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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25 Nov 2022

Today in Islamophobia: Responding to the western criticism of Qatar hosting the World Cup, the PM of St. Vincent and the Grenadines defends the Gulf country suggesting that the controversy surrounding Qatar’s hosting was “dressed up as high principle, is laced with Islamophobia, racism, anti-Arab sentiment, hypocrisy, and profound disrespect,” meanwhile in India, the protests against students wearing hijabs and skull caps to schools are spreading across the country, and in the United Kingdom, a group of Muslim hikers meets up for monthly walks around national parks, hills and mountains, to explore the outdoors, which has also resulted in dispelling some of stereotypes associated with British Muslims. Our recommended read of the day is by Dr. Sreyoshi Dey, Gloria Liu, and Ingrid Wong for Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada who explored the public discourse on Twitter following the controversy with BJP politician, Nupur Sharma, and found “noteworthy levels of support for Sharma, despite public and diplomatic condemnation of her comments.” This and more below:


25 Nov 2022

Exploring Growing Hindu Nationalism in India: A Social Media Analysis of the Nupur Sharma Controversy | Recommended Read

Several anti-Muslim incidents and communal clashes in India, where 80 per cent of the population is Hindu and 14 per cent Muslim, have made the headlines in recent years and spilled over into diaspora communities in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. The explosive controversy surrounding Indian politician Nupur Sharma’s anti-Muslim remarks during a nationally televised debate in May 2022 provides a flash-point opportunity to analyze how anti-Muslim attitudes are perceived and discussed among Indians on social media. India has one of the largest internet consumer bases in the world. Twitter, with close to 23.6 million users in India, was analyzed for this Dispatch to explore public discourse on the controversy. Using frequency and content analysis of online posts from Twitter users, we found noteworthy levels of support for Sharma, despite public and diplomatic condemnation of her comments. Under PM Modi’s leadership, the country has also seen a significant uptick in anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate crimes, including conferences calling for a “Hindu-only nation.” Given this context, while egregious, Sharma’s comments during the televised debate did not come as a surprise to many analysts as they seemed to broadly reflect the BJP’s long-standing attitudes and rhetoric concerning minority religions. Even social media users did not shy away from pointing out the possible connection to the attitudes of the larger party. read the complete article

25 Nov 2022

From Gujarat to Bengal, furore over skull caps, hijab in schools

For months now, several incidents of protests have been reported over students wearing hijab and skull caps to schools and colleges across the country. Similar protests were reported in Bengal and Gujarat against students wearing religious markers. On Tuesday, an argument broke out in a school in Bengal’s Dhulagarh between two groups of students over hijab. Students with Hindu religious markers demonstrated at Adarsh School in Dhulagarh. The police and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) reached the spot as the situation turned tense. Following the unrest, examinations for class 11 and 12 were canceled on Tuesday and it was decided at the school's management committee meeting that students would now come in wearing only school uniform. As students from the minority community protested against the decision, a clash erupted between two groups. Students resorted to vandalism, overturning tables and chairs in classrooms. At Uttarsanda Industry Training Institute (ITI) in Gujarat’s Nadiad, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) protested against students coming to school wearing a burkha and a cap. A large number of VHP activists raised slogans of Jai Shri Ram at the institute and warned that if no action is taken by the institute, a massive agitation will follow. read the complete article


25 Nov 2022

World Cup: Forcing Saudi Arabia to sell beer if it wins 2030 bid 'would be Islamophobic', says minister

Saudi Arabia's sports minister has told Sky News it would be Islamophobic to be forced by FIFA to sell alcohol if a World Cup is hosted in the country. An ambitious bid for the 2030 tournament is being explored by the Saudis - jointly with Greece and Egypt - and they have not been deterred by the heavy scrutiny on human rights faced by current hosts Qatar. Saudi Arabia is completely dry, which it believes should not be a barrier to hosting a World Cup. Asked if it would be Islamophobic to impose alcohol requirements on a tournament, Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal told Sky News: "Yes, because the World Cup is for everyone." He added: "If you are against that, and you don't feel like you're going to enjoy your time coming, and you can't respect that rule, then don't come. It's as simple as that." While saying the Saudis are "working towards a better future" after facing human rights criticism, no specific reforms were offered. read the complete article

25 Nov 2022

Uyghurs urge Albanese government not to ignore human rights amid diplomatic thaw with China

Uyghur community members are urging the Albanese government not to sideline human rights in Australia’s diplomatic reset with China – and are disappointed to have failed to secure a meeting with the foreign minister, Penny Wong. The Germany-based president of the World Uyghur Congress, Dolkun Isa, is among a delegation that has visited Canberra this week for meetings with about 30 politicians from all sides of politics, including the opposition leader, Peter Dutton. The delegation has urged Australia to join the US and several European countries in declaring that genocide is occurring in the Xinjiang region, and to use new Magnitsky-style sanctions laws against Chinese officials. read the complete article

25 Nov 2022

UN committee calls for probe into Xinjiang Uyghur human rights violations

A UN committee has called on China to immediately probe all allegations of human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), including those of torture, ill-treatment, sexual violence, forced labour, enforced disappearances and deaths in custody. Acting under its early warning and urgent action procedure, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) also called on China to immediately release all individuals arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in the XUAR, whether in so-called Vocational Education and Training Centres (VETCs) or other detention facilities. In a statement, UN Human Rights Office said the Committee urged the State party to immediately cease all intimidation and reprisals against Uyghur and other ethnic Muslim communities, the diaspora and those who speak out in their defence, both domestically and abroad. It asked Beijing to ensure that victims of human rights violations, including Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim communities, are provided with adequate and effective remedies and reparation. read the complete article

25 Nov 2022

'Deranged and racist': Caribbean PM lambasts Britain over criticism of Qatar World Cup

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines prime minister has taken a swipe at ‘deranged and unhinged’ critics of the Qatar World Cup, including the UK, in a gushing endorsement of the first Arab country to host football’s showpiece event. The Caribbean nation and Qatar hold friendly and diplomatic relations and prime minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that Qatar’s staging of the 2022 World Cup underlined its “growing stature and influence in the global political economy". Gonsalves didn’t hold back in his defence of the emirate, suggesting that the controversy surrounding Qatar’s hosting was “dressed up as high principle, is laced with Islamophobia, racism, anti-Arab sentiment, hypocrisy, and profound disrespect, derived from the notion that a small Arab country like Qatar should never aspire to global influence”. read the complete article

United Kingdom

25 Nov 2022

The Muslim family tackling exercise stereotypes

A charity fundraiser and founder of a Muslim hiking group has revealed he was first motivated to exercise and inspire others after the sudden death of his father. Haroon Mota, from Coventry, said he had really struggled after his dad was killed in a car crash in 2013. "Pounding the pavements gave me time to process my grief," he said. Mr Mota has completed six marathons and 40 half marathons as well as setting up the largest online community of Muslim hikers, aiming to make the outdoors more inclusive. The group meets up for monthly walks around national parks, hills and mountains. His sisters are also keen on outdoor exercise, "trying to tackle some of the stereotypes that are associated with British Indian or Asian Muslim women head on", he said. "We're not serious athletes, or serious joggers, or serious cyclists - we just do everything for fun," said Tayyibah Mota. "No-one really sees hijabis on bikes - we stick out like a sore thumb, people laugh all the time." read the complete article

25 Nov 2022

Digital vigilantism, Islamophobia and an attack on London

This article provides an analysis of vigilantism in the digital age. Its focus will be on the terror attack on London's Westminster Bridge in 2017 and the journalistic aftermath of the case. The examination will zoom in on how digital vigilantism can distort the truth and unjustifiably punish its victims. Therefore, the three components that contribute to the vigilantism case will be investigated; affordances of social media, citizen witnessing, and digital journalism. Due to the hybrid form of news coverage that emerged with digitalization, the article will analyze data from the social media platform Twitter as well as traditional news media such as CNN and BBC. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 25 Nov 2022 Edition


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