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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23 May 2019

Today in IslamophobiaChina uses hi-tech surveillance to subdue minorities, and a hardliner Buddhist monk is pardoned for inciting violence in Sri Lanka. A mosque in New Haven struggles to resume Ramadan rituals after an arson attack, and an op-ed situates the Muslim holy month within the larger paradigm of global rise in Islamophobia. Our recommended read of the day is by Anuk Arudpragasam who writes on Sri Lanka’s state of disorientation in the aftermath of the Easter bombings. This, and more, below:

Sri Lanka

23 May 2019

A State of Disorientation: Dispatch from Sri Lanka after the Easter Bombings | Recommended Read

What would drive nine mostly middle-class Sri Lankan Muslims to such acts of violence and self-destruction? And why target Christians, of all people, who in this country have hurt nobody for the sake of their beliefs In response to similar attacks that have occurred in the Western world, a readymade script has long been prepared for this purpose. The main protagonists of this script, of course, are radical Islamists, terrorists with ruthless disregard for human life, people who have no history except the history of their radicalization, and who will stop at nothing to destroy the peace. It is a script that is easy to use, one that allows complex histories to be simply written and simply processed, and it is this script that the international media have almost universally resorted to in covering the recent events in Sri Lanka. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
23 May 2019

Sri Lanka president pardons hardline Buddhist monk

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has pardoned a hardline Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and convicted of contempt of court, officials said on Wednesday. The pardoning of Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, head of the hardline Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or "Buddhist Power Force", comes a week after Buddhist groups attacked Muslim-owned homes, mosques and shops in apparent reprisal for the Easter bombings by a Muslim armed group that killed more than 250 people. One person was killed in the anti-Muslim riots. read the complete article


23 May 2019

How China Uses High-Tech Surveillance to Subdue Minorities

Developed and sold by the China Electronics Technology Corporation, a state-run defense manufacturer, the system in Kashgar is on the cutting edge of what has become a flourishing new market for technology that the government can use to monitor and subdue millions of Uighurs and members of other Muslim ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Treating a city like a battlefield, the platform was designed to “apply the ideas of military cyber systems to civilian public security,” Wang Pengda, a C.E.T.C. engineer, said in an official blog post. “Looking back, it truly was an idea ahead of its time.” read the complete article

23 May 2019

Chinese surveillance firm's stock plunges after reports of possible US ban

Hikvision stock plummeted the daily limit of 10% during early morning trading in Shenzhen. It recovered some of those losses to close about 6% lower. The drop came after the New York Times reported that the United States is considering placing the Chinese surveillance technology firm on a trade blacklist, citing people familiar with the matter. Hikvision manufactures surveillance cameras and security products powered by artificial intelligence. The company says its products can track people using facial recognition or physical characteristics such as gait, count the number of people who visit specific areas and detect "unusual behavior like a violent action." read the complete article


23 May 2019

Opinion | India’s Modi has been a bellwether for global populism

As huge as this election was, it ultimately boiled down to one simple question: Should the divisive Narendra Modi be prime minister for five more years? That’s a question with international implications. The brand of right-wing, religiously-tinged populism that led Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party to a historic electoral win in 2014 soon turned out to be echoed in other anti-establishment votes in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. As the New York Times noted, many in India describe Modi as “our Trump," with pride or scorn. “Of the great democracies to fall to populism, India was the first,” novelist and journalist Aatish Taseer wrote for Time Magazine earlier this month. read the complete article

United States

23 May 2019

New Haven mosque struggles to resume Ramadan rituals after arson attack

A week after an arson attack left the imposing Diyanet Mosque of New Haven uninhabitable, nearly three dozen members of this Muslim community gathered in front of the building for what should have been a familiar Ramadan ritual — a community iftar, or the breaking of the day’s fast. “I feel like I can’t look behind me,” said Hulya Elevli, 49, facing trailers in the parking lot so as not to look at the damage. “I see the minarets and it’s terrible. They’re right there, right behind me. And we’re out here, outside, instead of inside. I can’t believe this happened to us.” read the complete article

23 May 2019

Opinion | How I’m Reckoning With Ramadan in an Age of Islamophobia

This year, I've found abstaining from food and drink to be the easy part; the tougher part is finding ways to negate feelings of pessimism or cynicism in the current political environment. This past election cycle, the Muslim-American community celebrated the groundbreaking victories of Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — two of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress — and Pennsylvania state representative Movita Johnson-Harrel, the first Muslim woman to serve in the Pennsylvania legislator. These golden moments should have been met with historic acknowledgment and congratulations from leaders on both sides of the the aisle, but instead, they were met with partisan attacks and intimidation from the highest levels of our federal and state governments. read the complete article

United Kingdom

23 May 2019

Opinion | What happened when I met my Islamophobic troll

In 2017, I started to receive messages from a Twitter user who called themself True Brit, telling me that my religion was “Satanic”, “barbaric” and “evil”. Bearing a profile image of the St George’s cross and a biography that simply read “Anti-Islam, stop Islamic immigration now”, True Brit often spammed me with pictures taken from anti-Muslim websites, blogs and Facebook groups. read the complete article

23 May 2019

Europe's first eco-mosque invokes God to fight climate change

Europe’s first green mosque is hoping to harness the power of Islam to tackle climate change, urging Muslims who worship in the British newbuild to do more to protect the planet. Cambridge Central Mosque, located in the world-famous British university city, opened its doors in May just in time for the fasting month of Ramadan. It is adorned with latticed columns, clad in solar panels and surrounded by crab apples, with space for 1,000 and a mission to become a force for climate good. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 23 May 2019 Edition


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