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 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In the UK, counter terror police are “monitoring threats towards migrant reception centres and hotels” following the Dover attack, which far-right extremists have been celebrating online, meanwhile in China, researchers from tech and data analytics outfit Lookout Threat Lab have detected the presence of several new strains of spyware programs targeting Uyghur users in China and abroad, and in the U.S., Guantanamo Bay detainees accused of 9/11 crimes remain in legal limbo at the prison. Our recommended read of the day is by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi for Politics Home on the UK Conservative Party’s continued denial and inaction over the prevalence of Islamophobia in the country. This and more below:

United Kingdom

15 Nov 2022

The Conservative Party is still in denial over growing Islamophobia | Recommended Read

In 2011 when I stated Islamophobia had passed the dinner table test, I was calling out the elephant in the room; a concern that this new and pernicious form of racism was manifesting in the most respectable of settings: in newsrooms, think tanks, the corridors of power and at middle-class dinner tables. A decade later, whilst there has been some progress in government via the cross-government Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group and the disaggregation of religious hate crimes by police authorities, we still have a government reluctant and in denial about the extent of the issue. Last month the Home Office released figures showing a worrying trend that religious hate crimes have increased, with offences against Muslims (or those perceived to be Muslims) making up the majority, at nearly half of all religious hate crimes (47 per cent). You cannot defeat what you do not define. It’s why for years alongside the call for government to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism, or anti-Jewish hate, there have been calls to adopt a definition of Islamophobia or anti-Muslim hate. The APPG proposed a draft definition of Islamophobia. The draft was then disseminated across British Muslim communities with over 800 Muslim institutions and organisations supporting and adopting it. The definition is crucially rooted and supported in the communities it seeks to protect. The definition has had national support from local authorities and has been adopted by all the major political parties, including the Conservative Party in Scotland. read the complete article

15 Nov 2022

Racist yelled abuse into Muslim woman’s ear on busy Central line train

A man sat next to a Muslim woman on a busy Underground train and shouted racist abuse into her ear before she could safely leave the train and contact the police. Recalling what happened on the morning of October 28, the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, described how the racist male began by uttering racist statements under his breath. She described hearing them say, “You’re scum, coming here and taking our jobs”. The racist abuse heightened as when passing through a louder area of the track, he leaned towards her ear and shouted, “Scum foreigners, go back to your own country, go back to where you come from. You stink. Curry munchers”. She described feeling targeted due to her ethnicity and hijab, adding that a woman opposite her made eye contact with her, signalling to leave, which she did. After leaving the seat for safety, she noticed a white woman take her seat with her child, adding that the racist male became friendly with them. read the complete article

15 Nov 2022

Police monitor threats against migrants as far-right extremists call for ‘more firebombings’

Counter-terror police are monitoring threats towards migrant reception centres and hotels, as far-right extremists celebrate the Dover firebombing and call for more attacks. Security at sites housing asylum seekers has been reviewed following a terror attack targeting a processing facility for small boats on 30 October, which police said was driven by extreme right-wing ideology. Andrew Leak, 66, threw homemade incendiary devices at Western Jet Foil from his car, before driving to a nearby petrol station and killing himself. It came after an alleged attempted terror attack targeting lawyers who represent small boat migrants in September 2020, which awaits trial, and a separate prosecution of a teenage neo-Nazi who threatened to attack asylum seekers in Dover with Molotov cocktails. A spokesperson for UK Counter Terrorism Policing told The Independent officers were working “around the clock to monitor and assess any new, emerging or potential terrorist threats”. Records of Leak’s activity on Facebook and Twitter show that he supported far-right groups and had a strong interest in migration in the English Channel, following activists who chronicle small boat arrivals. read the complete article


15 Nov 2022


What and who are the main drivers of anti-Muslim hate in Canada? On this episode, Michael and Tom are joined by Jasmin Zine, author of a new report on the Canadian “Islamophobia Industry.” We talk about some of the key organizations, personalities, and discourses responsible for perpetuating anti-Muslim hate in Canada, and how the connections between them form an ecosystem of hate. As part of this discussion, we will look at the role of certain fringe-right, pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian voices in spreading Islamophobic views. read the complete article

15 Nov 2022

Atlantic Canada’s first transition home with focus on Muslim women opens in Halifax

Domestic violence is not unique to any one culture, race or religion, but supporting women fleeing domestic violence can require different approaches for different individuals. That’s part of why Nisa Home is opening in Halifax. It will be Atlantic Canada’s first transition home that caters specifically to Muslim women. Nisa Home case manager Zainub Beg says Muslim women can face unique challenges when seeking help. “The primary issue is that there is a lot of misunderstanding when they try to seek services,” said Beg. “They may face language barriers, or they may be told, ‘Well, this is happening to you because you’re Muslim. You should probably leave Islam and it will solve itself.'” Nisa Home will provide safe shelter for any women seeking refuge, but the expectation is that it will mostly be supporting immigrant, refugee, non-status or Muslim women. “Having a safe space where people understand your culture, your religion, your traditions does reduce re-traumatization,” said Beg. read the complete article


14 Nov 2022

Long-running Chinese surveillance campaign targets Uyghurs, researchers say

Researchers from Lookout Threat Lab have since 2018 analyzed multiple Uyghur-language Android apps and now say they have been infected with a couple of strains of spyware. The tools – BadBazaar as Lookout names it, and new strains of MOONSHINE, already discovered by Citizen Lab, are linked to Chinese state-backed hacker groups. They add to the already extensive collection of spying programs against Uyghurs, China’s Turkic Muslim minority, mostly living in the region of Xinjiang. The United States and other Western countries say China’s treatment of Uyghurs amounts to genocide. “BadBazaar and these new variants of MOONSHINE add to the already extensive collection of unique surveillanceware used in campaigns to surveil and subsequently detain individuals in China.” Lookout Threat Lab researchers say. “Their continued development and their prevalence on Uyghur-language social media platforms indicate these campaigns are ongoing and that the threat actors have successfully infiltrated online Uyghur communities to distribute their malware.” read the complete article

United States

15 Nov 2022

The Last, Best Chance for Accountability at Guantanamo? A Negotiated Plea for the 9/11 Defendants

It would have been among the most important criminal trials in American history: the prosecution of accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM). But instead, KSM, along with his four alleged co-conspirators, remain in legal limbo at Guantanamo, two decades after U.S. officials took them into custody. Congress has blocked bringing any Guantanamo detainee into the United States, even for criminal trial, despite the fact that federal prosecutors of alleged terrorists have obtained nearly 700 convictions since 9/11, including in numerous high-profile cases. Meanwhile, Guantanamo’s military commissions, where KSM and his co-defendants face charges for war crimes and terrorism, remain stymied in controversy, with no trial date in sight. It is thus distinctly possible that the person primarily responsible for the murder of nearly 3,000 individuals and the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history (and who is now nearing 60 years of age) will die in prison without ever being convicted of a crime. There still remains, however, one viable avenue for resolving the 9/11 case that, if not a vindication of justice (words that can never attach to Guantanamo), could provide at least some rough approximation of it. The U.S. government has for years been engaged in plea negotiations with the 9/11 defendants (and has successfully concluded plea deals with other defendants in the military commissions, as discussed below). The central feature of any plea deal would be an admission of guilt by the defendants in exchange for a sentence of life imprisonment, thus avoiding imposition of the death penalty. Although the Trump administration scuttled the negotiations, the Biden administration has resumed them in earnest. Last month, the military judge in the 9/11 case cancelled all pre-trial hearings to await the Biden administration’s response on certain key issues central to a plea agreement. read the complete article


16 Nov 2022

Second boat of over 100 Rohingya lands on Indonesian beach

Over 100 Rohingya Muslims traveling in a wooden boat have landed on an Indonesian beach, the second group in as many days to arrive in the island nation's northernmost province of Aceh. The group of 61 men, 36 women and 22 children that landed Wednesday morning in North Aceh district's Bluka Teubai village were taken to the fisherman hall and will stay there while waiting for further information from the local authorities, said Nawafil Mahyudha, head of Dewantara sub-district. A group of 110 weak and hungry Rohingya refugees also landed in the North Aceh district on Tuesday after traveling in a boat for more than a month. They were aiming for Malaysia after leaving Myanmar but were stranded in Aceh waters. In March, 114 Rohingya refugees were also found on a beach in neighboring Bireuen district. Hundreds of thousands Rohingya Muslims have fled from Buddhist-majority Myanmar to refugee camps in Bangladesh since August 2017, when the Myanmar military launched operations in response to attacks by a rebel group. Myanmar security forces have been accused of mass rapes, killings and the burning of thousands of Rohingya homes. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 16 Nov 2022 Edition


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