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 2020

Today in Islamophobia: The government of Austria seeks to criminalize “political Islam” under the banner of counter-terrorism, a move which also involves shutting down associations or mosques deemed to play a role in “radicalization.” In Myanmar, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is poised to stay in power after winning the election, which barred the inclusion of the persecuted Rohingya community. Meanwhile, high schools across France plan to circulate booklets with degrading images of the Prophet in order to affirm “the values of the Republic.” Our recommended read of the day is by Zaid Jilani of Forward on how French President Emanuel Macron is forcing French Muslims to effectively choose between their religious beliefs and their country. This and more below:


11 Nov 2020

France is forcing Muslims to choose between their country and their religion.

In France, however, much of the debate revolves around maintaining a strictly secular French identity that is separate from religion. That means that for the French, secularism can also mean preventing citizens from expressing their own faith within public institutions. For instance, in 2004 France decided to ban Muslim headscarves, known as hijabs, as well as other religious symbols from French schools. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
11 Nov 2020

Macron, and France’s complex relationship with Islam

After the reprinting of caricatures of Prophet Muhammad and a series of isolated and brutal attacks, French President Emmanuel Macron has become embroiled in controversy. He proposed a new bill to defend France’s secular values against what he called “Islamist radicalism” and said the religion was “in crisis” all over the world. The backlash he received after his declaration included anti-French demonstrations in Muslim countries and the boycott of French goods. read the complete article

11 Nov 2020

Armistice Day: Remembering the contribution of French Muslims

At least 100,000 Muslims died serving France during World War I. It's important to commemorate their sacrifices, especially when the country is gripped by anti-Muslim prejudice. Many of us are no doubt well-acquainted with this version of events, but what is often not as well-studied is the instrumental role of Muslim soldiers in this struggle. Their stories are vital in today’s context in which the Muslim community face hostility from sections of the French government and press. read the complete article

12 Nov 2020

Macron Doesn’t Need to Insult Islam to Defend Free Speech

Part of the blame for this unfolding disaster must lie on Macron’s increasingly desperate wish to beat his explicitly anti-Islam rival Marine le Pen at her own game in presidential elections due in 2022. But Macron and many of his supporters are also misled by ideological dogma. Much has happened in recent decades, from the rise of Islamophobic troll factories in India to recrudescent anti-Semitism in Europe and Facebook-created “bubbles” in the U.S., to complicate the quasi-religious faith that free expression is an absolute value, an unambiguous sign of moral and political progress. read the complete article

United States

11 Nov 2020

Queens Family Beaten, Terrorized By Neighbors in Possible Hate-Fueled Anti-Muslim Attack

A Queens family said they were beaten and terrorized by neighbors outside their home in an attack they believe was motivated by hate. Neamat Taha said that she and her husband were in the parking lot of their Rego Park building Friday night when another couple approached them after staring them down. "She tell me we are in America, we can do whatever we want, we can look at you whatever we want, we can say whatever we want," Taha said. "She start to hold my hijab like this, and she tell me a lot of bad words about Muslims." read the complete article

11 Nov 2020

American Muslims won this election

American Muslims came out in full force to vote for Biden in record numbers, but for many, this was less about Biden or Trump and more about an affirmation that with collective organized power, those at the margins can assert their voices to radically transform the political landscape. The last dozen or so years of political mobilization among American Muslims - whether through organizing, protesting, voting, or other forms of civic engagement - have demonstrated that the community is now a force to be reckoned with, though it was not without difficulty. read the complete article


11 Nov 2020

Myanmar Election Delivers Another Decisive Win for Aung San Suu Kyi

The political party led by Myanmar’s civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, is poised to stay in power after winning what is only the second truly contested election the country has held in decades, though one in which many voters from ethnic minority groups were prevented from casting their ballots. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who spent 15 years under house arrest before becoming Myanmar’s de facto civilian leader five years ago, has seen her global reputation stained by her support of the very generals who once locked her up. read the complete article


11 Nov 2020

Austria gov’t agrees to preventive arrests, ban ‘political Islam’

The government of Austria has agreed on a wide range of anti-terrorism measures in the wake of a deadly attack in the capital, Vienna, last week. The proposals include the ability to keep individuals convicted of “terror” offenses behind bars for life, electronic surveillance of people convicted of terror-related offenses upon release and criminalizing religiously motivated and politically extreme acts. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Wednesday that the government also plans to simplify the process of shutting down associations or mosques deemed to play a role in “radicalization” and enable the public to report potential violent activities on an online platform. A central register of imams will also be created. read the complete article


11 Nov 2020

Will a Biden-Harris administration stand up to Modi’s toxic rule in India?

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and later as vice president, Biden advocated a stronger relationship with India. In 2006, he said, “My dream is that in 2020, the two closest nations in the world will be India and the United States.” But Modi might complicate this goal. The Indian prime minister’s bromance with President Trump was no secret, but his blatant disregard for human rights and his authoritarian style, including his crackdown in Kashmir, is really what will make it hard to establish a relationship based on mutual respect and cooperation. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 12 Nov 2020 Edition


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