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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10 Nov 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In Germany, a recent study finds that some 46.6% of people in eastern Germany support a ban on Muslim immigrants, meanwhile at the U.N., a failed resolution to hold a debate on China’s genocide of Uyghur Muslims sparks concerns over the council’s ability to hold members accountable on human rights abuses, and in the U.S., two woman are making history as the first Muslim women elected to Georgia’s state assembly. Our recommended read of the day is by Em Hilton for +972 Magazine who interviews journalist Azad Essa about the “authoritarian ties between India and Israel, and the myths that underlie their ideologies.” This and more below:


09 Nov 2022

The violent phobias that bind Hindutva and Zionism | Recommended Read

Observers of political currents in India itself have become accustomed to seeing this kind of street violence; attacks against Muslim communities by Hindu nationalists are now commonplace, while the Indian government is regularly demolishing the homes of Muslim citizens, banning Muslim girls from wearing the hijab to school, and preventing Muslims from praying at historic mosques. Parallels with Palestine-Israel — from the annual Flag March on Jerusalem Day to settler raids on Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank, in step with escalating state-level repression — are impossible to avoid, raising questions as to what we might learn by considering the rise of an emboldened Hindu nationalism alongside the mainstreaming of Kahanism in Israel and diaspora Jewish communities. In recent years, Israel and India have cultivated a very public strategic alliance, born from the political ambitions of both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Against the backdrop of flourishing far-right nationalism and authoritarianism, the governments of both countries have also increasingly cracked down on civil society, harshened measures in occupied and disputed territory, and stepped up Islamophobic rhetoric and policies. Azad Essa, a New York-based journalist and the author of “Hostile Homelands: The New Alliance Between India and Israel,” argues that “At the heart of this new alliance is Islamophobia, and [the fact] that both Zionism and Hindutva are pushing colonial and expansionist ideas. Both are ethnonationalist ideologies with an emphasis on race, territory, and nativism.” To understand more about the political, economic, and cultural ramifications of India and Israel’s ties, +972 Magazine spoke with Essa about the relationship between Hindutva and Zionism, and the growing extremism in the Indian and Jewish diasporas. read the complete article

10 Nov 2022

Fury over 'racist and Islamophobic' French cartoons depicting Qatari footballers as terrorists

French newspaper Le Canard enchaîné has been accused of racism after publishing a cartoon depicting Qatar's national football team appearing to hold weapons and wearing balaclavas. The caricature was published in the satirical publication's October issue focused on Qatar and the upcoming 2022 World Cup. It featured seven footballers with "Qatar" on their jerseys, with some wearing balaclavas and holding pistols, assault rifles, rocket launchers, and even one wearing a suicide vest. Critics have accused the outlet of Islamophobia, saying that depicting Qatari footballers as terrorists is racist and takes away from legitimate human rights concerns around the World Cup. read the complete article

09 Nov 2022

How to Stop China Killing Human Rights at the U.N.

On Oct. 6, the United Nations Human Rights Council rejected a resolution to hold a debate on China’s violations of human rights in Xinjiang. The vote was spurred by a meticulous report published five weeks earlier by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which detailed Chinese state-directed persecution of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities that “may constitute … crimes against humanity.” The resolution—which failed by 19 votes to 17, with 11 abstentions—represented the first formal attempt to hold China accountable for its massive and ongoing human rights abuses at the Human Rights Council since the body’s inception in 2006. According to the OHCHR report, these violations include mass arbitrary detention, widespread torture, sexual violence, coercive birth suppression, family separation, forced labor, and repression of religious and cultural practices in Xinjiang. The council’s failure to carry out its most basic function as the U.N.’s premier venue for the promotion and protection of human rights stands as an indictment of the council itself—and the human rights system it purports to anchor. It also demonstrates the deep success of China’s decadeslong project to rewire the normative framework of international human rights and replace it with the idea that human rights are negotiable and subject to the prerogatives of states. The Xinjiang resolution’s rejection should be a wake-up call to concerned states on the need to redouble efforts at the U.N. to preserve the foundational principle that every individual around the world is entitled to fundamental rights. read the complete article

09 Nov 2022

Islam and the West: The entire binary is false

Arguably the most damning binary division to have plagued our reading of world history, from the rise of Islam to this day, is the fictional bifurcation presumed between two compelling illusions codenamed “Islam” and “the West”. Just turn to any media you regularly visit or read, print or broadcast, old-fashioned or online: Islam and the West are there as two polar opposites. Islam is bad, the West is good; Muslims are “Indians”, westerners are “cowboys”; Islam is dark, the West is white; Islam is reactionary, the West is progressive. This binary has obviously created whiplash effects, as Muslims react instinctively, arguing that Islam is really good, and the West has misrepresented it, etc. But either way, “Islam” is here, “the West” is somewhere else, and the two are quintessentially apart. Over the last few decades, scores of academic and popular publications have sought in an earnest ecumenical spirit to bring the two closer together, and to question this Manichaean division. Islam is not as bad, they would argue; the West is not as good; Islam has influenced the West, and the West has had a prolonged colonial and imperial presence among Muslims. Some observers are doing their best to prove that “the West” has been wrong about “Islam” - and yet, as two distinct truths and two competing realities, they continue to be existentially and almost providentially cast against each other. Reactionary thinkers want to exacerbate this distinction, while progressives and liberals want to ease the tension. But still, as author Rudyard Kipling would say, “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” read the complete article

United States

09 Nov 2022

‘Herstory maker’: First Muslim women elected to state house, senate

Two Gwinnett County women are making history by becoming the first Muslim women elected to the state Assembly. Both women on Wednesday say it’s surreal to be a part of history, but it’s issues like public education and income inequality they say won them their seats. “It’s something I never would have imagined, not even 10 years ago,” Ruwa Romman said. When Romman wears her hijab as a representative at the Georgia Capitol next year, it’ll be a first in the state’s history. “I think my hijab is a symbol to people that anything is possible,” Romman said. The 29-year-old is the first Muslim woman to be elected to Georgia’s state House. She says she overcame Islamophobic attacks during her campaign to win the seat in Gwinnett County’s 97th District. Nabilah Islam became the first Muslim woman elected to the state Senate by winning her race in Gwinnett County’s 7th District. “When folks went to go vote, they saw a part of themselves in my story as well,” Islam said. The 32-year-old Democrat will go to work at the Capitol with a progressive agenda and a hope to fight for a growing Muslim community. “I’m so excited (for) our Muslim communities. So many communities will have a voice now,” Islam said. read the complete article

09 Nov 2022

I weep for a tortured America that has lost its conviction

Today, though, the United States is a tortured nation, unsure of itself, afraid of what lies ahead. Gone is its conviction, so basic to its national psyche, that it was the best at everything. As Tuesday’s midterm U.S. elections showed, America is a deeply polarized country. It is more so than at any time since the 1950s now that the Republican Party, which once was a reasonable conservative political entity, has now morphed into the party of what barely 20 years ago would have been called the lunatic fringe, filled with angry election-deniers, anti-vaxxers, isolationists and anti-government “haters.” But the reality remains that a large number of hard-line Republicans, many aligned with former president Donald Trump, gained seats in Congress and won significant contests in races for governor and other key offices in statewide elections. And so I weep for America! I weep for a nation that elected a surprising number of Republicans who are openly pushing to turn America into a theocracy, no longer hiding their view that the U.S. is a “white Christian” nation, forcing teachers to promote “Christian values” and arguing that the framers of the U.S. Constitution did not want a strict separation of church and state. read the complete article


09 Nov 2022

Indian police investigating film that portrays Kerala as Islamic terrorism hub

Police in Kerala are investigating a controversial Bollywood film that portrays the southern Indian state as a hub of Islamic terrorism and forced conversion. The Kerala Story, directed by Sudipto Sen, has come under criticism for its fictional depiction of tens of thousands of women from Kerala who it claims were converted to Islam and became terrorists for Islamic State in Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria. A teaser trailer features an actor playing a Hindu woman who becomes a victim of an apparent “dangerous game” of conversion. “I wanted to become a nurse and serve humanity,” she says directly to the camera while dressed in a niqab. “Now I am Fatima Ba, an Isis terrorist in a jail in Afghanistan. I am not alone.” The film trailer goes on to claim that “there are 32,000 girls like me who have been converted and buried in the deserts of Syria and Yemen. A deadly game is being played to convert normal girls into dreaded terrorists in Kerala … will nobody stop them?” The film-makers say the film is based on real information and events but have not provided any evidence or official reports to back their claims. read the complete article


09 Nov 2022

Xenophobia, anti-Muslim hatred surges in eastern Germany

Anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia have surged in eastern Germany, according to a recent study conducted by Leipzig University. Some 46.6% of people in eastern Germany demanded a ban on Muslim immigrants, up from 40.2% polled in 2020, according to a representative survey published on Wednesday. Researchers pointed out that anti-Muslim attitudes were higher in the ex-communist eastern German states where significantly fewer Muslims are living and where people have less contact with Muslims. In western Germany, 23.6% said they advocate for a ban on immigration from Muslim countries, and 36.6% said they felt like foreigners in their own country due to the high number of immigrants. The Leipzig Authoritarianism Study 2022 has also revealed that xenophobia was on the rise in the eastern German states. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 10 Nov 2022 Edition


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