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 2021

Today in Islamophobia: UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks out against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. Swiss ‘burka ban’ vote creates waves in international press. Our recommended read today is by Jamie Grierson on Prevent. A coalition of more than 450 Islamic organisations, including 350 mosques and imams, representing thousands of British Muslim voices, are  boycotting the government’s review of the anti-radicalisation programme Prevent in protest against the appointment of William Shawcross as its chair. This, and more, below:

United Kingdom

18 Mar 2021

Hundreds of Islamic groups boycott Prevent review over choice of chair | Recommended Read

The statement says: “William Shawcross has a track record of hostility to Islam and Muslims. No serious, objective, critical review can be undertaken by someone with such a track record – rather we should expect him to promote a hardening of policies towards Muslims. So, if Muslim organisations engage with this review, it strengthens its legitimacy and its power to recommend policies more harmful to the community.” read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
18 Mar 2021

Tommy Robinson ‘misused’ donations from far-right supporters, claim former allies

Around £10,000 was donated for a protest called the “day for freedom” that Robinson headlined in May 2018 – but Caolan Robertson, who worked for the far-right activist at the time, claims money he requested to purchase equipment and cover overheads “never materialised”. The video producer, who has since stopped working with Robinson and disassociated himself from the far right, said he witnessed the transfer of large sums from a crowdfunding page into the activist’s business account. read the complete article

18 Mar 2021

Government Ties To Racist ‘Hate’ Groups

In this exclusive two-part investigation, Byline Times reveals that the Government’s independent agency on countering extremism has ties to the “hateful extremism” it rightly condemns in its most recent report, including alt-right activists and sympathisers of the ‘white genocide’ conspiracy theory. Byline Times uncovers how the agency’s former head of research previously worked for a lobbying group backed by the American far-right’s major sponsors in philanthropy; and its published research on ‘mainstreaming Islamism’ which cites anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists advocating the white genocide theory, as well as organisations linked to prominent US hate groups. read the complete article


18 Mar 2021

No country for Rohingyas: Killed at home, despised as refugees

The detentions of his sisters - 40-year-old Arfa Begum and 25-year-old Asma Begum - on March 6, when the local police rounded up hundreds of Rohingya Muslims, have intensified Hameed’s fears and left him anxious. “Jammu and Kashmir police is like the Myanmar military, there is no difference,” he said. “My sisters never committed a crime. They don’t even know how to use a mobile phone, they are illiterates.” With more than 40,000 refugees in the country, India is home to one of the largest concentrations of Rohingyas outside of Bangladesh. read the complete article

18 Mar 2021

This clip of Indian politician’s campaign speech in 2019 has been deceptively edited

A video of Badruddin Ajmal, a prominent Muslim politician in India, has been shared on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter alongside a claim that the footage shows Ajmal promising to turn the state of Assam into an Islamic state if his coalition is voted into power. The claim is false; the clip has been deceptively edited from a 2019 campaign speech and Ajmal’s comments have been taken out of context. read the complete article


18 Mar 2021

As Australia condemns China’s crackdown on Muslims, other countries are escaping scrutiny

China is not alone in systemically targeting Muslims. There is mounting evidence of other countries carrying out similar actions, including mass detention and implementing restrictions on religious freedom while defending China’s record. read the complete article

18 Mar 2021

UN leaders speak out against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred

Nearly 60 countries are members of the OIC, which designated 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. The Secretary-General cited a recent report to the UN Human Rights Council which found that suspicion, discrimination and outright hatred towards Muslims has risen to “epidemic proportions”. Examples listed included disproportionate restrictions against Muslims manifesting their beliefs, limits on accessing citizenship, and widespread stigmatization of Muslim communities. The study also highlighted how Muslim women face “triple levels of discrimination” because of their gender, ethnicity and faith, he added, while the media and some persons in power have further compounded stereotypes. read the complete article


18 Mar 2021

China scrubs evidence of Xinjiang clampdown amid ‘genocide’ debate

Another Xinjiang expert, Timothy Grose, said that because of the dearth of new details, he recently ended a multiyear project to tally detention numbers in Xinjiang. “The places I was getting current information, since covid, they’ve not gone silent, but their content has changed,” said Grose, a professor at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana. Adrian Zenz, a U.S.-based Xinjiang researcher, said much of the recent scholarship has become “semi-historic” as it has grown more difficult to research current conditions. The effects of this vacuum are becoming more pronounced. Human rights activists are frustrated by the drift of discussions toward the abstract and historic. Meanwhile, Chinese propaganda outlets are seizing on vague or outdated information circulating in the West to try to discredit the broader evidence. read the complete article


18 Mar 2021

Swiss ‘burka ban’ vote creates waves in international press

For the most part, the articles emphasised the tight result and the fact that Switzerland joins some other European countries in banning the wearing of the full veil. Some media also acknowledged the unusual configuration of political forces that clashed during the vote. “The initiative of the populist right was only able to pass thanks to the fortuitous support of certain left-wing voters who were sensitive to the feminist argument," commented the French paper Le MondeExternal link. Criticism from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which condemned the Swiss vote as discriminatory also gained some visibility. read the complete article


18 Mar 2021

Behind Macron's faux issues lies an ugly reality

In June of last year, tens of thousands of nurses, doctors, and healthcare aides protested years of "budget cuts that have weakened a public health system once touted as the envy of the world." To date, over 91,000 individuals have died from Covid-19 in France. Where has Macron's government been during this? Busy engaging in culture wars launching criticism at activists, journalists, and academics who point out the French state's role in maintaining racism and division in society. Instead of acknowledging and tackling the inequality, Macron has chosen to silence these critiques, as illustrated in the charter he forced imams to sign, which explicitly says that "denouncing so-called state racism" is "slander". read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 18 Mar 2021 Edition


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