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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29 Mar 2019

Today in IslamophobiaHindu terror goes unpunished in India, a Chinese diplomat is accused of trying to shut down a event on the Uyghur crisis in Montreal. An op-ed argues that anti-Muslim hate crimes are the new form of racism, another looks at the identitarian movement and its links with Christchurch. Our recommended read of the day is  by Rhonda Itaoui and Kevin Dunn titled “Christchurch attacks strike at the heart of Muslims’ safe places from Islamophobia”. This, and more, below:


29 Mar 2019

Christchurch attacks strike at the heart of Muslims’ safe places from Islamophobia | Recommended Read

For Muslims across Western cities, their “right to public space” has been challenged. Across Western cities, the development of Muslim sites has been opposed or protested. For example, Switzerland banned the construction of new minarets (as symbols of Islam). In other parts of the world, political leaders have questioned whether women should be allowed to wear a burqa or hijab. When Muslim men and women do choose to wear Muslim clothing in public, they report being verbally and physically attacked for doing so. Muslims, and visibly Muslim individuals in particular, respond to Islamophobic attacks by avoiding certain public places, travelling in groups and being constantly vigilant against attack. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
29 Mar 2019

Opinion | Hating Muslims, loving Zionists: Israel as a far-right model

On March 17, the Israeli Supreme Courtbanned Michael Ben Ari, the leader of the extremist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party from participating in the April 9 general elections, arguing that allowing him to run for the Knesset would "legitimise racism". The ruling came less than a month after Otzma Yehudit entered into an electoral alliance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, causing shock and anger in certain political circles within and outside Israel. Even the hawkish American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the influential pro-Israel lobby group and close ally of Netanyahu, seemed upset by the move. "The views of Otzma Yehudit are reprehensible. They do not reflect the core values that are the very foundation of the State of Israel," AIPAC tweeted. read the complete article


29 Mar 2019

Opinion | How the Identitarian Movement is linked with New Zealand mosque terrorist

While Sellner says he refused to meet Tarrant in person and condemned the Christchurch attacks, the latter’s manifesto reveals an ideological connection between the two. Both Tarrant and Sellner are enablers of white supremacy, defending their anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant perspectives. The Austrian Identitarians do not take their main inspiration from Nazi-era Germany, although the founder of Nazism, Adolf Hitler, was born and raised in Austria and has long been a role model for many far-right movements worldwide. Austria's Identitarian movement is one of the branches of the larger Identitarian movement that first emerged in France in the 1960s, as an offshoot of France’s New Right or Nouvelle Droite (ND), a post World War II far-right movement. The movement has many branches across Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, where white populations are mainly concentrated. read the complete article

29 Mar 2019

Opinion | Anti-Muslim Hate Crime Is a New Form of Racism

What we know is that — following terrorist attacks in Paris and Tunisia, and in Woolwich in 2013 — we tend to see a sharp rise in anti-Muslim attacks. Indeed, Britain’s biggest force, the Metropolitan Police, recorded 500 anti-Muslim hate crimes following the Woolwich attack, in which British Army Fusilier Lee Rigby was brutally murdered by two British nationals who recently converted to Islam. These incidents include those where mosques have been targeted — the latest incidents taking place just last week in Birmingham — Muslim women have had their hijab (headscarf) or niqab (face veil) pulled off, Muslim men attacked and racist graffiti scrawled on Muslim graves and properties. Muslims, particularly those with a visible Muslim identity, are more vulnerable to anti-Muslim hostility, intimidation, abuse and threats of violence. read the complete article

29 Mar 2019

Conservatives at risk from 'extreme' groups that have 'welded' themselves to party, former minister warns

Alistair Burt, who resigned as a Foreign Office minister on Monday in order to vote against the government on Brexit, said there were groups and think tanks that “band together” to try to influence the Conservatives. “I am concerned about the influence of certain protest groups that have welded themselves to the Conservative Party, certain think tanks, the more extreme of those and the influence they seek to gain. Yeah, that’s a worry. The party has got to be very careful and guard against all this.” read the complete article

29 Mar 2019

Opinion | The Guardian view on Tory Islamophobia: inaction speaks volumes

Last week’s announcement by the UK government of additional funding for security at places of worship was a significant gesture. But it falls far short of what the Muslim Council of Britain and former Conservative party chair Baroness Warsi had called for. Reports of a soaring number of anti-Muslim hate crimes, including the stabbing of a teenager in Surrey by a white man screaming abuse, provide disturbing confirmation that fear and anger about Islamophobia – defined by MPs as a prejudice rooted in racism and targeting “expressions of Muslimness” – are grounded in facts. Despite the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in the run-up to 2016’s EU referendum, by a man fixated on the threat to the “white race”, the current government has not only failed to do enough to challenge Islamophobia across the country. It has not even made a serious effort to root out bigots from its own ranks and somehow remains unabashed in the face of increasingly furious criticism from Lady Warsi – the undoubted hero of this sorry tale. read the complete article


29 Mar 2019

Pakistan's Khan dodges questions on mass Chinese detention of Muslims

In an interview with the Financial Times released on Wednesday, the leader of the mainly Muslim nation was questioned about his stance on the mass detention centers where many of China's Muslim-majority Uyghurs have been sent. Activists and former detainees say the camps are designed to eradicate Uyghur culture and Muslim religious practices. "Frankly, I don't know much about that," said Khan, whose government is a major beneficiary of Chinese aid. When pressed, he said the Muslim world was going through "its worst phase" but demurred on Beijing's crackdown in Xinjiang. "If I had enough knowledge I would speak about it. It is not so much in the papers," he said. read the complete article


29 Mar 2019

Quebec to ban public employees from wearing religious symbols

The proposed law sets the province’s right-leaning Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government on a collision course with the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who promotes religious freedom, in a federal election year with Quebec a vital battleground. The legislation, which is expected to pass, will cover public workers in positions of authority, including teachers, judges and police officers. It exempts current government employees and civil servants in the mainly French-speaking province. Governments in Quebec have been trying for years to restrict civil servants from wearing overt religious symbols like headscarves and Jewish skullcaps at work in an effort to cement a secular society. A ban on full face coverings on anyone giving or receiving public services in Quebec passed in 2017, but was suspended by a Canadian judge last June and remains in legal limbo. read the complete article

29 Mar 2019

Chinese diplomat accused of trying to shut down Montreal event in third incident of alleged campus interference

Kyle Matthews, executive director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia, said a diplomat from China’s consulate in Montreal contacted him and others demanding that an exiled Uyghur leader not appear in front of Canadian students. Matthews received an email from consul Wang Wenzhang on Monday, the day before the event. The French-language email, which he shared with the National Post, said the vice consul general, Xing Wenjian, wanted an “urgent meeting” with him that afternoon or Tuesday morning to “communicate our points of view.” Matthews said he decided not to respond. read the complete article


29 Mar 2019

The Samjhauta acquittals: Hindu terror goes unpunished in India

The attack on the train also known as the "friendship express", which links India to Pakistan, left 68 persons dead. The majority of the victims were Pakistani citizens. While the then-opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as well as some Indian media organisations, tried to blame Pakistan-based terror groups for the attack, the Congress government classified the incident as an "an attempt to derail the improving relationship between India and Pakistan" and vowed that culprits - whoever they may be - would be caught. An investigation by India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) eventually concluded that the attack was carried out by four men - Swami Aseemanand, Kamal Chauhan, Rajinder Chaudharyand Lokesh Sharma - linked to the Hindu far-right group Abhinav Bharat. All four suspects were charged by the NIA, making many believe justice would soon be delivered for the victims. However, on March 20 this year, a special court in the northern state of Haryana acquitted all four suspects, citing lack of evidence. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 29 Mar 2019 Edition


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