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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16 Nov 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Members of a Jewish-Muslim biker gang protect a Jewish cemetery in Copenhagen from far-right attacks, as a new report by the Labour Muslim Network (LMN) shows that more than one-third of Muslim Labour members and supporters have witnessed Islamophobia in the party, and Muslim Girl founder Amani al-Khatahtbeh was kicked off an American Airlines flight in New Jersey because another passenger “felt uncomfortable”. Our recommended ready of the day is by Asad Dandia for Responsible Statecraft on the horrific state of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and what President-Elect Biden should do about it. This and more below:

United States

13 Nov 2020

Biden must close GITMO, kill what made it possible in the first place

Guantanamo Bay, much like foreign policy as a whole, was not even mentioned in the 2020 presidential debates, and yet the facility remains open, with 40 prisoners— all Muslim — being held indefinitely in horrific and squalid conditions: 23 without charges; 12 either charged with, convicted of, or awaiting proposed trial for war crimes (in shadowy and unchecked military commission systems); and 5 cleared for transfer. Though President Trump has not “filled up the cells” as he threatened to do, he has forestalled any efforts to close the facility by halting prisoner transfers and shutting down the State Department office that was responsible for negotiating its closure. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
15 Nov 2020

Meet Rebekah Mercer, the deep-pocketed co-founder of Parler, a controversial conservative social network

Rebekah Mercer, a prominent conservative donor, revealed Saturday that she is helping to bankroll Parler, the rapidly growing but controversial conservative social media platform that was at the top of App Store charts last week. Mercer is the daughter of Robert Mercer, a hedge fund manager and the co-founder of the now-defunct political data-analysis firm Cambridge Analytica. The Mercers have been prominent supporters of President Donald Trump and conservative causes. read the complete article

14 Nov 2020

Muslim activist says she was removed from plane after verbal exchange with another passenger

Muslim media influencer Amani al-Khatahtbeh claimed Saturday she was kicked off an American Airlines flight in Newark, New Jersey, because another passenger "felt uncomfortable" following a heated verbal exchange at the TSA security line. "An entitled white man behind me insisted on cutting me in line because I was 'still taking my shoes off,'" she tweeted. "When I said he could wait like everyone else, he started going off about how he’s 'pre check' and 'first class.' read the complete article

13 Nov 2020

US journalist demands to know: “Am I on the Kill List?”

Bilal Abdul Kareem is a Peabody award-winning African American journalist who alleges that he has been targeted for assassination by the US because of his work covering the conflict in Syria. In 2016, he narrowly escaped being killed by five separate strikes, including an attack on his office and two strikes on cars in which he was traveling. read the complete article

14 Nov 2020

First Muslim and Arab woman elected to Colorado state legislature

Colorado voters elected Democrat Iman Jodeh to the Colorado General Assembly, making her the first Muslim and Arab woman elected to the Colorado state legislature. Jodeh won 66 percent of the vote against GOP challenger Robert Andrews, according to The Denver Post. She will be representing the state’s 41st District, which comprises parts of Aurora and Arapahoe County. read the complete article

United Kingdom

13 Nov 2020

More than one third of Muslim Labour members and supporters have witnessed Islamophobia in the party, report finds

The report, conducted by the Labour Muslim Network (LMN), is set to be published this weekend and has been seen exclusively by ITV News. It surveyed Muslim members and supporters of the party and found that 37% had witnessed Islamophobia within the party and 44% don’t believe the party takes the issue seriously. read the complete article

14 Nov 2020

UK: ‘One in four’ Muslims experience Islamophobia in Labour Party

More than one in four Muslim members and supporters of Labour Party – 29 percent – have experienced Islamophobia within the ranks of the United Kingdom’s main opposition party, according to a report. The Labour Muslim Network, which is the largest group of Muslim members and supporters of Labour and is behind the findings, carried out a survey between July and August, interviewing 422 Muslim members and elected officials. read the complete article

13 Nov 2020

Boris Johnson promised an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia 500 days ago – where is it?

Now, just over 500 days on, it has become abundantly clear that the Government’s response to widespread Islamophobia within its own party has been anything but serious. This time last year, cabinet minister Michael Gove pledged to have an inquiry into Islamophobia within the Conservative Party established by the end of 2019. As we near the end of 2020, we are yet to see any evidence to demonstrate a commitment by the Government to devote time and resources to this issue. read the complete article

13 Nov 2020

Appointing New U.K. Equalities Commissioner 'Undermines Racial Equality'

The U.K.'s equalities watchdog has appointed someone who undermines efforts to tackle racism, The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and the Institute for Race Relations (IRR) say. David Goodhart is a journalist and author who currently heads the immigration and integration unit at the think tank Policy Exchange and has been appointed as a commissioner to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Both organizations also accused the government of political interference and undermining the impartiality of the EHRC. read the complete article

15 Nov 2020

Labour MP Diane Abbott apologizes for appearing alongside deniers of China’s persecution of Uyghur Muslims

Labour MP Diane Abbott has apologized after appearing at an event alongside deniers of the persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China. On Saturday the former shadow home secretary gave a speech on tackling racism at an online meeting hosted by the pro-China campaign group No Cold War. Ms Abbott, who had promoted the event on her Twitter feed, began her own talk by saying she was “pleased to be speaking at this important meeting”. read the complete article


14 Nov 2020

France insists it’s targeting Islamist extremism. But some foreign observers and French Muslims see a broader agenda.

Amid the furor, the government has rejected accusations that it is Islamophobic and voiced exasperation at what it perceives as a smear campaign that amounts to little more than victim-blaming in a time of national mourning. Macron has taken particular aim at the foreign media, accusing it of presenting a distorted view of France’s relationship with Muslims. read the complete article

16 Nov 2020

Muslims are not the problem, and critics are not the enemy: How aggressive secularism is dividing France

Taking decisive steps to confront individuals and groups involved in the incitement of hatred makes good sense, but dealing with hate speech in a way that avoids conflating it with genuine struggles for social justice and anti-racism is not so simple. Indeed, when French political leaders, like interior minister Gerald Darmanin, threaten to ban Muslim civil society groups working to address Islamophobia — such as the Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France (CCIF), an organization that works against social marginalization and for social integration — these bans end up alienating key partners in the effort to countering the appeal of violent, extremist ideologies. read the complete article

Amnesty slams French claims of being champion of free-speech

"French government’s rhetoric on free speech is not enough to conceal its own shameless hypocrisy," the UK-based organization said in its report published on Thursday. "Freedom of expression means nothing unless it applies to everyone. The government’s free speech campaign should not be used for covering up the measures that put people at risk of human rights abuses including torture." read the complete article


15 Nov 2020

China looms as Biden's biggest foreign policy challenge. Here's where he stands

Analysts in both countries are still debating whether Biden will embrace Trump's more punitive policies towards China or move to reset relations between Washington and Beijing. Even in Chinese state-run media, there are signs the ruling Communist Party is holding its breath, unsure of which direction the new administration will take. As yet, no official policy statements on China have been released by the Biden transition team. Biden, though, is no foreign policy novice. During his almost five decades in national politics, Biden has repeatedly brushed up against China. As a senator, he played a role in China becoming a member of the World Trade Organization in 2001. read the complete article

16 Nov 2020

Eric Abetz likens China to the rise of Nazi Germany

A veteran government backbencher has warned of parallels between modern day China and the rise of Nazi Germany. Beijing is set to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games amid a growing outcry over its treatment of its Uyghur population, and crackdowns on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. “The similarities with the 1936 Olympics and the emerging 2022 (Winter) Olympics are too big (to ignore),” conservative Liberal Senator Eric Abetz told NCA NewsWire. read the complete article


13 Nov 2020

Jewish-Muslim Biker Gang Protects Jewish Cemetery in Copenhagen From Far-Right Attacks

Members of the motorcycle club Muju and Co patrolled the Jewish section of the Vestre Kirkegård in Copenhagen on Monday night — the 82nd anniversary of the Nazi-sanctioned “Reichspogromnacht” that devastated Jewish communities in Germany and Austria with violence and arson. When the anniversary fell in 2019, more than 80 graves in the Jewish section of the cemetery were vandalized by far-right thugs. read the complete article


14 Nov 2020

What does Austria's new law on 'political Islam' mean for the country's Muslims?

Austria’s right-wing government has agreed to make ‘political Islam’ a ‘criminal offense’ and allow preventative arrests as part of a wide range of ‘anti-terrorism’ measures. But what is ‘political Islam,’ and what will these measures mean for Muslims in Austria? Austrian Political Scientist Farid Hafez explains. read the complete article


14 Nov 2020

How a Human Rights Angel Lost Her Halo

Armed with nothing more than a collection of international awards, she wore fresh flowers in her hair, sat with impeccable posture and promised the world two things: she would ensure that Myanmar’s political prisoners would go free and she would end the ethnic strife that has kept the country’s borderlands at war for seven decades. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 16 Nov 2020 Edition


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