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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04 Mar 2021

Today in Islamophobia:  Muslims campaign against Swiss referendum on banning face veils. A year after anti-Muslim pogroms in Delhi, India, victims say they have no hope for justice. On Al Jazeera, Austria’s prominent Muslim academic, Dr. Farid Hafez, shares his testimony of gunpoint raid by state authorities. Our recommended read today is by John Revill on the impending Swiss referendum on banning face veils, which has been roundly criticized as being blatantly Islamophobic. This, and more, below:


04 Mar 2021

Swiss to vote on banning face veils in referendum criticised as Islamophobic

France banned wearing a full face veil in public in 2011 and Denmark, Austria the Netherlands and Bulgaria have full or partial bans on wearing face coverings in public. No one in Switzerland wears a burqa and only around 30 women wear the niqab, the University of Lucerne estimates. Muslims make up 5.2% of the Swiss population of 8.6 million people, with most having their roots in Turkey, Bosnia and Kosovo. Swiss Muslims have said right-wing parties were using the vote to rally their supporters and demonise them and others have warned a ban could stoke wider divisions. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
04 Mar 2021

Muslims campaign against Swiss referendum on banning face veils

Switzerland will vote on March 7 in a public referendum on whether to ban the niqab, burqa and other full-face coverings which critics slam as “deeply racist and sexist” for singling out and targetting Muslim women and violating basic human rights. The niqab, a face covering, is a form of religious practice observed by some Muslim women. Most of the niqab-wearers in Switzerland are tourists who come to the Alpine country for vacation, which prompted the Swiss government in January to urge voters to reject the ban. read the complete article


04 Mar 2021

The Uighur and Syrian refugees making a home together in Turkey

Abu Qasim, a 45-year-old Uighur who did not wish to give his full name, and Taufeeq offer the afternoon prayer together. Abu Qasim’s family lives on the same street and his three sons are friends with Moaaz. The two families have known each other for three years now. “We are first bonded by humanity. Then by our religion and later by the pain we share,” says Abu Qasim, who speaks Uighur and Turkish. read the complete article

04 Mar 2021


Mohamedou Ould Slahi: Yes, I read the same story, and I was sort of excited. I Tweeted it. I’m a really big believer in Joe Biden. I really think that he’s a good man. He’s a believer. And in his life he’s tasted pain. He knows what pain means. He lost his (first) wife at a young age — and he lost his son. I have a son and I cannot even think about what it means to lose your child. And, unfortunately, these kinds of pain are the best qualifiers for a human being to empathize with people in pain. And with no doubt, knowing Guantanamo Bay, I know that those 40 men are in pain. read the complete article


04 Mar 2021

Muslim Austrian academic shares tale of gunpoint raid

On November 9 last year, at 5am, police in Vienna rammed into Farid Hafez’s two-storey apartment and pointed their guns at the political scientist and his family. After monitoring him for more than 20,000 hours, he was suspected of supporting “terrorism”, a charge he strongly denies. “It was just unthinkable. I could never have conceived of anything like that happening to me here,” Hafez, who works at the University of Salzburg, told Al Jazeera via Zoom. “I felt like this was a Hollywood movie with GIs surrounding me.” read the complete article


04 Mar 2021

'We have no hope for justice': A year on from Delhi's anti-Muslim riots

Waseem took his injured father and family and made their way through the fire, they walked for two kilometres on foot and reached Chaman Parak, a Muslim-majority area. "It was only at 7am that we could take my father to a nearby nursing home," recalled Waseem. A year later, Vakeel's face is disfigured and he has been left completely blind. Sometimes, he says, when he talks for too long his head aches and tears roll down from his closed eyelids. He goes to the bathroom holding Waseem's hand. read the complete article

04 Mar 2021

Just Before Delhi Riots, Militant Hindutva Leader Called Repeatedly for Muslims to be Killed

It is now clear that the relentless call for violence against Muslims in the run up to the riots was not abstract advocacy but an essential component of the real conspiracy – executed in the open because they knew the police would never touch them. Yati Narsinghanand is a militant Hindutva leader with his headquarters in Dasna in Ghaziabad, where Uttar Pradesh meets Delhi. His influence in Delhi’s overground and subterranean Hindutva networks has grown exponentially because of his association with top leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party like Kapil Mishra – and his willingness to say bluntly and openly what mainstream Hindutva politicians baulk from saying about Muslims. read the complete article


04 Mar 2021

Family Disappears Amid China's Detention Of Mostly Ethnic Uyghurs

AKIKAT KALIOLLA: (Through interpreter) Two people in the same jail as my father who made it to Kazakhstan told me that the guards would beat my father until he fainted. FENG: He believes his family was targeted because his father, as a retired government official, had lodged a complaint about the abuse and ensuing death of another Chinese Kazakh. A KALIOLLA: (Through interpreter) My father spoke the truth, and our family lost their freedom. Is this the Qing dynasty, where one person falls out of political favor and so their entire family is extinguished? read the complete article

United States

04 Mar 2021

Immigrant groups are fighting to ensure we never have another Muslim ban again

The bill "strengthens the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, and restores the separation of powers by limiting overly broad executive authority to issue future travel bans," according to a press release. Chu stressed the importance of the newly reintroduced bill in a statement, saying, "We cannot risk letting prejudice become policy again." "I am proud that the NO BAN Act was included in President Biden’s signature immigration reform bill but we want to make sure that no matter what happens, this vital change is made to our laws," she said in an email to the American Independent Foundation. "And so, I have once again introduced this bill as a standalone bill so that we have more options to pass this needed reform and stop any future bans." read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 04 Mar 2021 Edition


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