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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16 Oct 2019

Today in Islamophobia: Bangladesh imposes more restrictions on Rohingya refugees, as the Muslim Ban poses a dangerous wait for Yemenis fleeing war. Four Green nominees in Quebec allegedly are accused of making Islamophobic comments. Our recommended read today is an overview of the crisis in Xinjiang by Bridge Senior Research Fellow Mobashra Tazamal. This, and more, below:


16 Oct 2019

What You Need to Know About China's Campaign Against Uighur Muslims | Recommended Read

Currently, at least one million Uighur Muslims along with other Turkic Muslim minorities, are being detained in a network of concentration camps in the semi-autonomous northwest region of Xinjiang. The Chinese government has employed a plethora of arguments in defense of these camps and the wider campaign targeting Uighur Muslims (an ethnic minority that numbers about 11 million), including calling the camps ‘re-education’ centers, ‘hospitals,’ and ‘vocational training centers.’ In addition to a network of concentration camps, Beijing has transformed Xinjiang into what rights organizations have described as a police state, replete with Orwellian surveillance and monitoring measures. Uighurs who live abroad are risking their lives to raise awareness about the targeted campaign against their families back in East Turkestan (the name many Uighurs call the region) and human rights organizations have called on countries to take action against the Chinese government. Despite what many scholars have identified as cultural genocide, there’s been almost complete silence from the international community, including Muslim-majority countries. Experts have noted that China’s economic power and its investments in other countries, mainly through the Belt and Road Initiative project (which runs through Xinjiang as the region connects China to the rest of central Asia and beyond), have effectively bought the silence and thus complicity of other states. read the complete article

Our recommended read for today

United States

16 Oct 2019

Tulsi Gabbard Opposes 'Regime Change Wars' — But She’s Not Anti-war

Decrying the “regime change war” in Syria is also a convenient obfuscation of Gabbard’s own foreign policy, which is more aligned with Trump’s views than with those of the progressive voters she was appealing to on Tuesday. As a member of Congress, Gabbard has joined Republicans in excoriating Obama for declining to describe members of the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS, as “radical Islamic terrorists” — a decision clearly meant to avoid linking Islam with terrorism. Gabbard also aligned with the GOP in supporting a 2015 bill to freeze the admission of Syrian refugees fleeing ISIS — an effort Trump would later implement through executive action. read the complete article

State scrutiny has not turned US Muslims away from giving

The Pillars Fund has so far given away more than $4m. And, at a time of rising Islamophobia, it is much more than a vehicle for charitable dollars. “I realised American Muslims didn’t have an institution in the philanthropic sector to advance their priorities,” says Shaikh, who is now the organisation’s executive director. The idea, he says, was to use a collaborative giving model “to be a voice and to represent American Muslim communities”. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Muslim charities came under increased scrutiny and, in some cases, their accounts were frozen by the Treasury Department. “That worried a lot of American Muslim donors, particularly those in the field of finance,” says Shaikh. More recently, moves by the Trump administration to impose an anti-Muslim travel ban denying nationals from some Muslim-majority countries entry to the US, created renewed anxiety among Muslim Americans. Instead of retreating, however, they have stepped up their civic and philanthropic activities. “Many people thought the scrutiny would create fear in the Muslim community to the point where there would be a decline in philanthropy,” says Siddiqui. “But we see an increase in giving in the Muslim community.” read the complete article


16 Oct 2019

Bangladesh imposes more restrictions on Rohingya refugees

The government of Bangladesh has recently put severe restrictions on Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. Many have had their mobile phones taken away. And some Rohingya children have been forced to drop out of Bangladeshi schools. Al Jazeera's Tanvir Chowdhury reports from Cox's Bazar. read the complete article


16 Oct 2019

Opinion | Myanmar might finally be held accountable for genocide, but the court case must recognise sexual violence

At the UN General Assembly last month, The Gambia announced it would take the Myanmar government to the International Court of Justice for the genocide of the Rohingya. Myanmar might finally be held accountable, but defending the Rohingya from genocide shouldn’t just be left to the global Islamic community. They need to be joined by countries with an interest in reducing the sexual and gender based violence at the core of the Tatmadaw’s genocidal campaign. read the complete article


16 Oct 2019

For Yemenis Fleeing War, the U.S. “Muslim Ban” Means a High Price and Dangerous Wait

Obtaining official paperwork from Yemen right now is not easy given the state of war, but she will proceed under the guidance of a U.S.-based attorney—a resource Yemenis almost always need to navigate the special requirements of U.S. immigration they face, which existed long before the Trump administration’s “Muslim ban” took effect. For more than a decade, Yemenis seeking to reunite their families have been subject to added burdens, such as providing years of financial data proving family support, DNA tests to prove paternity and maternity, and having to sue the U.S. government to move a file forward from a stalled position. Indeed, an immigration attorney told me seven years ago that “you almost have to sue the American government to get a Yemeni case processed.” read the complete article


16 Oct 2019

Ayodhya dispute: The complex legal history of India's holy site

India's Supreme Court will conclude its final hearing in a contentious land dispute that has been a key point of tension between Hindus and Muslims for years. Hindus believe that Ayodhya, a city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, is the birthplace of one of their most revered deities, Lord Ram. But Muslims say they have worshipped there for generations. A 16th Century mosque at the spot was demolished by Hindu mobs in 1992, sparking riots that killed nearly 2,000 people. Since then, there have been calls to build a temple on the spot where the mosque, known as the Babri Masjid, once stood. read the complete article


16 Oct 2019

Four Green nominees in Quebec made Islamophobic comments, party says

The Green Party said Tuesday it recently learned of Islamophobic social-media posts by four of its Quebec candidates. The candidates will make public apologies and commit to learning more about Islam by working with the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the party said. One of the four, Katherine Turgeon, posted a note Tuesday on Facebook suggesting she was simply making a joke in 2013 and did not intend to offend anyone. The comments were "not racist at all on my part .... sorry for those who took it wrong," wrote Turgeon, who is running in the southern Quebec riding of Shefford. The names of the other candidates were not immediately available and the party would not say when they might make statements. read the complete article

United Kingdom

16 Oct 2019

Hate crimes double in five years in England and Wales

The majority of hate crime offences recorded by police forces in England and Wales were racial – 78,991 – which increased by 11% in the past year. The steady rise in recent years is partly because of improvements in crime recording, but there were spikes after events such as the referendum on Britain’s EU membership and terrorist attacks in 2017. Part of the increase over the last year may reflect “a real rise” in hate crimes, the Home Office said. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 16 Oct 2019 Edition


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