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
12 Mar 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Number of missing go up as those impacted by the Delhi pogroms try to pick up the pieces. An essay looks at the political ideology of Hindu-nationalism, another asks if the BJP can curb the hate its policies incited. Our recommended read today is on the impunity offered to perpetrators of violence in India, titled “How Delhi’s Police Turned Against Muslims.” This, and more, below:


12 Mar 2020

‘If We Kill You, Nothing Will Happen’: How Delhi’s Police Turned Against Muslims | Recommended Read

Hindu and Muslim mobs were hurling rocks at each other, blocking a street he needed to cross to get to his children. Mr. Ali, who is Muslim, said that he turned to some police officers for help. That was his mistake. The officers threw him onto the ground, he said, and cracked him on the head. They started beating him and several other Muslims. As the men lay bleeding, begging for mercy — one of them died two days later from internal injuries — the officers laughed, jabbed them with their sticks and made them sing the national anthem. That abuse, on Feb. 24, was captured on video. “The police were toying with us,” Mr. Ali said. He recalled them saying, “Even if we kill you, nothing will happen to us.” So far, they have been right. Now, more evidence is emerging that the Delhi police, who are under the direct command of Mr. Modi’s government and have very few Muslim officers, concertedly moved against Muslims and at times actively helped the Hindu mobs that rampaged in New Delhi in late February, burning down Muslim homes and targeting Muslim families. read the complete article

Recommended Read
12 Mar 2020

The BJP has incited hatred it can no longer stop

The protests have been met with severe opposition by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Barely a month before the violence broke out, the governing BJP ran a deeply polarising campaign in the local Delhi elections, supplemented by even more radical anti-Muslim propaganda on pro-government television channels and social media. The BJP's loss to a local party compelled some commentators to declare that it would have no choice but to tone down its use of communal rhetoric and focus on policy issues. However, the Delhi riots demonstrate that the party is far from abandoning the politics of hate and, in fact, may escalate further. Inter-communal incitement has reached such proportions in India under the BJP that it is no longer possible to dial back. Communal fault lines have existed in the subcontinent for ages, deepened irrevocably by the bloody partition of India in 1947. The BJP's propaganda exploits these fault lines to turn India's unemployed and undereducated youth into its foot soldiers and the country's middle-class into armchair supporters of its politics of hatred. Frankenstein's monster, once created, takes on a life of its own and is impossible to tame. Even if the strategy does not always win elections in some localities, moving away from it would only mean losing an electorate which has already been electrified by anti-Muslim messaging. Furthermore, the BJP's anti-Muslim rhetoric is not merely opportunistic. It is more than a mere tactic to polarise voters and distract from an underperforming economy and goes to the very core of its raison d'etre. The party's roots go back to a socio-cultural movement that advocates that India should be a Hindu country and rejects its inherently secular constitution. read the complete article

12 Mar 2020

Opposition Blames Gov't for New Delhi Rioting That Killed 52

India’s powerful lower house of Parliament on Wednesday debated the worst Hindu-Muslim violence in decades in the Indian capital, with an angry opposition demanding a judicial probe and the resignation of the home minister for the police's failure to prevent the deaths of more than 50 people. Opposition Congress party lawmakers walked out after Home Minister Amit Shah praised the police for ending the rioting in northeastern areas of the capital within 36 hours and preventing it from spreading across New Delhi. Shah blamed inflammatory speeches by the Congress party and some Muslim leaders for triggering the rioting. He said 52 people were killed on Feb. 24 and 25 and 526 were injured. He declined to say how many were Hindus or Muslims. read the complete article

12 Mar 2020

Savarkar's India

In the past few weeks Delhi has become the latest place in India convulsed with religious violence as Hindu mobs burned Muslim neighborhoods, mosques and killed over 40 people. The violence comes in the wake of a new citizenship law that excludes undocumented Muslims, but it also follows years of incendiary rhetoric and policies from the ascendant right-wing Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, and India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. As the political philosophy of Hindu nationalism gains ground in India we look back at one of its architects - Vinayak Savarkar. read the complete article

12 Mar 2020

Number of missing husbands and sons going up as riot-hit Delhi tries to pick up the pieces

Thirty-year-old Nazia has been searching for her husband, Mohammaed Shahid, since 25 February. It was one of the deadliest days of the Delhi riots, when a mob of men entered Nazia and Shahid’s home late at night. “They started breaking everything, abusing us,” Nazia said. When they tried to attack the couple and their three children, Shahid knew he had to save his family. “They caught hold of him. He told us to run out of the home and said he will follow us. He never did,” Nazia told ThePrint. The police and legal help desks have received at least 13 missing persons complaints since it was set up on 4 March. “With the rate at which we are getting these complaints, we only expect the number of missing persons to rise,” Aaqib Khan, Supreme Court advocate affiliated with the Waqf Board’s legal team, told ThePrint. He added that the complainants are mostly about fathers or sons missing since the deadly riots hit Northeast Delhi on 24 and 25 February. read the complete article

12 Mar 2020

In photos: Fourteen Delhi mosques and a dargah that were burnt by Hindutva vigilantes in three days

During the three days of violence in North East Delhi starting on February 24, at least 14 mosques and a Sufi dargah were burnt by Hindutva vigilantes. Some mosques look like they were fire bombed through windows that were prised open after their glass panes were broken. Others were clearly set alight by people who rampaged through them tearing up books, breaking furniture, wrenching off taps, battering anything they could not break, before setting everything on fire. In situations where the imam or muezzin were unable to flee in time, they were set upon by the mob with rods and batons. Many of the attacks occurred in broad daylight. People who live or work close by, Muslim and Hindu, testified that the mosques were attacked by mobs of varying sizes shouting “Jai Shri Ram”. There are some videos in circulation that show the mobs, in many cases numbering not more than 20, in action. Not one of the many Hindu temples, big and small, in the entire area was reported to have been attacked. read the complete article

United States

12 Mar 2020

Camden County GOP offers apology, deletes Muslim-bashing Facebook posts

The chairman of the Camden County GOP apologized Wednesday for Muslim-bashing political memes that appeared on the party’s Facebook page and said they would be removed. “It’s not who I am as a person. It’s not who this organization is,” chairman Rich Ambrosino said in response to a WHYY story about the posts that published Monday. At the same time, Ambrosino denied that the most offensive memes — including one showing Minnesota U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar laughing above an image of the smoldering World Trade Center buildings, and another joking that Obama was the leader of ISIS — were shared by the Camden County GOP. That was despite the fact they appeared on Facebook as posts directly from page administrators. Instead, Ambrosino suggested they could have been posted by a member of the public or someone with unauthorized access to the account, although he didn’t explain how a visitor’s post would show up in the page’s main feed or assert the page’s security had been compromised. read the complete article

12 Mar 2020

Under the Eyes of the State: Post -9/11 Surveillance of Muslim Americans

Saher Selod, an associate professor of Sociology at Simmons University, is the author of “Forever Suspect: Racialized Surveillence of Muslim Amerincans in the War on Terror.” On September 11, 2001, she was just one of millions of Americans watching in horror as planes hit the World Trade Center and the Twin Towers collapsed. In the moments and weeks after, she was afraid: not just of another attack, but also what the attacks meant for her family and community. Not long after 9/11, her father was detained and interrogated by TSA agents. The agents knew details about her father’s travel, including where he had been and what he bought while he was there. Saher’s father’s experience is just one chapter of a larger American story of racialization and surveillance, in which the government has built upon the classic American trope of a traitorous foreign “Other” in order to justify its expansion of policies that monitor and control vulnerable communities. It is also the story of how the lives of Muslims in those communities have been permanently and irrevocably disrupted. In the post-9/11 era, the word “terrorism” has come to be associated with a very specific image — that of the brown Muslim terrorist. Americans have become used to the notion that brown women who wear hijabs and men who have skull caps and beards are inherently suspicious. Even Muslim last names and accents are met with wariness and distrust. read the complete article

12 Mar 2020

US judge gives doctors authority to determine if Guantanamo detainee can be released

US District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer ruled on Friday that Mohammed al-Qahtani be examined by a medical commission made up of one medical officer of the US military and two physicians from "a neutral country". The medical panel will be allowed to determine if al-Qahtani should be transferred to Saudi Arabian custody under a Geneva Convention-based army regulation that outlines the repatriation of sick and wounded prisoners, known as Army Regulation 190-8. While the regulation outlines the treatment of "prisoners of war", the US government considers those held at Gitmo to be "detainees" or "enemy combatants", not POWs. It is due to that distinction that the regulation, among others, has never before been extended to an individual held at Guantanamo. But Judge Collyer was clear in her 25-page ruling: "If the mixed medical commission finds that Mr. al-Qahtani qualifies for repatriation, Army Regulation 190-8 mandates that he be repatriated". If the medical panel decides al-Qahtani should be repatriated, then the US must carry out the order "as soon as possible and within 3 months" of being notified, according to the regulation. read the complete article


12 Mar 2020

China’s oppression of Xinjiang’s Uyghurs: a visual history

Today, Xinjiang’s Uyghurs are subject to a comprehensive, targeted campaign of surveillance and control. According to leading researchers and human rights groups, as many as 1.5 million have been placed in concentration camps. This ongoing program of repression follows decades of tension between the Uyghurs and the Chinese government. So, how did we get here? As civil war raged in China in the 1940s, Xinjiang experienced a brief period of independence and became known as East Turkestan. On October 1, 1949, Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong declared the creation of the People’s Republic of China and brought Xinjiang under its control. In 1966, an ageing Mao was keen to quash his opponents once and for all. He wanted to reinvigorate the Communist revolution and purge China of any lingering remnants of capitalism and traditional life. To achieve this, he called on the Communist Red Guards to attack the “four olds” – old ideas, old culture, old habits, and old customs. In Xinjiang, Uyghur life was upended. Mosques were destroyed or converted into Communist Party buildings. Religious texts and Uyghur-language books were deemed anti-revolutionary, and were confiscated and burned. During this period, Mao ordered millions of China’s educated, urban youth to the countryside to do hard labor on the land. Many were sent to rural Xinjiang. Mao called the program “re-education” – a phrase that would come to haunt the region more than 50 years later. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, China began a renewed crackdown on the Uyghurs, warning its people that Uyghur separatism and religious extremism posed a terrorist threat. read the complete article


12 Mar 2020

How Denmark's 'ghetto list' is ripping apart migrant communities

Mjølnerparken has, along with 28 other low-income neighbourhoods nationwide, been classified by the Danish government as a “ghetto”. Denmark has compiled this “ghetto list” annually since 2010; the criteria are higher than average jobless and crime rates, lower than average educational attainment and, controversially, more than half of the population being first or second-generation migrants. The government essentially sees these neighbourhoods as irremediable urban disasters, and in May 2018 it proposed dealing with them by mass eviction and reconstruction. The homes of up to 11,000 social housing tenants could be on the chopping block. The final metric, however, is seen by many critics as crucial evidence of the law’s real intent: more than 50% of Mjølnerparken’s residents are non-Danish born or born in Denmark to non-Danish parents (categories between which the guidelines do not differentiate). A neighbourhood with similar problems but occupied by third-generation Danes, most of whom are white, would not qualify as a “ghetto”. In addition, the law itself applies differently in these neighbourhoods. The first stage of the government’s so-called ghetto deal set higher penalties for crimes, and allowed for collective punishment – by eviction – of entire families if one of their members commits a criminal act. Other laws seem designed to force the integration in Danish society of immigrant communities. Pre-school children must spend at least 25 hours a week in state kindergartens with a maximum migrant intake of 30%, and face language tests. Otherwise their families’ benefits can be revoked. But the most stringent part of the plan came into force on 1 January 2020, when these areas must slash their public housing stock to no more than 40%. To achieve this within 10 years, entire blocks will be emptied and converted into private and co-operative housing, from which people on low incomes will be barred. In some cities (though not Copenhagen) the blocks will simply be demolished. read the complete article


12 Mar 2020

Deadly Lessons Not Learned in the Year Since Christchurch Mosque Attack

Sunday will mark the first anniversary of the Christchurch terrorist attack, which left 51 Muslim worshippers dead at two mosques in New Zealand’s third largest city, located on the country’s picturesque South Island. It has become the “blue ribbon” event for violent right-wing extremists ever since, encouraging and inspiring copycat attacks throughout the Western world. Tragically and alarmingly, Christchurch hasn’t become a bookmark in the history of right-wing terrorism, but rather the opening chapter, serving as a well of inspiration for the violently racist and deranged. Indeed, it has been cited as a source of inspiration for a white nationalist who murdered a Jewish worshipper at a synagogue in San Diego four days after Tarrant’s attack in 2019. It also motivated the gunman who slaughtered 21 mostly Hispanic Americans at a mall in El Paso, Texas, on August 3 of last year; and another who attacked a mosque in Norway on August 10, 2019. In the first seven-day period after Christchurch, the United States, Australia, and United Kingdom experienced a spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes, with the latter recording a 593 percent increase, translating into 95 incidents, including 85 that directly referenced Christchurch, according to Tell Mama UK. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 12 Mar 2020 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results