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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12 Nov 2019

Today in Islamophobia: The World Bank ends funding to Chinese Uighur ‘schools’, while Peter King leaving Congress highlights all his demonizing actions towards American Muslims. In Spain the Vox party is gaining ground as a far-right movement, while the French left struggles with Islamophobia as their absence is noted in allyship. Our recommended read of the day is an opinion piece by Rana Ayyub discussing the India Supreme Court case verdict that gave right-wing nationalists a win over Muslim citizens. This, and more, below:


12 Nov 2019

Recommended Read | India’s Supreme Court endorses right-wing vision relegating Muslims to second-class citizens

The court delivered a huge victory for the nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, by awarding the land at the heart of the clash to a Hindu litigant over Muslim objections. At the Supreme Court, lawyers chanted “Jai Shri Ram” (“Glory to Lord Ram”). Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who read the verdict, took his colleagues to dinner that night at the posh Taj Mansingh in Delhi. On social media, the verdict was celebrated by right-wing nationalists. Journalists and writers called it a welcome closure to a conflict that had lasted almost a century. A senior leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, L.K. Advani — who was one of the leaders of the mob that demolished the Babri mosque, which triggered one of the bloodiest anti-Muslim pogroms in the country — declared victory on television. “It is a moment of fulfillment for me because God almighty had given me an opportunity to make my own humble contribution to the mass movement, the biggest since India’s freedom movement, aimed at the outcome which the Supreme Court verdict today has made possible,” he said. read the complete article

Recommended Read
12 Nov 2019

India's Soundtrack of Hate, With a Pop Sheen

Every house will be saffron!” the singer, Laxmi Dubey, yelled into her microphone, referring to the color representing Hinduism. “We have to make terrorists run from our blessed land!” The crowd cheered when she added a throat-slitting hand gesture. Ms. Dubey is one of the biggest stars driving the rise of Hindutva pop music in India over the past few years. Hindutva is a word describing a devout Hindu culture and way of life, and the music that bears its name sets traditional Hindu religious stories or Bollywood clips to dance beats — with added lyrics that in some cases openly call for the slaughter of nonbelievers, forced conversions, or attacks on Pakistan. It is the music of the times in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s India. Muslims and other minorities fear that some of Mr. Modi’s Hindu-nationalist supporters are damaging the country’s secular foundation and making life dangerous for any who do not display extreme patriotism or Hindu religious fervor. These concerns were only heightened with a court decision Saturday in favor of Hindus over a contested holy site. read the complete article


12 Nov 2019

Hikvision Markets Uyghur Ethnicity Analytics, Now Covers Up

Hikvision has marketed an AI camera that automatically identifies Uyghurs, on its China website, only covering it up days ago after IPVM questioned them on it. This AI technology allows the PRC to automatically track Uyghur people, one of the world's most persecuted minorities. read the complete article

12 Nov 2019

World Bank ends funding to controversial Uighur schools in China

The World Bank launched another review of the program in late August after Foreign Policy magazine reported that a school that benefited from a tranche of the US$50 million (S$68 million) loan to China bought "barbed wire, gas launchers, and body armour." The Washington-based development lender said it launched another review in the wake of the charges but "did not substantiate the allegations." However, "In light of the risks associated with the partner schools, which are widely dispersed and difficult to monitor, the scope and footprint of the project is being reduced." "Specifically, the project component that involves the partner schools in Xinjiang is being closed," the World Bank said in a statement. read the complete article

United States

12 Nov 2019

Peter King Pioneered the Persecution of American Muslims

While King had stiff competition, no legislator did more to demonize American Muslims than he did. Long before there was Donald Trump, there was Peter King. King encouraged law enforcement spying in mosques, an invasion that no religious group in America would ever tolerate, when he wasn’t complaining that America hosted too mosques in the first place. He fanned the flames of anti-Muslim hysteria over an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero. With a chairman’s gavel in his hand, King legitimized anti-Muslim persecution by holding a series of hearings resting on the bigoted and false premise that American Muslims were insufficiently committed to thwarting terrorism. (One 2011 study found that more than 20 percent of federal cases targeting Islamist terrorism began with tips from Muslims or with the cooperation of suspects’ relatives.) read the complete article

12 Nov 2019

Opinion: Peter King Whipped Up Anti-Muslim Bigotry. Why Is Chuck Schumer Celebrating Him?

King built a durable following among the Fox News coterie thanks in part to his unflinching efforts to demonize Muslims, racial justice activists, critics of torture, and victims of police violence. King’s legacy of division makes it all the more inexplicable that Sen. Chuck Schumer — a fellow New Yorker who's well versed in King’s abuses — would spend Monday morning praising King as standing “head and shoulders above everyone else.” To most Americans, King is best known as the representative who saw Muslim threats around every corner. In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, he became a staunch advocate for expanding the national security and surveillance state into the unaccountable behemoth we know today. King has urged police to focus on Muslim communities for potential terrorist activity. He whined that there were too many mosques in the country. And he didn’t stop there. In 2011, he led a series of hugely wasteful, McCarthy-esque trials popularly known as the "radicalization hearings." Those congressional sideshows became fountains of anti-Muslim disinformation, where King made the risible claim that “80% of the mosques in this country are controlled by radical imams.” read the complete article

12 Nov 2019

Why Nikki Haley isn't jumping off the Trump train any time soon

Then there is the second type of memoir, those books that are dashed off quickly by politicians and their publicists in order to take their career to the next level. These memoirs tell us more about how the author imagines the future than they do about the past. Nikki Haley’s new memoir, With All Due Respect, is the second type. Haley has written the book in just over a year since leaving her job as United States ambassador to the United Nations. Haley also sat in Donald Trump’s cabinet, and she would undoubtedly have some interesting stories to tell if she chose to. For the most part, she does not. Instead, Haley is using the book to try to position herself for fame and fortune in the Republican party of the future. Specifically, Haley is making a bet that her future depends on devotion to Trump and his brand of populism. read the complete article


12 Nov 2019

Spain was once thought to be immune to the far-right. Vox is proving otherwise

But after the Vox party cracked open the door to parliament in April and came in third in national elections on Sunday, Spain can be singled out for something else: Among major European countries, it is where the far right is gaining ground most quickly. Experts say Vox has succeeded in positioning itself as the defender of the country’s unity — countering the separatist push in Catalonia, a volatile crisis that mainstream parties have been unable to resolve. Vox has also drawn some support because of a modest backlash over immigration and cultural issues. The party is stridently anti-Muslim and takes a harsh stance against feminism and gay rights. It has mirrored an aspect of President Trump’s playbook, calling for better fortifications of Spanish autonomous zones in North Africa. And some of its immigration rhetoric resembles that of other nationalist parties across Europe. Two of Europe’s highest-profile far-right leaders, Italy’s Matteo Salvini and France’s Marine Le Pen, congratulated Vox on Twitter for its election performance. read the complete article

United Kingdom

12 Nov 2019

Tory candidate faces calls to quit over 'disgusting racism'

A former aide to Boris Johnson is facing calls to stand down as an election candidate after Labour accused him of “disgusting racism” over some of his writings that blamed immigrants for bringing germs and HIV to the UK and accused Muslims of having divided loyalties. Labour called on the prime minister to personally intervene to stop Anthony Browne from contesting the seat of South Cambridgeshire, saying his writings from 2002 and 2003 were “shocking” and “despicable”. read the complete article


12 Nov 2019

Why Macron's remarks on Bosnia are dangerous

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron made yet another statement that caused outrage in the Balkans. This time, he put Bosnia and Herzegovina in the cross-hairs, saying in an interview with British magazine The Economist: "If you're concerned about this region, the first question is neither Macedonia, nor Albania, it's Bosnia-Herzegovina. The time-bomb that's ticking right next to Croatia, and which faces the problem of returning jihadists, is Bosnia-Herzegovina." Numerous Bosnian politicians, local and foreign analysts and scholars of the region condemned Macron's statement. It is not only wildly incorrect and unfair, but also politically irresponsible and dangerous. Since 2011, there has been no terrorist attack on Bosnian territory and outside of the context of Syria and Iraq, there has been no proven direct participation of Bosnian nationals in any such incidents abroad - i.e. Macron's concerns about a "jihadist" threat emanating from Bosnia are wildly exaggerated. read the complete article

12 Nov 2019

Gambia files Rohingya genocide case against Myanmar at UN court

A 46-page application has been submitted to the international court of justice by the Gambia, alleging Myanmar has carried out mass murder, rape and destruction of communities in Rakhine state. If the ICJ takes up the case, it will be the first time the court in The Hague has investigated genocide claims on its own without relying on the findings of other tribunals, such as the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which it consulted for claims against Serbia and Croatia. read the complete article


12 Nov 2019

Why French left has a problem with Islamophobia

On November 1, the left-leaning newspaper, Liberation, published an open letter signed by a number of prominent leftists calling for a united front against Islamophobia. But there were some notable absences in the list of signatories and on the march. Although MPs from the radical left party La France Insoumise (LFI) had originally committed themselves to the march, as the event drew closer, several senior figures distanced themselves from it, including Francois Ruffin who explained that he was going to play football instead. Some signatories, such as the Green (EELV) MEP Yannick Jadot also pulled out, while the Socialist Party (PS) argued that it could not support a text that denounced secular laws. The French left has always had a difficult relationship with religion. For much of modern French history, it was the left that led the charge against the Catholic Church, as they sought to limit its influence over politics, civic life and education. Since the 1980s, however, the question of Islam - and Muslims - has taken centre-stage. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 12 Nov 2019 Edition


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