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
06 Apr 2023

Today in Islamophobia: In the United Kingdom, Baroness Sayeed Warsi has accused UK Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, of “crass race baiting” and of auditioning to become a “Trump tribute act” following Braverman’s comments singling out British Pakistani men over concerns about child exploitation, meanwhile in Germany, a survey among law enforcement officers reveals that 17 percent agree or rather agree with the statement: “Many Muslims sometimes make me feel like a stranger in my own country,” and in India, the Hindu festival of Ram Navami “was marred by violence sparked when Hindus in processions passed through Muslim neighborhoods brandishing weapons and shouting anti-Muslim slogans.” Our recommended read of the day Dalia Mogahed and Chris Blauvelt for Al Jazeera on the systemic, deep-rooted institutional discrimination faced by American Muslims when it comes to banking, with a new report finding that “Muslims are by far the most likely faith group in the United States to face challenges while banking.”

United States

Banking as an American Muslim? It’s a horror | Recommended Read

Welcome to banking while Muslim, an experience that involves dealing with systemic, deep-rooted institutional discrimination. LaunchGood, a crowdfunding platform similar to GoFundMe for the global Muslim community, has raised over $300m for critical causes across the world. But LaunchGood has nearly been killed by “banking while Muslim” three times. It first started in 2019 when, suddenly and without warning, LaunchGood’s payment processor from day one, kicked them off. LaunchGood had just met with the processor three weeks prior, in person, and were assured the Muslim-led crowdsourcing platform was in good standing. There was no indication there was an issue, nor clarity provided on what the problem was, nor the chance to challenge it or rectify their standing. It was sudden and final. LaunchGood moved to another payment platform. That summer this platform was acquired by a large US Bank. Sure enough, problems emerged almost immediately. As the payment platform switched to the large bank’s compliance software, 50 percent of LaunchGood’s donors in the United Kingdom were rejected. When they prodded further, they found that they had “too many Muslim and Arabic names” that were throwing off their software. Sadly, yet predictably, six months later, they received an email from their account manager at the platform saying their parent bank had made the decision to offboard LaunchGood. read the complete article

United Kingdom

Premier League matches to pause for fasting Muslim players during Ramadan

Matches that are taking place on Tuesday in the Premier League may have a brief pause for Muslim players who are fasting during Ramadan. If clubs have raised and agreed the matter pre-game, then at an appropriate pause in the match the referee can signal for a drinks break and allow Muslim players to eat and drink near the touchline. In March, Premier League and EFL referees were asked to allow Muslim players to break their fast during matches over Ramadan. This follows an agreement that was made in 2021 that allowed Muslim players to break their fast during a Premier League match. Referees have been asked to liaise with clubs before kick-off to identify which players will require such a stoppage. read the complete article

Tory council candidate kicked out over racist 'shoot the P***s' Facebook post

A Conservative council candidate has been kicked out of the party over claims he posted a racist message on Facebook. Derek Bullock was re-selected to stand for a seat on Bolton Council at local elections next month despite previously being suspended. But tonight he was expelled from Conservatives after the Mirror alerted the party to a post on Facebook he is alleged to have made. Following the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017, an account in Mr Bullock’s name commented on a news article: “Shoot the P***s on the spot.” Mr Bullock was chosen by the party to stand again in the Hulton ward, where he has been a councillor since 2019, even though he was previously suspended amid claims of Islamophobia. In March 2020, he faced the disciplinary action after it was alleged an article from an anti-Muslim activist’s “JihadWatch” had been posted on his Facebook. In response to an article about former party chair Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, he reportedly added: "She’s been a cuckoo in the nest!” And in another post, from February 2015, he was shown to have shared a news article with the headline “Number of Muslim children in England and Wales doubles in a decade”, adding the comment “the clock is ticking”. read the complete article

Suella Braverman A 'Trump Tribute Act', Says Former Tory Chair

Suellla Braverman has been accused of auditioning to become a “Trump tribute act” by a former chair of the Conservative Party. Baroness Warsi said the home secretary was guilty of “crass race baiting” with her comments on sexual predators. Earlier this week Braverman singled out British Pakistani men over concerns about grooming gangs. Braverman said “political correctness” was to blame for the failure to tackle the problem until now. It came as the government announced new measures designed to crack down on exploitation. Writing on Twitter, Warsi, who was party chair under David Cameron and was the first Muslim woman to serve in the cabinet, condemned the characterisation. The Tory peer posted screenshots of two stories showing white men and women who had been convicted of child exploitation. read the complete article


Braverman words on British Pakistani men discriminatory: Pakistan

Pakistan’s foreign office has criticised British Home Secretary Suella Braverman for “discriminatory and xenophobic” comments after she said that British Pakistani men “hold cultural values at odds with British values”. In an interview with Sky News on Monday, Braverman also alleged British Pakistani men worked in child abuse rings or networks that targeted “vulnerable white English girls”. Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Mehnaz Baloch on Wednesday condemned Braverman’s remarks which, he said, painted a “highly misleading picture signalling the intent to target and treat British Pakistanis differently”. Baloch said Braverman had “erroneously branded criminal behaviour of some individuals as a representation of the entire community”. “She fails to take note of the systemic racism and ghettoisation of communities and omits to recognise the tremendous cultural, economic and political contributions that British Pakistanis continue to make in British society,” Baloch said in her weekly briefing in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. read the complete article

Horror and hope among the Rohingya

The plight of the Rohingya made international headlines in 2017, when the Burmese army massacred scores of communities in western Myanmar. Fearing they would be next, some 700,000 people from this Muslim ethnic minority fled their homeland in Rakhine State to apparent safety in Bangladesh. Although the exodus this time was larger, it wasn’t the first occasion when the Rohingya had been targeted; the military also attacked them in 1978 and 1991. In I Feel No Peace, the journalist Kaamil Ahmed tells the story of the Rohingya, writing about the waves of persecution they have faced and showing how they are effectively “stateless everywhere”, unable to gain citizenship and other basic rights. It begins with the unmitigated horror of the 2017 killings. The reader sees the Burmese village of Tula Toli through the eyes of Momtaz Begum, a young woman who is raped after her husband and all her children—except one—are slaughtered. Like thousands of other Rohingya, she and her six-year-old daughter Rozeya end up in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. On top of their mental and physical scars, they are forced to contend with the dangers of daily life there. In prose that brims with empathy and humanity, Ahmed zooms in on individual lives to explain the breadth of this people’s struggles: from those who eke out an existence on the fringes of Bangladeshi or Malaysian society to those who risk their lives on people smugglers’ routes. read the complete article

Makkah Charter: Another western-inspired tool of Islamophobia

The UAE has firmly established itself as an authoritarian satellite of American policies in the Middle East, spearheading the normalisation process with Israel. Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is beset by an aggressive imposition of liberal ideals. Both nations have espoused the claim that faith-based political dissent qualifies as a form of “extremism” that requires surveillance and crackdowns. As part of its diplomatic strategy, the UAE has worked to stoke Islamophobic policies in countries such as France. Saudi Arabia’s political and religious diplomacy is even more ambitious. At a conference in London last month, the Mecca-based and state-funded Muslim World League ratified its controversial “Makkah Charter” for training imams in Europe, and created a body for European Muslim communities that includes a “committee for fatwa and religious guidance”. According to researcher Asim Qureshi, the charter seeks “to centralise the authority to a state-managed version of religion” and serves to normalise “the oppressive state of affairs for Muslims around the world”. Unsurprisingly, the charter’s political messaging revolves around key tenets first popularised by western policymakers, supporting an Islamophobic narrative. Rather than highlighting the West’s role in fuelling Islamophobia, the charter appears to blame Muslims themselves, noting: “The phenomenon of Islamophobia results from an inability to truly understand Islam. True understanding of Islam requires an objective view that is devoid of stereotypical and prejudicial notions, which are often projected by those falsely claiming to be true Muslims.” It opposes any “intervention in the internal affairs of countries”, providing religious cover to European states’ Islamophobic policies. In exchange, Saudi Arabia is granted political legitimacy, as Europe turns a blind eye to its draconian crackdown on human rights and political dissent. read the complete article


India’s Hindu Festivals Bring Increasing Anti-Muslim Violence

The Hindu festival of Ram Navami in India, which this year coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, was marred by violence sparked when Hindus in processions passed through Muslim neighborhoods brandishing weapons and shouting anti-Muslim slogans. On March 30 and 31, communal violence was reported in several states. In Bihar, a mob reportedly vandalized and set fire to a prominent madrassa. The media reported that a Hindu teenager was killed in the clashes. Across the country over 100 people have been arrested and dozens injured. India’s Hindu festivals are increasingly being used by the ruling Hindu majoritarian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to rally voters, leading to an increase in violence. These mobs are emboldened by a sense of political patronage that affords them impunity. After violence in opposition-ruled West Bengal state, where authorities arrested over a dozen BJP members and supporters, the party alleged police bias and “disproportionate action.” The record shows that it is usually Muslims who are unfairly targeted by the authorities. read the complete article

Yati Narsinghanand back with his misogynist, Islamophobic and fear infusing diatribe

Yati Narsinghanand appeared at the Hindu Jagruti Sammelan held in New Delhi on April 3 and as is his expertise, made vitriolic and demeaning comments about not just Muslims but about women as well and instigated fear among Hindus by driving the narrative of ‘Hindu Khatre me Hai’ (Hindus are in danger). This event took place in Holiday Inn, New Delhi in the presence of many police officers, who were probably providing security for the event. At this event, Hate Offender Kajal Shingala aka Kajal Hindustani and a few other unknown faces appeared to make anti-Islamic speeches. Extracts from Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati’s speech: He said, “Now has come the time to unite the entire world against Islam and its jihad.” We have to take over the temple in Mecca as well where Mahadev’s Ganga flows as Zamzam (river). He then went on to call the supposed temple in Mecca as “Mecceshwar Mahadev”. read the complete article


French referees ordered not to pause games for Muslim players

Referees in France were told by the country's football federation not to pause matches to let Muslim players break their fast during the month of Ramadan. Unlike England's Premier League which allows it, the practice apparently does not comply with the French Football Federation's statutes, as several media outlets reported the body saying in an email sent to referees Thursday. It said it had been brought to the federation's attention that matches were being interrupted following the breaking of the Ramadan fast. "The idea is that there is a time for everything. A time to do sport, a time to practice one's religion," Eric Borghini, head of the federal referee commission at the federation, told Agence France-Presse (AFP). He said that the federation had learned that "a certain number of amateur-level meetings have been stopped to allow players observing the fast to hydrate." This is not permitted in the regulations, he said, highlighting they included the strict respect of the principle of secularism in football. read the complete article


Survey reveals German police prejudice against Muslims and homeless

A survey carried out in Germany shows anti-Muslim and anti-homeless prejudices to be present among law enforcement officers. 15 percent of those surveyed fully or seem to agree with the opinion that “there are too many foreigners living in Germany”. The survey has been conducted by the police academy in Münster amongst some 50,000 law enforcement officers and was also designed to inquire into daily problems faced by German policemen. The vast majority of police officers positively assessed parliamentary democracy and its institutions. However, the survey detected existence of “more than isolated cases” which expressed opinions “not in line with police principles”. 21 percent of law enforcement officers agreed fully or partially with the statement: “Most asylum seekers only come here to take advantage of the welfare system” while 17 percent agree or rather agree with the statement: “Many Muslims sometimes make me feel like a stranger in my own country.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 06 Apr 2023 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results