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

Sign up for the Today in Islamophobia Newsletter
31 Mar 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees face another relocation as devastating fires leave camp infrastructural in tatters, as legal experts in France grapple with the impact that a new law may have on Muslim youth education, and Facebook continues to face intense scrutiny over the networks leniency against hubs of hate speech based on a newly published internal review. Our recommended read today is by Norimitsu Onishi and Constant Méheut on the potential new challenges of building a mosque in France. This and more below:


31 Mar 2021

Building a Mosque in France, Never Easy, May Get Even Harder

Building a mosque in France is a tortuous endeavor at the best of times. Members tend to be poorer than other French people. Turning to foreign donors raises a host of concerns — both inside and outside Muslim communities — that are coming under intensifying scrutiny with President Emmanuel Macron’s new law against Islamism, which is expected to get final approval in the Senate in coming weeks. Complicating matters for Muslims has been France’s principle of secularism, called laïcité, which established a firewall between state and church. While the government regards itself as strictly neutral before all faiths, the law effectively made the state the biggest landlord of Roman Catholic churches in France and the guardian of cultural Roman Catholicism. Under a 1905 law, no public funds can be spent toward building any religious facilities. But the law also made all religious buildings built before the statute was passed the property of the state, which maintains them and allows them to be used free for religious services. Muslim communities find the decks stacked against them. Today, critics of the system note, taxpayer money effectively subsidizes a shrinking religion, Catholicism, while the system disadvantages France’s fastest-growing faith, Islam. While insignificant in 1905, France’s Muslim population has grown rapidly since the 1970s, and is believed to now number about six million, or around 10 percent of the total population. About two million of them practice their faith in 2,500 mosques that receive little or no public money, according to a 2015 Senate report. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
30 Mar 2021

'France aims to legalize Islamophobia'

A legal expert from France, Osman Han, said the proposed law mainly targeted Muslim schools whose numbers had recently increased in the country. "A law should be necessary and proportionate. But there are determinations made by administrative authorities and advisory boards in France that this draft bill is not necessary or proportionate," Han said. He added that with the draft law aimed at strengthening the principles of democracy and the republic, the lawmakers meant to shut down Muslim schools and make formal education compulsory for children three years old and above. "The French Ombudsman Institution states that this bill does not meet the aim of strengthening respect for the principles of the republic," he added. read the complete article

United States

30 Mar 2021

Trailblazers: Bushra Amiwala, Youngest Muslim U.S. Elected Official

Bushra Amiwala is a community organizer, speaker, Google sales associate, and the youngest Muslim elected official in the United States, serving on the Skokie School Board. As a first-generation child of Pakistani immigrants, Bushra has a passion for supporting underrepresented communities and bridging divides between opposing belief systems. In an effort to build a compassionate, politically-engaged generation of trailblazers, she founded the Amiwala Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to support, uplift, and inspire young people. "Amiwala: I always say it is incredibly challenging for anyone to get involved in a space where they don’t see anyone who looks like them represented there. I tell people that they have the power to be the change you want to see in the world. A dear mentor once told me, “avoid being a token, be the connector,” and that is the best way to uplift and inspire others in a field where there is no representation. As exciting as it is to be the first in many spaces, it is important to recognize the many other women who came before me, that took turns shattering the glass ceiling, so someone like me could step up to the plate. I am grateful for that." read the complete article

24 Mar 2021

Facebook Remains a Threat to Democracy

An internal review by Facebook found that Jones and his program Infowars fomented hate against Muslims and trans people. These posts were flagged by Facebook’s own internal integrity analysts tasked with monitoring hate speech. But, as BuzzFeed reports, “Zuckerberg didn’t consider the Infowars founder to be a hate figure, according to a person familiar with the decision, so he overruled his own internal experts and opened a gaping loophole: Facebook would permanently ban Jones and his company—but would not touch posts of praise and support for them from other Facebook users. This meant that Jones’ legions of followers could continue to share his lies across the world’s largest social network.” According to BuzzFeed, in December a Facebook integrity researcher “detailed how right-wing pages, including those for Breitbart and Fox News, had become hubs of discussion filled with death threats and hate speech—in clear violation of Facebook policy. They questioned why the company continued to work with such publications in official capacities.” read the complete article

30 Mar 2021

Biden to nominate groundbreaking first slate of federal judges

President Biden on Tuesday announced plans to nominate 11 judges to the federal courts, including D.C. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace former D.C. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland, who is now U.S. attorney general. Why it matters: The nominees include three Black women and, if confirmed, could result in the first Muslim federal judge in the country's history, the first AAPI woman to serve on the D.C. District Court, and the first woman of color as a federal judge in Maryland, according to the White House. The selections "reflect the president’s deeply held conviction that the federal bench should reflect the full diversity of the American people," the White House wrote in a news release.The nomination of Jackson will likely spur discussion about a potential nomination for the Supreme Court. Biden has said he will nominate the country's first Black female justice, and the D.C. Circuit Court to which Jackson is nominated is often viewed as a stepping stone for the highest court. Jackson was once a clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer, the oldest justice on the Supreme Court. read the complete article


30 Mar 2021

Rohingya refugees face another relocation amid devastating fires, COVID outbreaks in camps

What were once homes, hospitals, and schools at the world's largest refugee camp burn to ash, as a massive fire rips through these makeshift settlements. Fifteen people were killed, 400 missing, and tens of thousands displaced. Three years ago, the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group, fled a bloody military crackdown launched by the Myanmar military and police bordering Bangladesh. Mass killings, rapes, and arsons drove close to a million into these sprawling camps in Cox's Bazar. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

30 Mar 2021

Sri Lanka: Discrimination against Muslims and Tamils is getting worse

Sri Lanka recently passed regulations allowing detention without trial for two years for those suspected to have caused “religious, racial or communal disharmony”. This is a significant expansion of the already notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which has historically been used to target Tamils and Muslims. Alongside a proposed ban on Islamic face coverings and the closure of more than 1,000 Islamic schools, this move is a further indication that Sri Lanka seems determined to repeat its past. Sri Lanka has consistently used laws to marginalise vulnerable communities, and these latest actions continue policies designed to oppress Tamils and Muslims, while strengthening the majoritarian ethnocracy that has dominated the country since shortly after its independence in 1948.-- read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 31 Mar 2021 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results