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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12 Oct 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Gang violence erupts in Bangladesh Rohingya camps, forcing families to flee. In the U.S,  Burleson mayor calls for end to hate speech after disparaging messages surfaced last week about Muslim burial plots in the city’s cemetery. Our recommended read today is by Emma Zafari on Germany’s far right, and its links to Trumpism. This, and more, below:


12 Oct 2020

Germany’s Far Right and Trumpism | Recommended Read

In early September, 50,000 German conspiracy theorists, neo-Nazis, and nationalists took to the streets to protest Germany’s lockdown to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump’s face was plastered on banners, t-shirts, and flags as the crowd marched towards parliament. For the far-right in Germany, Trump has become a cult figure, resembling a “savior” according to Miro Dittrich, an expert on far-right extremism. Trump’s tolerance of white supremacists has encouraged far-right extremism and terrorism in Germany. Just in the past 15 months, a synagogue has been attacked and there have been shootings of immigrants in central Germany. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
12 Oct 2020

Opinion | Was Columbus’ Voyage to the “New World” Driven by Islamophobia?

Tucked inside historian Alan Mikhail’s new biography of Sultan Selim, the ambitious early-16th-century ruler of the Ottoman Empire, is a riveting series of chapters about Christopher Columbus. Mikhail’s ambition in writing God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World was to restore the place of the Ottoman Empire in the global history of the early modern period. To that end, the Columbus chapters make the argument that at its inception, European exploration of the New World can be understood as an ideological extension of the Crusades—a new effort to circumvent the ever-more-powerful Islamic presence in Europe. read the complete article

United States

12 Oct 2020

Burleson mayor calls for end to hate speech surrounding Muslim burial plots in cemetery

Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter called for a stop to “hate speech” on social media after disparaging messages surfaced last week about Muslim burial plots in the city’s cemetery. On Oct. 5, the city council discussed various options for expanding Burleson Memorial Cemetery, which has an area with burial plots for Muslims that conform to Islamic religious practices. “There were no problems whatsoever during the meeting, but soon messages started circulating in various local Facebook groups,” Shetter said. “There are a number of Burleson Facebook groups that have just gotten hateful, and not just on this issue. With this election, sure enough it became a discussion topic.” read the complete article

12 Oct 2020

In Dune, Paul Atreides led a jihad, not a crusade

Fans familiar with the books noticed a major omission in its promotional materials: any reference to the Islam-inspired framing of the novel. In fact, the trailer uses the words, “a crusade is coming”, using the Christian term for holy war – something that occurs a mere three times in the six books of the original series. The word they were looking for was “jihad”, a foundational term and an essential concept in the series. But jihad is bad branding, and in Hollywood, Islam does not sell unless it is being shot at. Dune is the second film adaptation of the popular 1965 science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. Set approximately 20,000 years in the future on the desert planet Arrakis, it tells the story of a war for control of its major export: the mind-altering spice melange that allows for instantaneous space travel. The Indigenous people of this planet, the Fremen, are oppressed for access to this spice. The story begins when a new aristocratic house takes over the planet, centering the narrative on the Duke’s son Paul. read the complete article

12 Oct 2020

Opinion | We Need A President Who Unequivocally Condemns White Supremacy

When the moderator asked Trump whether he was willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups, and to tell them to stand down and not add to the violence in the cities, Trump responded by saying “Sure.” When pressed to actually say the words, Trump struggled and wanted to know a specific name to address, to which Biden said “Proud Boys.” The strongest denunciation that Trump could muster about a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group was to say “stand back and stand by.” If there was ever any doubt that Trump flirts with the racist rhetoric of extremists and white supremacists, all doubt should now be removed. It’s true that Trump may not publicly utter racist expletives and may not publicly spout racist dogma (although he did refer to Haiti and African nations as an expletive), but his equivocation about white supremacists speaks volumes about his racial attitudes. read the complete article

12 Oct 2020

Plot against Whitmer is 'tip of the iceberg' in polarized presidential election

The plot to kidnap Michigan's governor and a spark a second civil war may be just one of many threats nationwide as voters cast ballots and wrestle with their fears about the election's legitimacy, experts on extremist paramilitary groups and political violence warn. "There absolutely are likely to be other plots, not necessarily in Michigan, but around the country," professor Peter Trumbore, Oakland University's political science department chair, said Friday. "We're in a really fraught period, and partly because the country is so polarized." read the complete article

12 Oct 2020

Joe Biden, Emgage and the muzzling of Muslim America

For many Muslims then, the election offers only one stark choice: vote Joe Biden and stave off a Trump re-election. But in recent months, a growing number of Muslims, who have a long-held distrust of the Democratic party, have expressed alarm that the election promises little more than a potential step back from Trump-inspired fascism. For many, the election has opened a Pandora's box of uncomfortable questions, including: "Who gets to speak for, decide on, and represent the Muslim community's issues in the corridors of power?" At the centre of that vexation is an organisation named Emgage. Despite relative obscurity just a few years ago, Emgage, which describes itself as "the first and largest" national Muslim American political action committee (PAC), has enjoyed sizeable media coverage in the months and weeks leading up to this presidential election. read the complete article

United Kingdom

12 Oct 2020

Black Muslims are almost invisible in Britain, but now we're carving out a space

While there have been prominent Black Muslim figures such as Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, Black Muslims as a whole are rarely featured. In a way that’s not surprising: according to a Muslim Council of Britain study, the vast majority of British Muslims are of south-east Asian heritage, while Africans, African-Caribbean and “other” Black people on make up about 10%. But what does it mean to be a minority within a minority? The research points to feelings of disappointment, frustration, and alienation from the larger Muslim community. Islam does not teach or justify racist ideas, but the fact remains that, due to a mix of ignorance, cultural conditioning and the legacy of colonialism, many south Asians do hold varying degrees of prejudice towards Black people. A survey carried out by Muslim Census among young Muslims found that 82% had witnessed anti-Black racism from their own family and friends. And in a study conducted by the Black Muslim Forum, 63% of participants said they did not feel like they belonged to the UK Muslim community. In addition, 49% had faced anti-Black discrimination within a UK mosque or religious setting. read the complete article

12 Oct 2020

I Run A Muslim Mental Health Helpline. Covid Has Put My Community In Crisis

While we need to prioritise our mental health just as much as our physical health, many of us aren’t used to opening up about our feelings, and the taboo of talking about mental ill-health has only recently started to lift. For the British Muslim community in particular, there are specific extra barriers to getting support, including concerns around the double stigma they may face due to religious identity and mental health. According to recent research, Muslims in the UK are less inclined, compared to other religious groups, to seek mental health services because they highlight a preference for help with a spiritual underpinning. A poll conducted by the Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH), which I run, showed 40% of Muslim men said they talked to nobody about their mental health. read the complete article


12 Oct 2020

Gang violence erupts in Bangladesh Rohingya camps forcing families to flee

Fighting between rival gangs in the Rohingya refugee settlements in Bangladesh has forced hundreds of people to leave their shelters in a week where at least seven have died. “When it is night, it becomes hell. When you try to sleep you hear a lot of firing, you hear a lot of bullets, people are screaming, people are fleeing from home,” said a Rohingya refugee who lives close to where the fighting has taken place. “I saw a large number of people, they were running with long knives, long sticks, and they were firing into the open,” they said. read the complete article


12 Oct 2020

How the Modi Government Has Used – and Dropped – the 'Terrorism' Bogey

On September 21, the Delhi Police in its charge-sheet against those it has accused of instigating the February 2020 riots in Delhi qualified the suspects as ‘terrorists’. A first in India; historically, communal violence has been treated as a law and order issue. Seldom has a person been charged with instigating or carrying out communal violence, let alone served a prison term. Clearly, India is changing. Incidentally, this list of suspects comprises largely students, civil society activists and politicians. Another first in India. Traditionally, communal violence has been blamed on small-time politicians and lumpen elements. The additional detail that most of those charged with planning the riots as well as the victims of riots are Muslims, may be of some consequence. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 12 Oct 2020 Edition


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