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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13 Mar 2019

Today in IslamophobiaJeanine Pirro has a long history of anti- Muslim attacks. Some Rohingya refugees claim they would prefer death over repatriation back to Myanmar, China says “training” camps in Xinjiang will slowly disappear. In the U.S, the GOP’s campaign against Ilhan Omar backfires, as a Coast Guard described by prosecutors as a domestic terrorist escapes terrorism charges. Our recommended read of the day is by Rowaida Abdelaziz on FOX News and the network’s long standing issues with addressing Islamophobia. This, and more, below:

United States

13 Mar 2019

These Are The Types Of Islamophobia Fox News Is OK With | Recommended Read

In a 2016 segment of “Fox News Live,” Pirro advocated for mosques to be surveilled and supported Newt Gingrich’s call to “test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported,” as he told the network’s Sean Hannity. In 2015 she invited a Steve Emerson, a “high-profile Muslim-basher,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, to discuss his since-disproved theory about so-called no-go zones in the U.K. and France; he claimed Muslims who refuse to assimilate reside in enclaves that are beyond the control of local law enforcement and even bar non-Muslims from entering. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
13 Mar 2019

Fox News’ Islamophobia Problem | Video

Fox News apologized for Judge Jeanine Pirro’s comments against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), but the network hasn’t answered for the years of Islamophobia on its programs. read the complete article

13 Mar 2019

Opinion | Anti-Semitism is linked to public opinion about Israel. But so is Islamophobia

In the 2016 American National Election Study (ANES), the average thermometer rating for Jews was a favorable 71 degrees, but there was a range of opinion; about one-third of respondents rated Jews 50 degrees or lower. The average rating for Muslims was a chillier 54 degrees. These results are consistent with several other surveys showing that on average Americans rate Jews much more favorably than Muslims. When asked about their attitudes about Israel, people’s feelings about both Jews and Muslims appear to matter. The 2016 ANES asked whether the U.S. was too supportive of Israel, not supportive enough, or supportive at the right level. Americans were evenly split on this question: About one-quarter said the U.S. is too supportive of Israel; one-quarter said the U.S. is not supportive enough, and half thought that U.S. support is about right. The graph below shows that the more favorably people felt about Jews, the more likely they were to say that the U.S. is not supportive enough of Israel. Meanwhile, the more favorably they felt toward Muslims, the more likely they were to say the opposite — that the U.S. was too supportive of Israel. read the complete article

13 Mar 2019

Opinion | The GOP's campaign against Ilhan Omar backfires

It's clear that the most urgent threat our communities face is the rising tide of white nationalism, whether it comes in the form of policies that criminalize immigrants and ban Muslims, rhetoric that stereotypes Jews and marginalizes people of color, or acts of horrific violence. There can be no doubt that the person most responsible for the rise of this hateful ideology and the danger to our lives and communities in our politics today is President Trump, not a freshman representative. The president's policies and rhetoric have fanned the flames of white nationalist violence, and Republicans have been all too eager to follow along with his use of antisemitic, anti-Muslim and racist conspiracy theories. Any effort by Congress to address the issue of hatred in our society must begin with a clear, unambiguous rejection of the President’s agenda. read the complete article

13 Mar 2019

Jeanine Pirro’s history of anti-Muslim attacks

During an unhinged rant in 2015 about “radical Muslim terrorists,” Pirro repeatedly fearmongered about Islam and Muslims. She claimed that “this Islamic cancer metastasizes throughout the world” and argued that Muslims “have conquered us through immigration” and “through interfaith dialogue.” In the same screed, she claimed “there is a reverse crusade in progress” and said that “there will be efforts to limit our First Amendment, our free speech, to comply with Sharia blasphemy laws.” "Stop defending Islam, start protecting Americans": After Obama noted violence carried out in the name of religion isn't limited to Islam, Pirro furiously listed off violent attacks by Muslim perpetrators. Pirro cited violent incidents by Muslim perpetrators (while ignoring that right-wing terror was considered the main terrorist threat in the U.S.), asking, “Mr. President, please identify what other violence is being committed against Americans in the name of any other religion -- or is it just a coincidence?” read the complete article

13 Mar 2019

Coast Guard officer described by prosecutors as ‘domestic terrorist’ not facing terrorism charges

Christopher Hasson, 49, was arrested last month by federal agents on drugs and weapons charges. In the initial federal detention motion, prosecutors said the charges were the “proverbial tip of the iceberg” and described Hasson as a “domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct.” The motion went on to describe the hallmarks of far-right extremism which Hasson had allegedly displayed. He was obsessed with Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian far-right terrorist who killed 77 people — mostly teenagers — during an attack in Norway in 2011. Despite this evidence, and despite prosecutors’ description of Hasson as a domestic terrorist, he was only arraigned Monday on one count of unlawful possession of two improperly registered silencers, possession of 17 firearms by an unlawful user, and possession of a controlled substance. Despite this evidence, and despite prosecutors’ description of Hasson as a domestic terrorist, he was only arraigned Monday on one count of unlawful possession of two improperly registered silencers, possession of 17 firearms by an unlawful user, and possession of a controlled substance. read the complete article


13 Mar 2019

Some Rohingya refugees prefer death in Bangladesh over repatriation to Myanmar

To Mohammad, suicide, a grave sin in Islam, was preferable to returning to the persecution that his people have suffered for decades in their historic home in western Myanmar. “It’s better to die in Bangladesh, where I would get a proper Islamic burial, than be killed in Myanmar for being Muslim,” he said. “God will forgive my act of suicide because he knows our pain.” Mohammad and his family, fearing for their lives, walked for days through forests in torrential rain, arriving in Bangladesh in September 2017. Abdul Hamid, a community leader in the camps, said he left a flourishing restaurant business and expansive ancestral farmland in Myanmar.“We struggle with the refugee life here, but we’re grateful to be alive. We’d rather die here than be killed just for being Muslim in Myanmar,” Hamid said. read the complete article


13 Mar 2019

China says Muslim 'training' camps will slowly disappear

At a news conference on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China's ceremonial legislature, Xinjiang Gov. Shohrat Zakir declined to disclose the number of what he called "trainees." But he said the figure is "far less" than 1 million and described extensive reports on conditions in the camps as "pure fabrications." Mr. Zakir said the camps do not target any particular faith, though religious activities are banned in the camps. Ex-detainees say the overwhelming majority of those in the camps are Muslim. Like his immediate predecessors as Xinjiang governor, Mr. Zakir is from the region's native Uyghur ethnic group, providing a public face for the government and its claims that Xinjiang is an autonomous region. However, the real decision-making power resides with the region's ruling Communist Party chief, who is most often part of the country's Han Chinese ethnic majority. read the complete article

13 Mar 2019

China Vows to Continue Crackdown Fueling Muslim Detention Camps

Local security policies had prevented a major terrorist attack in the region for more than two years, Xinjiang government chief Shohrat Zakir told a regional delegation meeting in Beijing on Tuesday. Even so, he said it was still too early to relax the campaign because separatism persisted in the region, which borders Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. “The fight against instability, extremism and secessionism is long, complex and intense,” Zakir told the public question session, held on the sidelines of the annual National People’s Congress. “We can’t relax for a moment at any time.” The remarks represent the party’s latest effort to explain the mass detentions, which have become a major source of criticism from Western governments and human rights advocates. Academic estimates, which United Nations officials have deemed credible, suggest that authorities are holding as many as 1 million ethnic Uighurs and Kazakhs in “transformation through education” camps -- or roughly 10 percent of the regional population. read the complete article

United Kingdom

13 Mar 2019

Opinion | My complaints of Tory Islamophobia were ignored, so I had to resign

The incident that sparked it off occurred on 22 September last year when I was invited to attend an event by Gerard Leake, the chairman of a neighbouring association. While there I overheard a member referring to me as a Muslim in a pejorative way. I was shocked, but because it was a function I didn’t want to cause a scene. I later asked Gerard to confirm what I had heard, which he did. Gerard formally raised the complaint at the regional level but didn’t get anywhere. I felt that, as the remarks were directed at me, I should ensure that the party dealt with the matter and I assumed it would have a process I could follow. The individual concerned denies the remark, so there needs to be a proper investigation. To my surprise,instead it seems like there was a deliberate attempt to sweep the complaint under the carpet in the hope that it would go away. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 13 Mar 2019 Edition


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