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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18 Mar 2019

Today in Islamophobia: In the aftermath of the terror attack at a Christchurch mosque, Islamophobia takes center stage in New Zealand. Muslims in America mourn a tragedy that feels close to home, amidst renewed condemnation of anti- Muslim rhetoric by politicians. Australia cancels Milo Yiannapouls’s visa after the attack, and FOX takes Judge Jeanine off the air for a week for her incendiary anti-Muslim comments. We have two recommended reads today, each engaging the tragedy at Christchurch through different lenses. From the New Zealand Herald, a story centering the lives of victims, and from the New York Times, an opinion piece interrogating racism and violence. This, and more, below:

New Zealand

18 Mar 2019

Opinion | Our Brother, Our Executioner | Recommended Read

The killer knew which day to pick. Friday is the Islamic Sabbath, when Muslims gather in the mosque to bow their heads in devotion to the divine. As they prayed, they might have been thinking about their children at school or what to make for dinner, unaware that soon their loved ones would be washing their bodies in accordance with Islamic tradition, preparing for the funeral prayer, the only one in Islam that has no Athan, or call to prayer, because the Athan was recited into their ears when they were born. When these Muslims saw the white stranger enter the mosque, they would have had the Islamic greeting on their tongues: “Assalamu alaikum.” Peace be upon you. read the complete article

One of two recommended reads for today
18 Mar 2019

Christchurch mosque shooting: The faces of the victims

They are fathers, mothers, grandparents, daughters and sons. They are refugees, immigrants and New-Zealand born. They are Kiwis. These are the names of those who have died or are missing after the horrific acts of terror in Christchurch. read the complete article

One of two recommended reads for today
18 Mar 2019

The New Zealand shooting put the media’s Islamophobia problem on display yet again

Islamophobia is not just a slur or a pull of a hijab; it is not just a ban on who can come into this country and it is not just a massacre that is livestreamed. All of that is a heinous expression of anti-Muslim bigotry, but it is explicit expression; it is an expression of Islamophobia that is easy to categorize. What we have yet to really confront and discuss is the everyday, acceptable Islamophobia that relies on the same basic assumptions that propel violence against Muslims both in the United States and abroad. read the complete article

18 Mar 2019

'Come over here!': the man who chased away the Christchurch shooter

When the gunman advanced toward the mosque, killing those in his path, Abdul Aziz did not hide. Instead, he picked up the first thing he could find, a credit card scanning machine, and ran outside screaming: “Come here!” Aziz, 48, has been called a hero for likely preventing more deaths during Friday prayers at the Linwood mosque in Christchurch after scaring the gunman off. But Aziz, whose four sons and dozens of others remained in the mosque while he faced off with the gunman, said he believed it was what anyone would have done. read the complete article

18 Mar 2019

Anti-Muslim immigration sentiment is less prevalent in New Zealand than in Europe

Anti-immigration ideals makes up a significant part of the 74-page manifesto linked to the man charged in the deadly mass shooting attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The term "invaders" is peppered throughout the document, a reference to the Muslim population, who, according to the manifesto, "seek to occupy my peoples lands and ethnically replace my own people." German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also put on a hit list, targeted because "few have done more to damage and racially cleanse Europe of its people." The Muslim population in New Zealand is small but growing. New Zealand has a population of over four million, meaning Muslims make up little over one percent of the population. read the complete article

18 Mar 2019

New Zealand mosque attacks prompt flood of support for Muslims

In a suburb of Christchurch close to where the attacks took place, Yoti Ioannou and his wife put out a Facebook post calling for locals to donate halal food. Their idea was to provide meals for the dozens of desperate relatives waiting at the city's hospitals for news of their loved ones as surgeons battled to save lives. The halal food drive was inundated, they said, with people lining up to give meals throughout Saturday. The Sikh community in Christchurch offered help in washing the bodies of the victims and digging the graves. Across the country, New Zealanders also dug deep - the two most prominent crowdfunding campaigns had already raised between them more than 3.2 million New Zealand dollars ($ 2.2m) within 24 hours of the shootings. Local crowdfunding platform Givealittle crashed briefly on Saturday, while LaunchGood had over 23,000 donors saying they were "United for Christchurch" as they contributed for the New Zealand Islamic Information Centre. read the complete article

18 Mar 2019

Opinion | Humanise the victims, not the white supremacist who killed them

While the media was fully wed to telling the terrorist's story, highlighting his commitment to inciting "civil war" in America and showcasing his admiration of a motley crew of white supremacists such as Dylann Roof and Anders Breivik, I embraced the Muslim victims. And began a thread to share their stories, celebrate their lives, and say their names. If we don't tell our stories, the history of mainstream media affirms time and again, nobody will. Muslims are typically newsworthy when villains - not victims. And Islamophobia is perpetuated by portraying Muslims, whether victims or villains, as a faceless, nameless, and monolithic bloc. By profiling the victims, I simultaneously challenged that damning stereotype, and dodged the booby trap set by the media-hungry terrorist. read the complete article

United States

18 Mar 2019

Trump Still Won’t Name ‘White Supremacist Terrorism’ and His Base Loves It

There’s no doubt Trump’s failure to say any kind words about Muslims was by design. Trump understands that would likely upset his base whom he has fed a diet of anti-Muslim hate, from declaring that “Islam hates us” to calling for a total ban on Muslims coming to this country, and his 2016 comment that takes on a different meaning after Friday’s terror attack: “We're having problems with the Muslims coming into this country…You have to deal with the mosques, whether we like it or not.” And then, Friday afternoon, it got worse. Responding to a question by an ABC reporter about whether he believed there was a growing threat of white nationalism worldwide, Trump responded, “I don’t really,” adding, “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.” Our own ears and eyes (as well as statistics) tells us that’s a lie. Again, this reaction is because Trump gets his base better than anyone. read the complete article

18 Mar 2019

Opinion | A short history of President Trump’s anti-Muslim bigotry

Trump is an Islamophobic bigot. As president, his words matter. He is using them to spread hatred. And deranged, unwell or evil people have allegedly been inspired by those words to target the very people that Trump targets in his speeches and his tweets. The charged suspect in New Zealand cited Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” Trump’s anti-Muslim bigotry has a long history. In 2011 and 2012, Trump insinuated that President Barack Obama was secretly Muslim. In September 2015, at a campaign rally, Trump nodded along as a supporter claimed “we have a problem in this country; it’s called Muslims.” Trump continued nodding, saying “right,” and “we need this question!” as the supporter then proceeded to ask Trump “when can we get rid of them [Muslims]?” In response, Trump said: “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things.” read the complete article

18 Mar 2019

New Zealand shooting: American Muslims mourn a tragedy that feels close to home

As Muslims across America gathered for Friday prayers, worshippers struggled to find words to express their shock and devastation at a terrorist attack thousands of miles away but also terrifyingly close to home. Some said they found comfort in mourning communally; others said they were determined to defy the fear that they, too, would be targeted. “I don’t feel safe," said Meriem Hanade, 28, a student visiting from France who prayed at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York on Friday. "I was afraid to come." Imams and other Muslim leaders sought to reassure shaken communities, while also grappling with how to secure their houses of worship. The threat of violence is not new to Muslims in a country where anti-immigrant sentiment is aired at the highest levels and mosques have been vandalized and targeted with attacks, but what happened in New Zealand made clear to many that more protection was needed. In a statement Friday morning, the Council on American-Islamic Relations urged mosques, Islamic schoolsand other institutions to increase security. read the complete article


18 Mar 2019

The Maharashtra Muslims acquitted of 'terrorism' after 25 years

Police described Khandey as a "Kashmiri terrorist" and accused Farukh of planning attacks in Maharashtra with him, saying the pair wanted to "spread terrorism". They then, he claimed, took him into custody and assaulted him. Khan was unaware that in his hometown of Bhusawal, more than 400km away, police had already picked up Jamil and Yusuf Khan, his cousins. With them, he became part of a group of Muslim men accused of planning to carry out bomb blasts across the state of Maharashtra, which is home to more than 100 million people, of which Mumbai is the capital. read the complete article


18 Mar 2019

Fury as Australian senator blames Christchurch attack on Muslim immigration

Following the attack, which left 49 people dead at two mosques in Christchurch, Fraser Anning tweeted: “Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?” In a statement shared by an Australian journalist on Twitter, the Queensland senator also wrote: “As always, leftwing politicians and the media will rush to claim that the causes of today’s shootings lie with gun laws or those who hold nationalist views, but this is all cliched nonsense. read the complete article

18 Mar 2019

Opinion | Islamophobia is practically enshrined as public policy in Australia

In the period of the country’s enthusiastic participation in the War on Terror, Islam and Muslims have frequently been treated as public enemies, and hate speech against them has inexorably been normalised. Australian racism did not of course begin in 2001. The country was settled by means of a genocidal frontier war, and commenced its independent existence with the exclusion of non-white migrants. White nationalism was practically Australia’s founding doctrine. But a succession of events in the first year of the millennium led to Islamophobia being practically enshrined as public policy. First, the so-called Tampa Affair saw a conservative government refuse to admit refugees who had been rescued at sea. It was a naked bid to win an election by whipping up xenophobia and border panic. It worked. In the years since, despite its obvious brutality, and despite repeated condemnations from international bodies, the mandatory offshore detention of boat-borne refugees in third countries has become bipartisan policy. The majority of the refugees thus imprisoned have been Muslim. It has often been suggested by politicians that detaining them is a matter of safety – some of them might be terrorists. read the complete article

United Kingdom

18 Mar 2019

UK Muslim leaders seek funding for mosque security

Harun Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, will be writing to the prime minister raising the “palpable sense of fear” felt by Muslim communities after the attack in Christchurch which claimed 50 lives, and warning of the risk of copycat attacks in the UK. The government increased security funding for Jewish institutions after the rise of antisemitic attacks, pledging £14m to support the security at about 400 synagogues and 150 Jewish schools, equivalent to £25k per institution. Khan calls on the government to demonstrate equivalent support to Muslim communities. The call came during a wave of suspected far-right activity across England over the weekend, including a stabbing in Surrey being treated as a terrorist incident, three arrests linked to two separate incidents of suspected racially aggravated public order in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, and an arrest in Oldham over posts on social media allegedly supporting the actions of the New Zealand terrorist. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 18 Mar 2019 Edition


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