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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26 Mar 2019

Today in IslamophobiaNew Zealand shooting referenced in slew of anti- Muslim attacks, Australian anti-Muslim party is caught seeking NRA funding. A new op-ed argues that Islamophobia is a public health crisis, another looks at the weaponizing of irony to spread hatred. Our recommended read of the day is by Saphora Smith and Vladimir Banic titled “NZ attack exposes right-wing extremists’ fascination with Balkans”. This, and more, below:


26 Mar 2019

New Zealand attack exposes right-wing extremists' fascination with Balkans | Recommended Read

Names of medieval Serbian, Hungarian and Bulgarian knights were scrawled on the magazines of a rifle belonging to the suspected attacker behind New Zealand's worst-ever mass shooting. A Serbian folk song glorifying Radovan Karadzic — the Bosnian Serb leader convicted of war crimes against Muslims during the war that tore apart Yugoslavia in the mid-1990s — played in Brenton Tarrant's car minutes before he allegedly launched the attack that killed 50 at two mosques in Christchurch. Tarrant's fascination with the region shines a spotlight on half-forgotten myths about Crusader knights and Serbian nationalists who fought Muslim armies. These stories have become popular among white supremacists online — a narrative that also periodically bleeds into politics offline. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
26 Mar 2019

Opinion | The global ties that bind Islamophobia

It begins with people saying they have concerns about ‘radical Islam’, but these are merely code words when applied to Muslim communities in general – code words that conceal or obfuscate the fact that the concern isn’t with the perceived ‘radicalism’ of Islam, but with the very presence of Muslims in the West. For all the stuff that will be written about Tarrant’s perceived motivations, and many British newspapers have gone for a bizarre ‘ordinary white man went bad’ narrative, he has been nothing if not upfront about his direct aims. He calls not just Muslims, but all non-whites ‘invaders’ who threaten to ‘replace’ so-called indigenous populations. But, according to the ideology of Islamophobia, Muslims above all others are the vanguard of this conspiracy or move to usurp white people. read the complete article

26 Mar 2019

Opinion | How the far right is weaponising irony to spread anti-Muslim hatred

The online history of Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch shooter, shines a spotlight on the calculated efforts by the far right to use internet subcultures to stoke hatred and promote violence. Before opening fire, the attacker said it was “... time to make a real-life effort”. This referred to premeditated acts of disseminating heaps of online content to create confusion and sow discord, including the dissemination of purportedly satirical pieces of media (“memes”) as a gateway to the more extreme elements of far-right ideology. “All of these images entrench existing prejudices that people might already have about marginalised groups,” Cindy Ma, who researches the use of irony by the far right at the Oxford Internet Institute in the UK, told The National. read the complete article

United States

26 Mar 2019

New Zealand Shooting Referenced in New Series of Anti-Muslim Attacks

Seven people were inside Escondido, California’s Dar-ul-Arqam mosque early Sunday morning when the outside of the building erupted in flames. Worshippers extinguished the fire before it could hurt anyone, but the outside of the mosque sustained minor damage. Law enforcement determined the blaze to be an arson, aided by an accelerant. The arsonist left a message. “Graffiti left behind by the suspect made reference to the shooting incident in New Zealand,” Escondido police said in a statement. The fire is currently under investigation as a hate crime. read the complete article

26 Mar 2019

As They Profited From the Opioid Crisis, Sacklers Funded Anti-Muslim Network

While former Purdue Pharma chairman and president Richard Sackler was helping mislead doctors about OxyContin’s strength, his family foundation was also donating to nonprofit members of a right-wing, anti-Muslim network. As Esquire first reported, from 2014-16, the Richard and Beth Sackler Foundation made donations to three nonprofits considered by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be anti-Muslim hate groups. In 2017, when asked about these contributions, a foundation spokesperson said, “It was never Richard Sackler’s intention to donate to an anti-Muslim or hate group.” That year, the foundation did not donate to the three hate groups: American Freedom Law Center, David Horowitz Freedom Center, and Jihad Watch. read the complete article

26 Mar 2019

Opinion | Islamophobia is a public health crisis

As I struggle with heartache for the 50 lives lost and the countless others who remain injured, it is more clear than ever that white supremacy is a public health issue. Beyond those killed and injured and their devastated families, Islamophobia is harming the health and well being of millions more. Decades of research shows us that white supremacist rhetoric and xenophobic policies cause illness and lead to premature death. Reversing the trend of Islamophobia in the west is not easy, but the first step is recognizing that Islamophobia is a chronic disease, normalized by mainstream politicians, media personalities, grassroots groups and policymakers in the west, that limits the daily lives and well being of those stigmatized and threatens overall population health. read the complete article

United Kingdom

26 Mar 2019

Religious texts ripped up at Islamic school in ‘second racist attack’

An Islamic school has been vandalised for the ‘second time in three months’ with windows smashed and religious texts ripped apart. The attack took place at Bahr Academy in Newcastle yesterday evening, in what the imam described as a ‘disgusting act’. He said that a ‘ladder had been used to smash a window’ and copies of the Koran had been ‘ripped and thrown on the floor’, in what he described as a ‘targeted and racist attack’. read the complete article

New Zealand

26 Mar 2019

Jacinda Ardern's solidarity with Muslims should be the norm, not the exception

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern quickly became a symbol of solidarity with the slain Muslims of Christchurch. The nation's 38-year-old Prime Minister showed up for her people, for the victims and for their families in ways other leaders simply have not for their respective Muslim communities. Ardern's firm and unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist nature of the attack stands in stark contrast with the narrative of those -- such as US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- who, in the past, have appeared to base part of their political platforms on inciting anti-Muslim sentiment and associating Islam with terrorism. read the complete article


26 Mar 2019

Australia’s ‘egg boy’ says he ‘united people.’ Scientists may have cracked why

A 17-year-old Melbourne, Australia, teenager, William Connolly, took matters into his own hands and egged a senator who had just blamed Muslims for the anti-Muslim attack that unfolded in New Zealand. During his first interview on Australia’s Network 10 on Monday, Connolly acknowledged that “what I did was not the right thing to do.” “However, this egg has united people, and, you know, money has been raised, tens of thousands of dollars have been raised for those victims,” Connolly told the network. “I’ve had one lady reach out to one of my friends in Christchurch, and she said to me that throughout this period of darkness in her life was the one time since she smiled since the tragedy, and that, I’m speechless,” Connolly said. read the complete article

26 Mar 2019

Australian Anti-Muslim Party Caught in Sting Seeking NRA Funding

Pauline Hanson’s anti-Muslim immigration party has been filmed lobbying the National Rifle Association in the U.S. for millions of dollars in funding, promising to help water down laws restricting gun ownership in Australia. Al Jazeera says it set up a fake lobby group called Gun RightsAustralia, and secretly filmed meetings between NRA officials and senior figures in the One Nation party. In one of the tapes, a party official asks for A$10 million ($7.1 million), saying the money would be used to win enough seats in Australia’s Senate to get the balance of power and influence government decision making. The request is denied by the NRA official. read the complete article


26 Mar 2019

[CW: Violence] ‘Life And Death’: Dadri Lynching Survivor Considers His Vote For The 2019 Election

On 28 September, 2015, a mob alleging cow slaughter lynched Akhlaq, an ironsmith from Bisada village located in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh. Danish, his younger son, who was thrashed within an inch of his life, survived. Two brain surgeries and more than three years later, Danish, now 25 years old, is trying to make sense of the past, even as he looks with apprehension to the future. He has lost his father and his childhood home. The injuries to his brain have weakened his memory. There was a time he spent hours studying for Indian Administrative Service (IAS) examination, but now he cannot retain a lot of what he reads. He has found work as a graphics designer. read the complete article


26 Mar 2019

134 killed in attack on Fulani villagers in Mali

Armed men reportedly dressed as traditional hunters have killed 134 people, including women and children, during an attack on a village in central Mali, according to the United Nations. A further 55 civilians were hurt in the attack in Ogossagou in the Mopti region. The region's Fulani ethnic community is frequently targeted and accused of having ties to jihadist organizations in the area, according to the UN. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 26 Mar 2019 Edition


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