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 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In Washington, the Department of Homeland Security is moving towards a controversial and long disputed set of policy changes to address “domestic terrorism,” as Turkey raises concern over the treatment of Uighur Muslims during a talk with China’s Foreign Minister in Ankara, and filmmakers from Nigeria examine the grim toll exacted by Boko Haram. Our recommended read today is by Tanika Godbole on the proposed banning of the burqa and other face veils in Sri Lanka and the fear this policy instills on Muslim minorities in the country. This and more below:

Sri Lanka

25 Mar 2021

Sri Lanka: Bans on burqas, cremations and Islamic schools spark fear

Amena (name changed), a 27-year-old homemaker from Sri Lanka, felt dismayed when she heard about the government's proposal to ban the wearing of the burqa and other facial coverings. "Honestly, I am afraid these days. Things are becoming increasingly difficult for us (Muslims) in the country now," she told DW. Sri Lanka had temporarily banned the burqa following the deadly 2019 Easter bombings on "national security" grounds. The state now mulls a permanent burqa ban, which will then be implemented in consultation with Muslim organizations and leaders, Cabinet spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters. He added that the government "won't rush through the proposal" since it's a "serious issue." read the complete article

Our recommended read for the day


25 Mar 2021

‘Stress on Hindu identity’: BJP hate campaign in poll-bound Assam

Assam, India – India’s northeastern state of Assam goes to polls starting Saturday. For more than four decades, issues of immigration and citizenship have gripped the polity of the ethnically-diverse state bordering Muslim-majority Bangladesh. But those core issues are missing from the election campaign this year, replaced by a two-pronged approach taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP): promises of development, employment and welfare schemes, and simultaneously creating fears of Muslim migrants taking over the state. read the complete article

26 Mar 2021

India's PM Modi faces big electoral test in Muslim areas

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party are making a serious bid for electoral victories in three states that have sizable minority Muslim populations. But the Bharatiya Janata Party has for years been accused of stoking religious polarization and discriminating against minorities, and faces stiff challenges making inroads in the local elections. Top BJP leaders, including Modi, have been campaigning heavily to win West Bengal and dislodge the state's chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, as well as retain power in northeastern Assam and expand the party's influence in the southern states. read the complete article

26 Mar 2021

India's PM Modi visits Bangladesh, sparking violent protests

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived Friday in Bangladesh's capital to join celebrations marking 50 years of the country's independence. His visit sparked violent protests at Dhaka's main mosque that were dispersed by police using tear gas and rubber bullets — injuring scores of people — after clashes broke out between groups of demonstrators, officials and witnesses said. Critics accuse Modi's Hindu-nationalist party of stoking religious polarization in India and discriminating against minorities, particularly Muslims. Modi's two-day visit, his first abroad since the coronavirus pandemic began last year, will include commemorating 100 years since the birth of Bangladeshi independence leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. read the complete article


26 Mar 2021

Uighurs: China bans UK MPs after abuse sanctions

The group are among the most vocal critics of China in the UK. It comes in retaliation for measures taken by the UK government on Monday over human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority group. The response by China follows similar sanctions imposed on the European Union, which was part of the co-ordinated action on Monday, along with the UK, the US and Canada. read the complete article

25 Mar 2021

Turkey raises Uighur issue with China as hundreds protest

Turkey has raised the issue of Uighur Muslims during talks with China’s foreign minister in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, as hundreds of Uighurs protested against the treatment of their ethnic kin in China. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Cavusoglu and later President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, as about 1,000 protesters gathered in Istanbul, chanting “Dictator China” and “Stop Uighur genocide, close the camps”. Some waved blue-and-white flags of the independence movement of East Turkestan, the name by which the movement refers to Xinjiang. “We are here to ask about our families. Why can’t we get in touch with our families? Are they dead or alive? Where are they? Are they at camps or outside?” said Imam Hasan Ozturk, a Uighur protester. read the complete article

United States

24 Mar 2021

Homeland Security funds revamped terrorism prevention grants after past criticism

The Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday a new round of terrorism prevention grant funding, which will focus in part on preventing domestic violent extremism and violence related to online activity. The announcement comes after a campaign pledge from President Joe Biden to end the grant program -- and efforts by the department to address concerns raised about it. DHS will provide $20 million through its Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention grant program, which was established as part of a rebranding effort under the Trump administration. That's up from $10 million awarded last year to state, local and nongovernmental organizations to develop violence prevention capabilities. read the complete article

25 Mar 2021

DHS weighing major changes to fight domestic violent extremism, say officials

The Department of Homeland Security, which was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to protect the country from international terrorism, is moving toward a sweeping set of policy changes to detect and stop what intelligence officials say is now a top threat: domestic violent extremism. Two senior Biden administration officials said DHS, whose intelligence division did not publish a warning of potential violence before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, is seeking to improve its ability to collect and analyze data about domestic terrorism — including the sorts of public social media posts that threatened an attack on the U.S. Capitol but were not deemed "actionable" by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 26 Mar 2021 Edition


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