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 2021

Today in Islamophobia: The UK braces for retaliation from China over its economic sanctions of state leadership in response to human rights abuses of Uighur Muslims, as Sri Lankan women petition their government against a proposed ban on niqabs and burqas, and in Bangladesh, hundreds are missing after a devastating fire at the countries Rohingya refugee camps. Our recommended read today is by Mohammed al-Ameri on how U.S. drone strikes devastated his family and why the policy needs to change. This and more below:


23 Mar 2021

U.S. Missiles Killed My Family. America's Drone Policy Needs a Reset | Opinion

My village was the target of former President Donald Trump's first act as president—a nighttime raid he called a "winning mission" that many agreed was a disaster. We awoke to gunfire and ran for our lives. My sister-in-law, Fatim, was shot in the back with her 2-year-old in her arms. I will never forget the sight of her body the next morning, riddled with bullets, her arms still cradling her son Mohammed. Mohammed survived, but 10 other children died that night along with 16 adults. Almost all of them were my family. Those who survived fled the village. Who can blame them? When death is so close at hand, the terror never leaves you. read the complete article

Our recommended read for the day
23 Mar 2021

Airbnb asked to drop Olympic ties over China rights abuses

Airbnb Inc. is being asked to drop its sponsorship connections to next year's Beijing's Winter Olympics by a coalition of 150 human-rights campaigners. The coalition is headed by groups that oppose rights violations in China including the detention of Muslim Uighurs in the Xinjiang region. Airbnb is one of the International Olympic Committee's leading 15 sponsors. Included in the group are companies like Coca-Cola, Samsung, Visa, Toyota, Alibaba, Panasonic, Intel, and Procter and Gamble. Airbnb, the home-sharing business, is being targeted because of repeated claims about the "social responsibility" it practices in its business model. Associated Press received the open letter sent on Tuesday to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. The letter argues that Airbnb is trying to drive tourism in China at the expense of Uighurs and Tibetans who cannot travel freely in the country. read the complete article

23 Mar 2021

UK braced for Chinese retaliation over Uighur abuse sanctions

The UK government is bracing itself for retaliatory action by China over its decision to impose sanctions on four Chinese officials in response to human rights abuses of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province. The British ambassador to China, Caroline Wilson, was summoned by the Chinese foreign ministry to hear “solemn representations” about the UK sanctions imposed for the mass detention of Muslim minorities. Chinese deputy foreign minister, Qin Gang, said after the meeting that China would take appropriate steps in response, but did not give further details. read the complete article

United States

23 Mar 2021

Counterterrorism is rooted in white supremacy. It will always put the racist state first

Though these sentiments, especially when they come from those directly affected, are incredibly valid, pushing for increased counterterrorism measures to target white supremacists will never adequately protect those most vulnerable to these attacks. This is because counterterrorism measures and apparatuses are born from a system that will always be disproportionately leveled against marginalized communities. Instead of pushing for a racially unjust system to punish the white supremacist violence it thrives upon, we need to take the lead from abolitionist organizers, including Asian American and Pacific Islander organizers, and pursue justice and safety outside the confines of the state. read the complete article

23 Mar 2021

Colorado shooting suspect had worried about being targeted for his Muslim faith, acquaintances say

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, the 21-year-old man suspected of shooting inside a crowded Colorado supermarket and killing 10 people, has been described as a “very anti-social” man who appeared paranoid “about perceived slights against him,” according to news reports. As further details of the suspect, who is from the Denver suburb of Arvada, began to emerge, many expressed concern and fear over ramped-up Islamophobia. Phrases and words like “He’s Muslim,” “Islamic” and “Middle Eastern” were trending Tuesday on Twitter. With Ramadan just a few weeks away, some also worried about potential hate crimes as Muslims are more likely to gather in congregational settings. read the complete article


24 Mar 2021

How to engage with China over its treatment of Uyghurs

The lack of a meaningful two-way dialogue with China over this issue is not surprising. Critics have generally used a rights-based approach to engage with China on its treatment of ethnic minorities. While it’s undoubtedly important to continue a rights-based approach — although its efficacy is debatable — there is an alternative. The scholarly evidence suggests ethnic unrest has become a persistent and serious issue in China. Since the early 2000s, it has periodically manifested in outbreaks of violence, from Beijing to Xinjiang, costing the lives of hundreds and injuring thousands. China is currently grappling internally with how to manage ethnic minority unrest. The Chinese state’s response has been a policy of securitization with the aid of a sophisticated and expensive mass surveillance system. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

24 Mar 2021

Women Tell Us How Sri Lanka’s Proposed Burqa Ban Is Hurting Them

Zahran, a college student who requested the use of a pseudonym to protect her privacy, didn’t mince words. The proposed ban is “pure racism,” she told VICE World News. “It doesn’t make sense that you ban the niqab in the name of ‘national security’ when everyone is covering their faces one way or another because of the pandemic.” The announcement has exacerbated Zahran’s insecurity as a Muslim woman. “I don’t know when and where people might attack me verbally or physically. I have faced it in the past,” she said. Muslims, who make up about 9 percent of the country’s 22 million people, fear the same outcome amid a pattern of anti-Muslim sentiments and violence. Much of the violence against the Muslim minority is perpetrated by gangs of hard-line Sinhalese-Buddhists. Past reports show a range of Islamophobic incidents ranging from the kidnapping of Muslims to desecrating mosques and directly calling for violence. read the complete article


24 Mar 2021

Hundreds Missing In Aftermath Of Fire At Rohingya Refugee Camp

In Bangladesh, rescuers sifting through the rubble from a massive fire at a refugee camp recovered the remains of nearly a dozen people – but hundreds are still missing, according to officials. Tens of thousands more have been left homeless by Monday's blaze at the Balukhali camp in Cox's Bazar in southern Bangladesh that houses Rohingya Muslims who have fled neighboring Myanmar. After it started, the fire caused panic among refugees as it quickly consumed makeshift dwellings and tents. Of the confirmed dead, at least three were children, Nizam Uddin Ahmed, a top government official in Cox's Bazar district told The Associated Press. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 24 Mar 2021 Edition


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