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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24 May 2019

Today in IslamophobiaSri Lanka’s veil ban fuels hate, China’s alarming misuse of AI causes concern. An op-ed looks at the harms of racial bullying, another illustrates how the lives of Canadian Muslim women have been impacted by right-wing extremism. Our recommended read of the day is by Pankaj Mishra titled “How Modi seduced India with Envy & Hate.” This, and more, below:


24 May 2019

Opinion | How Narendra Modi Seduced India with Envy and Hate | Recommended Read

During this spring’s campaign, Modi also clarified that he is an unreconstructed ethnic-religious supremacist, with fear and loathing as his main political means. As pro-Modi television anchors hunted for “anti-nationals” and troll armies rampaged through social media, threatening women with rape, lynch mobs slaughtered Muslims and low-caste Hindus. Hindu supremacists have captured or infiltrated institutions from the military and the judiciary to the news media and universities, while dissenting scholars and journalists have found themselves exposed to the risk of assassination and arbitrary detention. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
24 May 2019

India's minorities fear return of Modi

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Hindu vigilante groups have killed dozens of people in recent years, many of them Muslims, for allegedly slaughtering or transporting cows -- an animal that is considered sacred by many Hindus. The attacks have sparked concern about the spread of violent Hindu nationalism since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014. Critics say the presence of a Hindu nationalist government in Delhi has encouraged vigilantism by their hardline supporters against cattle traders, especially Muslims, a minority in India. Even minority groups within the Hindu community, such as lower caste Hindus previously known as "untouchables," have faced violence from hardline nationalists. read the complete article

24 May 2019

In an Indian village, Muslims talk of leaving as divide with Hindus widens

Muslims in Nayabans, an unremarkable village in northern India, say they remember a time when their children played with Hindu youths, and people from either faith chatted when they frequented each other’s shops and went to festivals together. Such interactions no longer happen, many say, because of how polarized the two communities have become in the past two years, and some are frightened and thinking of moving away - if they can afford it. read the complete article

24 May 2019

Opinion | Modi: bad for India’s soul

The BJP is the political wing of Hindu nationalism, a movement that is changing India for the worse. Little wonder, as it stands for the flagrant social dominance of the upper castes of Hindu society, pro-corporate economic growth, cultural conservatism, intensified misogyny, and a firm grip on the instruments of state power. The landslide win for Mr Modi will see India’s soul lost to a dark politics – one that views almost all 195 million Indian Muslims as second-class citizens. read the complete article

United States

24 May 2019

The Hidden Harms of Racial Bullying

Aneesah was the only Muslim student at her Southern California school in 2009, and her family was likely one of the only Muslim families in their Rancho Cucamonga neighborhood. With some encouragement from her father, Aneesah was excited to wear a hijab on her first day of school. But the insecurities started to build as soon as she entered the classroom. Aneesah's teacher hurled several discriminatory comments at her, and eventually ripped the hijab from Aneesah's head. The friends who had wanted to learn more about Aneesah's headscarf earlier that day turned their backs on her, chasing her and calling her names at recess. read the complete article


24 May 2019

How Right-Wing Extremism Has Changed the Lives of Canadian Muslim Women

“There was always the assumption that a brown guy forced me to convert (to Islam),” Stephanie Roy said, adding that her South Asian partner isn’t even Muslim. “I took (the hijab) off because of Islamophobia worldwide and in Canada… it wasn’t worth the stress.” While she said these experiences stemmed from “ignorance” or “small-mindedness,” she joins more than 500,000 Muslim women in Canada—adherents of the second-largest faith group in the country after Christianity—living in a climate of increased right-wing extremism that deliberately targets Muslims. read the complete article


24 May 2019

Leading politicians call for a 'European Islam'

"Instead of tolerating symbols of a reactionary, misogynistic form of Islam, we must promote the development of a European Islam, which shares our values, in order to preserve our free European way of life," penned the two Christian Democrats. The topic of burkas is one of particular concern for both Spahn and Günther. "When women and girls appear fully-veiled at universities and schools, then we do not just have the option to resist, we must resist," they wrote. The pair also spoke about "burdens on the local population" when "deportations fail" before emphasizing that integration was essential for a successful society. read the complete article

24 May 2019

Europe’s Big Election Is About To Usher In A Reckoning For The Far Right

On Sunday, May 26, after four days of voting that begin Thursday, the world will know whether more than 400 million voters across Europe have met expectations and given the self-proclaimed nationalists a historic mandate in the European Parliament, the body that regulates and helps shape the policies of the European Union. Radical right parties and their folk heroes, like Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, will likely be rejoicing, spinning the results as evidence they are continuing to gain power and support after landmark wins for their ideology in the U.S., the U.K., Italy and other nations. Their success will probably thrill their spiritual allies abroad, from President Donald Trump to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. read the complete article


24 May 2019

Opinion | China’s alarming AI surveillance of Muslims should wake us up

The most sweeping and stifling surveillance program in human history is being employed against the mostly Muslim Uighur minority in northwestern China. AI, especially facial recognition, allows authoritarian governments to surveil target populations to an extent previously unimaginable. This has already effectively immobilized the Uighurs, who are afraid to voice their true thoughts even to their closest family members. read the complete article

24 May 2019

As U.S targets China's 'Concentration Camps', Xinjiang's Human Rights Crisis is only getting Worse

In Congress' strongest move yet, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which would require the creation of a report and a position within the State Department focused on China's crackdown. The bill, which also says President Donald Trump should condemn the abuses, will now head to the Senate floor. "It is long overdue to hold Chinese government and Communist Party officials accountable for systemic and egregious human rights abuses," the bill's sponsor Florida Senator Marco Rubio said. The bill's progression comes weeks after the Pentagon said it estimates that up to 3 million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities were being held in “concentration camps,” one of the first times a U.S. official has used the term usually associated with the Holocaust. The label comes three years after China, in a bid to stamp out religious influence in the northwest region of Xinjiang, began arbitrarily placing Uyghurs in detention and building what has become an inescapable surveillance state. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

24 May 2019

Sri Lanka’s Veil Ban Is Fueling Hate

Following the bombings by an Islamic State-affiliated group that killed more than 250 people in the country’s capital last month, the Sri Lankan government banned the covering of face that “hinders the identification of individuals in a way that threatens national security.” The measure was primarily, if not entirely, targeted at the garments worn by some Muslim women, namely the burqa (which covers the whole body) and the niqab (which covers the face, save for the eyes). In theory, the hijab, which covers the hair but leaves the face revealed, and the abaya, a cloak that resembles a loose dress, remain legal. In practice, government-sanctioned prejudice is already spreading—and could have dire consequences.The Sri Lanka Gazette, a public journal run by the government that is seen as an authoritative source, offered no clear visual definitions of what’s banned and what’s not, leading to confusion among the general public. However, Minister of Parliament Harsha de Silva later clarified on Twitter that the hijab was indeed legal. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 24 May 2019 Edition


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