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
21 May 2019

Today in IslamophobiaSayeeda Warsi speaks to Bridge about Islamophobia and being Muslim in Britain, while Muslim members of Congress host a historic iftar at the U.S Capitol. Austria bans headscarves for children in primary schools, and a new op-ed looks at the Islamophobia in the country. Our recommended read of the day is by Sam Haselby titled “Muslims of early America.” This, and more, below:

United States

21 May 2019

Muslims of Early America | Recommended Read

The first words to pass between Europeans and Americans (one-sided and confusing as they must have been) were in the sacred language of Islam. Christopher Columbus had hoped to sail to Asia and had prepared to communicate at its great courts in one of the major languages of Eurasian commerce. So when Columbus’s interpreter, a Spanish Jew, spoke to the Taíno of Hispaniola, he did so in Arabic. Not just the language of Islam, but the religion itself likely arrived in America in 1492, more than 20 years before Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door, igniting the Protestant reformation. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
21 May 2019

Opinion | Head of Program Profiling Muslims in Chicago Steps Down Amid Pressure

The Obama-era Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program claims to identify people who might be vulnerable to “radicalization” by using indicators such as “difficulties in school, searching for a sense of belonging, and acculturation difficulties experienced by refugee youth” that range from vague to overtly racialized. This approach is not backed up by social science, and the program’s indicators disproportionately target Muslim and Arab communities, effectively criminalizing everyday behavior. read the complete article

21 May 2019

Muslim Members Of Congress Host A Historic Iftar In The Capitol

On Monday evening, three Muslim members of Congress ― Reps. André Carson (D-Ind.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) ― hosted a historic iftar in the U.S. Capitol to recognize the holy month of Ramadan and honor the contributions of the Muslim American community. The gathering to break that day’s Ramadan fast was the first iftar to be hosted by Congress’ own Muslim members. The event, which was co-hosted by the national civil rights organization Muslim Advocates, was also set to be the first congressional iftar to be addressed by any speaker of the House. read the complete article

21 May 2019

Mosques increase security during Ramadan in response to recent hate crimes

A study from researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Loyola University School of Law suggests, divisive sociopolitical rhetoric has been on the rise under President Donald Trump, and so too is Islamophobia. High-profile attacks on places of worship, the most recent being the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand in March, as well as anti-Muslim hate crimes have increased in frequency. This has, in turn, complicated the observance of Ramadan by bringing up security concerns. As the observance of Ramadan continues and mosques see higher traffic than usual, tensions have only intensified, according to first-year public affairs student Rimsha Saeed. “The Friday following (the Christchurch shooting), there was a definite tension in the air,” Saeed said. “People were concerned and scared.” read the complete article

United Kingdom

21 May 2019

Podcast | Sayeeda Warsi on Islamophobia and Being Muslim in Britain

The Conservative Party in the United Kingdom has been accused of having an Islamophobia problem, as evidence of anti-Muslim comments made by MPs and incidents of anti-Muslim rhetoric continue to pile up. The party has failed to take any considerable action in tackling this issue, as it has ignored calls to carry out a formal inquiry. Additionally, it has not adopted a formal definition of Islamophobia, and this is all occurring during a time of increased hate crimes against Muslims. To discuss all that and more, Bridge Senior Research Fellow Mobashra Tazamal sat down with Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, former co-chair of the party. read the complete article

21 May 2019

Anti-Muslim racism is a problem in the UK regardless of the word used

The UK government’s decision to reject a definition of Islamophobia, created through a consultative process led by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, is a slap in the face for those on the receiving end of Islamophobia. The average Muslim probably has a story or two to tell about their own experiences. So why is it that our experiences are so easily ignored, or even denigrated, by those in power? The monumental failure of the Conservative party to reckon with its own blind spot with Islamophobia has damaged faith in its ability to recognise and legislate to root out Islamophobic bigotry in society. read the complete article


21 May 2019

Austria bans headscarves for girls in primary school in ‘signal against political Islam’

The law states any “ideologically or religiously influenced clothing which is associated with the covering of the head” is now banned. Both parties in the coalition government, the People’s party (ÖVP) and the Freedom party (FPÖ) have said that despite the wide description, it is targeted at the Islamic garment. The FPO’s education spokesman Wendelin Mölzer said the law was “a signal against political Islam”. read the complete article

21 May 2019

Austria's Islamophobia and the construction of the authoritarian state

Gone are the social critiques, the political opposition and investigative journalists. And there is an obvious reason for this. The current Austrian government, which is led by a coalition made out of the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Christian-democratic People’s Party (ÖVP), has chosen those legislations that are least contested in the public sphere. The Austrian government, which has already implemented a hijab ban for children in kindergarten last year, has now extended this ban to primary school. On May 15, the national parliament voted for a ban in primary school. Pupils up to 10 years old shall be forbidden to cover their hair with a hijab. read the complete article


21 May 2019

Canada's wicked storm

Mohamed Fakih is not a politician. He is a successful restaurateur who chose not to appease or cower before bigotry, but to confront it, head-on, in a Toronto courtroom. Fakih is also a Muslim. Predictably, his faith made him a target of Kevin Johnston, who, like so many other hate merchants these days, traffics in Islamophobia online for notoriety and profit. Decidedly less polished than the celebrity Islamophobes who camouflage their venom behind academic credentials and agreeable, media-savvy dispositions, Johnston's brand of hate is more direct and profane. Still, despite his ugly resume, Canada's corporate media are loath to call Johnston by his true name, opting instead to describe him as a "controversial" "provocateur" or "self-styled journalist". read the complete article

New Zealand

21 May 2019

Man Accused in Christchurch Mosque Shootings Now Faces Terrorism Charge

The Australian man accused of fatally shooting dozens of Muslim worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, has been charged with carrying out a terrorist act, the police said Tuesday. Brenton H. Tarrant, 28, already faced 50 counts of murder after the massacre on March 15. An additional murder charge was lodged against him Tuesday, in relation to the death in Christchurch Hospital earlier this month of another man who was shot in the attack. Mr. Tarrant also faces 40 attempted murder charges. read the complete article


21 May 2019

What Will India Look Like If Modi Returns to Power?

India’s post-election scene is likely to be more complicated, given the probable outcome—as forecast in Sunday’s exit polls—is a second Modi government, but not necessarily a stronger one. Such a verdict would carry many risks for India’s future. But liberals need not panic quite yet, given Modi himself becoming an ever more dominant strongman-style political figure is not the most likely outcome. There are legitimate reasons to worry about this, given the direction of Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since taking power in 2014. Back then, Modi styled himself as a charismatic but honest vikas purush, or “development man,” who had mostly left behind the zeal of his younger days as a radical proselytizer for Hindutva, or the theory that India is rightly a Hindu, not a multicultural, nation. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 21 May 2019 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results