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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26 Nov 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In Australia, the government has listed a white power accelerationist group as terror group but a reporter notes that the “apparatus of anti-terrorism is no substitute for making anti-racism principles central to a more inclusive democracy,” meanwhile in the United States, Rep. Ilhan Omar called out Rep. Lauren Boebert for sharing a “made up” exchange in which Boebert claimed to have made a vile, anti-Muslim joke while the two women shared an elevator at work, and a new book examines 13 mosques across North and South America, serving as a “reminder that myriad Muslim communities have existed in the Americas for centuries.” Our recommended read of the day is by Nadine Batchelor-Hunt for Yahoo News UK on a recent debate on Islamophobia Awareness Month in Parliament where Conservative MPs were accused of eye-rolling as fellow MPs shared their experiences of anti-Muslim bigotry. This and more below:

United Kingdom

26 Nov 2021

Conservative MPs accused of ‘eye-rolling’ during heated debate on Islamophobia | Recommended Read

Conservative MPs were accused of eye-rolling at a debate on Islamophobia as MPs shared their experiences of anti-Muslim bigotry on Wednesday. The accusations were made at a Westminster Hall debate on Islamophobia Awareness Month, which seeks to both celebrate the contributions of the Muslim community to society but also draw attention to the discrimination Muslims face. Islamophobia in the UK is a growing problem, with Home Office data showing that nearly half of all hate crimes in England and Wales are towards Muslims, rising 9% to over 124,000. The debate in parliament became particularly heated after Labour MPs accused the Conservative party of having a poor record on Islamophobia, with one citing the concerns of the Conservative peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi who has regularly criticised her party's record on the issue. Opposition members were critical of the debate, with two MPs accusing them of "tone policing and eye-rolling". read the complete article

26 Nov 2021

MP checks emails for Islamophobic abuse ‘which merits police awareness’

An MP has spoken of the Islamophobic social media abuse that awaits her each day once she leaves the Commons. As MPs debated the importance of freedom of religion on the 40th anniversary of the UN declaration on the elimination of religious intolerance, SNP MP Anum Qaisar (Airdrie and Shotts) said she faces religious intolerance when she speaks in the chamber or on social media. She told MPs: “The reality is that whilst I have been speaking in this debate – and I have actually posted social media stuff today about Islamophobia and I have already had abuse – after this I will go online to check my social media, to check my emails, to see if anything merits police awareness.” She cited a survey by the Equality and Human Rights Commission which found more than 70% of Muslims said they have experienced some form of abuse in the past year. The SNP MP also spoke about her experience growing up in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, describing it as a memory she would “never forget” and which changed her life. She said: “I was a practising Muslim, I was a little bit different from my peers: they had church on Sundays, I had Koran lessons. “But that difference was never really known, but the next day I went to the school bus stop and I was asked if my parents were terrorists, I was told that my skin colour was dirty. “But there’s other memories as well – my dad was racially profiled at airports, my mosque was petrol bombed just a couple of months after 9/11. This all happened in Scotland.” read the complete article

United States

26 Nov 2021

WATCH: Lauren Boebert’s Racist ‘Jihad Squad’ Attack On Ilhan Omar

Lauren Boebert has made her feelings about Ilhan Omar well-known. She’s obviously got strong political opposition to Omar and other Democrats, but attacking her for her background as a Somali refugee and her religious beliefs is also high on the right-wing agenda, and Boebert does not shy away from the opportunity. In the clip below, via Patriot Takes, Boebert appears to think she’s performing stand-up comedy for a roomful of supporters. She targets Omar, one of the only two Mulsim women to serve in Congress, with one of the far right’s favorite unimaginative racist labels: “jihad squad.” In this case, though, she goes even further, suggesting that Omar could be an actual danger to Congress, hinting that if the Congresswoman is seen with a backpack, it could indicate a particular risk, and insinuating that Capitol Police officers might be concerned about Omar’s activities. read the complete article

26 Nov 2021

Ilhan Omar Rips Lauren Boebert For Telling 'Made Up' Anti-Muslim Story For Clout

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday called out Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) for sharing a “made up” exchange in which Boebert claimed to have made a vile, anti-Muslim joke while the two women shared an elevator at work. While campaigning in Colorado over the Thanksgiving break, Boebert boasted that she was recently in a Capitol elevator with a staffer when a concerned Capitol police officer rushed over, according to right-wing extremism monitoring site Patriot Takes. “I look to my left and there she is. Ilhan Omar,” Boebert said in a clip posted by the group. “I say, well, she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine.” She then claimed that she also looked over to Omar and said, “Oh look, the Jihad squad decided to show up for work today.” According to Omar, the entire story was fiction. “Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up,” she tweeted. “Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout. Boebert sparked uproar last week when she called Omar a member of the “Jihad squad” while speaking on the House floor. She has since repeated this anti-Muslim bigotry about other members of the so-called Squad, a group of progressive House Democrats of color including Omar. read the complete article

26 Nov 2021

‘Ed the Trucker’: The Trump Republican Who’s Riding High in New Jersey

A commercial truck driver, he describes himself as a “blue-collar, Christian, Second Amendment supporter.” He is a strong backer of former President Donald J. Trump, who called to congratulate him on his win, and an opponent of vaccine and mask mandates and what he calls government “tyranny.”nHis campaign flew so far under the radar that it was not until after Election Day that a reporter for WNYC, a public radio station, publicized incendiary comments he had made on Twitter that disparaged the Muslim Prophet Muhammad and called Islam a “false religion.” On the day Mr. Sweeney conceded, Mr. Durr met with Muslim leaders at a masjid near his campaign headquarters, reiterating his public apology for the comments and offering a commitment to “stand against Islamophobia and all forms of hate.” “As long as you know somebody, it’s hard to hate somebody — don’t you think?” he told reporters gathered outside, holding a Quran given to him during a two-hour meeting with members of the state’s Council on American Islamic Relations. “It’s very easy to hate somebody that you don’t know.” read the complete article


26 Nov 2021

Far-right groups like The Base will radicalise Australians until we confront their beliefs

As one of the reporters who worked to uncover the operations of white power accelerationist group, The Base, I view the Australian federal government’s listing of them as a proscribed terror group this week as a belated but important recognition of the danger presented by white supremacist organisations. But the national security state is a blunt instrument, and the apparatus of anti-terrorism is no substitute for making anti-racism principles central to a more inclusive democracy. Further reporting from the ABC and Nine/Fairfax showed the extent to which other Australian prospects for The Base at the time were part of a local network of white supremacists and far-right organisations that included local groups like the Lads Society who publicly disavow violence. All of this reporting, including mine, was facilitated by informants from the activist world of anti-fascism, including Australia’s White Rose Society. Together, these efforts showed that The Base’s Australian recruits were connected to groups like the Lads Society, which had been in contact with Australian terrorist mass murderer Brenton Tarrant in the years before his crimes. Tarrant was in turn venerated as a white supremacist “saint” in The Base chats I obtained access to. In the lead-up to Tarrant’s crime, various members of the far-right had been given platforms in mainstream media outlets, ranging from Sky News to Triple J. Where governments are concerned, their response to white supremacist terror has been flatfooted when compared with the heavy-handed approach to the so-called “war on terror”, which has frequently tipped over into indiscriminate surveillance and overpolicing of Australia’s entire Muslim community. No Australian Muslim has committed any terrorist attack on the scale of Tarrant’s massacre, and as I observed at the time, Tarrant’s own crime needs to be understood in the context of the culture of Islamophobia produced by Australia’s participation in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and at home. read the complete article


26 Nov 2021

Bangladesh sends hundreds more Rohingya refugees to island

Bangladesh on Thursday began relocating hundreds of Rohingya refugees to an island in the Bay of Bengal despite ongoing concerns from rights groups over the conditions on the vulnerable low-lying island and that no refugees should be sent forcibly. The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic group, over 700,000 of whom fled persecution and violence in neighboring Myanmar in August 2017. Bangladesh has been sheltering 1.1 million of the refugees in crowded camps near its coast. A U.N.-sponsored investigation in 2018 recommended the prosecution of Myanmar’s top military commanders on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for the violence against the Rohingya. A senior Bangladeshi official overseeing the relocation, Mohammad Shamsud Douza, said that a navy ship would take 379 refugees from Chattogram city to the Bhashan Char Island which lies off the country's southeastern coast. read the complete article


26 Nov 2021

‘Praying to the West’ offers look at America’s diverse Muslim communities

A new book, “Praying to the West: How Muslims Shaped the Americas,” by Omar Mouallem, may meet the needs of a new generation of Muslims. Like Quick, Mouallem is Canadian, but his approach is entirely different. “Praying to the West” is part travelogue, part investigatory journalism. The book examines 13 mosques across North and South America, from above the frigid Arctic Circle to tropical Trinidad and Tobago. While the book mainly includes reporting from contemporary Muslim communities or historical communities from the 20th century, earlier Muslim communities are part of the author’s story. The opening chapter visits a Brazilian city, the site of an important Muslim slave revolt in the 19th century. As many as one-third of all Africans brought to the New World as slaves were Muslims. Born to Lebanese parents in western Canada, Mouallem attended a mosque as a child but was not always secure in his faith. The book also reflects his own spiritual journey as he draws closer to Islam. “Until recently, Muslim identity was imposed on me,” he writes in the book. ”But I feel different about my religious heritage in the era of ISIS and Trumpism, Rohingya and Uyghur genocides, ethnonationalism and misinformation.” His book is a reminder that myriad Muslim communities have existed in the Americas for centuries. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 26 Nov 2021 Edition


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