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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08 Mar 2021

Today in Islamophobia: As genocide designation becomes a political football, Uyghur activists push for action. Lobbyist says Myanmar junta wants to improve relations with the West, spurn China.  Our recommended read today is by Tun Khin, a Rohingya activist, titled “The world must act now to stop the brutality of Myanmar’s junta.” This, and more, below: 


08 Mar 2021

The world must act now to stop the brutality of Myanmar’s junta | Recommended Read

The shocking scenes brought back painful memories of the military-led repression of protests in Myanmar in 1988 and 2007, as well as military-led violence against ethnic groups like the Rohingya. The bloody scenes must be a wakeup call for the world to act now to support the protesters and ensure a return to a genuinely inclusive democracy. If the Myanmar army’s reign of terror becomes normalised, there is every chance violence will escalate. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
08 Mar 2021

Escalating violence ups pressure for Myanmar sanctions

The challenge is made doubly difficult by fears of harming ordinary citizens who were already suffering from an economic slump worsened by the pandemic but are braving risks of arrest and injury to voice outrage over the military takeover. Still, activists and experts say there are ways to ramp up pressure on the regime, especially by cutting off sources of funding and access to the tools of repression. The U.N. special envoy on Friday urged the Security Council to act to quell junta violence that this week killed about 50 demonstrators and injured scores more. “There is an urgency for collective action," Christine Schraner Burgener told the meeting. “How much more can we allow the Myanmar military to get away with?" read the complete article

United States

08 Mar 2021

Living in the Shadow of Guantánamo Bay

Salahi spent fifteen years at Guantánamo, where he was subjected to some of the worst excesses of America’s war on terror; Donald Rumsfeld personally signed off on the orders for his torture. And, under torture, Salahi confessed to everything—even though he had done nothing. “If they would have wanted him to confess to being on the grassy knoll for the J.F.K. assassination, I’m sure we could have got him to confess to that, too,” Mark Fallon, who led an investigation unit at Guantánamo, said. read the complete article

08 Mar 2021

Biden Has Overturned Trump's 'Muslim Travel Ban.' Activists Say That's Not Enough

NPR's Scott Simon asks Iman Awad of Emgage Action what advocates want the Biden administration to do after repealing the travel ban that primarily affected Muslim-majority and African countries. AWAD: The Muslim communities are thrilled that he upheld his promise to our community, but we need to recognize that more needs to be done, specifically through congressional action, to ensure that no future administration can abuse the presidential authorities we saw Donald Trump abuse. read the complete article


08 Mar 2021

UN expert warns counter-terror policies led to 'further stigmatisation' of Muslims

A United Nations expert has warned that counter-terrorism policies adopted by countries after terrorist attacks done in the name of opposing radical Islam have led to the further stigmatisation of Muslims. Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, told the Human Rights Council on Friday that more needed to be done to tackle Islamophobia, which he said had reached "epidemic proportions" across the world. “Islamophobia builds imaginary constructs around Muslims that are used to justify state-sponsored discrimination, hostility and violence against Muslims, with stark consequences for the enjoyment of human rights including freedom of religion or belief,” said Shaheed. “In such climates of exclusion, fear and distrust, Muslims report that they often feel stigma, shame and a sense that they are ‘suspect communities’ that are being forced to bear collective responsibility for the actions of a small minority.” read the complete article

08 Mar 2021

Uyghurs tell International Olympic Committee that China Olympics should be canceled

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) filed a complaint with the International Olympic Committee’s ethics commission requesting the organization reconsider holding the 2022 Olympics in China due to “verifiable evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity.” The human rights group says the ethics office has failed to properly consider its grievance in a breach of its own rules. The WUC last week called on ethics committee chairman Ban Ki-moon, a former U.N. secretary-general, to directly review the complaint himself or appoint an ethics and compliance officer to do so. read the complete article

08 Mar 2021

Ban Ki-moon asked to act on complaint against Beijing Games

The World Uyghur Congress says an initial ethics complaint filed with the IOC to move the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing was largely ignored and may not have reached Ban. “It is vital that ethical issues are handled with transparency, independence, and fairness,” Michael Polak, a London-based human-rights lawyer, said in a statement to Associated Press on Friday. “I was shocked at the scant response to our original lengthy and evidence-based complaint.” Polak has written directly to Ban this time and is asking him to answer the complaint. read the complete article

08 Mar 2021

India detains scores of Rohingya ahead of expected deportation to Myanmar

"After nationality verification of these illegal immigrants, details will be sent to the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi to be taken up with Myanmar for their deportation," Singh told AFP. Some 5,000 Rohingya are believed to live in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh said. Most live in slums in Hindu-majority Jammu, where they say they have faced threats to their lives. "It's better to shoot us all dead here than send us to Burma (Myanmar) where we will be rained with bullets anyway," a Rohingya, who gave his name as Rafique, told AFP in a phone call on Sunday. "We haven't slept since police started rounding us up and separating our children from their families," Rafique, who lives in Jammu's Bathindi slum area, added. read the complete article

08 Mar 2021

Australia cuts Myanmar military ties amid ‘rising death toll’

Australia has suspended its defence cooperation programme with Myanmar amid concern about the “escalating violence and rising death toll,” Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said as the country’s military steps up its crackdown on enormous protests against its coup last month. Myanmar was plunged into turmoil after the army detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and officials from her National League for Democracy party on February 1 and seized control of the country. The coup has triggered a national Civil Disobedience Movement and mass protests in which dozens have been killed. read the complete article

08 Mar 2021

Remarkable Muslim women throughout history: Commemorating International Women's Day

The stereotype of Muslim women within the media and wider society is deeply problematic, and needs to be challenged if we are to create an equal and fair society. Accomplishments by Muslim women are either ignored, downplayed or hijacked by ignorant views on Islam and women. We recently witnessed a classic example of this on a BBC interview with Zara Mohammed, the new leader of the Muslim Council of Britain. This negative narrative of Muslim women is not my reality. That is because across the Islamic world, women have been at the forefront of history, asserting their power way before women had any rights in the West. read the complete article

08 Mar 2021

Lobbyist says Myanmar junta wants to improve relations with the West, spurn China

An Israeli-Canadian lobbyist hired by Myanmar’s junta said on Saturday that the generals are keen to leave politics after their coup and seek to improve relations with the United States and distance themselves from China. Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli military intelligence official who has previously represented Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Sudan’s military rulers, said Myanmar’s generals also want to repatriate Rohingya Muslims who fled to neighboring Bangladesh. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 08 Mar 2021 Edition


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