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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06 May 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In the United Kingdom, Rupert Murdoch’s The Times has had to apologize and pay damages for a false report about Muslims for the fourth time in 17 months, while Muslims worshippers attending late night prayers at an east London mosque were pelted with eggs and stones by “burly white men.” Amid the growing COVID-19 crisis in India, PM Modi finds himself battling the most serious threat to his dominance over Indian politics in seven years, and in the United States, Facebook is hosting an ad campaign from an anti-Muslim organization that criticizes American universities for their anti-racist policies. Our recommended read of the day is by Ken Moritsugu and Dake Kang on the future of Islam in Xinjiang under the repressive policies of the Chinese government.


06 May 2021

Ramadan in China: Faithful dwindle under limits on religion I Recommended Read

Tursunjan Mamat, a practicing Muslim in western China’s Xinjiang region, said he’s fasting for Ramadan but his daughters, ages 8 and 10, are not. Religious activity including fasting is not permitted for minors, he explained. The 32-year-old ethnic Uyghur wasn’t complaining, at least not to a group of foreign journalists brought to his home outside the city of Aksu by government officials, who listened in on his responses. It seemed he was giving a matter-of-fact description of how religion is practiced under rules set by China’s Communist Party. Under the weight of official policies, the future of Islam appears precarious in Xinjiang, a rugged realm of craggy snow-capped mountains and barren deserts bordering Central Asia. Outside observers say scores of mosques have been demolished, a charge Beijing denies, and locals say the number of worshippers is sinking. read the complete article

The Reciter: A Uyghur family’s pride — and downfall

It took him three years, but finally, at the age of 14, Nurali memorized the entire Quran. This, he remembers, was one of the happiest days of his mother’s life. Over the phone she told him how proud she was. How he had brought so much joy and honor to his family. He was a living Quran, his life itself part of a sacred tradition that had been passed on for centuries. Now he became Nurali Qari — Nurali the Reciter. Nurali was living with his aunt in Cairo at the time, far away from his Uyghur classmates — whom he had last seen at his 10th birthday party at the fanciest restaurant in Ürümqi. He did not know that his pursuit of something that would make his mother so happy would result in an Interpol “red notice,” Chinese authorities deeming his family members “terrorists” — and, for his mother, a 16-and-a-half-year prison sentence. read the complete article

United Kingdom

06 May 2021

Met detective built shrine on Muslim colleague’s desk and considered adding a picture of Shamima Begum

“It was wholly inappropriate and poorly judged,” the Met Police misconduct panel said in its report. “No thought was given to how Officer A may react — especially as still a new member of the team nor was thought given to how racially offensive this could be perceived by a Muslim officer. “The fact that there is evidence, unchallenged, that they intended to use an image of Shamima Begum is a concern for the panel — it is capable of being seen as a deliberate attempt to equate Muslims as terrorists. “There can be no doubt in this panel’s view that such a plan would have been seen by Officer A to be offensive, racially discriminatory and potentially intimidating.” read the complete article

06 May 2021

The Times Libels Muslims Again: IPSO FAILS TO ACT

It has happened again. Rupert Murdoch’s The Times has had to apologise and pay damages for a false report about Muslims. For a newspaper that denies it is racist towards Muslims the Times finds itself in this position with remarkable frequency. Four legal humiliations of this kind in just 17 months is an astonishing record for a newspaper that purports to deliver serious journalism. And bear in mind that these all follow the UNMASKED report of June 2019, which accused the Times of having an anti-Muslim agenda and which the paper dismissed as a smear. It is now beyond argument that the paper has serious, systemic problems when it comes to reporting about Muslims: it does not check its facts; it does not report responsibly and – perhaps most shockingly – it refuses to learn from its mistakes, expensive though they may be. So where is the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the so-called ‘toughest regulator in the western world’? As usual, nowhere. read the complete article

06 May 2021

Worshippers ‘pelted with eggs and stones’ in ‘Islamophobic’ attack on east London mosque

Police have launched an investigation after worshippers attending late night prayers at an east London mosque were pelted with eggs and stones by "burly white men". Detectives said they are investigating a hate crime after the "cowardly" attack on the Ilford Islamic Centre at 11pm on Tuesday. Items were thrown from a silver estate car by a white man with a shaved head, mosque staff said. At least three other people are thought to have been in the vehicle. read the complete article


06 May 2021

Mosque set on fire in France amid rising hate crimes

A Turkish mosque in the Alpine community of Albertville in France was subjected to an arson attack on Tuesday. The announcement was made by the Milli Gorus Islamic Confederation (CIMG) on their social media platform. Surveillance cameras recorded the scene where a man is seen approaching the mosque's gate before lighting the fire. The latest attack follows a string of such acts of vandalism on other mosques across France. Last week for the second time in one month, the walls of the Avicenna mosque and Islamic cultural centre in Rennes were defaced with slogans such as "Wake up France", "We warned you, immigration kills" and "No Islamization." Officials have yet to apprehend the attackers. read the complete article

06 May 2021

Does French Secularism Promote Freedom or Stoke Islamophobia?

In this episode, host Nelufar Hedayat examines France’s laïcite or “secularism” laws, which discourage religious involvement in public life. First she speaks about experiences wearing the hijab in Western Europe with members of Collectif Les 100 Diplômées, a Belgian group that supports Muslim women. Then French lawmaker Aurore Bergé discusses why she believes that restricting where the hijab can be worn is an act of feminism. Finally, award-winning filmmaker Deeyah Khan talks about her experiences as a prominent Muslim woman and her frustrations over regulating Muslim attire. read the complete article

United States

06 May 2021


Over the past decade, the Rohingya have become an integral part of the Milwaukee community, they arrived along with other Burmese groups such as the Karen and the Chin. They work hard, often in places where others will not, like factories and meat processing plants. They arrived here with very little, often just what they had in a suitcase and struggle to learn English, navigate our systems, and access services and opportunities. Milwaukee has the largest Rohingya community in the United States with a population likely over 3,000 individuals. Since arriving, Rohingya in Milwaukee began their difficult journey to becoming American citizens. They are the lucky ones that have made it to high-income countries, but have the hard task of absorbing all the calls for help and requests for money from their friends and families back in Myanmar and in Kutupalong, Bangladesh – the world’s largest refugee camp home to almost a million Rohingya. read the complete article

06 May 2021

Facebook Runs Hate Group’s Ads Attacking Campus Anti-Racism

Facebook is hosting an ad campaign for an anti-Muslim hate group that criticizes ten American universities for their anti-racist policies and attempts to address racial discrimination on campus. The ad campaign is being run by the Facebook page Jew Hatred on Campus, which was previously called Stop the Jihad on Campus. It is a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a nonprofit that has been identified as an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The Freedom Center says its mission is to “combat the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values and disarm this country as it attempts to defend itself in a time of terror.” Facebook has taken $18,825 from the group to run the ads, which have the potential to reach more than 10 million Facebook users. read the complete article

Giving while Muslim: How Ramadan philanthropy has changed from 9/11 to COVID-19

Five years into our work, our team has helped start 124 donor advised funds and incubate 15 fiscal sponsorships. We also manage eight giving circles and host eight nonprofit endowments, including our new American Muslim Women’s Giving Circle, launched with the help of Philanthropy Together. But working with AMCF has shown me that Muslim philanthropy faces particular challenges. As Esra Tunc, a graduate student in religious studies at the University of San Diego and an AMCF research fellow, has found, many relief-based agencies were subject to surveillance after the World Trade Center attacks due to the fear of terrorism. Three of the largest Muslim charities of the time — the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the Benevolence International Foundation and the Global Relief Foundation — were shut down after the attacks. Other Muslim charities, especially those involved in international causes, encountered decreases in donations due to fear that they might support religious extremism. Donors became wary of any organizations working in international relief and especially those with the word Islam or Muslim in the title. read the complete article


Pandemic Second Wave Presents a Moment of Reckoning for Modi – and Indian Politics

The coronavirus pandemic has been a turning point for many populist-nationalist leaders around the world. The only exception to this trend had been Narendra Modi, whose soaring popularity was sustained through a year of the pandemic. The second wave in India has undone all that. Modi finds himself battling the most serious threat to his dominance over Indian politics in seven years. India’s healthcare infrastructure has collapsed under the devastation caused by the second wave. The national media has been awash with gruesome images of mass cremations and people dying outside hospitals, and social media is inundated with desperate pleas for oxygen cylinders. In fact, a large number of people have perished owing to a crippling shortage of medical oxygen. For the first time, there is a widespread sense of anger against the central government. read the complete article

Covid-19: Why India needs to vaccinate undocumented immigrants, refugees

India's newly liberalised vaccine policy makes all its adult citizens eligible, but makes no mention of the undocumented immigrants and refugees who live and work here: India currently has more than 240,000 refugees and asylum seekers and nearly 3.8 million Nepali and Bangladeshi immigrants. "The right to health is part of the right to life. If there are requirements for specific documentation, a large number of people will fall out of the vaccination process and face death," said Ravi Nair, executive director, South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC), a human rights network. read the complete article


06 May 2021

G-7 Lists the Many Ways That It’s Deeply Unhappy With China

“We encourage China, as a major power and economy with advanced technological capability, to participate constructively in the rules-based international system,” the statement said as it singled out in detail the treatment of Uyghur Muslims and pointedly supported Taiwan’s “meaningful participation in World Health Organisation forums.” read the complete article


06 May 2021

The ‘hijab penalty’: Feminist backlash to Muslim immigrants in Germany

That evidence comes from experimental interventions set up on train platforms across dozens of German cities and reveals that discrimination by German women is due to their beliefs that Muslims are regressive with respect to women’s rights. In effect, their experiment finds a feminist opposition to Muslims, and shows that discrimination is eliminated when Muslim women signaled that they shared progressive gender attitudes, says Sambanis, who directs the Penn Identity and Conflict Lab (PIC Lab), which he founded when he came to Penn in 2016. They found that men were not very receptive to different messages regarding the woman’s attitude toward gender equality, but German women were. Among German women, anti-Muslim discrimination was eliminated when the immigrant woman signaled that she held progressive views vis-à-vis women’s rights. Men continued to discriminate in both the regressive and progressive conditions of the experiment. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 06 May 2021 Edition


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