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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16 Mar 2021

Today in Islamophobia: Sri Lanka announces plans to ban burqas in public and close more than 1,000 Islamic schools in the country. In its annual report on global political rights and liberties, US-based non-profit Freedom House downgrades India from a free democracy to a “partially free democracy”. Our recommended read today is by Elis Gjevori on Austria’s increasingly “racist and Islamophobic campaign” against Muslims. This, and more, below:


16 Mar 2021

Austria’s Muslims face an increasing ‘racist and Islamophobic campaign’ | Recommended Read

When the Austrian government carried out raids on the Muslim community towards the end of last year, children bore the brunt of it. Now they are living with the psychological fallout. In Austria, civil society groups have come out strongly against a “state-directed racist and Islamophobic campaign”, which saw authorities raid countless Muslim homes in 60 raids in November of last year. Coinciding with the International Day Against Police Violence, a spokesperson for the organisation Assisting Children Traumatised by Police seeks to bring attention to the 62 children that “were traumatised and victimised” due to the raids that saw 930 security officials raid 70 mainly family apartments. Since those raids last year, the Austrian government hasn’t charged or arrested anyone. The impact on the Muslim community, however, has been chilling. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day


16 Mar 2021

Huseyin Celil is the forgotten Canadian detained in China

They have not heard anything from him since 2017 when China ramped up the internment of Uyghur Muslims in a “sprawling and secretive network of internment camps.” Until then, the family had occasional contact with his family in Xinjiang province. Celil was on China’s radar for advocating for Uyghur Muslims. Even before fleeing to Canada in 2001, he was behind bars in China, on charges of teaching the language, faith and culture of the Uyghurs. read the complete article

16 Mar 2021

Why the Australian Rohingya community is worried the Myanmar coup will backfire on them

Following the military coup on 1 February, there have been growing fears amongst the Burmese community both in Myanmar and Australia that persecution against the Rohingya people will escalate. “I am worried, I have family members living in Burma, they can’t sleep all night, the military occupied the mosques, they occupy schools...Even I can’t sleep here, all night I’m just watching to see what happens, once they take you, you can’t imagine what they’ll do,” Mr Win said. read the complete article

United Kingdom

16 Mar 2021

Julie Burchill abused me for being Muslim – yet she was cast as the victim

Last December, I was referred to as an Islamist and a paedophile worshipper. I read multiple tweets speculating about whether I’m any good in bed, and insults about me supposedly having a moustache. Strange poems popped up portraying lurid sexual fantasies about having a threesome with me and the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen. I saw posts being liked on Facebook that told me to “kill myself for shame” and suggested that I had been a victim of female genital mutilation. None of these were the actions of an anonymous troll – they were the work of Sunday Telegraph columnist Julie Burchill. read the complete article

United States

16 Mar 2021

As The First Muslim Nominated In Oscar History For Best Actor, Riz Ahmed Hopes ‘Sound Of Metal’ Inspires Connection

Though Ahmed is the first Muslim actor to be nominated in the best actor category, Mahershala Ali made history as the first Muslim actor to win a best-supporting Oscar for the brilliant film Moonlight in 2017. Two years later, he took home his second Oscar in the same category for Green Book. Today could be a major step forward for the Oscars, which have received much backlash in the past for whitewashing its awards show. A record nine non-white actors were nominated in the performing categories and for the first time in the Academy’s 93-year history, two women, Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) were nominated in the directing category. read the complete article


16 Mar 2021

'Electoral autocracy': The downgrading of India's democracy

The rankings blame Mr Modi and his Hindu nationalist BJP government for the backsliding of democracy. Under Mr Modi's watch, they say, there has been increased pressure on human rights groups, intimidation of journalists and activists, and a spate of attacks, especially against Muslims. This, they add, has led to a deterioration of political and civil liberties in the country. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

16 Mar 2021

Sri Lanka to ban burqas, close 1,000 Islamic schools

Citing national security concerns, Sri Lanka’s public security minister Sarath Weerasekera signed papers for cabinet approval of the ban on Friday. He claimed that burqas, garments that are sometimes worn by Muslim women to cover their full body and face, are “a sign of religious extremism.” This is not the nation’s first attempt to outlaw burqas. In 2019, a temporary ban on the full-body veil was passed in the wake of a series of bombings linked to ISIS. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 16 Mar 2021 Edition


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