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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21 Nov 2019

Today in Islamophobia: As India is set to create a registry of citizens, leaked documents of the Chinese Communist part reveal the CCP’s rationale behind Xinjiang. Our recommended read today is on Bloomberg’s post 9/11 treatment of Muslims as the Mayor of New York. This and more below:  


United States

21 Nov 2019

Recommended Read | He’s Sorry for Stop-and-Frisk, and Locker-Room Talk. Where’s Mike Bloomberg’s Apology for Spying on Muslims?

For me, the most striking parts of the 11 minute-long apology was what was missing from it: the abuses of the Bloomberg-era NYPD that impacted Muslim, Arab, and South Asian New Yorkers. Under Mayor Bloomberg, New York City endured some of the worst abuses of the post-9/11 backlash. In our collective grief and fear, New York City turned all too frequently to religious profiling and discrimination. Notoriously, the NYPD created a so-called Demographics Unit, a cadre of officers tasked with mapping where Muslim Americans lived. Developed in 2003 by CIA officer and NYPD official Lawrence Sanchez, the program sought to identify Muslim businesses, houses, and places of worship. Plainclothes officers would go everywhere from local barbershops to cricket clubs, chatting up anyone who they profiled as Muslim. These so-called “rakers”, named for the metaphorical coals they raked over, simply profiled New Yorkers based on their race and religion. Other officers, so-called "mosque crawlers," would monitor sermons, even when there was no evidence of wrongdoing. Yes, this boondoggle was discriminatory. Yes, it was invasive. But it was also a complete waste of money. In more than 10 years of prying into the private lives of Muslim New Yorkers, the unit never produced a single solid lead. Not one. read the complete article

Recommended Read
21 Nov 2019

Police cite woman who berated Muslim wearing hijab

The Hartford Courant reports 49-year-old Kristen Hitchcock, of Andover, was issued a ticket for causing a public disturbance Monday night at a Macy’s store at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester. Video on social media shows a woman police say is Hitchcock telling the other woman that Muslim husbands “are making you wear a head wrap.” Relatives of the Muslim woman called it racism. Manchester police Lt. Ryan Shea says the incident did not rise to the level of a hate crime. read the complete article

21 Nov 2019

Text Messages Show How Syracuse University Students Are Too Scared To Go To Classes After A Series Of Racist Incidents

When Syracuse University students began hearing reports that a white supremacist manifesto had been airdropped to some people’s cellphones at the school library on Monday night, Aarti Patel, a fourth-year PhD student, quickly began thinking about escape routes and evacuation plans. One of her professors in the Department of Religion texted her at 7:25 a.m. on Tuesday morning: “Aarti, are you sure you wanna go to campus? We need to be safe.” Multiple people reached out to each other with the same message: “Do not go to campus today.” “It was palpable fear,” Patel, 30, told BuzzFeed News. “You could feel it in the air.” A series of racist incidents reported at the university since Nov. 7 have heightened the fears of students and faculty members on campus. This week, teachers canceled several classes, citing concerns for their students’ safety. Parents are making their kids return home for the holidays earlier than usual. And many students are refusing to leave their apartments, missing classes and work shifts. read the complete article

21 Nov 2019

Stephen Miller And 'The Camp Of The Saints,' A White Nationalist Reference

The Camp of the Saints is a 1973 French novel by Jean Raspail that has become a key inspiration within white nationalist circles. It portrays a dystopia, or perhaps an apocalypse: a flotilla of South Asian people who invade France and effectively overthrow Western society. "The key themes are actually white supremacy and the end of white civilization as the West knows it — infestation, invasion, hordes of nameless, faceless migrants who come to indeed invade the West and bring about its end," says Chelsea Stieber, professor of French and Francophone studies at Catholic University of America. Stieber says she became interested in the novel after she heard echoes of its rhetoric – its "not-normal political discourse" — in President Trump's inaugural address. "I noticed a language that I was intimately familiar with because I study it — because I worked on far-right French nationalism and its literature and language for a long time," she says. "And I was sort of blown away. The alarm bells started going off." read the complete article


21 Nov 2019

India to Create Registry to Identify Undocumented Immigrants

India will conduct a national citizen survey to weed out those living illegally in the country, the government said Wednesday. Home Minister Amit Shah said people from all religions who can prove they are Indian citizens will be included in a National Register of Citizens. He did not give a time frame for the survey in the country with 1.3 billion people. Shah's announcement in Parliament came months after a mammoth survey in north-eastern Assam state, where about 1.9 million of the state’s more than 32 million people were excluded from a registry as undocumented immigrants. read the complete article


21 Nov 2019

Between the Lines of the Xinjiang Papers

A set of Chinese Communist Party documents was leaked to The New York Times and published last weekend. They not only reveal the rationale and implementation of the Chinese Communist Party’s policies in Xinjiang, a nominally autonomous region in northwestern China. They also open a window onto how China functions today, both at the top and closer to the bottom of its party-state hierarchy. And that reveals two things about the C.C.P.: its awesome power and its fundamental weakness. Henceforth, Mr. Xi announced, it would be necessary to transform the thinking of Xinjiang’s Muslims through psychological means. This initiated what would become a campaign of mass indoctrination against what Mr. Xi and the C.C.P. called the “virus” of “religious extremism.” In practice, the effort meant targeting everyday expressions of Islamic belief (owning a Quran, praying, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, fasting during Ramadan) and even secular aspects of non-Chinese culture (such as Uighur language and music). Mr. Xi also called for expanding surveillance through both high-tech systems and low-tech boots on the ground. read the complete article

21 Nov 2019

Destroying Mosques: China’s Umpteenth Attempt to Wipe Out Uyghur Identity

During the early 1980s, in the villages surrounding Hotan, a city in the Uyghur region in western China, residents worked diligently to raise funds and construct new mosques. In a brief period of loosening restrictions following the devastation of the Cultural Revolution, faithful Uyghurs eagerly took up the opportunity to build and restore places of worship. However, by 2014, with new Chinese President Xi Jinping in power, those who contributed began to be rounded up and placed into internment camps. Abliz Haji, who managed the voluntary contributions for the construction of a mosque near Hotan, was arrested in 2015. Under torture, he was forced to give up the names of people who had made donations. He refused and was handed a 10-year prison sentence. The Chinese government is now bulldozing mosques, such as the one in Abliz’s village, across East Turkestan. Government officials vigorously deny the demolitions, but satellite images mean the desecrations can’t be hidden entirely. Uyghur American researcher Bahram Sintash has collated pictures of several years that suggest over 90 mosques and religious buildings were wiped from the landscape. read the complete article

United Kingdom

21 Nov 2019

UK Muslim voters: Let's make Rod Liddle's worst nightmares come true

Rod Liddle’s piece in the latest issue of the Spectator - which was so reactionary that it actually came with a literal warning from the publication - was outrageous, racist, and filled with a bigoted confidence that is only matched by our current prime minister. The columnist wrote that elections should take place on a day “when universities are closed and Muslims are forbidden to do anything”. This, he claimed, was the best strategy to get the Conservative Party re-elected on 12 December. If you’ve been a student at any point during Tory rule and the intensification of a privatised and marketised education system, and/or are Muslim, this probably feels like nothing you don’t already know. It almost served as a reminder that two groups that have historically served some of the most progressive movements in the country’s recent history, and been demonised in the process, remain a considerable threat to the right. The state has also specifically targeted Muslims and activists under the pretence of fighting radicalisation. Institutionalised through the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act in 2015, and strengthened through moral panic campaigns and massive state funding over the years, Prevent enables officers to target everything from Palestine activism, to anti-imperialism, to opposition to fracking. read the complete article

21 Nov 2019

Student, 22, faces jail after calling for Muslims to be 'wiped off the face of the earth' in Facebook video rant

A student faces jail after he called for Muslims to be 'wiped off the face of the earth' in a vile 17-minute Facebook rant. Louis Duxbury issued the 'call to arms' during the tirade made shortly after a series of terrorist attacks in 2017. Giving evidence at his trial last week, Duxbury, 22, claimed he was exercising his right to free speech. However, a jury at York Crown Court yesterday found him guilty of inciting religious hatred after deliberating for only half an hour. read the complete article


21 Nov 2019

Muslims are partners in combating anti-Semitism in Germany

With anti-Semitism increasingly visible in Germany, one Berlin NGO is bringing Muslims and Jews together to fight discrimination through education. Aycan Demirel, a Muslim from Turkey, was often witness to anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. In 2000 he worked as a social worker and lived just next to the Fraenkelufer synagogue. "Hostility, anti-Semitic talk about Jews — I've seen this time and time again in everyday life and in my work with local youths with migrant roots," Demirel told DW. He decided to take a stand against anti-Semitism in the community. Following the arrival of more than a million refugees since 2015 — many of them Muslim — German media speculated about a new anti-Semitism, "imported" from Syria and Arab countries. The coverage worried Demirel. "Today we need to be very cautious talking about Muslim anti-Semitism, because we have a right-wing avalanche coming at us, whose main focus is anti-Muslim sentiment," Demirel said. Instead, he wants to define Muslims as partners in the fight against anti-Semitism. "As religious minorities, Muslims and Jews have a lot in common," Demirel said. read the complete article


21 Nov 2019

Suu Kyi to defend Myanmar against genocide accusation at UN court

Myanmar's leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will head a delegation to the United Nations' top court to argue against a case accusing the mainly Buddhist country of genocide against the Rohingya, the government said. More than 730,000 Rohingya, most of them Muslims, fled to neighbouring Bangladesh following a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar's military, which UN investigators said was carried out with "genocidal intent." read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 21 Nov 2019 Edition


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