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 Oct 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In the United States, a bill in the Senate called the Rohingya Genocide Determination Act of 2021 would require the Department of State to assess the situation regarding the persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, meanwhile in Canada, an Ottawa woman is facing assault charges after allegedly removing another woman’s hijab in what police are calling a random, hate-motivated attack, and in France, a new video shows far-right, anti-Muslim pundit Eric Zemmour telling a a woman to remove her hijab in order to demonstrate “that she is free.” Our recommended read of the day is by Alisha Rahaman Sarkar for the Independent on the spike in Islamophobia in India following the country’s defeat to Pakistan in a match on Sunday. This and more below:


26 Oct 2021

India sees spike in Islamophobia after heavy cricket defeat to Pakistan | Recommended Read

Indian Muslim player Mohammed Shami was the target of a bigoted attack on social media and several students from Kashmir were assaulted after India lost to Pakistan on Sunday in a cricket match, raising concerns about growing Islamophobia in the country. Even as Pakistan erupted in celebration after it beat India by 10 wickets in their opening game of the T20 World Cup in Dubai, several Indian handles on Twitter turned against Shami, falsely accusing him of throwing the match. They also tagged the player in tweets asking him and his family to “go to Pakistan” — a common refrain used by Hindu extremists against Indian Muslims, accusing them of disloyalty towards their homeland. Amid a rise in Hindu nationalism, Muslims — a minority group in India — are routinely accused of supporting Pakistan and targeted for their religion. Several people called out the blatant display of Islamophobia and urged team India captain Virat Kohli and other cricketers to support Shami. “The Islamophobic hate against Shami with aspersions on his patriotism and his commitment to the country. If this and the state enabled hatred against Indian minorities is not worth taking a knee, I don’t know what is,” journalist Rana Ayyub wrote on Twitter. read the complete article


26 Oct 2021

How S.1142 Fights for Justice for the Rohingya

On April 15, 2021, Senator Edward J. Markey [D-MA] introduced S. 1142 to the Senate. The bill, which aims to obtain justice for the Rohingya, has 10 cosponsors. Titled the Rohingya Genocide Determination Act of 2021, this bill would require the Department of State to assess the situation regarding the persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The Department of State must report on this assessment to Congress and determine “whether the situation constitutes genocide under U.S. law.” This report must also detail actions on the part of the U.S. government to hold perpetrators accountable “and prevent further mass atrocity crimes” in Myanmar. The situation gained international attention when, in 2017, about 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee Myanmar to escape systematic killing, seeking refuge in Bangladesh. The Rohingya Genocide Determination Act of 2021 would recognize the continual and extended persecution of the Rohingya people as genocide. Naming what the Rohingya people have endured as genocide would increase the need for accountability for those who orchestrated the attacks. The Jewish Rohingya Justice Network, in a press release by Senator Markey, states that “We also understand all too well the cost of silence. The international community must not remain silent — the United States must champion the call for justice for the Rohingya people by making a genocide determination.” read the complete article

26 Oct 2021

Best Buy and Home Depot drop security cameras linked to Uyghur surveillance

According to TechCrunch, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowes will no longer be selling security cameras from Lorex and Ezviz after the outlet reported on the brands’ parent companies’ involvement in supplying the Chinese government with surveillance tech. According to the US government, both Dahua (Lorex’s owner) and Hikvision (Ezviz’s owner) stand implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. They have reportedly helped supply surveillance equipment for monitoring ethnic minorities. One of the largest oppressed groups is the Uyghurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group the Chinese government is accused of putting in detention or reeducation camps, using as forced labor, and more. The home security cameras and systems from Lorex and Ezviz aren’t banned from sale in the US, despite restrictions from the Department of Commerce on their parent companies. However, when TechCrunch reached out to retailers about Lorex and Ezviz’s links, Home Depot and Best Buy reportedly promised to stop working with the companies. Home Depot cited its “standards of ethical sourcing” as its reason for pulling the products from its online store, and while Lowes reportedly didn’t respond about the matter, Lorex’s products were pulled from its site. read the complete article


26 Oct 2021

Charges laid after woman's hijab ripped off

An Ottawa woman is facing assault and mischief charges after allegedly removing another woman's hijab in what police are calling a random, hate-motivated attack. The victim was walking down Hinton Avenue North, near Armstrong Avenue, in the middle of the afternoon on Oct. 6 when another woman "forcefully removed her hijab," Ottawa police wrote in a release Monday. The alleged attacker then ran away before officers arrived. Police said their hate crime unit was later able to identify the suspect as a 62-year-old woman. She was already in custody on another matter when the charges were laid, police said, and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. read the complete article


26 Oct 2021

French far-right pundit Eric Zemmour asks woman to remove her hijab on TV

A shocking video featuring French far-right pundit Eric Zemmour surfaced today on social media, sparking controversy. The video was filmed this morning during a visit to the city of Drancy, located in the suburbs of Paris. It shows Zemmour interacting with a veiled woman resident of Drancy and requesting that she remove her hijab in order to demonstrate "that she is free". The woman in turn asked Zemmour to remove his tie, arguing that her hijab is a similarly personal clothing choice. She then proceeded to remove her hijab on camera, asking Zemmour: "I am going to remove it, does it mean you will start respecting me?" "Hijab is not what makes religion," she added, "just as wearing a tie does not make you smarter". The video was broadcasted on French news channel CNews, which has long thrived on Eric Zemmour's controversial personality, hosting him as a commentator on popular shows and turning him into one of French TV's most central characters. read the complete article

United Kingdom

Terror accused tells court of visiting far-right websites

A man accused of terror offences told a court he visited far-right websites. Sam Imrie, 24, is on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh for allegedly posting statements on the Telegram social media platform suggesting he was going to carry out an attack on the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes. He is also accused of planning to stream live footage of “an incident” and of possessing neo-Nazi, antisemitic and anti-Muslim material and child abuse images. Imrie, who denies the nine charges against him, three of which come under the Terrorism Act, gave evidence on Monday. read the complete article

United States

26 Oct 2021

Why I Opposed the Patriot Act

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the US Patriot Act. This legislation, rightfully, has long been critiqued for sweeping in unprecedented government surveillance. The anniversary is an opportunity to also reckon with how the Patriot Act distorted our democracy’s checks and balances—and what needs to be done to realign them. I voted against the Patriot Act because of the cost it was asking the American people to pay in the form of their civil rights, particularly their privacy rights and especially for people of color. My fears on this front have come to pass over the past 20 years, and our country has yet to fully reckon with the discriminatory impact of the Patriot Act on communities of color. In addition to the cost of this legislation on our civil rights, I opposed the Patriot Act because of the lack of checks and balances built into the legislation. Congress was being asked to give the executive enormous authority and then to step back and trust the executive to implement it responsibly. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 26 Oct 2021 Edition


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