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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20 Mar 2019

Today in IslamophobiaReports emerge of America’s largest Christian charity funneling millions to hate groups, an imam is spat at while leaving a mosque in London. An op-ed takes on Murdoch’s Islamophobic media empire, another engages the dangerous normalization of anti- Muslim hatred. Our recommended read of the day is by Todd Green titled “Why don’t Muslims condemn terrorism?” This, and more, below:

United States

20 Mar 2019

Opinion | “Why Don’t Muslims Condemn Terrorism?”: Western Violence and Scapegoating in an Age of Islamophobia | Recommended Read

Obama decided to take a two-sentence detour to remind his audience that violence in the name of religion was not something limited to Islam. "And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.[1]" Obama’s remarks drew swift condemnation from religious leaders, politicians, and journalists. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention labeled Obama’s comments “an unfortunate attempt at a wrongheaded moral comparison.”[2] Jim Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia, called Obama’s comments “the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime.”[3] Rick Santorum, a GOP presidential hopeful at the time, insisted that Obama’s remarks were “insulting to every person of faith,” while his fellow GOP contender, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, mockingly retorted that the “medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President.”[4] What did Obama do that was so bad? He talked about the wrong kind of violence. He talked about white Christian violence. He talked about the sins of the fathers. He didn’t talk about this for long. He devoted a whopping twenty-four seconds to this topic in a twenty-four minute speech. But it was clear that it was twenty-four seconds too many. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
20 Mar 2019

America’s Biggest Christian Charity Funnels Tens of Millions to Hate Groups

According to the three most recent available tax filings—which cover 2015-17, The National Christian Foundation, the country's 8th largest public charity, has donated $56.1 million on behalf of its clients to 23 nonprofits identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups. The far-right evangelical National Christian Foundation (NCF), which offers Christian donors “expert guidance and creative giving solutions,” is the fourth-largest donor-advised fund by 2017 revenue in the U.S., having raised over $1.5 billion that year. Such funds offer individual accounts to their clients, allowing clients to get immediate tax breaks on donations to these accounts and to direct NCF to disperse the money to the nonprofits of their choice, mostly churches and other Christian nonprofits, at their own pace. Clients donate through donor-advised funds anonymously, so even the Internal Revenue Service won’t know their identities. read the complete article

20 Mar 2019

Top Interior Press Secretary Spouted Islamophobia, Climate Denial In 2017 Podcast

Faith Vander Voort, the newly promoted top spokeswoman at the Interior Department, voiced support for more surveillance of Muslim communities and argued that attacks by radical self-proclaimed Muslim groups pose a far bigger threat to society than climate change during a 2017 interview full of Islamophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric. The comments were made during a June 8, 2017, episode of “The Word,” a podcast of the now-defunct right-wing news outlet The Daily Nerv. Vander Voort co-founded The Daily Nerv in early 2017, about a year before she joined the Trump administration, and briefly co-produced and co-hosted the podcast, according to her resume on Interior’s website. read the complete article

20 Mar 2019

Opinion | Stephen Colbert: 'The president is anti-Muslim'

In the wake of the tragedy, President Trump asked New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, how the US could offer support. She requested “sympathy and love for all Muslim communities”. Unfortunately, “that’s not really Trump’s brand,” Colbert commented. “He’s in a bind,” he added. “On the one hand, after a terror attack to condemn the extremist ideology of the terrorist should be a slam dunk. On the other hand, he can’t jump.” A compounding issue: Trump “never, ever condemns the racists”. Colbert then launched into a laundry list of Trump’s most egregiously racist comments: after Charlottesville, he said there were fine people on both sides; his first campaign speech called Mexicans rapists and murderers; he called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries”; he complained that we don’t get enough immigrants from Norway; he said a Mexican judge couldn’t be fair in a case against him; he equivocated over disavowing David Duke and “he calls himself a nationalist”. “I’m just saying,” Colbert concluded, “if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then why does it keep goose-stepping?” read the complete article

20 Mar 2019

Opinion | Your little Muslim neighbor needs love after Christchurch

Recently, Muslim children across the world asked, “Why did this happen to us?” Today, I implore Minnesotans to express love and empathy for their young Muslim neighbors to ensure that this vulnerable group understands they are not alone. This generation of Muslim children is coming of age at a time when their religion has been portrayed to be antithetical to being American. These children have listened to news of a Muslim Ban, they have lived through the murders of Deah, Yusorand Razan in Chapel Hill, N.C., and they have seen full-throated bigotry on the campaign trail. And the recent events in Christchurch represent an inconceivable escalation of anti-Muslim attitudes. If these children don’t feel accepted in their community, what will they do? read the complete article


20 Mar 2019

When China Convinced the U.S. That Uighurs Were Waging Jihad

They arrived at the American detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba—where, as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put it, the “worst of the worst” would be held—a few months after 9/11, directly from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. There were 22 of them, all men, all of them Muslim, bearded, ranging in age from their early 20s to their mid-40s. But there was something different about these detainees: All were members of China’s Uighur minority, a Turkic group chafing under Beijing’s tight control of their ancestral home in Xinjiang, northwest China. Yet, despite the lack of evidence against them, the Bush administration for years resisted legal efforts to free these Uighur prisoners, some of them remaining among “the worst of the worst” for 12 years, until, finally, they were released. The Uighur community is now in the news again, albeit in a very different way—as victims of what is widely regarded as China's worst human-rights violation since the days of Mao Zedong. Reports filtering out of the country over the past few months indicate that a million or more Uighurs have been locked up in “transformation through education centers,” which are basically concentration camps constructed in various parts of Xinjiang. Detaining the Uighurs is part of China’s long-term effort, stretching back decades, to impose its will on the region and combat what it calls “Uighur terrorism.” read the complete article


20 Mar 2019

Rupert Murdoch's Islamophobic media empire

A new study of six Murdoch-owned newspapers in Australia reveals that on average eight negative stories appeared about Islam or Muslims per day - and that's just a tiny fraction of the billionaire's global media empire. “Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible,” media mogul and Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch tweeted in 2015. If one sentence, from just one individual, could encapsulate why and how right-wing terrorism has replaced “jihadist” violence as the Western world’s number one security threat, then this passage from the man who has absolute control over how a majority of Australians, British, and Americans are fed their daily news, is it. Murdoch media empire’s ubiquitous and round-the-clock dissemination of racist, nativist, hyper-nationalist, conspiratorial and counter-factual propaganda and misinformation threatens the foundations of democracy. There’s no Brexit vote without Murdoch. There’s no Trump without Murdoch. Australia wouldn’t have had an absurd total of 7 prime ministers in 10 years without Murdoch, and the killer of 51 Muslims in New Zealand would have had less inspiration without Murdoch owned media outlets. These outlets have sought to profit from promoting hate and fear of Islam and Muslims. read the complete article

20 Mar 2019

Opinion | For Muslim People

As critical race scholars committed to the centering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty and race critical thinking in our work, the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association stands with Muslim people everywhere. We recognise that Islamophobia in Australia cannot be fought without grounding it in a relational understanding of the racial-colonial that sets specific forms of racial rule within the context of the persistent negative impact of colonisation on First Nations people. We applaud the solidarity actions by First Nations people with Muslim people, while recognising that there are many Muslim people who are also Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. read the complete article

New Zealand

20 Mar 2019

The New Zealand Shooting Victims Spanned Generations and Nationalities

One was a dairy farmer. Another aspired to be a pilot. One was an elder known for helping newcomers. Another was a teenager who called his mother when the shooting started. The 50 people slaughtered by a gunman at two Christchurch mosques last week spanned a range of backgrounds. Here is what we know about many of them: read the complete article

20 Mar 2019

Muslims Praise New Zealand Prime Minister For Her Empathy, Actions After Attack

American Muslims are praising New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s response to last week’s mosque massacre ― and pointing out how Ardern’s words and actions sharply contrast with the way President Donald Trump has responded to white supremacists in the past. Ardern wasted no time in condemning the shootings as “terrorist attack” on Friday. She visited Christchurch’s Muslim and refugee community the next day, wearing a black headscarf over her hair and conveying a message of “love and support” on behalf of her country. Ardern listened to families’ concerns that some loved ones’ bodies have not yet been released by authorities ― even though Islamic tradition compels bodies to be buried within 24 hours of death. On Sunday, Ardern pledged that all victims’ bodies will be returned to families by Wednesday. Ardern also made it clear that Christchurch survivors will be able to take advantage of government programs that provide funeral grants to citizens and visitors who are injured in an accident in the country. Since many of the victims of the shooting were their families’ breadwinners, she said the government would provide financial assistance to survivors left without income, according toThe New York Times. read the complete article

United Kingdom

20 Mar 2019

Opinion | t is now beyond question that the Tory party is institutionally Islamophobic

The first of these concerns last night’s very troubling revelation by Buzzfeed News that people claiming to be Tory party members have made a series of toxic Islamophobic comments. The worst of these comments, which comes from something called the "Jacob Rees-Mogg Supporters Group" Facebook page, concerns killing Muslims. The Tory party says that it has suspended a number of Tory members after an investigation. They will not say how many. To be fair to the Conservative Party, at this stage nobody knows much about the bigots concerned and it would be wrong to jump to any conclusions. The second scandal is potentially even more serious. It concerns the Tory chairman Brandon Lewis and accusations that he has deliberately misled the public about the extent of Tory Islamophobia. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 20 Mar 2019 Edition


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