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 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In the Nigerian state of Kwara, schools debate the wearing of head coverings with Muslims and Christians at odds over policies, as the Rohingya refugee community still reels from a series of devastating camp fires, and the American company H&M faces a boycott in China over statements made by the company concerning the treatment of Uighur minorities.  Our recommended read today is by Hanan Zaffar and Shaheen Abdulla on the many Muslims who underwent trials for ‘spreading coronavirus’ within India. This and more below:


25 Mar 2021

Tablighi Jamaat men India held for ‘spreading COVID’ share ordeal

[23-year-old Malaysian student Muhammad] Hafizzudin’s is not an isolated case. Hundreds of Tablighi Jamaat members from several nations were put in detention centres and jails across India on accusations of flouting government guidelines issued in the wake of coronavirus pandemic – charges later quashed by various regional courts across the country. “We were lodged in a school devoid of any facilities and quarantined for three spells despite tests coming out negative,” says K Irfan Baig, 45, an overseas citizen of India, who has not been able to see his family in Brisbane, Australia, for a year. Baig also refused to plead guilty and was among 36 foreigners acquitted by the Delhi High Court in December. Though a “look-out circular” issued by the Delhi Police against Baig was withdrawn last month, he has not been able to travel because of an international travel ban now extended till the middle of June. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
25 Mar 2021

Rohingya made homeless by devastating Bangladesh camp blaze

Authorities and volunteers from aid agencies in southern Bangladesh are rebuilding shelters for thousands of Rohingya refugees who lost their bamboo-and-plastic dwellings to a devastating fire that killed at least 15 people, including children, officials said. Thousands of refugees became homeless in Monday’s fire that raced through Balukhali camp at Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar district, home to more than one million Rohingya refugees from neighbouring Myanmar. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said more than 10,000 families lost their homes. The fire also destroyed dozens of learning centres for children, clinics, markets and aid distribution centres. “And it will take several months to put everything back to the level that it was prior to the fire,” said Manuel Marques Pereira, IOM’s deputy chief of mission in Bangladesh. read the complete article

15 Mar 2021

Across Africa, hijab in schools divides Christians and Muslims

In its traditional form, religious veils worn by Muslim women signify modesty and privacy. Fashions range from simple scarves known as “khimaars” to head-to-toe cloaks known as abayas or burqas. But in any form, wearing hijab is regarded as an act of worship or a statement of Muslim faith, and recently, the religious garments have triggered bitter fights between Christians and Muslims. One such fight is unfolding in the western Nigerian state of Kwara, forcing a temporary closure of at least 10 Christian schools.The dispute began in February, when the head of the schools sent Muslim students with head coverings away, in apparent violation of Nigeria’s constitutional right to wear a head covering. The school official claimed that veils were against the original Christian heritage of the school’s founding missionaries. read the complete article

United States

24 Mar 2021

Fired West Virginia Teacher Loses Lawsuit Over Bigoted Posts

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a high school teacher in West Virginia who was fired in 2017 for a series of social media posts that ridiculed Black people, Muslims and former President Barack Obama. U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers ruled that the Cabell County school system did not violate the woman’s First Amendment rights, The Herald-Dispatch reported. read the complete article

24 Mar 2021

Lawmakers Spar Over Need for New Domestic Terrorism Laws

The Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism held the hearing, in part, to discuss whether changes to federal domestic terrorism laws are needed. Chairwoman Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) said that although some participants in the US Capitol ransacking on January 6 may face serious charges, such as conspiracy or even sedition, “many of these domestic terrorism-related investigations will not progress as terrorism-related charges.” read the complete article

24 Mar 2021

Collateral damage: the impact of Guantanamo on a family

This is the situation for my children. I weep to think of the terror that fills them because of where I am. Every time I say I will be released, now that more than 18 years have gone by, they think it is false. They say: “This is what you believe, but the American authorities will never release you.” They say that they will only meet their father in a coffin. It will be covered in flowers, but my body will have rotted by the time it travels halfway around the world to Karachi. They describe how even the flowers on the coffin would have been picked in 2002, when I was taken, and they, too, are dead now. read the complete article


24 Mar 2021

China-based hackers used Facebook to target Uighurs abroad with malware

Facebook has blocked a group of hackers in China who used the platform to target Uighurs living abroad with links to malware that would infect their devices and enable surveillance. The social media company said on Wednesday that the hackers, known as Earth Empusa or Evil Eye in the security industry, targeted activists, journalists and dissidents who were predominantly Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group facing persecution in China. Facebook said there were fewer than 500 targets, who were largely from the Xinjiang region but were primarily living abroad in countries including Turkey, Kazakhstan, the US, Syria, Australia and Canada. read the complete article

24 Mar 2021

H&M Faces Boycott in China Over Stance on Treatment of Uyghurs

The fashion retailer H&M is facing a potential boycott in China after a statement the company made last year expressing deep concerns over reports of forced labor in Xinjiang stirred a social media storm this week. A similar statement from Nike was also attracting criticism on Wednesday, a sign that Western clothing manufacturers could face growing hostility in China for their public stances against forced labor in Xinjiang and for halting cotton sourcing from the region. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

24 Mar 2021

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

Ayesha*, 22, felt a mix of anger and fear when she read the news over a week ago. Sarath Weerasekera, the minister of public security in Sri Lanka—Ayesha’s homeland—had just proposed to ban full-face covering worn by Muslim women in the Buddhist-majority country. “It is a sign of religious extremism,” he told the Sri Lankan media on March 13. “We are definitely going to ban it.” Ayesha, 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.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 25 Mar 2021 Edition


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