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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15 Mar 2021

Today in Islamophobia: Sri Lanka’s government says it will ban the wearing of the burqa, a full-body veil that covers the face as well, and close more than 1,000 Islamic schools, the latest actions affecting the country’s minority Muslim population.  New Zealand honors shooting victims at Christchurch anniversary service. Our recommended read today is by Azeezah Kanji on “charity-washing colonialism, fascism, and genocide.” This, and more, below:


15 Mar 2021

Opinion | For ‘love’: charity-washing colonialism, fascism and genocide

In the name of “charity”, the Jewish National Fund of Israel is buying up Palestinian land in the West Bank for colonial settlements and calling it “environmentalism”; far-right Hindutva nationalist organisations are propagating their fascist-inspired ideology across the world and calling it “decolonisation” and “anti-racism”; and monks who justify genocide in Myanmar are running tax-exempt centres across the United States for the practice of “religion for peace” Buddhism. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
15 Mar 2021

U.S. sanctions for the Uyghur genocide are hurting China. But they aren’t enough

In a backhanded way, China has just let the world know that there are effective measures that can be taken in response to the campaign of genocide it is conducting against Uyghurs and other Muslims in its Xinjiang region. Last week, the foreign ministry announced that “many companies and residents in Xinjiang suffered heavy losses” as a result of a U.S. ban on imports of cotton produced there. Beijing blamed the measure on Adrian Zenz, a dogged German researcher who has exposed many of the crimes committed against the Uyghurs, including the forced labor of hundreds of thousands compelled to pick cotton by hand. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

15 Mar 2021

Sri Lanka to ban burqa, shut more than 1,000 Islamic schools

Sri Lanka’s government says it will ban the wearing of the burqa, a full-body veil that covers the face as well, and close more than 1,000 Islamic schools, the latest actions affecting the country’s minority Muslim population. Separately, the government on Saturday announced using a controversial anti-terror law to deal with religious “extremism” and gave itself sweeping powers to detain suspects for up to two years for “deradicalisation”. read the complete article

New Zealand

15 Mar 2021

New Zealand honours shooting victims at anniversary service

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined hundreds of people in Christchurch on Saturday to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the country's worst mass murder. Armed with high-capacity semi-automatic weapons, Australian Brenton Tarrant killed 51 people and injured dozens more when he opened fire on Muslim worshippers at the two mosques on March 15, 2019, livestreaming the attacks on Facebook before being arrested. read the complete article


15 Mar 2021

Behind the Social Media Face of a Violent Hindutva Activist Lies an Entire Ecosystem of Hate

Ali had dared to trespass on forbidden territory to drink water. Perhaps the Muslim boy had not read the strong warning written in bold letters on the temple’s board: “This is a holy place for Hindus. Muslims are strictly prohibited here.” In the video, as blows mercilessly rained on his body, Ali merely looks at his attacker with a bewildered expression on his face. He did not seem to understand the magnitude of his ‘crime’ or comprehend the barbarity of his attacker. read the complete article

15 Mar 2021

Indian police arrest two men after assault on Muslim boy at Hindu temple

Two men have been arrested in India following a violent assault on a 14-year-old Muslim boy who entered a Hindu temple to drink water, police say. Footage of the incident, which occurred in Ghaziabad in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, sparked outrage after it was widely shared online last week. In the video, posted on Instagram, one man can be seen beating and kicking the boy as a second person films it. read the complete article

15 Mar 2021

India's interfaith couples on edge after new law

The law has led to multiple cases and arrests in UP, a state governed by India's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Madhya Pradesh, another BJP-ruled state, has already passed a similar law and others, including Gujarat, are mulling doing the same. So couples are now leaving these states to marry in what they consider "safer" places such as Delhi. Interfaith marriages in India are registered under the Special Marriage Act, which mandates a 30-day notice period. But couples live in fear of reprisals throughout this time and even more so now, with a new law that targets such marriages. read the complete article


15 Mar 2021

Graffiti, arson, death threats: new research finds widespread violence against Australian mosques

After the Christchurch attack, we surveyed mosques in Australia to gauge the extent of anti-Muslim attacks here. We cannot understand the Christchurch massacre without comprehending the Australian context that at least in part incubated it. Our research finds the threat of similarly motivated acts of hatred remains widespread. During 2020, we surveyed 75 mosques from five states and two territories of Australia about their experiences of violence in the five years from 2014 to 2018, as well as detailed questions about 2019. About half of the responses were from imams or mosque officials, 15% from volunteers and 35% from other congregation members. read the complete article


15 Mar 2021

Myanmar’s military sows fear and terror in nighttime raids

Aung Ko Ko trembled with fear as the nighttime curfew wore on. He could hear the soldiers and police outside his window firing gunshots and ransacking his neighbors’ homes in a Muslim enclave in the center of Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. The uniformed gunmen skipped his door, but they didn’t miss that of his longtime friend, Khin Maung Latt. Security forces smashed their way into the 58-year-old’s home, beat him and dragged him away. The next morning, authorities told Khin Maung Latt’s family to recover his body from a hospital. He lay draped in a bloodstained sheet. Deep wounds marked his hands and back, suggesting he had been tortured. read the complete article

United Kingdom

15 Mar 2021

Labour To Create New Codes Of Conduct And Training On Islamophobia And Anti-Black Racism

Labour is planning to do more to tackle Islamophobia and anti-Black racism in the party with the creation of new codes of conduct and a training programme for members. The party will also look to expand BAME representation with a new national committee and annual conference for its ethnic minority members. The moves were agreed at yesterday’s National Executive Committee meeting as part of the culture change in Labour promised by Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner when they took over its leadership. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 15 Mar 2021 Edition


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