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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17 May 2021

Today in Islamophobia: The emergence of academics who criticize the legacy of colonialism and racism in France is being increasingly labeled as a threat by the French establishment, as U.S. Muslim groups boycott Joe Biden’s Eid event over his administration’s support of Israeli air strikes, and in China, a new report shows how the repression of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang is not just cultural, but physical as well. Our recommended read of the day is by David PalumboLiu and Azeezah Kanji on how some Western ‘anti-imperialists’ are actively whitewashing China’s well-documented crimes against the Uyghur community. This and more below:


14 May 2021

The faux anti-imperialism of denying anti-Uighur atrocities

Not only do we have the United States and its allies decrying China’s human rights violations, and China and its allies denying such violations, and reminding the West of its own abuses of human rights, we now have a group of Western “anti-imperialists” siding with China simply because they feel whatever the US says is suspect, and therefore what China claims is not. Some sections of the left continue to dismiss reports of China’s atrocities as an American imperialist ploy, concocting mountains of sand in which to bury their “anti-imperial” heads. The most steadfast bastion of denialism has been the Grayzone, which describes itself as “an independent news website dedicated to original investigative journalism and analysis on politics and empire.” Their modus operandi is to focus primarily on discrediting some prominent messengers calling attention to the Uighur’s persecution while leaving the vast body of evidence behind the message largely untouched. Much of this evidence emanates from within the Chinese state apparatus itself. Rather than disavowing these practices, Chinese state outlets have attempted to justify them – “justifications” uncritically reproduced in analyses by Grayzone journalists. Mass internment is pitched as “countering terrorism and extremism.” Imprisoned Uighur academics are cast as alleged promoters of “separatism” and “violent militancy” – no proof provided. Forced labour programs are explained away as “poverty reduction”. Evidence of coercive sterilization is packaged as “family planning” and “free healthcare.” Child separation is chalked up to “abandonment” by “irresponsible parents”. When it comes to smearing Uighurs, temporal incoherence is no obstacle: For instance, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement is blamed in the Grayzone for “terrorist” attacks starting in 1990 – eight years before the group’s alleged founding. Some Xinjiang experts continue to doubt whether it ever existed as a cogent organization at all. Political incoherence is likewise no bar: The Newlines Institute – which recently published a report arguing that the persecution of the Uighurs meets the international definition of genocide – is accused by the Grayzone of being in bed simultaneously with the unlikely threesome of the CIA, the Israel lobby, and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Newlines genocide report was produced in consultation with eminent legal experts including Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Helena Kennedy, Director of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre John Packer, and past President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association Charles Taku. While indicting those they criticize as American imperialist stooges, the Grayzone itself readily uses sources generated from within the very belly of the American empire, as long as they serve to prop up the story of the Uighur menace. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
16 May 2021

Op-ed: We must oppose racism everywhere

Twenty years ago, it was the United States that seemed to be viewing Muslims with suspicion. In the time since then, another powerful country has adopted unimaginable animosity toward its citizens of Islamic faith: China. Before the open eyes of the entire world in the 21st century, without considering its global reputation and the consequences of its actions, China has set up concentration camps to detain millions of my people – innocent Uyghurs — since 2017. After 9/11 took place, Islamophobia began to take root in some parts of the United States, and even those perceived as Muslims suffered from hate crimes. Furthermore, the U.S.-led War on Terrorism worsened living situations for innocent Muslims around the world. Tyrannical governments around the world took advantage of this climate to crack down hard on their opponents or people they deemed different from themselves. For the crimes of a few, a whole community was victimized. China is one such country that has treated human rights with impunity in the name of counterterrorism. Instead of respecting Uyghurs’ right to live as free people in their historic homeland, now known as the so-called “Uyghur Autonomous Region,” my people are denied even basic human rights. Today, millions of Uyghur, Kazakh and Krygyz people are still subjected to forced labor in “concentration camps.” Many children have been detained separately from their parents since 2017. What China is committing against Uyghur, Kazakh and Kyrgyz people at this very moment is genocide, the most evil and extreme form of racism. These people are persecuted and imprisoned simply due to their ethnicity. As such, it is necessary to speak up against Chinese state-sponsored racism. Even on the basis of counterterrorism, putting millions of people into concentration camps solely because of ethnicity and faith is a crime against humanity that we must actively condemn. read the complete article

14 May 2021

India police jail 21 Kashmiris amid pro-Palestinian rallies

Police in Indian-controlled Kashmir said Saturday that 21 people were arrested for disturbing public order by expressing solidarity with Palestinians and holding protests against Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. Police said in a statement they were keeping a “close watch on elements who are attempting to leverage the unfortunate situation in Palestine to disturb public peace and order” in Kashmir. The statement said police were “sensitive to public anguish” but wouldn’t allow those sentiments to “trigger violence, lawlessness and disorder.” The Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both in its entirety. Kashmiris have long shown strong solidarity with Palestinians and have often staged anti-Israel protests when fighting broke out in Gaza. read the complete article

16 May 2021

‘I can’t be that careless’: Australian Uyghur activist targeted online

A Uyghur activist in Australia who has been the target of cyber-attacks by hacker groups in China says the Australian government needs to do more to educate the Uyghur community in Australia to protect themselves online. Uyghur activists outside of China are frequently the target of hackers based in China. Facebook’s head of cyber-espionage investigations, Mike Dvilyanksi, and head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, reported in March that a China-based hacking group known as Earth Empusa or Evil Eye had been targeting fewer than 500 activists, journalists and dissidents, predominantly Uyghurs from Xinjiang in China living in Turkey, Kazakhstan, the US, Syria, Australia and Canada. The group used fake accounts on Facebook to appear to be journalists, students, human rights advocates or members of the Uyghur community to trick the targets into clicking onto malicious links that would install spyware on their devices. Often the links would look like Uyghur or Turkish news sites. Nurgul Sawut, a Uyghur community leader based in Canberra, was last month one of more than 10,000 people named on a Chinese blacklist of “suspected terrorists” due to her activism, reported by the ABC. She told Guardian Australia she had been targeted since 2019 on Facebook, and the attacks took a number of forms. There was the straight-out trolling, where they would set up accounts pretending to be people from the Uyghur community, including her sister, and then post incendiary comments denouncing her, or sending her nasty messages, up to sending malware. Those usually came through by someone in the community whose account had been taken over. “Either they have received those messages and forwarded to me, or they just came directly to me through their account,” she said. “And as soon as you open that, your mobile is bugged. That has happened to me twice, and I had to reset my phone, and throw one phone away.” Sawut said she was now careful, had multiple devices, used encrypted email to communicate rather than Gmail or Hotmail, did not have Facebook connected to any other services, and tried to avoid any apps she knows might have links to China. read the complete article

15 May 2021

These Uyghurs were locked up by the US in Guantanamo. Now they're being used as an excuse for China's crackdown in Xinjiang

After two months of moving from cave to cave, steadily running out of food, their nerves fried by the constant bombings and fear of running into Northern Alliance troops combing the area for any suspected Taliban fighters, the men in the cave also made it to Pakistan. They were Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking, predominantly Muslim ethnic group from Xinjiang, a region in far-western China, also referred to by some as "East Turkestan." While today the group is well known, due to international condemnation of China's crackdown in Xinjiang -- which politicians in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands have described as a "genocide" -- in the early 2000s, few Americans had ever heard, or even knew how to pronounce the word Uyghur. This began to change when it was revealed that almost two dozen Uyghurs were being held without trial in an offshore detention center in Guantanamo Bay, accused of being "enemy combatants" in Washington's war on terror. Around the same time, the US also controversially added an alleged Uyghur militant organization, the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) to a State Department list of terrorist groups. After years of court battles and campaigns by their families and human rights groups, the 22 Uyghurs held at Guantanamo were all eventually declared "non-combatants" and gradually released, with the last three men finally leaving the detention camp in 2013. None of them were permitted to settle in the US however, nor could they safely return to Xinjiang. Instead they ended up in a kind of legal limbo in the countries that agreed to accept them, mostly small European and Central American nations that are close to Washington. From there, the former detainees have watched as the situation in their homeland, one that many of them intentionally fled decades ago, has only gotten worse. Many have lost contact with their families, some of whom are believed to have ended up in the sprawling detention camp system set up in Xinjiang, which Beijing claims is vital for "deradicalization" and "vocational training." The Guantanamo Uyghurs have also had to watch as China's propaganda organs have deployed their own existence, and claims made by Washington about ETIM during the "war on terror," as the justification for Beijing's own ongoing crackdown. "Even though America declared we were innocent, that we hadn't done anything, China continues to say we worked with the Taliban and al Qaeda," said Abu Bakeer Qassim, a former Guantanamo detainee now living in Albania. "They say Uyghurs are terrorists with links to al Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS. This propaganda has been really successful." read the complete article

16 May 2021

Only an international effort can put an end to China’s crimes in Xinjiang

China’s president, Xi Jinping, declared back in 2014 in a series of speeches delivered in private to officials that he intended to crack down harshly in Xinjiang, the north-western region of China where about 13 million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims make up half the population. The reality of that “strike hard against violent extremism” campaign, which followed decades of repressive policies, is now clear: Chinese authorities are committing crimes against humanity. The Chinese government has since arbitrarily detained an estimated 1 million Turkic Muslims in “political re-education” facilities. There they are pressured to relinquish their cultural identity. Unprecedented numbers have been imprisoned after sham trials and given harsh sentences. Many were tortured or forcibly disappeared. In addition to these violent attempts to strip the Uyghur people of their culture, the Chinese government is running a program to “cleanse” ethnic minorities of their “extremist” thoughts. More than 80,000 Uyghurs and people from other Turkic and Muslim minorities have been coercively transferred to work in factories, where they are not given the freedom to return home. Governments and United Nations officials are increasingly critical of China’s actions. The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada have imposed unprecedented, coordinated sanctions. Dozens of UN human rights experts, the high commissioner for human rights and the previously quiet secretary-general have expressed concern about Beijing’s treatment of Turkic Muslims. Crimes against humanity are considered among the gravest human rights abuses under international law. They are serious, specified offenses – arbitrary detention, cultural persecution, enforced disappearances, among others – that are knowingly committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population. Ensuring justice for the victims is primarily the responsibility of the state in question. read the complete article


14 May 2021

What Does Islamo-Gauchisme Mean for the Future of France and Democracy?

From within the government, however, those who speak the most of Islamo-gauchisme are seldom academics. The real fear is that universities—the prime institutions that give a platform and even legitimacy for new ideas, if not critical thinking—end up legitimizing criticism of the status quo. To publicly speak of the realities of racism, to expose France’s colonial legacy and role in slavery, to question the roman national or official history of France for its white male-centered narrative is way out of line for some. The emergence of academics from the descendants of slaves and post-colonial immigration is seen as a threat, not as a chance to strengthen French academia in an ever-more globalized world. This fear of both academics who bring a critical voice to white supremacy in France and activists who fight against systemic racism and police brutality is also illustrated by the emergence of two replacement conspiracies: the great replacement and cultural insecurity. The former comes from far-right ideologue Renaud Camus and the latter from a left-wing political scientist named Laurent Bouvet. According to both thinkers, white supremacy is threatened by people who are no longer willing to remain invisible in their own country. Yet to counter any mention of race, religion, or ethnic background, supporters of the status quo emphasize the principle of colorblindness and quote the French Constitution. The colorblindness of the Republic is in fact meant to wipe out any differences between individuals—in the name of colorblindness, minority identities are expected to disappear under the common “Nous” or “Us.” But if the French Republic does not recognize race, it does treat people according to their race. French universities are places where social mobility is still possible—as affordable institutions, they have seen the student population become as diverse as the French population. Naturally, some students from immigrant backgrounds would become part of academia and subsequently bring with them different points of view on history, sociology, and political science because of their different experiences. The controversy around Islamo-leftism and the subsequent witch hunt express another not so admissible opinion: that universities are there to legitimize the status quo, not to question it. To reinforce white supremacy, not to abolish it. To welcome people of color only if they stay in their place, not to speak up. Critical thinking is allowed only when it reinforces established social norms. read the complete article

15 May 2021

Paris police clash with pro-Palestinian protesters at banned rally

Police in Paris on Saturday fired tear gas and aimed water cannons at protesters defying a ban on marching against Israeli attacks on Gaza. Paris police said they made 44 arrests and that one officer was injured breaking up a gathering of protesters. "We refuse to silence our solidarity with the Palestinians, and we will not be prevented from demonstrating," the organizers of the Paris march, the Association of Palestinians in Ile-de-France, the wider Paris region, and other groups said in a statement. They include anti-fascist associations, the citizens' activist group Attac and the far-left New Anti-Capitalist party. A lawyer for the groups, Sefen Guez Guez, denounced the police ban as "disproportionate" and "politically motivated." The ban has caused a split among French politicians, with President Emmanuel Macron's centre-right party and the right-wing opposition supporting the move, but some leftists calling it an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression. read the complete article

13 May 2021

Publicly French, Privately Muslim: The Aim of Modern Laïcité

Considered in France by many to be the cornerstone of Republican universalism, laïcité—France’s unique take on the separation of church and state—has been deeply distorted and weaponized, going so far as to become an argument used to justify repressive, discriminatory, and identitarian policies, in particular toward to Muslims. Whether intended or not, the journey of laïcité from a tool to protect religious communities to one that marginalizes has hardened the French social landscape, and that has ramifications for its future citizens. Both laïcité and Anglo-American multiculturalism, in very different ways, seek to bring a mode of social organization to manage the question of difference and equality. While Anglo-American multiculturalism encourages the recognition of plural identities, French laïcité asserts the principle of indifference and the neutrality of the state vis-à-vis differences. Since the 1990s and accelerating into the mid-2000s, the interpretation of laïcité has shifted to a stricter and more illiberal interpretation that has been used by both left-wing neo-republicans and right-wing conservatives to justify policies targeting Muslim visibility. These groups collectively adopted a combative attitude toward Muslims by telling them to erase public expressions of faith and relegate them to the private sphere in the name of assimilation and national identity. This modern interpretation of laïcité stigmatizes some French citizens because of their religion—it is no longer the neutrality of the state that is centered but the neutrality of some of its citizens. read the complete article

United States

16 May 2021

US: Muslim groups to boycott Biden Eid event over Israel support

Prominent Muslim advocacy groups in the United States are boycotting a White House event on Sunday to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, saying the Biden administration “aids, abets and justifies” Israeli air strikes on Palestinians in Gaza. US President Joe Biden will host a virtual Eid celebration on Sunday to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. But as Israeli air raids continue to pummel the Gaza Strip, killing at least 188 Palestinians and injuring hundreds of others, Muslim advocacy groups say the Biden administration’s recent statements have failed to hold Israel accountable for the escalating violence. “We cannot in good conscience celebrate Eid with the Biden Administration while it literally aids, abets and justifies the Israeli apartheid government’s indiscriminate bombing of innocent men, women and children in Gaza,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in a statement on Saturday. “President Biden has the political power and moral authority to stop these injustices. We urge him to stand on the side of the victims and not the victimizer,” Awad said. read the complete article

15 May 2021

Police Investigate Hate Crimes At Mosque And Church In Brooklyn

NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit is investigating two vandalism incidents at religious institutions in Brooklyn this week. Parishioners at St. Athanasius Catholic Church on Bay Parkway discovered Friday that an enormous crucifix was torn down from the church grounds and an American flag on the rectory was burned, police said. On Thursday morning, members of the Tayba Islamic Center on Coney Island Avenue in Midwood discovered anti-Palestinian graffiti on their building as they gathered to celebrate Eid al-Fitr and the end of Ramadan. “Death to Palestine” was sprayed in blue paint on the mosque’s wall, NYPD said. No arrests have been made. In a statement, Ahmed Mohamed, CAIR-NY's legal director, said authorities from all levels of government should investigate the vandalism. “The Muslim community is facing attacks around the world, and the lack of effective responses to atrocities committed abroad seem to have emboldened those here to act on their hatred for Muslims and Palestinians. “Given the events in Palestine and the Eid holiday, law enforcement must investigate this vandalism as a hate crime and swiftly apprehend the suspect. Muslims deserve to worship in peace whether in Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, throughout Palestine or in Tayba Islamic Center, Brooklyn.” read the complete article


16 May 2021

China’s repression of Uyghurs is not only cultural, but also physical, a new report shows

After the Holocaust, the U.N. General Assembly, meeting in Paris on Dec. 9, 1948, approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It defined genocide as, among other things, “imposing measures intended to prevent births” within a population and said genocide is a crime under international law, whether in peace or war, to be prevented and punished. The promise was “never again.” But it is happening again in China, a signatory to the treaty, as part of China’s crackdown since 2016 on ethnic minority Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in the Xinjiang region in the far northwest. At first, reports suggested that China was brainwashing the Uyghurs and others, who were forced into concentration camps and coerced to drop their language and traditions. China claimed the camps were for vocational education, but eyewitnesses described an archipelago of austere penitentiaries and brutal reeducation routines intended to wipe out the Uyghur identity and culture. Evidence is emerging that China’s repression is not only cultural but also physical. In a report last year by researcher Adrian Zenz for the Jamestown Foundation, and in a new report this month by Nathan Ruser and James Leibold for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, both based on China’s own government data, a precipitous drop in Uyghur birthrates is evident in areas of southern Xinjiang. This appears to be the result of a drive by China at mass sterilization, coerced birth control and punitive family policies. Mr. Zenz showed how Uyghur birthrates had soared in the years before the crackdown, then nosedived. He reported that Uyghurs before 2015 commonly exceeded state limits on the number of children, resulting only in fines, but policies changed drastically starting in 2017, with widespread punishments for those who broke the limits. The new report echoes Mr. Zenz. It found China put in place “a more coercive and intrusive policing of reproduction processes” against the Uyghurs, with hefty fines, disciplinary punishment and extrajudicial internment or the threat of it for any “illegal births.” As a result, it says, in areas where Uyghurs are concentrated, birthrates plunged on average by 43.7 percent between 2017 and 2018. The authors say that, overall, Uyghurs have suffered “proportionally the most extreme” birthrate decline over a two-year period globally since 1950. Despite differences, they add, “this decline in birth-rate is more than double the rate of decline in Cambodia at the height of the Khmer Rouge genocide (1975-79).” read the complete article

16 May 2021

A Xinjiang Solar Giant Breaks Ranks to Try and Woo the West

At the Daqo New Energy Corp. factory in China’s Xinjiang region, workers carefully processed tall columns of refined silicon last week as a group of reporters and analysts looked on. It’s the first time outsiders were allowed to witness the mundane factory scene since China’s dominant solar industry has come under scrutiny for its labor practices. Unlike three other companies in Xinjiang that produce polysilicon—a key ingredient in solar panels—Daqo hasn’t been linked to alleged human-rights abuses. Yet Daqo has upheld the same secrecy as its peers with ties to the government-run labor program that's under international scrutiny. As recently as March, the company declined interview requests for its executives and turned away foreign observers. Now the company’s leadership is breaking ranks in an attempt to shield itself from potential U.S. sanctions over China's treatment of the Uyghur minority group in Xinjiang. Daqo’s chief financial officer, Ming Yang, acknowledges there's a “good probability” that Xinjiang-made polysilicon will be banned by President Joe Biden. As the only U.S.-listed polysilicon company based in Xinjiang, Daqo can’t just ignore concerns from overseas investors and regulators, he said in an interview. “We understand there are these perception risks, especially from the public and media, and some investors,” Yang said. On Wednesday, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said officials “believe in some cases” that Chinese solar products are being produced by forced labor and confirmed the administration is mulling restrictions. Daqo’s best bet is to try and win an exemption. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. this month managed to get itself removed from a U.S. blacklist of military-linked companies, suggesting there’s a way for individual companies to avoid penalties even as tensions rise between the world’s two biggest economies. read the complete article

16 May 2021

A real-life 'Handmaid's Tale' — Chinese-style

In “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the government of Gilead, to compensate for an infertility crisis, has institutionalized rape in order to force young women, known as Handmaids, to bear children. The Chinese government’s equally chilling version of “The Handmaid’s Tale” likewise involves forcible state control of women’s procreation for policy purposes, but with the opposite objective. I am referring to China’s genocidal policy of forcibly preventing Uyghur women in the western region of Xinjiang from having children. China has long had a birth control regime, but when it comes to the Uyghurs, whom China fears as potential ethnic separatists, China is aggressively suppressing their birth rate despite its demographic time bomb. The suppression violates the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which prohibits “imposing measures to prevent births” within an ethnic or religious group. read the complete article


16 May 2021

In India’s Gujarat state, new anti-conversion law threatens Christians, Muslims

Catholic Church leaders in India have opposed an anti-conversion law passed by Gujarat state, saying it goes against the Indian Constitution which allows citizens to profess, practice and propagate a religion of their choice. Opponents want the western Indian state government to abrogate the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act 2021, which was passed on April 1. Jesuit Father Cedric Prakash, a well-known human rights activist based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s commercial hub, said under the new “draconian” law even “a blessing given in good faith to a person from different religion can be construed as an attempt to religious conversion.” Gujarat had already enacted an anti-conversion in 2003; the new act is its amended form and includes stringent provisions for up to 10 years jail and a fine of up to 500,000 Indian rupees ($6750), Prakash told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). The nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Indian People’s Party) that now rules the state amended the law for the purpose of checking the “love jihad,” mostly to target Muslim youths who allegedly feign love to marry girls from other religions and convert them to Islam. According to Prakash, the new law targets both Christians and Muslims. “Other religions in the country are considered part of Hinduism, India’s main religion.” The Hindu nationalists oppose Christianity and Islam because of their foreign origin and target their followers, accusing them of promoting religious conversion or eating beef, among other things. read the complete article

15 May 2021

India's interfaith volunteers help farewell Covid victims

Like Sharma, the volunteers from different faiths are willing to take on the emotional and physical toll of carrying out the final rites, driven by a sense of duty. "We are doing it for... mankind, for humanity. That's all. Sometimes it's very, very painful," the 48-year-old told AFP. Behind him, smoke curled up from crackling funeral pyres and family members of victims stood silently in protective suits. "We are used to cremating 50 bodies a day, but we never cry. Today, I saw a little girl. Today, we cried," he said. - 'Of course I'm scared' - Sharma sleeps in his car at night and has not seen his family for two months, fearful that he could spread the virus to them. Syed Ibrahim, a volunteer with a Muslim charity group in the southeastern city of Chennai, is also aware of the risks. "Of course I'm scared. This is an extremely contagious disease," he told AFP. "In our religion, it's said that God has destined certain things for us... so we bravely take care of the burials and anything else people need from us." The skyrocketing cost of ambulances has meanwhile led the "Mercy Angels" -- a group of Christian, Hindu and Muslim volunteers in Bangalore -- to help poor families transport bodies to cemeteries and crematoriums. read the complete article

14 May 2021

Misinformation surges amid India's COVID-19 calamity

False cures. Terrifying stories of vaccine side effects. Baseless claims that Muslims spread the virus. Fueled by anguish, desperation and distrust of the government, rumors and hoaxes are spreading by word of mouth and on social media in India compounding the country's humanitarian crisis. “Widespread panic has led to a plethora of misinformation,” said Rahul Namboori, co-founder of Fact Crescendo, an independent fact-checking organization in India. “All of the propaganda, misinformation and conspiracy theories that I’ve seen in the past few weeks has been very, very political,” said Sumitra Badrinathan, a University of Pennsylvania political scientist who studies misinformation in India. “Some people are using it to criticize the government, while others are using it to support it." Much of the misinformation travels on WhatsApp, which has more than 400 million users in India. Unlike more open sites like Facebook or Twitter, WhatsApp — which is owned by Facebook — is an encrypted platform that allows users to exchange messages privately. The bad information online "may have come from an unsuspecting neighbor who is not trying to cause harm,” said Badrinathan, the University of Pennsylvania researcher. “New internet users may not even realize that the information is false. The whole concept of misinformation is new to them." read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 17 May 2021 Edition


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