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 2020

Today in Islamophobia: White supremacist groups surge in numbers as hate moves online, as a primary school teacher in the UK is banned after he calls Islam a “cancer of the world.” Our recommended read today is SPLC’s Year in Hate Report on the threat posed by white supremacy to an inclusive democracy in the U.S. This, and more, below:

United States

19 Mar 2020

The Year in Hate and Extremism 2019 | Recommended Read

In 2019, the third year of the Trump presidency, data gathered by the Intelligence Project of the SPLC documents a continued and rising threat to inclusive democracy: a surging white nationalist movement that has been linked to a series of racist and antisemitic terror attacks and has coincided with an increase in hate crime. The number of white nationalist groups identified by the SPLC rose for the second straight year, a 55 percent increase since 2017, when Donald Trump’s campaign energized white nationalists who saw him as an avatar of their grievances and their anxiety over the country’s demographic changes. White nationalism poses a serious threat to national security and pluralistic democracy. It’s a virulent and profoundly authoritarian ideology that infects our political system with hate, fear and resentment. As this report demonstrates, the threat of increased violence is very real. A growing sector of white supremacists, who call themselves “accelerationists,” believe mass violence is necessary to bring about the collapse of our pluralistic society. Like the year before, domestic terror attacks by white nationalists and other extremists, at home and abroad, delivered blow after blow in 2019. A synagogue in Poway, California. A rabbi’s home in a New York City suburb. A Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Beneath those headlines, underreported hate crimes added to the death toll and reinforced the climate of violence that threatens lives as well as the functioning of inclusive democracy. read the complete article

Recommended Read
19 Mar 2020

A Muslim candidate responded to a man's Islamophobic tweet by donating to his medical fund - and spurred a friendship

Qasim Rashid has spent much of his life fighting for and defending human rights, first as a lawyer, then as a spokesman for the the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. Oscar "Oz" Dillon held anti-Muslim views and often targeted his ire at Rashid, who's running for Congress in Dillon's district. The two were never supposed to find common ground, let alone form a friendship. But a small act of kindness led the two to meet -- and forced Dillon to examine his bias. "He has opened my eyes to a whole new world about Islam," Dillon told CNN. Dillon told CNN that he's held anti-Muslim views since the 9/11 attacks, so he was shocked that the Muslim candidate had treated him with such kindness. "The vitriol I put against him during his campaign last year ... that he would research me and reach out to me, it absolutely flabbergasted me," he said. read the complete article

19 Mar 2020

White nationalist groups surge as they move online: Report

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) report, titled, Year in Hate and Extremism, documents 155 active white nationalist hate groups, a 55 percent increase in such groups over 2018. Overall, the number of hate groups fell to 940 in 2019, down from a record high of 1,020 in 2018. Over half of this decline "was due to a drop in the number of neo-Nazi groups, as two main factions collapsed", the SPLC said. Lecia Brooks, SPLC spokesperson, said in a press call on Wednesday that the drop was a "marginal decline" as "surging white nationalist movements" continued as a "rising threat to our democracy". read the complete article

19 Mar 2020

How Social Distancing Could Lead to a Spike in White Nationalism

Anti-extremism experts are “quite concerned” about hateful rhetoric spiking in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — not just because of a rise in anti-Asian sentiment related to the virus, but also due to people in self-quarantine being more exposed to extremist movements online. During a call with reporters to discuss the findings of the annual Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) “Year in Hate” report, anti-extremism experts spoke at length about their concerns about violent white-nationalist rhetoric mounting in the midst of the pandemic, fueled in part by actions taken by the Trump administration. “We are seeing a huge uptick” in such rhetoric, said Eric Ward, executive director of the Western States Center. “A lot of it is happening on YouTube platforms and videos and others, at a time where much of the country is sheltering in place or practicing social distancing. Ironically, it will serve to give these individuals much more access [to an audience] than they would normally have.” “Certainly you’re beginning to see a rise of anti-Asian violence, but to be clear it is not happening in a vacuum,” he said. “We have an irresponsible president who is continuing to refer to COVID-19 as a Chinese virus. That is intentional, and in a time of great panic and fear that will only lead to physical violence being expressed. "We can fully anticipate to see a rise in anti-Asian violence in the U.S. unless our elected officials speak out very clearly that that type of rhetoric and behavior simply won’t be tolerated,” he added. read the complete article

United Kingdom

19 Mar 2020

Primary teacher banned from schools after he described Islam as ‘cancer of the world’

Philip Turner, 53, wrote “Islam is the cancer of the world. Cut it out!” online and shared some of his “unacceptable” views in the classroom, a teaching conduct panel heard. The Department for Education decided he had showed an “unacceptable lack of tolerance”, because of “sustained offensive posts promoting racial and religious hatred”. Mr Turner was sacked by Mary Elton Primary School in Clevedon in January 2019 after parents first raised concerns about his views the previous September. An investigation by the school discovered he described Islam as a “vile vile vile region” on Facebook and shared a posted article which contained a picture of a several Asian men, with the comment: “More child rapists – wonder what they have in common?” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 19 Mar 2020 Edition


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