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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25 Mar 2019

Today in Islamophobia15 suspended councillors are quietly reinstated by the Tories amidst allegations of Islamophobia within party ranks, even as hate crimes soar in the UK in the weeks after Christchurch/ In Assam, Muslim families are evicted weeks before the Indian elections. In the aftermath of Christchurch, an op-ed argues that we must counter the global Islamophobia industry, another engages Serb nationalism, and how it still inspires Europe’s far-right. Our recommended read of the day is by Ishaan Tharoor titled “The warped history that fuels right-wing terrorism”. This, and more, below:


25 Mar 2019

The warped history that fuels right-wing terrorism | Recommended Read

On his drive into the city of Christchurch, he listened to a nationalist Serb song that glorified Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb political leader jailed on genocide charges and war crimes for his role in atrocities against Bosnian Muslims in the 1990s. Images of Tarrant’s weaponry showed that he had scrawled the names of a number of European Christian commanders — spanning many centuries — who warred against predominantly Muslim armies. He had apparently named one of his guns “Turkofagos,” or “Turk-eater” in Greek. There’s nothing particularly original about Tarrant’s obsession with a long history of Europeans killing Muslims. Anders Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist who killed 77 people in a shocking string of attacks in 2011, styled himself as a crusading Templar knight and issued a manifesto that contained hundreds of references to conflicts in the Balkans — a region he and Tarrant both clearly viewed as a fault line between Islam and the West. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
25 Mar 2019

Anti-Muslim hate crimes soar in UK after Christchurch shootings

The number of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported across Britain increased by 593% in the week after a white supremacist killed worshippers at two New Zealand mosques, an independent monitoring group has said. The charity Tell Mama said almost all of the increase comprised incidents linked to the Christchurch attacks last Friday, and there had been more recorded hate incidents in the last seven days than in the week after the 2017 Islamist terrorist attack in Manchester. read the complete article

25 Mar 2019

Tory Islamophobia row: 15 suspended councillors quietly reinstated

More than a dozen Conservative councillors who were suspended over posting Islamophobic or racist content online – with some describing Saudis as “sand peasants” and sharing material comparing Asian people to dogs – have had their membership quietly reinstated, a Guardian investigation has found. After dozens of members were suspended over alleged anti-Muslim comments last week, the Guardian found evidence of five more apparent members who have posted Islamophobic comments online – referring to Muslims as “cavemen” and claiming “most” of the religion’s followers are sex offenders. read the complete article

25 Mar 2019

Opinion | ‘The Tories are institutionally Islamophobic’

Last Wednesday, the country’s counter-terrorism chief Neil Basu said that far-right terrorists were being radicalised by mainstream newspaper coverage, criticising outlets such as Mail Online for uploading the “manifesto” of the Christchurch gunman, and sites including the Sun and the Mirror for showing his footage of the attack. The following night five mosques were attacked in Birmingham. On Friday, it was revealed that the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported across Britain increased by 593% (95 incidents, according to the charity Tell Mama) in the week following the New Zealand massacre. Yesterday, Sadiq Khan challenged the Conservatives to adopt a new definition of Islamophobia, already accepted by Labour and the Lib Dems, that has been drawn up by the all-party parliamentary group for British Muslims. Barely an hour seems to pass without Versi being called upon to cast his well-trained eye on another inaccurate or inflammatory statement about Islam. read the complete article

25 Mar 2019

Opinion | Why Serb Nationalism Still Inspires Europe’s Far Right

Central to Tarrant’s worldview appears to have been a commitment to the so-called “Great Replacement” theory. This conspiracy theory posits that Muslim immigration to Western countries is a secret plot to “outbreed” white Christians of European ancestry and thus take over their “homelands”. A peculiar brand of Islamophobia, it is rooted in anti-Ottoman sentiment. Tarrant’s arrival at these beliefs appears to have occurred through one specific ideological prism – his familiarity with and interest in Serbian ultra-nationalism. In the 1990s, the Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic engineered a series of wars in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and, finally, in Kosovo. read the complete article

New Zealand

25 Mar 2019

Christchurch mosque reopens amid call for action on Islamophobia

Officials at Al Noor, where more than 40 people were shot dead during the attack on March 15, started allowing small groups of people back into the complex to pray and pay their respects shortly after midday on Saturday. Armed police stood guard at the gates of the complex, which were lined with flowers and messages of condolence, and by the mosque itself as returning worshippers and new visitors entered slowly, side-by-side. Inside, amid the potent smell of newly-painted walls, visitors passed through an uncarpeted hallway as they headed to the prayer room, where the dull sobs of kneeling worshippers punctuated an otherwise pristine silence. read the complete article

25 Mar 2019

Opinion | Today, I'm a New Zealander

"Asalamu alaikum!" New Zealand's prime minister uttered the universal Islamic greeting with grace and familiarity in front of thousands of mourners in attendance and millions more glued to TV screens. At this very moment, exactly one week after 50 of her countrymen and women were massacred, she didn't push Islam to the margins and away from the cameras, but deliberately chose to bring it alongside her for the whole world to see. Her message was clear. Islam is neither the "other" nor the "invader". Islam is New Zealand and those adhering to it, departed or alive, are at home in this country. Over the previous week, Ardern had donned a hijab while grieving alongside mourning families, listened attentively while attending recovering mosques, and most potently, repeated and repeated the names of the 50 Muslim victims. read the complete article

25 Mar 2019

Opinion | We must fight the global Islamophobia industry

The Australian terrorist who perpetrated the attacks on 15 March was motivated by an ideology propagated by racist ideologues not just in his home country, but in Europe and North America, including by US President Donald Trump. At the same time, victim-blaming has occurred in the days following the attacks, with Australian Senator Fraser Anning faulting Muslim immigration, and Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini offering a tone-deaf response on social media. read the complete article

25 Mar 2019

Opinion | After Christchurch, Here's How We Can End Hate Speech and Islamophobia

To be clear, this isn’t just about Western societies. For many Muslims, the attacks on March 15 on Christchurch mosques that left 50 dead, represent just a tiny part of a global rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry perpetrated by insecure majorities. From east to west, there are countless examples. In Myanmar, decades of hate speech and persecution culminated in 2017 with over 700,000 predominantly Muslim Rohingya having to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh after a vicious campaign of ethnic cleansing. The implicated military in Myanmar has been given plenty of diplomatic cover by China, whose authorities are currently holding up to 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in euphemistically titled “transformation-through-education” camps in Xinjiang. It’s one of the stories of our age, subjugation on an epic scale. read the complete article

25 Mar 2019

Opinion | As with wedding parties droned in Pakistan, the martyred souls in Christchurch are a result of a constant institutional diet of hate and Islamophobia

This war has been about more than dropping bombs and exploiting resources. It was certainly more than the delivering democracy by dropping the mother of all bombs. It can only be seen as a war to dehumanise Muslims around the world, to create an ‘other’, so that when we see pictures of dead children washing up on the shores of Europe we would not question our own Government’s complicity in their misery and tragic deaths. We would not see that they are fleeing wars we helped create, in lands that we directly destabilised. Neither would our society cry out to demand safe passage for those desperate refugees. read the complete article


25 Mar 2019

In India's Assam, Muslim families evicted weeks before elections

Authorities in the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) forcibly evicted more than 600 Muslim families from their land in Hojai, saying the families, including Kulsuma's, had encroached upon government land. Tuliram Ronghang, chief executive member of the KAAC and leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam, alleged that undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh had encroached upon the land, which belonged to Karbi Anglong. read the complete article

United States

25 Mar 2019

The Infowars Crowd Finds Common Cause With New Zealand Terrorist

In the aftermath of the massacre, Hatewatch reviewed about nine hours of programming from Infowars, the far-right conspiracy theory platform founded by Alex Jones, and found its hosts and guests cited multiple points of agreement with the accused killer’s racist manifesto. The manifesto, titled “The Great Replacement,” was filled with fear and paranoia about immigration and Islam common in white nationalist and nativist circles. Those themes are also common in the world of Infowars and its peers. Along with other far-right conspiracy mills such as the website WND and the anti-government group Oath Keepers, Infowars has long stoked fears about supposed “replacement migration” in the West. read the complete article

25 Mar 2019

Sanders visits Islamic center following New Zealand mosque shooting

The Democratic presidential candidate joined imams, rabbis and pastors at the Islamic Center of Southern California for the event, his campaign said in a release. “In this difficult moment, not only in American history where we see a rise in hate crimes, and not only in a world where we see a growing tendency toward authoritarianism, where demagogues are picking on minority communities all over this world, now is the time … for us to stand up to hatred of all kinds," Sanders said during the event. "To show the world that this nation in fact will be a leader in bringing our people together regardless of their religion, and to create an economy that works for all of us, an environment that works for all of us, and a world in which love will conquer hate,” he added. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 25 Mar 2019 Edition


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