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.

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02 Mar 2020

Today in Islamophobia: After violent riots in Delhi leave hundreds injured and at least 42, thousands march in Bangladesh and across U.S cities to condemn the violence. In the U.K, the Tory party suspends a fresh group of members over online Islamophobia. A new report on China alleges Uighurs are being mass transferred from Xinjiang to work in factories across the country. Our recommended read today is by Mira Kamdar titled “What Happened in Delhi was a Pogrom.” This, and more, below


02 Mar 2020

What Happened in Delhi Was a Pogrom | Recommended Read

The violence echoed that of 2002, when Modi was chief minister of Gujarat and authorities there did nothing to stem carnage that killed some 1,000 people, the majority of them Muslims. It also brought back memories of the revenge killings of at least 3,000 Sikhs in Delhi after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards in 1984. In all these cases, mobs targeting a single religious group were allowed to run riot, unchecked by police. This is the definition of a pogrom. More than an echo of the past, the recent violence in Delhi is a lesson aimed at Indian citizens who, since December, have dared to resist the transformation of the secular Republic of India into a Hindu state, a transformation accelerated by Modi’s reelection last May. The message from the BJP is clear: Elect whomever you like. We are still in power. Call the police; they work for us. Appeal to the courts; we’ll neutralize any judges who don’t toe our line. Continue to dissent, and we will set the mob on you. read the complete article

Recommended Read
02 Mar 2020

'What do we do now?': Delhi carnage survivors recount horror

The death toll has risen to 42 people in the worst religious violence to have hit Delhi since 1984, when more than 3,000 members of the Sikh community were killed by a Hindu mob following the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Dr Anwar says he has not slept more than five hours a day since Monday. He accused the police of inaction and blamed hate speech by ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra for the violence. The doctor, assisted by his three brothers, worked through the night to ensure the injured were given necessary medical aid. He says the situation worsened the following night, Tuesday, as the number of injured increased. "On February 25 ... it was like nothing that I had witnessed before. Even our doctors and nursing staff started crying after looking at the injuries of the victims," he said, adding that most people were brought in with bullet, pellet or stab wounds. Dr Anwar says many of the seriously injured needed to be moved to bigger hospitals but the mob had blocked the ambulances' path. "Even in war zones, the army creates a safe zone for the passage of ambulances but here they weren’t even allowing those," Dr Anwar told Al Jazeera. Most people Al Jazeera spoke to in the violence-affected areas, including Hindus, blamed Mishra, the BJP leader, for disturbing the peace in the region. read the complete article

02 Mar 2020

The violence in Delhi is not a ‘riot’. It is targeted anti-Muslim brutality

Journalists and politicians have talked of “rioting” and “communal violence”. That’s no more accurate than describing the attack on Notting Hill’s black residents as a “riot”. What Delhi witnessed over the past week is the Indian equivalent of “n*gger hunting”, targeted violence against Muslims, led by mobs of Hindu nationalists, mainly supporters of the BJP, India’s governing party, many chanting “Jai Shri Ram” (“glory to Lord Rama”) and “Hinduon ka Hindustan” (India for Hindus). Hindus, too, have been attacked and their houses burnt. This has led some to portray the events in Delhi as general lawlessness, even primarily as Muslim violence. In 1958, many West Indians armed themselves with bricks and bats, some ganged up looking for whites to attack. That did not detract from it being a racist assault on local blacks. Nor does the fact that Muslims in Delhi have also responded with violence diminish the Hindu chauvinism and anti-Muslim hostility that lies at the heart of the “riots”. The BJP is driven by the ideology of “Hindutva”, or “Hinduness”, seeing the Hindu way of life as the only authentic model for India. All of India’s Muslims should have been packed off to Pakistan at partition, a government minister, Giriraj Singh, said last month. read the complete article

02 Mar 2020

Inside Delhi: beaten, lynched and burnt alive

“The blows kept raining on my head, hands and back,” said Zubair, 37. “I did not ask them to stop beating me. I became silent, tried to hold my breath and stiffen my body.” As he spoke, tears rolled down his face. “First I asked, ‘Why are you attacking me? What wrong have I done?’ But they did not listen to my words and went on hitting me from all sides. They were shouting maro shaale mulleko [kill the bastard Muslim] and jai Sri Ram [a Hindu nationalist slogan]. There were many other men who stood by who did not come to save me.” The photo of Zubair being ruthlessly beaten in broad daylight in the streets of Delhi by a mob of young Hindu men was one of the most shocking images of the brutal religious riots that engulfed Delhi, where Hindus were pitted against Muslims, thousands were injured and 43 people killed. read the complete article

02 Mar 2020

Why Was There a Wave of Violence in India While Trump Was Visiting?

The violence began on Sunday, one day before President Donald Trump arrived there on his first state visit to India. The conflict that led to the riots centers on a new citizenship law championed by the Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi and passed by India’s Parliament in December, which is viewed as discriminatory toward Muslims. The precipitating event for this week’s chaos was a rally held in New Delhi by Kapil Mishra, an MP from the Hindu nationalist BJP party, in support of the law. The Hindu-nationalist movement under Modi cannot be understood outside the unique context of the Indian subcontinent: its historical domination by various empires, culminating in the British Raj; the trauma of partition; and the resulting, unresolved conflict between India and Pakistan, with its deep religious overtones. At the same time, however, Modi is striking in his similarity to other nationalists who have come to power around the world over the past decade. Compare the BJP’s rhetoric about Muslim infiltrators to the way the European fa -right talks about Middle Eastern refugees, or the way Trump and his supporters talk about Mexicans — or Muslims, or immigrants in general. Infiltration, cultural dilution, replacement theory: These xenophobic concepts are a universal language among right-wing nationalists today, be they Indian, Russian, Chinese, German, or American. The intersection of religion and national identity is another touchstone of this global movement, which invokes a dire cultural threat from religious minorities, particularly Muslims, while espousing a vision of “religious freedom” that really means the freedom of the religious majority to impose its values on society. read the complete article

02 Mar 2020

While Muslims are being murdered in India, the rest of the world is too slow to condemn

On 23 February 2020 in Delhi, Hindu nationalist mobs roamed the streets burning and looting mosques together with Muslim homes, shops and businesses. They killed or burned alive Muslims who could not escape and the victims were largely unprotected by the police. At least 37 people, almost all Muslims, were killed and many others beaten half to death: a two-year-old baby was stripped by a gang to see if he was circumcised – as Muslims usually are, but Hindus are not. Some Muslim women pretended to be Hindus in order to escape. Government complicity was not as direct as in Germany 82 years earlier, but activists of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, were reported as being in the forefront of the attacks on Muslims. A video was published showing Muslim men, covered in blood from beatings, being forced to lie on the ground by police officers and compelled to sing patriotic songs. Modi said nothing for several days and then made a vague appeal for “peace and brotherhood”. The rest of the world has been slow to grasp the gravity of what is happening in India because the Modi government has played down its project to shift India away from its previous status as a pluralistic secular state. The sheer number of people negatively affected by this change is gigantic: if the Muslim minority in India was a separate country then it would be eighth largest state in the world by population. read the complete article


02 Mar 2020

Uyghurs for sale

The ‘re-education’ campaign appears to be entering a new phase, as government officials now claim that all ‘trainees’ have ‘graduated’.15 There is mounting evidence that many Uyghurs are now being forced to work in factories within Xinjiang.16 This report reveals that Chinese factories outside Xinjiang are also sourcing Uyghur workers under a revived, exploitative government-led labour transfer scheme.17 Some factories appear to be using Uyghur workers sent directly from ‘re-education camps’. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) has identified 27 factories in nine Chinese provinces that are using Uyghur labour transferred from Xinjiang since 2017. Those factories claim to be part of the supply chain of 83 well-known global brands.18 Between 2017 and 2019, we estimate that at least 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang and assigned to factories through labour transfer programs under a central government policy known as ‘Xinjiang Aid.’ read the complete article

02 Mar 2020

Apple, Nike and other major companies implicated in Muslim forced labour in China

Drawing upon open-source Chinese language documentation, satellite imagery, media reporting and academic research, the report entitled Uyghurs for Sale identifies some 83 well-known consumer brands linked to factories where Muslim minorities are thought to be working in forced labour conditions across China. It reports that 80,000 Uyghur workers were transferred out of Xinjiang between 2017 and 2019, claiming that people are being effectively "bought" and "sold" by local governments and commercial brokers. The ASPI report claims that "Uyghur workers are often transported across China in special segregated trains" and that authorities and factory bosses continue to closely monitor them. "The goal of these labour transfers are political," said Ms Xu, primarily aimed at "stripping [Uyghurs] of their unique culture and identity". "At these factories, they continue to undergo organised Mandarin studies and indoctrination programs." read the complete article


02 Mar 2020

Rohingya crisis: Refugees afraid to return home to Myanmar

Rohingya who fled a campaign of violence against them in Myanmar remain fearful of returning home, despite the government saying it is now ready to receive them. Al Jazeera's Tanvir Chowdhury reports from Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. read the complete article

United Kingdom

02 Mar 2020

Prevent: Muslim 'support' for 'toxic' anti-extremism scheme

Criminal justice think tank Crest Advisory says its research shows the "narrative" the scheme is a "toxic brand" is "fundamentally flawed". UK Muslims would be more likely to tip off the scheme when someone was being radicalised than the wider public. The survey showed that many of those questioned had not heard of Prevent before - amounting to 55% of Muslims and 68% of the general population. But when offered "a neutral explanation" of Prevent, 80% of British Muslims and 85% of the wider public offered broad support for it, Crest Advisory says. Some 67% of British Muslims surveyed said they would tip off the authorities about someone being radicalised, compared with 63% of the wider public. But the Muslim Council of Britain said Prevent still needed to be overhauled. read the complete article

02 Mar 2020

Tory Party suspends fresh group of members over dossier of online Islamophobia

A number of Tory members have been suspended after a racism report alleged more than 20 party members - including six serving councillors - made Islamophobic comments online. A dossier compiled by Hope Not Hate detailed incidents including a councillor in Hampshire who warned of a "dangerous Muslim agenda for world domination in the name of Allah". A fellow councillor in Nottinghamshire said that mosques were "culpable" for terrorist attacks. A Tory spokeswoman today confirmed "all those found to be party members" have been suspended - but once again refused to say how exactly many there were. read the complete article


02 Mar 2020

Trump is enabling Modi's Islamophobia in India. But so are many Indian Americans.

As the violence raged on, we heard not a word from the president of the United States. But he is not the only one staying oddly silent despite the atrocities playing out literally before our eyes. Too many Indian American immigrants are also turning a blind eye to the domestic terrorism in India because they are uncomfortable with and ashamed of the realities of their country. As a first-generation, Indian American immigrant myself, I watch what is happening both in my home and the homes of many of my family members with frustration — and yet the Indian diaspora remains largely silent. Where is the outrage? I recognize the struggle and the fear of appearing “too American” or “too Westernized.” And I recognize the desire to want to connect with our homeland and its heritage. We, as immigrants, hold a double identity that we constantly battle to balance. So many of us want to believe in the best of our homeland and want to stay loyal to its values and traditions. But being ashamed of our country’s actions is not the same as being ashamed of our culture or heritage. Publicly denouncing Trump's and Modi’s actions do not equate to having “whitewashed,” Americanized views. Rather, it equates to believing in intersectional human rights. Modi is anti-Muslim. His actions, his words and his agenda show this. read the complete article

02 Mar 2020

Hundreds rally in US cities against anti-Muslim violence in Delhi

Outside the Indian consulate in New York on Friday evening, protesters gathered chanting "Shame!" at officials as they tried to exit or enter the building. "We are exhausted," Sana Qutubuddin, an activist with Alliance for Justice and Accountability - a coalition of South Asian groups that organised Friday's rally alongside the Indian American Muslim Council, South Asia Solidarity Initiative, and Equality Labs - said during her speech at the rally. Other civil society organisations such as the Alliance for South Asians Taking Action, Chicago Against Hindu Fascism and Bay Area Against Hindu Fascism also protested against the worst violence in Delhi since 1984, when more than 3,000 Sikh minority were killed following the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Organisers estimated nearly 300 people turned up at the New York rally where they chanted slogans to repeal the CAA, and highlight the current BJP government's "fascist" ideologies that target lower-caste Hindus and other religious minorities. read the complete article

02 Mar 2020

Thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims Protest India Violence

Several thousand Muslims marched from the main mosque in Bangladesh's capital on Friday to denounce India's government for allegedly inflaming tensions between Hindus and Muslims, leading to clashes that left at least 40 dead and hundreds injured. They threw shows at posters of Modi and burned a portrait of him. Many of the protesters carried banners saying, “Stop killing Muslims” and “Save Indian Muslims.” The protesters also demanded that Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cancel a plan to invite Modi to a commemoration next month of the 100th anniversary of the birth of independence leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. read the complete article


02 Mar 2020

Muslims and the secular city: How right-wing populists shape the French debate over Islam

To understand the relationship between right-wing populists and Islam in France requires keeping in mind three key historical pillars: the Republic’s attitude toward religion of any kind, colonialism and decolonization, and France’s history of anti-Semitism, including its role in the Second World War. The roots of the French far-right can be traced directly back to the French Revolution — and more specifically to the counter-revolution. The immediate aftermath of 1789 saw the first stirrings of a deeply conservative counter-movement drawing on reactionary Catholicism, nationalism, and demands for strong centralized order in the face of the chaos brought about by the revolution’s egalitarian ideals. Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter, Marine Le Pen, are heirs to these traditions. Jean-Marie Le Pen reappeared on the political scene in 1972 in order to bring together the disparate strands of the far-right: traditional counter-revolutionaries, anti-Semites, anti-communists, ultra-conservative Catholics,[14] revisionists, colonialists, anti-Gaullists, violent nationalists, and straggling neo-Nazis and neo-Fascists. Jean-Marie Le Pen soon realized that there were diminishing returns in the overt quasi-biological racism of the traditional far-right. And so he decided to move his party toward a racism (sometimes referred to as “differential racism”) rooted in cultural, rather than biological difference. This evolution was in part facilitated by the work in France of a more intellectual far-right current — the New Right, which gained prominence in the 1970s and 1980s through the work of Groupement de Recherche et d’Etude pour une Civilisation Européenne (Group for the Study and Research of a European Civilisation), known as GRECE.[16] GRECE presented the more powerful FN with the possibility of a civilizational “European story,” from which it has since continually drawn, as it began its reinvention into a party ostensibly defending Europe’s Enlightenment values. read the complete article

United States

02 Mar 2020

Mike Bloomberg Doubles Down On Anti-Muslim Policy Like Too Many Leaders Before Him

“Did you think it was necessary to single out Muslim Americans in that way and would you do that as president?” asked “PBS NewsHour” anchor Judy Woodruff. “There’s no question about where the terrible people ― who committed the terrible atrocities of the three airplane crashes and all the people getting killed ― where they came from, so it was the natural place to go,” Bloomberg responded. For nearly two decades, government agencies locally and nationally have implemented policies, like the New York Police Department’s surveillance program, that targeted Muslims under the guise of national security. They’ve produced no significant gains while severely undermining Muslim Americans’ civil rights. “When politicians are not held accountable for their policies and legislation that negatively impacts marginalized communities, we only continue to see the progression of those types of policies,” said Hoda Hawa, director of the Washington, D.C., office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Despite numerous calls by advocacy groups for Bloomberg to apologize and condemn the police surveillance program, the billionaire stood his ground in the PBS interview and even went on to say that spying on American Muslims was “a natural place to go.” read the complete article


02 Mar 2020

Germany's Seehofer touts expert panel on Islamophobia after Hanau killings

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced on Saturday the creation of an "independent expert group on Islamophobia" (Muslimfeindlichkeit), saying it would emulate current ministerial panels on anti-Semitism and antiziganism, meaning hostility toward Jewish and Roma communities respectively. His call follows a charge on Thursday by a federal migrant network that Germany exercises "massive structural discrimination" and "structural racism" towards 19 million of its residents, or 23% of the population, who are statistically seen as having "migrant backgrounds" but who have long been at home in the republic. The Interior Ministry said the new panel would convene for years and make recommendations on how to tackle anti-Muslim hatred and the marginalization of Muslims amid persistent far-right intimidation. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 02 Mar 2020 Edition


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