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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06 Mar 2019

Today in IslamophobiaAmidst the Ilhan Omar controversy, Democrats update resolution condemning anti-Semitism to include anti-Muslim bias as well. In the UK, Tories suspend 14 members over alleged Islamophobia, while a journalist calls the police on Tommy Robinson attempting to film his home. Our recommended read of the day is by Murtaza Hussain on Trump citing a letter against Ilhan Omar singed by far-right anti-Muslim groups. This, and more, below:

United States

06 Mar 2019

Trump Cited a Letter Against Ilhan Omar Signed by Far-Right, Anti-Muslim Groups | Recommended Read

President Donald Trump cited a letter from a coalition of pro-Israel pressure groups to Democratic Party leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee,” Trump tweeted. “A dark day for Israel!” Yet some of the groups that signed the letter have themselves been repeatedly and credibly accused of harboring biases of their own — against American Muslims, in particular. What’s more, the metadata of the letter lists the author as a pro-Israel activist named Lauri Regan who has accused American Jews of being analogous to Cain from the biblical story of Cain and Abel, and suggested that Omar’s supporters want a “Sharia-compliant world dominated by Islam in which Israel disappears.” read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
06 Mar 2019

Opinion | Republicans and Democrats Say Their Criticism of Ilhan Omar Is About Anti-Semitism. They’re Gaslighting You.

The president of the United States has called neo-Nazis “very fine people”; retweeted neo-Nazis; told an audience of Jewish-Americans that Israel is “your country”; and indulged in viciously anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. While running for office, he tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton inside a Star of David, next to a pile of cash; told an audience of Jewish donors, “You want to control your politicians, that’s fine”; and put out a campaign ad that attacked three rich and powerful Jewish figures. While a private citizen, he insisted only “short guys that wear yarmulkes” should count his money and kept a book of Adolf Hitler’s speeches on his bedside table. He has never apologized for any of this. Nor has he been censured by Congress. read the complete article

06 Mar 2019

House Democrats to update resolution condemning anti-Semitism to also condemn anti-Muslim bias

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Tuesday that a resolution condemning anti-Semitism set to come to a vote this week will be updated to include language condemning anti-Muslim bias as well. The announcement comes as Democrats face pressure to both condemn controversial comments by freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and defend her from anti-Muslim rhetoric. read the complete article


06 Mar 2019

In Myanmar, 'pervasive hate speech and shrinking freedom'

In a report published on Tuesday, Yanghee Lee described hate speech as "institutionalised" in Myanmar, where the government is under fire over an August 2017 military crackdown that sent hundreds of thousands of members of the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority fleeing into neighbouring Bangladesh. The UN special rapporteur was denied entry to the country for her research. "The pervasive nature of hate speech is alarming, particularly that it is used by senior government officials," Lee said, referring to comments by Thura Aung Ko, minister for religious and cultural affairs, who was accused in November of describing Islam as an "extreme religion". Groups linked to the military and members of the government continued to proliferate hate speech and misinformation on Facebook, she said, urging the social media platform to do more to protect human rights in Myanmar. read the complete article

United Kingdom

06 Mar 2019

Theresa May's 'head in sand' over Tory Islamophobia, says Warsi

Theresa May has been accused of "burying her head in the sand" over Islamophobia in the Conservative Party. Former party chairwoman Baroness Warsi said the PM had failed to "acknowledge" or "tackle" the problem and this was "symptomatic" of her wider leadership. Shortly after her comments, the party said 14 members had been suspended for Islamophobic Facebook posts. Baroness Warsi, who was the UK's first female Muslim cabinet minister, has said her party had "turned a blind eye" to prejudice and become "institutionally Islamophobic". She suggested the "rot had set in" several years ago and accused senior party officials of being "in denial" and presiding over an "opaque" complaints process. read the complete article

06 Mar 2019

Journalist calls police as Tommy Robinson makes video at his home

In the footage, which was livestreamed online, Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, demanded to speak to Mike Stuchbery, who often writes about far-right issues, and promised to return on other nights. Robinson gave Stuchbery’s street address and threatened to give out the home addresses of other journalists, saying: “I’m going to make a documentary that exposes every single one of you, every single detail about every one of you. Where you live, where you work, everything about you is going to be exposed.” read the complete article

06 Mar 2019

Britain needs a full inquiry into the poison of Islamophobia inside the Conservative Party

Let’s imagine that a Conservative leader had abused parliamentary privilege and falsely accused an innocent rabbi of supporting terrorism from the floor of the Commons. Let's imagine that Tory MPs were in the habit of tweeting out virulent anti-Semitic propaganda - and with impunity. Let’s imagine that the leading Conservative strategist had reportedly advised not to focus attention on the votes of "f*cking Jews". Let’s imagine that the Tory party fought the London mayor campaign on the basis of stirring up hostility to Jews. Let’s imagine that many Tory voters were virulently anti-semitic, and that one of the most famous Tory politicians - Boris Johnson - had publicly mocked certain Jews on the way that they dressed. read the complete article

Tories suspend 14 members over alleged Islamophobia

The Conservative party has suspended 14 members for allegedly making Islamophobic comments after a string of abusive posts were uncovered on social media. The party was responding to racist and abusive remarks that were discovered and collected online by the @matesjacob Twitter account and made by people who had said or indicated they were members of the party. The suspensions come at a time of growing scrutiny of the Conservative party’s record on Islamophobia. The former Tory chairman Sayeeda Warsi again called for an internal inquiry and suggested the most senior figures in the party – including Theresa May – needed to take the problem more seriously. read the complete article


06 Mar 2019

The Violent Toll of Hindu Nationalism in India

The militant Hindu nationalism that the group espouses is not new. Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Gandhi, on January 30, 1948, was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or R.S.S., a violent right-wing organization that promotes Hindu supremacy. Members of the Bajrang Dal are the movement’s foot soldiers, deployed in instances of mob violence or for targeted attacks against Muslims and other religious minorities. Founded in 1984, the group was part of a movement to destroy the Babri Masjid, a sixteenth-century mosque located in Ayodhya, India, which was built by the emperor Babur. (The mosque was ultimately demolished during a violent R.S.S. rally in 1992.) Since its early days, the group has formed some twenty-five-hundred cells across the country. I first reported on these cells, called akhadas, in 2005, in Dharavi, Mumbai, Asia’s largest slum, where, in the name of protecting cows, the militants recruited impoverished Hindu boys to their violent cause. Paul Richard Brass, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Washington, has called the Bajrang Dal “a somewhat pathetic but nevertheless dangerous version of the Nazi S.A.”—or the Brownshirts, the Nazi Party’s first paramilitary organization. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 06 Mar 2019 Edition


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