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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23 Mar 2021

Today in Islamophobia: The U.S., the EU, and the UK and Canada impose sanctions on China for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, as members of the Calgary Muslim community call for local leaders to increase security efforts after a young Muslim girl is assaulted, and minority community leaders in Sri Lanka urge the UN to consider discrimination faced by their community in advance of a key vote. Our recommended read today is by Daniela De Lorenzo on the anniversary of the March 22 suicide bombing attacks of 2016 at the Brussels Zaventem airport. This and more below.


22 Mar 2021

2016 Brussels attacks: On anniversary, Muslims remain stigmatized

Five years ago, on the morning of March 22, 2016, three coordinated suicide bombings hit Brussels, killing 32 people and injuring more than 300 others. The attacks at the Zaventem airport and the Maelbeek metro station were claimed by ISIL (ISIS). “I spent the day as a zombie,” said Mustapha Chairi, head of the Belgian Centre against Islamophobia (CCIB). “I just took the metro prior to the one that exploded.” Chairi suddenly felt powerless as he foresaw the consequences the bombings would have on Belgium’s Muslim minority, having observed the aftermath of the deadly violence at the Bataclan in Paris, France, on November 13, 2015. There are about some 575,000 Muslims in Belgium, about 5 percent of the population. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day


22 Mar 2021

West sanctions China over Xinjiang abuses, Beijing hits back at EU

The United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada imposed sanctions on Chinese officials on Monday for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the first such coordinated Western action against Beijing under new U.S. President Joe Biden. Beijing hit back immediately with punitive measures against the EU that appeared broader, including European lawmakers, diplomats, institutes and families, and banning their businesses from trading with China. Western governments are seeking to hold Beijing accountable for mass detentions of Muslim Uighurs in northwestern China, where the United States says China is committing genocide. read the complete article

23 Mar 2021

Yemeni drone strike victims take their case to Germany’s highest court

Two Yemeni men whose relatives were killed in a US drone strike have filed a complaint with Germany’s highest court in the case Bin Ali Jaber v. Germany. The case deals with Germany’s responsibility to protect the bin Ali Jaber family from further attacks involving the US Ramstein Air Base. Salem and Waleed bin Ali Jaber were killed by missiles fired from a US drone in August 2012. Salem was an imam, and had preached against Al-Qaeda just days earlier. His nephew Waleed was a  policeman. To this day, the US has never formally acknowledged the strike. read the complete article

23 Mar 2021

Australia and New Zealand welcome sanctions on China over Uighur abuses but impose none of their own

Australia and New Zealand have raised “grave concerns” about human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang region, citing “the growing number of credible reports” of severe violations. But while both countries have welcomed new coordinated sanctions announced by the UK, US, the EU and Canada, they have not announced any such measures of their own. The Guardian understands this is because Australia and New Zealand lack Magnitsky-style laws that would allow the swift rollout of targeted sanctions against individuals for human rights abuses – but the Morrison government is expected to table draft legislation later this year. read the complete article

United States

22 Mar 2021

CAIR-NJ Joins Coalition in Solidarity with Rutgers Professor Attacked by Far Right-Wing Indian Nationalists

The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today co-signed a joint letter, titled “Malicious campaign of intimidation against Dr. Audrey Truschke, associate professor,” expressing solidarity with Rutgers professor Audrey Truschke.Earlier this month, Truschke, who has previously been attacked by members of the Hindu right several times in the last few years for her research on medieval India, said she had been facing an “avalanche of hate speech, anti-Muslim sentiments, misogyny, violent threats, things endangering my family (yes, I have to leave that vague for safety reasons), and aggression towards my students.” read the complete article


22 Mar 2021

'Whole community is horrified': Time for leaders to act after Muslim girl beaten, hijab ripped, community members say

Members of Calgary’s Muslim community are calling on local politicians and police to increase efforts to ensure the safety of racialized and religiously diverse residents after a girl was beaten and her hijab torn while walking in Prince’s Island Park on Sunday. The attack happened around 1:30 p.m. when two girls, both under the age of 16, were walking along the pathway in the park. Calgary police said a woman approached them and became confrontational, prompting them to begin walking away. 8The suspect followed the girls and yelled racial slurs, before pushing one of them, tearing her hijab, punching her face and kicking her stomach. Two men believed to have been with the suspect at the park came to stop the attack. read the complete article


22 Mar 2021

France sees wave of protests amid Islamophobia, police bill

Protests continue in France, where the government has been criticized for both its Islamophobic bill that is widely seen as a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities as well as a police law, slammed earlier for restricting the public circulation of images of police violence. "The French government has targeted Muslims, even Islam, and is interfering with Islamic practices. This is too much. We condemn the (government's) colonialist and neo-colonial approach,” Omar Slaouti, the organizer of the demonstration, told Anadolu Agency (AA). Slaouti said the protests will continue against the so-called "separatism” bill. Speaking on the French government's aims with the controversial bill, he said: "There are two strategies. The first one is that there are economic, social, health and environmental crises, however, (French President Emmanuel Macron) cannot find a solution for them. On the contrary, he deepens the social inequalities.” Noting that Macron directs rage at one group of society, he said the president's second strategy is making the rich richer. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

22 Mar 2021

Sri Lanka minorities warn Muslim nations ahead of UNHRC vote

Minority community leaders in Sri Lanka have urged the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) members to consider the discrimination faced by minorities on the island nation ahead of a key vote on its human rights record. The warning comes as the UN’s top rights body prepares to vote on Tuesday on a draft resolution expressing “serious concern” over the “deteriorating” human rights situation in the country. Sri Lanka’s government has faced a slew of criticism from rights groups and regional governments over alleged discrimination against its minority Muslim population. In particular, Sri Lanka’s decision last year to mandate that all victims of COVID-19 should be cremated sparked a backlash, with international human rights groups and UN rights experts condemning the move.  read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 23 Mar 2021 Edition


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