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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08 May 2019

Today in Islamophobia: China continues to abduct Uighur Muslims and send them to internment camps. After the Sunday attacks in Colombo, Sri Lankan Muslims find their lives forever changed. A prisoner freed from Guantanamo faces an uncertain future as he petitions to join his wife in Canada. Today’s recommended read is by Edna Bonhomme and details “The Disturbing Rise of ‘Femonationalism.'” This, and more, below:


08 May 2019

The Disturbing Rise of ‘Femonationalism’ | Recommended Read

In the fall of 2018, during an interview with Der Spiegel, Nicole Höchst, a member of the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, claimed that she was concerned about the future of Germany and the protection of women from radical Islamists and migrants. Alice Weidel, a lesbian leader of the party, alleged that increased migration to Germany has resulted in the lack of protection for women and girls. By proclaiming their motivation for gender equality in racist, xenophobic terms, they are catering to a subsection of women—namely, anti-migrant and anti-Islam ethnic Germans—who are willing to join the AfD. Their goal is to build a larger base to advocate protonatalist policies for ethnic Germans, allege Muslims as a danger for women, and appeal for the increased criminalization of non-German migrants. “I believe we are the only party in Germany who is really fighting for women’s rights, because we point out we’re in danger of losing the freedoms and rights of women for which we’ve fought for centuries,” Höchst said, referring to state-sanctioned programs for mothers, pay equity, and more public security in Germany. This strategy of using women’s rights, interventionist natalist policies, and the language of feminism for the purposes of the far right is not uncommon. European liberals, secularists, and right-wing politicians have usurped women’s rights and feminism to encroach upon religious freedom, women’s bodies, and migration under a banner that feminist scholar Sara Farris calls “femonationalism.” read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day


08 May 2019

Revealed: new evidence of China's mission to raze the mosques of Xinjiang

This year, the Imam Asim shrine is empty. Its mosque, khaniqah, a place for Sufi rituals, and other buildings have been torn down, leaving only the tomb. The offerings and flags have disappeared. Pilgrims no longer visit. It is one of more than two dozen Islamic religious sites that have been partly or completely demolished in Xinjiang since 2016, according to an investigation by the Guardian and open-source journalism site Bellingcat that offers new evidence of large-scale mosque razing in the Chinese territory where rights groups say Muslim minorities suffer severe religious repression. Using satellite imagery, the Guardian and Bellingcat open-source analyst Nick Waters checked the locations of 100 mosques and shrines identified by former residents, researchers, and crowdsourced mapping tools. Out of 91 sites analysed, 31 mosques and two major shrines, including the Imam Asim complex and another site, suffered significant structural damage between 2016 and 2018. Of those, 15 mosques and both shrines appear to have been completely or almost completely razed. The rest of the damaged mosques had gatehouses, domes, and minarets removed. read the complete article

08 May 2019

Podcast | The Chinese Surveillance State, Part 2

In Part 2 of our series, we tell the story of an American citizen whose family members have been detained in Chinese re-education camps for Uighurs and members of other Muslim minority groups. We look at what his efforts to free them reveal about the global reach of China’s surveillance. Paul Mozur, a technology reporter for The New York Times based in Shanghai, spoke with Ferkat Jawdat, a Uighur and American citizen who lives in Virginia. read the complete article

08 May 2019

China Continues To Abduct Uighur Muslims, Sending Them To Internment Camps

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Rushan Abbas, director of Campaign for Uyghurs, about campaigning for the rights of Uighur Muslims living in China. Many have been detained by the Chinese government. RUSHAN ABBAS: I spoke about the conditions of the camps on September 5, 2018 at the Hudson Institute. Six days later, my sister and my aunt both disappeared at the same day. CHANG: Since then, she and her family have heard almost nothing about their whereabouts. ABBAS: I have no idea where my sister is. I heard my aunt was released from the distant relatives, but I have no information on my sister. read the complete article

United States

08 May 2019

The implications of a Trump war on political Islam

The White House has given the Israeli, Egyptian and the Saudi regimes and their allies carte blanche to do as they please domestically and regionally, as long as they purchase US weapons, invest in the US economy and support US initiatives in the Middle East, like the soon to be revealed "deal of the century". It has doubled down on its partners despite their grave human rights violations and costly wars and embraced their autocratic vision of equating Islamism with instability, and stability with military authoritarianism. But the latest move of the Trump administration to essentially declare war on the Muslim Brotherhood may well be the spark that ignites the powder keg that the Middle East has become. The Brotherhood is a fragmented, polycentric international movement that does not, in principle, embrace violence to reach its goals. The few offshoots that do employ violence to attain their goals, like Hamas, have already been designated terrorist, rightly or not. But the majority of the groups under the movement's umbrella have either embraced preaching (dawa) as the way to spread Islam or joined the democratic process whenever possible. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates have been elected to various syndicates and parliaments in countries like Jordan, Morocco and Kuwait - all allies of the US. read the complete article

08 May 2019

Why Ramadan Is Important to Me in an Islamophobic America

The root word of “Islam” means “peace,” but the beauty in Islam is continually overshadowed by the ignorant and Islamophobic rhetoric that finds its way into the many mentions of the religion. In tv shows and movies, Islamophobic narratives continue to be the norm. Islamophobia in pop culture is not new, but it has aided in the normalization of hateful speech and in crafting an incorrect narrative surrounding Muslims. Turn on the news and look no further than how Rep. Ilhan Omar has been treated — from receiving a hateful note at the Capitol, to addressing Islamophobia head on. “When Islam is mentioned, we are only talking about terrorists,” Omar said in a now-controversial speech. This anti-Muslim rhetoric isn't without consequence. Researchers have linked President Donald Trump's tweets casting Muslims in a negative light to an increase in hate crimes against Muslims. read the complete article

08 May 2019

After bullet strikes Ohio home, Muslim family fears their attire, Ramadan lights motivated crime

As the holiest month for Muslims kicked off, one family in Butler County is fearful that their religious expression may have motivated someone to shoot at their home. A bullet narrowly missed two of the family members, according to the Cincinnati chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Family members say they may have been targeted because they displayed lights outside the house marking the month-long fast of Ramadan," according to CAIR-Cincinnati. "Several family members also wear Islamic head scarves, or hijab." CAIR-Cincinnati urged police to consider the possibility the shooting was motivated by bias. read the complete article

08 May 2019

Mainstream Charities Are Unwittingly Funding Anti-Muslim Hate Groups, Report Says

The Council on American-Islamic Relations looked at the money trail from 2014 to 2016 from over 1,000 largely mainstream charities to 39 anti-Muslim groups that it calls the "Islamophobia Network." The report, called "Hijacked by Hate," was released Monday. It found that nearly $125 million was funneled to these groups. That includes money that was anonymously given through the charitable foundations of wealth management groups like Fidelity and Schwab. The hate groups benefiting include ACT for America, the largest anti-Muslim group in the country and a registered nonprofit. The group is described by the Anti-Defamation League as an organization that stokes "irrational fear of Muslims." Others, like CAIR, call it a hate group for its spreading of misinformation about Islam and fearmongering around the principles Muslims live by. read the complete article


08 May 2019

Three former Guantanamo prisoners were cleared by the U.S. — but will Ottawa let them join their Canadian wives?

It’s been more than a decade since U.S. authorities freed Ayub Mohammed from their Cuban prison, having decided he was not, after all, an “enemy combatant.” In that time the ethnic Uyghur from China has earned a business degree from the New York University of Tirana in Albania — his home since 2006 — met online and married a Canadian woman, and had three children, all of whom are Canadian citizens. Now he wants to live with them in Montreal. The Federal Court of Canada recently ordered a new hearing for the 36-year-old after immigration officials denied his request for permanent resident status here. “I live with that everyday, that stain of having been a detainee at Guantanamo Bay,” Mohammed said in an interview from Tirana. “Coming out of Guantanamo, I went into another kind of prison. Everywhere I go, I don’t have the documentation, I don’t have the freedom to move around and once people hear about my background, they stay away…. After they hear about my past, they just disappear.” read the complete article

Sri Lanka

08 May 2019

For Muslims In Sri Lanka, Life Has Changed Forever

A week and a half after the attacks, many Sri Lankan Muslims now fear the thought of even stepping outside of their homes, despite wanting to support the community they grieve as one with. My family in Sri Lanka have not left their houses since last Sunday out of fear of the backlash. Some of my cousins have not gone back to work, not sent children to school and other family members have closed their businesses from fear of being reprimanded for the attacks which they had nothing to do with, and strongly condemn. Many Sri Lankan Muslims fear reprisals against them since reports surfaced that some Muslim businesses had been torched and vandalised in retaliation. My own uncle, who had opened his shop briefly, was approached by a member of the public spewing anti-Muslim sentiment. Since then it has been closed and he’s been confined to his home. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 08 May 2019 Edition


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