muslims born in our country are 'foreigners'," said Ms Shah. Mrs Leadsom has said she thought the Labour MP was referring to a global definition of Islamophobia. But in a letter to the prime minister on Friday, Ms Shah said she found Ms Leadsom's explanation of her comments "hard to accept". "Rather than seeking to make excuses, the right thing for Andrea Leadsom to do is wholeheartedly apologise and grant this debate", she added. read the complete article

11 Mar 2019

Opinion | The Conservatives Can No Longer Avoid The Terrible Stain Of Islamophobia In Their Ranks

The Conservatives have brushed Islamophobia underneath the carpet but the evidence is getting bigger and it can’t stay concealed forever. For all the general focus on Labour becoming a safe space for anti-Semites, the Tories are as guilty of allowing anti-Muslim racism to become embedded within their party’s atmosphere. As a researcher at Tell MAMA, an anti-Muslim hate crime watchdog, I’ve been part of a team that has recorded increasingly high levels of Islamophobia and found the Conservatives to be increasingly riddled with it. read the complete article

11 Mar 2019

Opinion | Neither oppressed nor trailblazing, Muslim women need to be heard

The writer and historian Afia Ahmed says: “What we’re up against is institutionalized Islamophobia that is intrinsically linked to and is a clear part of our governing body – occasionally rearing its ugly head for public consumption.” Ahmed goes on to say that media representations have linked the veil and visibly Muslim women to heinous acts. “The hypervisibility of Muslims has become a topic of national debate and we need to understand the media’s role in securing this climate of fear. Any visual indicator of ‘Muslimness’ is now argued to have no place in contemporary society.” read the complete article

11 Mar 2019

Opinion | What is the point of Muslim politicians if they don't represent their communities?

In spring 2018, the Windrush scandal broke, which touched a nerve throughout the country and rocked the Conservative party. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph at the height of the scandal, Javid said it felt close to home: “I thought that could be my mum … my dad … my uncle … it could be me.” The following morning it was announced that he had been chosen to replace Amber Rudd as home secretary. He may have earned the promotion but, in a period when the Tories were being trashed for carrying out racist policies, it obviously served the party to appoint Britain’s first Asian and first Muslim home secretary. read the complete article

United States

11 Mar 2019

Opinion | Overly aggressive response to Omar's comments reflects distorted priorities in America

The overly aggressive response to Rep. Omar’s comments reflects a larger problem in American politics: the distorted priorities that are a result of the false equivalence peddled by mainstream pundits and politicians. Claiming both sides are equally at fault makes it possible to devote as much, if not more, attention to Rep. Omar's words than to far more urgent and significant breaches that have come to light during the same period. It is an insult to America’s intelligence to pretend that Ilhan Omar, one of only two Muslim women elected to Congress and herself the target of Islamophobia, is the true culprit when it comes to bigotry and intolerance. read the complete article

11 Mar 2019

ACT for America Tries To Distance Themselves From One of Their 'Most Influential Activists'

A poster at Arthur’s table featured a picture of the World Trade Center on fire with the caption: “'Never forget' – You said.” It was juxtaposed with an image of Rep. Omar with another caption that read, “I am the proof you have forgotten.” The poster was next to another sign featuring ACT’s logo. Arthur is also seen wearing an ACT for America T-shirt. ACT for America’s national office attempted to distance themselves from the display. The group issued a statement saying, “This was NOT an ACT for America display” and adding that anyone claiming to be with ACT was “doing so without the permission and approval” from the national organization. read the complete article

11 Mar 2019

Ilhan Omar: Fox News host Jeanine Pirro suggests congresswoman's hijab means she is against US constitution

“Judge” Jeanine Pirro, a legal pundit for the US news channel, also accused the Somali-American congresswoman of being anti-Israel and a believer in sharia law. “Think about this, she’s not getting this anti-Israel sentiment doctrine from the Democrat party, so if it’s not rooted in the party, where is she getting it from?”Ms Pirro said on her Justice with Judge Jeanine show on Saturday evening. “Think about it. Omar wears a hijab, which according to the Quran 33:59 tells women to cover so they won’t get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to sharia law? Which in itself is antithetical to the United States constitution?” read the complete article

11 Mar 2019

Muslim Travel Ban: Less Immigration And Few Waivers

A National Foundation for American Policy analysis of the data shows a decline of 84% in the number of immigrant (for permanent resident) visas issued to citizens of the five majority-Muslim countries. The decline was 78% for temporary visas. The number of Iranians who received immigrant visas dropped from 7,727 in FY 2016 to 1,449 in FY 2018, an 81% decline. In FY 2018, 11,803 fewer immigrants from Yemen were approved visas than in FY 2016, a drop of 91%. The declines are similar, if somewhat smaller, for potential immigrants from Libya, Somalia and Syria. read the complete article


11 Mar 2019

Ritual animal slaughter law leaves Belgium's Muslims and Jews facing shortages, price hikes | Recommended Read

A new law in the Flanders region of Belgium bans the practices required for both halal and kosher meat. That has meant such products have become harder to find and more expensive in recent months. “I stopped selling meat because I don’t want to sell meat that’s not halal,” said Bouihrouchane Mbark, the owner of the Aswak Souss supermarket in Brussels. The Jewish and Muslim communities have united in opposition to the ban. With the help of an American legal fund, a group of Muslim and Jewish organizations have taken legal action and hope to overturn the new law. The Belgian Constitutional Court heard their arguments in January and is expected to rule on the case within weeks. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
Today in Islamophobia, 11 Mar 2019 Edition


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