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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20 Nov 2019

Today In Islamophobia: The Quran is almost burned in Norway during a far right protest, even as China claims detention camps in Xinjiang is ‘fake news’. Our recommended read today is on the difficulties of being Muslim in India. This and more below:


20 Nov 2019

Recommended Read | In secular India, it's getting tougher to be Muslim

India would be a nation where people of all religions had equal rights, privileges and obligations, Jawaharlal Nehru said in his now-iconic speech to the country's parliament on August 14, 1947. Now, over 70 years later, there are signs that Nehru's hopes for the nation face perhaps their greatest threat. On November 9, India's top court gave Hindus permission to build a temple on a disputed centuries-old holy site in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which holds significance for both Hindus and Muslims. The ruling on the Ayodhya site was seen as a blow to Muslims. It also came at a time when Muslims increasingly see themselves as second-class citizens in the predominantly Hindu country. India has a long history of sectarian violence, but over the past few years, there has been a rise in suspected hate crimes against Muslims, who make up roughly 200 million of the country's 1.3 billion population. In August, the Indian government stripped the majority-Muslim state of Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomous status, essentially giving New Delhi more control over the region's affairs. That same month, nearly two million people in India's northeast Assam state were left off a controversial new National Register of Citizens, which critics feared could be used to justify religious discrimination against Muslims in the state. All of this comes under the shadow of the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist who has spoken out repeatedly against India's secularism. read the complete article

Recommended Read
20 Nov 2019

Recollections of a Long Siege in Kashmir

The long war in and over Kashmir began soon after the Partition of British India in 1947. At the time, the future of the independent state of Kashmir was left undecided; in 1948, after India and Pakistan had fought their first war over Kashmir, it was agreed that a U.N.-mandated referendum would be held to allow Kashmiris a say in whether they joined India or Pakistan. That promise has yet to be honored. In 1987, a state election was rigged to prevent a new and popular Kashmiri party from gaining legislative power, leaving Kashmiris more disillusioned than ever. Pakistan readily handed Kashmiris arms and training, leading to full-blown mass uprising. The early 1990s were a time of daily bloodletting, as the Indian armed forces responded with limitless force, killing and torturing hundreds. Hundreds of protesters were killed by the paramilitaries from January to May 1990 alone. read the complete article


20 Nov 2019

Reporter: Uyghurs say camps meant to eradicate culture

CNN's Rosemary Church interviews Austin Ramzy, one of the New York Times' reporters who worked on a story based on more than 400 pages of leaked sensitive Chinese Communist Party documents that link President Xi Jinping to the country's mass detention centers in the far western region of Xinjiang. read the complete article

20 Nov 2019

Chinese leaked documents on Uyghur detention camps in Xinjiang are 'fake news', government claims

A New York Times report that included 400 pages of leaked Chinese Government documents on the internment of Uyghur Muslims was "fabricated" and prompted by "hostile foreign forces", the government of the far western region of Xinjiang said. In a statement, the Xinjiang government described the New York Times report as "fake news" that "was entirely collusion and fabrication by domestic and foreign hostile forces". Earlier on Monday, China's Foreign Ministry did not deny the documents' authenticity, but said the program had been successful and the "experience could be borrowed in other countries". The documents also showed that internment camps in Xinjiang were expanded rapidly in 2016 when Chen Quanguo was appointed the Communist Party chief of the region. read the complete article

United States

20 Nov 2019

Syracuse University Students Say A White Supremacist Manifesto Was Airdropped To Their Phones And Now Authorities Are Investigating

On Tuesday, the university's Department of Public Safety (DPS) said it received multiple reports that the document, which appeared to be a copy of the 74-page anti-Muslim manifesto published online by the perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque shootings, was posted to an online forum and then airdropped to several cell phones of people who were sitting at the library. Officials said the FBI and the New York State Police are assisting in the investigation, which is being led by the Syracuse Police Department. Circulation of the manifesto would be the latest in a series of racist incidents reported on campus that have left students and faculty fearing for their safety. The incidents that have occurred within the last two weeks include racist graffiti, verbal harassment, and a swastika that was left in the snow. read the complete article

20 Nov 2019

Republican Lawmakers on Being Photographed With Laura Loomer: We Don’t Know Her

Laura Loomer is an anti-Muslim internet personality who, after getting booted from most social-media platforms for bigotry, launched a congressional campaign against Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) this year. Although much of her campaign announcement described the race as a ploy to have her social-media accounts restored, Loomer has recently attempted to drum up support among more mainstream Republicans. This weekend, she posted pictures of herself at an event with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL)—but both politicians say they didn’t invite her to the event, and didn’t even know who she is. Loomer is banned from Uber, Uber Eats, Lyft, Venmo, GoFundMe, PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms for a variety of anti-Muslim tirades. But she still found an open door at a Palm Beach event hosted by Scott this weekend, where she snapped pictures with him and Stefanik. read the complete article

20 Nov 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar wants compassion for Trump supporter convicted of making death threats against her

Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., 55, of Addison, N.Y., entered the guilty plea before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci for threatening to assault and murder the freshman congresswoman and for being a felon in possession of firearms, according to a statement released Monday by the Department of Justice. The plea stems from a March call that Carlineo made to Omar’s Washington, D.C., office. “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood?” he said to a member of Omar’s staff in that call, according to a complaint filed earlier this year. “Why are you working for her, she’s a [expletive] terrorist. Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull.” The staff member remembered Carlineo saying, “I’ll put a bullet in her [expletive] skull,” the complaint said. Although he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, Omar wrote an open letter to Geraci requesting that he refrain from sentencing Carlineo to a long prison term and a large fine. Carlineo needs compassion and restorative justice that will allow him to understand the consequences of his actions and to make amends, she wrote. read the complete article

United Kingdom

20 Nov 2019

Is it time that British voters focus on Conservative Party Islamophobia?

Anti-Muslim sentiment runs deep in the Tory party. As Britain heads to the polls, the Muslim vote could prove decisive in what will be a very tight election. In the past week, as the Tories take part in a general election campaign, widespread instances of Islamophobia by the party’s councillors have been exposed in the media. It was Baroness Sayeeda Warsi who, evaluating her own experiences as a Conservative peer and government minister, first claimed that Islamophobia had “passed the dinner-table test” within her party. This was in 2011, and her words fell on deaf ears. The louder people scream about Islamophobia within the Tory party, the more wilfully deaf the leadership seems to get. Even in light of the recent exposures, the party still refuses to hold an inquiry into Islamophobia, with Warsi seemingly being the only Tory that realises the significant increase in anti-Muslim sentiment. If the Tories were to investigate Islamophobia in the party in a meaningful manner, it would mean that they would have to investigate and possibly expel a significant element of their activist base. This includes elected officials, such as councillors. read the complete article


20 Nov 2019

Quran burning and desecration leads to violence in anti-Islam protest in Norway

A protest against Islam organized by the far-right group 'Stop Islamization of Norway' (SIAN) took a violent turn after the group's leader Lars Thorsen lit the holy Quran, leading to a brawl between the leader and the counter-protesters. The incident took place on Saturday in the Norwegian city of Kristianland. An anti-Islam rally was organized by SIAN, which was allowed by the local authorities. But the police warned against desecration of the holy Quran, after the group expressed its intent to do so. Offensive allegations were leveled against Islam, calling it 'a religion of violence' and Prophet Mohammad, 'a pedophile'. The event, which was being held under police watch, took a violent turn after the group's leader Lars Thorsen suddenly lit the holy Quran. Two other copies were thrown in the dustbin. read the complete article

20 Nov 2019

Is the far-right growing in Norway?

The extreme right-wing group ‘Stop the Islamisation of Norway’ (SION), attempted to burn the Quran during a protest in Norway’s Kristiansand, on Saturday. This action sparked anger amongst Muslims and raised questions about rising far-right sentiments in Norway. The Scandinavian nation is well known for its prosperity, beautiful nature and generally moderate politics. There are more than 150,000 Muslims living in Norway out of a population of five million. Despite a good reputation for welcoming other people from among European countries, Norway has been accused of remaining silent and inactive against rising anti-Muslim sentiment in the country. In August, a gunman attacked a mosque ‘inspired’ by the New Zealand and El Paso anti-Muslim attacks. Two bystanders stopped the would-be gunman opening fire on worshippers in the city of Baerum. Increasingly the media has provided a platform to the far-right to spread their message arguing that it is a matter of ‘freedom of speech’. Meanwhile, mainstream political parties have pandered to the far-right and therefore legitimised their platforms. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 20 Nov 2019 Edition


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