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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19 Mar 2019

Today in IslamophobiaNew Zealand’s Prime Minister wins worldwide praise for her response to the Christchurch shooting, the shooter finds support in Islamophobic corners of the Chinese web. An op-ed looks at the rise of white supremacy worldwide, another argues for the predictability of atrocities such as that in Christchurch. Our recommended read of the day is by Murtaza Hussain titled “New Zealand suspect’s actions are logical conclusion of calling Immigrants ‘Invaders’.” This, and more, below:

New Zealand

19 Mar 2019

Opinion | New Zealand Suspect’s Actions Are Logical Conclusion of Calling Immigrants “Invaders” | Recommended Read

The manifesto is predictably disturbing. It is the work of a nihilist who sees a world so bleak and hopeless that it could be improved through acts of mass murder. There is one word in the 74-page document, however, that stood out to me: “invader.” Tarrant’s words are both lucid and chillingly familiar. His references to immigrants as invaders find echoes in the language used by the president of the United States and far-right leaders across Europe. And that is why it would be a mistake to dismiss them as the incoherent ravings of a madman. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
19 Mar 2019

New Zealand’s prime minister receives worldwide praise for her response to the mosque shootings

New Zealand has never experienced this kind of attack before, and it has shaken the country. Many have lauded Ardern’s response. She swiftly labeled the attacks “terrorism” and bluntly called an Australian lawmaker’s suggestion of a link between Muslim immigration and violence “a disgrace.” “Ardern’s performance has been extraordinary — and I believe she will be strongly lauded for it both domestically and internationally,” political commentator Bryce Edwards told Reuters. read the complete article


19 Mar 2019

French Islamophobia goes global

“I do not see why I would have inspired him.” That is how the French intellectual Renaud Camus reacted when asked about the terrorist who murdered 50 people last week in New Zealand. But the accused gunman’s manifesto, “The Great Replacement,” is an obvious reference to the eponymous book authored by Camus in 2012. The idea in the title has become a rallying cry among white supremacists in both the United States and Europe. The killer’s text — which refers to “the invasion of France by nonwhites” — is full of references to the idea that Islam and migrants are supposedly subverting the purity of the “European” identity. read the complete article

19 Mar 2019

Opinion | The Anatomy of White Terror

I always thought that Mr. Breivik was at his most dangerous before we got to know who he was, when all we had was the photoshopped photographs he had posted online, the ones where he looked tall and well-built, blond and Aryan, posing with his gun. Mr. Breivik wanted fame. He wanted his 1,500-page cut-and-paste manifesto to be read widely, and he wanted a stage — his trial in Oslo. He called the bomb he set off outside the prime minister’s office in Oslo, and the massacre he carried out on the island of Utoya, his “book launch.” He told the Norwegian court he had estimated how many people he needed to kill to be read. He had figured adozen, but ended up killing 77. Eight years after the massacre in Norway, the Norwegian political terrorist continues to be read by his desired audience: On far right forums on the internet the term “going Breivik” means a full commitment to the cause. read the complete article

19 Mar 2019

Facebook allows far-right group Britain First to set up new pages and buy adverts despite vow to combat extremism

Days after the social media giant was used to livestream the New Zealand terror attack, The Independent can reveal Facebook anti-Muslim leader Paul Golding set up two new platforms. One was functioning as Britain First’s official page and had more than 7,300 followers, with Golding posting pictures from a “Britain First defenders” training day and telling people to “pray for churches” in response to the Christchurch mosque shooting. He shared a link to a conspiracy theory claiming the alleged culprit Brenton Tarrant, a white supremacist who deliberately targeted Muslims, was “linked to left-wing groups”. The second page, called "authentic Paul Golding", was a personal profile but also named him as the leader of Britain First and linked users to the group's website. read the complete article

19 Mar 2019

The Tories Have Been Forced To Act Over Anti-Muslim Comments From 25 Activists On Facebook

Conservative HQ has been forced to act after another 25 self-identifying party members were found to have posted anti-Muslim comments on Facebook, in further evidence that the Tories face an anti-Muslim hate speech problem more widespread than senior politicians have admitted. The party said it had suspended members pending an investigation after BuzzFeed News presented evidence of anti-Muslim comments from people declaring themselves Tory activists on the “Jacob Rees-Mogg Supporters Group” Facebook page. One man who identified as a Conservative and posted a photo of himself campaigning for the party posted a comment about killing Muslims. “I was going through a few magazines the other day down at the local Mosque. I was really enjoying myself. Then the rifle jammed,” he wrote. read the complete article

19 Mar 2019

Opinion | Why was I asked to condemn Islamist violence days after Christchurch?

Less than two days after the horror of the massacre of 50 Muslims in two mosques in New Zealand, I was asked in an interview on the BBC news channel whether or not I think Muslim communities in the UK do enough to condemn Islamist extremism. Yet somehow it felt appropriate for the presenter to re-establishan order – of Muslims as the aggressor and never simply a worthy victim. Where is the dignity of the dead, of the grieving? The truth is that Muslim communities are not afforded the luxury of grieving in peace. To be able to do so would disrupt an intentionally constructed belief that is critical to western states to uphold state surveillance, barbaric immigration policies and the racist governments that are seeing a resurgence across the globe. This is the belief that Muslims are dangerous, undeserving and, ultimately, disposable. read the complete article

United States

19 Mar 2019

White supremacy is on the march, and Trump is at least partly to blame

Trump can deny, Conway can deflect and Mulvaney can repeat his line as often as he likes, but the president’s record speaks louder – much louder – than any of their words. Trump may try to evade the issue, but the fact remains that a dangerous and global white supremacy is on the march, and Trump himself is at least partly to blame. The New Zealand shooter directly applauded Trump in his own manifesto. In fact, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), far-right attacks in Europe have jumped 43% between 2016 and 2017. On the domestic front, the rise is even more disturbing. According to CSIS, the number of terrorist attacks by far-right perpetrators in the United States more than quadrupled between 2016 and 2017. read the complete article

19 Mar 2019

How Trump talks about attacks targeting Muslims vs. attacks by Muslims

The White House’s response to the New Zealand attack more broadly fits into a by-now expected pattern. When an apparent terrorist or hate attack has been committed by a Muslim, Trump is quick to draw attention to it. When it targets Muslims, however, Trump’s responses are slower and tonally different. That pattern itself helps bolster questions about Trump’s willingness to condemn violence against Muslims. We compiled some examples of this divide last year, but it’s worth revisiting in light of Trump’s current defensiveness. We’ve included major attacks during the 2016 campaign and individual attacks during Trump’s presidency. read the complete article

19 Mar 2019

Trump response to New Zealand massacre highlights his combative history with Muslims

In a broader planning meeting, administration officials briefly considered holding a roundtable featuring persecuted religious minorities — Muslims, as well as Christians and Jews — but the idea was scuttled when the group decided they couldn’t pull off such an event on short notice, a White House official said. By Monday morning the president had contorted himself into a victim of the tragedy, griping on Twitter: “The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand.” Trump’s tepid response to the New Zealand massacre has highlighted the president’s fraught and combative relationship with Islam and Muslims, which dates back at least to his campaign. Throughout his presidential bid and his presidency, Trump has made statements and enacted policies that many Muslim Americans and others find offensive and upsetting at best — and dangerous and Islamophobic at worst. read the complete article


19 Mar 2019

An Unholy Alliance: Monks and the Military in Myanmar

While the pillars of Buddhist teachings are love, compassion and peace, there is a very different variation to the philosophy being taught at the Ma Ba Tha monastery in Yangon's Insein township. The monks there are connected to one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, the systematic persecution and genocide of the Rohingya in Rakhine state. "The Rohingya Muslim people ... are discriminated against and treated like animals by the Buddhist people," says a Rohingya who asked to disclose his identity. Formed in 2012, ultra-nationalist monks organisation Ma Ba Tha - which translates to 'the protection of race and religion' - spearheaded most of the rhetoric that fueled anti-Muslim hatred in recent years. read the complete article


19 Mar 2019

The New Zealand shooter finds support in Islamophobic corners of China’s internet

Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old Australian gunman who carried out the deadly mosque shooting in New Zealand on Friday (March 15), said in his screed that “the nation with the closest political and social values” to his own is China, and that he admired “non-diverse” nations. One anonymous post (link in Chinese) on social network WeChat titled “The words on the New Zealand shooter’s guns reflect the deep anxiety of European white men”—a reference to the white supremacy markings on Tarrant’s rifles, and his grievances over Muslim immigration to western countries—has garnered at least 100,000 views at the time of writing, the maximum number of views on a post displayed by the platform. The piece lays blame on Christchurch officials for allowing the construction of mosques, and claimed this resulted in more Muslims coming to the city. It even alleged that the shooting was staged by left-wing politicians. read the complete article

19 Mar 2019

Millions of Muslims face Orwellian hell in China

The close monitoring of religious observance is also nothing new. The tools for that monitoring and oppression may have changed from secret police and informants, to surveillance cameras and internet tracking, but the fundamental oppression remains as strong and widespread as it ever was. But, even in that context, the treatment of the Uyghur Muslims of Xinjiang still has the capacity to shock. In August 2018, BBC journalist John Sweeney produced a remarkable 10-minute report on the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Before I watched it, I had never heard of Xinjiang province. Afterwards I could hardly get it out of my mind. read the complete article


19 Mar 2019

Fraser Anning doubles down on anti-Muslim comments

"Countries that allow large-scale immigration invariably have escalation in crime, violence and terrorist attacks. Now, as far as I'm concerned, that's just a statement of fact," Anning said. The senator issued a statement just hours after the terrorist attack, blaming New Zealand's immigration programme for the murders. "The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration programme which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place," read the statement. "While Muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators." read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 19 Mar 2019 Edition


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