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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02 Oct 2019

Today in Islamophobia: NUS head pulls out of Tory conference over ‘disturbing Islamophobia’, as Rohingya refugees continue to risk lives for safety. In the U.S, Homeland Security affirms threat of white supremacy after years of prodding; in Australia, Muslims call for increased protection in religious discrimination bill. Our recommended read today is from India, where Home Minister Amit Shah recently promised a non-Muslim citizenship bill. This, and more, below:


02 Oct 2019

Indian home minister promises non-Muslim citizenship bill | Recommended Read

Shah, the leader of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, said in a speech in Kolkata that the party would give “Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Christian settlers” citizenship. The proposal, framed as the Citizenship Amendment Bill, has stalled in the upper house of Parliament. It would grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who have resided in India for at least six years. The process was based on voluntary applications rather than a home-to-home census. All residents of Assam, which shares a long, porous border with Bangladesh, were invited to apply to be included on the list with documentation that would prove their lineage to a bona fide resident of the state on or before March 24, 1971, when Bangladesh became an independent country. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day

United States

02 Oct 2019

GOP candidate who said diversity is destroying America cozies up to Islamophobic group

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a leading GOP candidate for governor, is set to share a stage on Thursday with anti-Muslim extremists. Forest is scheduled to speak at an American Renewal Project event in Charlotte on Oct. 3, alongside speakers with radical, Islamophobic views, according to NC Policy Watch. Other speakers include author William Federer, who claimed Muslims are would-be conquerors and rapists, and Rob McCoy, a pastor who said anyone not committed to making the United States an explicitly Judeo-Christian nation should leave the country. The American Renewal Project is a far-right group that works to mobilize evangelical Christians to support Trump and help conservative Republicans win elections. The group's leader, David Lane, has called the separation of church and state a "fabricated whopper" and called American Renewal Project an effort to "engage the church in a culture war for religious liberty, to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage and to re-establish a Christian culture". In 2016, the group spent $9 million in six battleground states to help Trump, according to Right Wing Watch. read the complete article

02 Oct 2019

Homeland Security Dept. Affirms Threat of White Supremacy After Years of Prodding

The Department of Homeland Security is beginning to address white supremacist terrorism as a primary security threat, breaking with a decade of flagging attention after bigoted mass shooters from New Zealand to Texas took the lives of nearly 100 people in the last six months. In a little-noticed strategy document published last month to guide law enforcement on emerging threats and in recent public appearances by Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, the department is trying to project a new vigilance about violent white nationalism, beating back criticism that the agency has spent a decade playing down the issue. The department’s new stance contrasts that of President Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed white supremacy as an insignificant fringe movement. But beyond words and documents, many officials trying to combat the threat throughout the country remain skeptical that the full weight of federal law enforcement is finally being used to give bigoted domestic terrorism the attention it deserves. read the complete article

United Kingdom

02 Oct 2019

NUS head pulls out of Tory conference over 'disturbing Islamophobia'

The leader of the National Union of Students has pulled out of engagements at the Conservative party conference in protest at what she said was “deeply disturbing, downright Islamophobia” at a fringe event on Sunday. The NUS president, Zamzam Ibrahim, had been due to speak at two sessions at the conference, in Manchester, this week but withdrew, claiming she could not participate in a conference that “denies the bigotry faced by Muslims on a daily basis”. Ibrahim was responding to reports of an event called Challenging “Islamophobia”, hosted by the Policy Exchange thinktank and chaired by the writer and broadcaster Trevor Phillips. Also on the panel were the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, the Tory MP Nusrat Ghani and the Muslim doctor and commentator Dr Qanta Ahmed. read the complete article

02 Oct 2019

Transcript of Tory conference Islamophobia fringe event that provoked angry row

Over the last 24 hours, Conservatives have descended into a row over a fringe event on Islamophobia at the party conference. Former Tory chair Sayeeda Warsi said she was "ashamed" of her party after comments emerged from the think tank event on "Challenging 'Islamophobia'." The event, hosted by the think tank Policy Exchange, came amid a backdrop of dozens of Tory members reported to the party over allegations of Islamophobia - and allegations the party has not dealt with them quickly enough. But to the anger of Baroness Warsi, large parts of the discussion were devoted not to discussing those allegations, but to extremists, and how Islamophobia should not be defined too tightly to avoid restricting free speech. Two panelists defended Boris Johnson's infamous comments comparing veil-wearing women to "letterboxes" and "bank robbers". read the complete article


02 Oct 2019

Rohingya refugees continue to risk lives to seek safety: UNHCR

Refugees from Southeast Asia, many of whom are members of Myanmar's Rohingya minority, continue to risk their lives to reach safety, according to a new report by the United Nations, which also highlights a much higher rate of deaths over the last year. The report released on Tuesday by the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) said one person in every 69 refugees and asylum seekers who embarked on a sea journey last year in the region died or went missing at sea. That is up from the one in every 81 ratio between 2013 to 2015, at the height of Southeast Asia's refugee and migrant boat crisis in the Andaman Sea. "As long as the root causes of displacement are unresolved, refugees will continue to feel compelled to undertake dangerous journeys in search of safety for themselves and their families," UNHCR Director for Asian and the Pacific Indrika Ratwatte, said in a statement. read the complete article


02 Oct 2019

'Fundamental threat': Australian Muslims call for extra protections in religious discrimination bill

Australia's Muslim community is urging the Morrison government to redraft its religious discrimination laws to include an anti-vilification provision, saying incitement of hatred and violence is a "fundamental threat to Australian Muslims". A coalition of about 150 Muslim groups say Australian Muslims are vulnerable because they are "readily identifiable" by their names, appearance and dress and the places they worship. The groups, which include the Australian National Imams Council, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and the Lebanese Muslim Association, say anti-Muslim content has become "mainstream" online, which in turn, makes it "normal" to attack Muslim Australians. read the complete article


02 Oct 2019

Jailed Uygur dissident Ilham Tohti wins top European human rights prize

Jailed Uygur academic Ilham Tohti has been awarded one of Europe’s top human rights prizes, as Beijing comes under pressure over its treatment of the predominantly Muslim population in its far western Xinjiang region. Tohti, who has been serving a life sentence in China since 2014 on separatism-related charges, is the first Chinese dissident to win the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, awarded by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. He has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Before his arrest, Tohti, an ethnic Uygur economist, writer and professor at Minzu University of China, called on Beijing to ease tensions in Xinjiang, urging the authorities to abide by the region’s laws, reduce economic discrimination and establish a legal system. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 02 Oct 2019 Edition


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