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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18 Nov 2020

Today in Islamophobia: McGill’s Muslim Law Students’ Association hosted a panel titled “What’s happening to China’s Uyghurs?” to bring attention to China’s campaign of genocide targeting Uighur Muslims. Michel Blanquer, Emmanuel Macron’s Education Minister, claims that French universities are “breeding grounds for societal fragmentation.” The new social media platform ‘Parlor’ offers a space for speech that would otherwise be considered hate speech by other platforms, and one of Ivanka Trump’s childhood friends recounts the advisor to the President’s anti-Muslim views in a new essay. Our recommended read of the day is by Benjamin Farley of Just Security on a potential path for a renewed call for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Military Prison in Cuba. This and more below:

United States

17 Nov 2020

A Path for Renewing Guantanamo Closure

Although closing the 20-year-old detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) may not be a marquee issue among the many significant challenges Biden will face as president of the United States, it is a prerequisite for both restoring America’s global leadership by “salvaging our reputation, rebuilding confidence in our leadership” and for ending the so-called Forever Wars. read the complete article

Our recommended read for the day
17 Nov 2020

What WA’s Muslim communities endured under Trump

The Trump presidency has been traumatic for many in the Muslim community. The travel ban, which bars travelers from Muslim-majority countries (and which later included multiple African countries) inaugurated a new era of anti-Muslim sentiment and policy making. It will take time to recover from the effects of the past four years. While the ban remains intact and must be dismantled, there is even more bleeding to be stopped. The Trump administration has used its political, fiscal and cultural power to promote divisions in America and to disenfranchise immigrants, causing lasting harm. read the complete article

17 Nov 2020

‘We should be thankful to him’: why some Muslim voters stood by Trump

Despite Trump’s policies against the religious group, some Muslims like Khan, still voted for him. In fact, the margin between Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden among Muslims was closer than experts predicted, revealing Muslim voters are not a monolithic bloc and can be courted by Republicans, even when apparently targeted by their policies. read the complete article

17 Nov 2020

US military buys location data of popular Muslim apps: Report

The US military is purchasing private information gathered from apps around the world, including several used by Muslims that have been downloaded nearly 100 million times, a news report says. An investigation by the online magazine Motherboard published on Monday found the US Special Operations Command was procuring location data from several companies. The most popular app among those targeted was a Muslim prayer and Quran app called Muslim Pro, with more than 98 million downloads worldwide. Others included a Muslim dating app. read the complete article

17 Nov 2020


By the end of his first week in office, Donald Trump had already signed orders banning travelers from multiple Muslim-majority countries and tossed out rules establishing who the nation’s sprawling immigration enforcement apparatus should prioritize for arrest. Hundreds more executive actions would follow in the years to come. read the complete article

18 Nov 2020

Professors discuss institutional and gendered Islamophobia

Salman Sayyid, professor of Social Theory and De-colonial Thought at the University of Leeds spoke with African American Studies Prof. Barnor Hesse in a Tuesday webinar hosted by the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs about Islamophobia as a form of racism, rather than religious discrimination. read the complete article

17 Nov 2020

'Free speech' social media platform Parler is a hit among Trump supporters, but experts say it won't last

The popularity of a social media platform hinges in large part on a robust exchange of views. But what happens when it turns into an echo chamber where most people there share the same opinions? That's the hurdle now facing Parler, a Twitter-style social media platform that has gained popularity mostly among President Donald Trump's supporters and right-wing conservatives. After the 2020 presidential election, experts ABC News spoke with say they believe it's unlikely the platform will ever grow to rival the size of networks like Twitter or Facebook, though it could continue to influence a smaller sphere. read the complete article

18 Nov 2020

House Speaker told lawmaker anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim Facebook posts were unacceptable

House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, said Tuesday he has told a newly elected state lawmaker that anti-Catholic and anti-Muslim posts to his personal Facebook page were unacceptable. John Jacob, a 54-year-old Republican from Indianapolis, won a heavily Republican district Nov. 3. In the last two to four years, he posted Facebook comments saying that the Islamic faith cannot coexist in the United States, that Muslims are traitors who should be deported, that the Roman Catholic Church is a cult and of Satan, that its parishioners should repent and leave the church, and that the Pope is an anti-Christ. " read the complete article

18 Nov 2020

‘Untrue’: Muslim Pro app denies selling user data to US military

“Media reports are circulating that Muslim Pro has been selling personal data of its users to the US military. This [is] incorrect and untrue,” the popular app’s developers said in a statement posted on their website on Tuesday. Muslim Pro came under fire after an investigation by the online magazine, Motherboard, found that the app was one among hundreds that allegedly made money by selling the users’ location data to third-party brokers, which were then bought by the US military. read the complete article

18 Nov 2020

Nida Allam Makes History as the First Muslim Woman Elected to Public Office in North Carolina

When they’re sworn in in December, newcomers Nimasheena Burns and Nida Allam will join incumbents Wendy Jacobs, Heidi Carter, and Brenda Howerton. Their victories mean that Durham County will have an all-female board of commissioners for the first time in the commission’s 139-year-old history. Voters also made history by electing Allam, who is the first Muslim woman to hold elected office in the state of North Carolina. read the complete article

17 Nov 2020

US announces further drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq before Biden takes office

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller announced Tuesday that the US will withdraw thousands more US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by January 15, 2021 -- just days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, confirming plans first reported by CNN on Monday. read the complete article

17 Nov 2020

Ivanka Trump’s Childhood Pal: She Complained My Arabic Necklace ‘Screams Terrorist’

One of Ivanka Trump’s childhood friends penned a dishy essay about their relationship over the years, sharing a bizarre anecdote about the time the president’s daughter took offense over her necklace. Lysandra Ohrstrom, who once worked as a journalist in Beirut, said Trump “grew increasingly irritated” by her necklace, which spelled out her name in Arabic, after she began dating Jared Kushner, whose family is Jewish. read the complete article

17 Nov 2020

Energized religious left vows to keep up pressure with Biden

For nearly four years, President Trump has inspired a cadre of liberal-leaning religious activists to organize, mobilize, protest and pray in opposition to his policies regarding refugees and asylum-seekers, Muslims, white supremacy and health care. As they helped plan the annual Women’s March, flooded airports in defiance of the travel ban and stared down demonstrators in Charlottesville, figures such as the Rev. William Barber II, Muslim activist Linda Sarsour and Sister Simone Campbell became regular commentators on cable television and Op-Ed pages, bringing what some describe as the religious left to its highest point in decades. read the complete article

United Kingdom

17 Nov 2020

Priti Patel’s legislative changes forced me to postpone my anti-Islamophobia protest

I began to organize a protest in my home city of Bristol. Though I am chair of the Bristol University Student’s Union BAME Network, I wanted the protest to be a neutral cross community space, where people from all backgrounds could unite in solidarity for the rights of Muslims in our society. The slogans – “Anti-Islamophobia, March for Muslims” - were designed to ensure the purpose was simple but unequivocal:to stand for the rights of all Muslim lives, from Europe and Nigeria to Kashmir and Palestine. read the complete article

17 Nov 2020

Britain’s young Muslims feel stereotyped by society and controlled by their communities — this can’t go on

Two separate, new surveys make grim reading for British Muslims. The Labour Muslim Network (LMN), has discovered that a third of Labour’s Muslims have experienced Islamophobia in the party, and more than half do not feel well represented by the current leadership. The second, a study by the Woolf Institute in Cambridge, found Muslims were most frequently the subject of negative attitudes held by other faith groups, and were also the group most likely to have negative attitudes about those of other religions. read the complete article

17 Nov 2020

UK far-right Tommy Robinson loses 'Syrian teenager' legal battle

UK far-right activist Tommy Robinson has lost a court case against a Syrian teenager he is accused of bullying, according to media reports. Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has been accused of libel after making a series of videos alleging that a Syrian refugee teenager, who was the subject of a horrific videoed racially-motivated assault, was himself a bully. The founder of the anti-Muslim English Defense League (EDL) has been taken to court by Jamal Hijazi of Huddersfield for libel, after Robinson accused him in a video of threatening another classmate and said he was "not innocent and he violently attacks young English girls in his school". read the complete article


17 Nov 2020

Is academic freedom under threat in France?

It is not just Muslim organizations that are in the firing line. On October 22, Macron’s education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, claimed that so-called “islamo-gauchisme” (“Islamo-leftism”) was doing immense damage inside France’s universities. The insinuation was that French academics and their students are tacitly promoting a dangerous, “separatist”, anti-republican ideology and justifying self-censorship in the name of political correctness. According to Blanquer, French universities, and in particular their social sciences departments, are “the breeding ground for a fragmentation of our society and a vision of the world that converges with interests of the Islamists”. read the complete article


18 Nov 2020

Biden, Modi pledge to strengthen US-India ties in phone call

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his first phone conversation with US President-elect Joe Biden and they agreed to work closely to further advance the Indo-US strategic partnership, India’s External Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday. Modi congratulated Biden during their conversation on Tuesday and they discussed their priorities, including containing the coronavirus pandemic, promoting access to affordable vaccines, tackling climate change and cooperating in the Indo-Pacific Region, the ministry said in a statement. read the complete article

17 Nov 2020

Panellists convene to discuss human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in China

McGill’s Muslim Law Students’ Association hosted a panel titled “What’s happening to China’s Uyghurs?” on Nov. 11 to discuss the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) imprisonment of the minority Muslim group in the Xinjiang province in northeastern China. The discussion featured Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Garnett Genius, who currently sits on the House of Commons Special Committee on Chinese-Canadian relations; McGill law professor Jérôme Beaugrand-Champagne; and Rukiye Turdush, president of the East Turkistan Information Centre. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 18 Nov 2020 Edition


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