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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24 Mar 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Coronavirus “forced cremations” sparks concern amongst Muslim and Jewish communities in the UK. In the U.S, the government targets supply chains linked to forced labor in Xinjiang, China. Our recommended read today is by Darren Jian on Georgetown University faculty and students speaking up against India’s anti-Muslim legislations. This, and more, below:


24 Mar 2020

South Asian Students, Faculty Condemn Indian Citizenship Bill And Anti-Muslim Violence | Recommended Read

Students chalked Red Square on March 5 with messages denouncing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and anti-Muslim violence in India. Anika Venkatesh (SFS’22), who grew up in Mumbai, argued that the two laws were crafted to disproportionately target Muslims. “Who is left over? Muslims. So who’s rendered stateless? Muslims,” she said. Students from India broadly condemned the anti-Muslim violence in Delhi and expressed skepticism about the CAA and NRC. Part of the reason why the CAA and NRC are so harmful is the legacy of colonialism, according to Associate Professor Shareen Joshi, who teaches international development in the School of Foreign Service. She explained that millions of Muslims live in Indian states with historically unclear borders and citizenship laws and would be disproportionately targeted by a national registry. “In districts that share boundaries with Pakistan or Bangladesh, there are large numbers of Muslims who may not have the requisite paperwork to prove that they were born in modern-day India,” she said. Mubbashir Rizvi, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology who grew up in Pakistan, argued that the Indian government is using the CAA to disenfranchise Muslims and implement a form of extreme Hindu nationalism called Hindutva. “This goes to the heart of the larger project of Hindutva, which is to create India as exclusively a state for a Hindu and upper-caste normative idea of nationalism,” he said. read the complete article

Recommended Read
24 Mar 2020

Riz Ahmed's 'The Long Goodbye' and Why I'm Breaking up with my Indian Identity

I write it in awe of how Riz Ahmed has encapsulated the rampant Islamophobia being faced by Muslims, especially in post-Brexit and Johnson-governed Britain, in his latest project The Long Goodbye. Ahmed released The Long Goodbye on March 6 this year in three parts: a short film, a 15-track album, and an upcoming live stage show to be performed in the UK and US. The album charts Ahmed’s allegorical breakup with Britain, reimagined as a person named Britney, and tells a deeply personal story of the end of an abusive relationship through a combination of songs and voice messages from key Muslim and South Asian figures like Hasan Minhaj, Mahershala Ali, Mindy Kaling, and even Ahmed’s mother. In a recent BBC interview, Ahmed made it a point to stress that the project is personal rather than political, with the intent to inform and educate people who are privileged enough not to face systemic Islamophobia-rooted racism. What Ahmed has really done, for me, is inadvertently echo the feelings of conflict in identity for a South Asian, specifically Indian, millennial from the diaspora and the challenge in understanding my place in the geopolitical mess of a world we live in. The outcome of the CAA, and the actions of the Modi-Shah government in general, have made me question my relationship with India and dissociate from my Indian identity entirely. read the complete article

24 Mar 2020

U.S. Government Targets Supply Chains Linked to Forced Labor in Xinjiang, China

On March 11, 2020, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (“CECC”) announced new proposed legislation, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, co-sponsored by the chairs of the CECC, Rep. Jim McGovern (D – MA) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R – FL), targeting supply chains linked to forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would establish a rebuttable presumption that all labor occurring in Xinjiang, China, or by persons anywhere in China who are involved with the “re-education through labor” program targeting Chinese Turkic Muslims constitutes forced labor within the meaning of the U.S. forced labor import ban, 19 U.S.C. § 1307. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would also impose sanctions, require reporting and strategic guidance on policy concerns from the Secretary of State, and impose an SEC disclosure requirement addressed to the commercial engagement of U.S. publicly-traded companies with individuals or entities in Xinjiang, China. If the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act is enacted, any U.S. imports which originated to any degree in Xinjiang, China, or which were produced by Chinese suppliers that have participated in a labor pairing program offering subsidized employment opportunities for participants in the re-education through labor program, will be presumptively subject to denial of entry into the United States. Whether or not the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act is enacted, CBP is very likely to engage in additional forced labor enforcement activity which could impact a broad range of goods imported from China. read the complete article

United Kingdom

24 Mar 2020

Coronavirus 'forced cremation' fear sparks concern among city Muslim and Jewish communities

Muslim and Jewish representatives in Birmingham and the Black Country are lobbying the Government to amend today’s Emergency Coronavirus Bill amid fears that families will be forced to cremate their dead. There is “huge fear” that families could be told their loved ones will be cremated as part of the emergency response to the pandemic - going against strongly held faith beliefs. City MPs, faith leaders, mosques and the Islamic lobbying organisation MEND - Muslim Engagement and Development - are urging a rethink to ensure the wishes of religious groups will be upheld. Today's Bill (Monday March 23) is designed to deal with a potential surge in deaths and lack of grave space, allowing local authorities to ignore existing law and force cremation if necessary. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 24 Mar 2020 Edition


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