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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28 Oct 2019

Today in IslamophobiaRights groups sue U.S government to reveal Muslim surveillance, as a man in London pleads guilty to anti-Muslim abuse. An op-ed asks if Gen Z can end Islamophobia, while another looks at what the Uighur crisis might lead to. Our recommended read today is by Shreya Parikh titled “No Country Needs a Burqa Ban.” This, and more, below:


28 Oct 2019

Opinion | No Country Needs a Burqa Ban | Recommended Read

The three terms – burqa, niqab, and hijab – are continuously mixed in the popular conversation in France and get referred to as ‘veil’. This means that laws pertaining to niqab and burqa get conflated with those governing the hijab, creating a popular imagination that all Muslim women cover all of their bodies. In addition, the presence of the laws passed in 2004 and 2010 give legitimacy to continuous attacks on women who are ‘visibly Muslim’. While Fatima’s hijab was in no way infringing any law, Islamophobic attacks were still legitimised in the language of state laws in the discourse presented by Odoul. A piece of cloth is described as a threat to the entire civilisational history of France. In this discourse, three tropes are used to justify the banning of “veil” by the state – to stop the “oppression” of women, for keeping public spaces “neutral” of religious presence, and for the reasons of “security.” The use of all these tropes, associated with liberal values of liberty and equality, is increasingly becoming common in India as attacks (both physical and symbolic) against Muslims rise. read the complete article

Our recommended read for today
28 Oct 2019

An Advocate For Kazakhs Persecuted In China Is Banned From Activism In Kazakhstan

Since its founding in 2017, the organization, Atajurt Eriktileri, has publicized thousands of accounts of ethnic Kazakhs who are among the primarily Muslim minorities rounded up in detention centers in Xinjiang, China. But instead of entering the office that day, Bilash hovered outside the door, reaching only his hand in to greet well-wishers. The Kazakh government barred him from political activism for seven years for the charge of "inciting ethnic tensions." read the complete article

28 Oct 2019

The answer to extremist violence is strong resilient communities

Europe has grown increasingly polarised in recent years. This polarisation is both socio-economic and political-ideological. The 2008 financial crisis and a decade of austerity have increased economic insecurity, precarious work, welfare gaps and most notably, anger among both working and lower middle class people across Europe. This has combined with a growing mistrust towards political elites and discontent with parties that have dominated the post-1989 political landscape. The influx of refugees from Asia and Africa during the last 5 years in particular has further increased popular anxieties. These were quickly manipulated by far-right and populist parties for electoral gains, leading to a significant rise of xenophobia, racism and overall anti-immigrant and particularly anti-Muslim hostility. We have thus witnessed the mainstreaming of far-right ideas and racist discourses offered to the electorate as a new version of ‘sincere’ political discourse or telling the ‘truth as it is’. read the complete article

28 Oct 2019

To face the rise of extremism we need words as much as actions

For some, such expressions sound too much like hollow talk; what is needed is political action, not words, prayers or symbolic actions, which seem too ineffective. There were also responses that sought explanation and subsequently a source of blame. A notable one of these has been media or politicians’ lack of recognition and action on discourses of Islamophobia. Amongst inspirations cited by the attacker was Oswald Mosely, a 1930s British fascist leader, and "the person from history closest to my own beliefs". Britain has not faced a white supremacist attack of the same scale, but the fastest growing terrorism threat is now coming from far-right ideologies and in 2017/18 the de-radicalisation programme Channel provided support to a near equal proportion of those referred for right-wing extremism (44%) as those referred for Islamist extremism (45%). Furthermore, whereas overall trends of racism and religious discrimination may show decline, the trend for discrimination against Muslims shows the reverse. read the complete article

United States

28 Oct 2019

Facebook Launches News Section to Compensate Publishers

The section, called Facebook News, helps the social-media giant stem criticism on two fronts: It’s an effort to combat misinformation and could improve relationships with media companies, which have complained that Facebook profits from selling advertising alongside their articles. read the complete article

28 Oct 2019

Rights groups sue US government to reveal Muslim surveillance

A group of civil rights organisations have filed a lawsuit to force the United States government to release documents related to the surveillance and investigation of refugees, according to documents filed in a US court. The organisations, which included the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), Muslim Advocates (MA) and the American Civil Liberties Union of California (ACLU) filed the lawsuit in a court in northern California, citing the “virulent anti-refugee rhetoric” of the administration of US President Donald Trump, which claims asylum seekers are “national security threats”, the suit, filed on October 21, alleges. It’s been over six months since the defendants, including the FBI, the Departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security, received the FOIA request, without a single disclosure, the lawsuit alleges. read the complete article

28 Oct 2019

Opinion | Can Gen Z Figure Out How to End Islamophobia?

There’s blatant Islamophobia, which is manifested when U.S. government officials established a Muslim travel ban or advocated for registering Muslims and shutting down mosques, said Reza Nekumanesh, executive director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno. And then there’s what he calls “Islamophobia Light.” read the complete article

28 Oct 2019

Muslim teen athlete disqualified in Ohio race over hijab

Noor Abukaram, 16, said she had only been told her attire was against the rules after crossing the finish line. Amid outcry, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) says it is looking into changing its religious waiver rules for next season. Her story sparked a national discussion about dress codes and discrimination. read the complete article


28 Oct 2019

“People will rise up”: Uyghur exile foresees end of China’s ruthless rule

Today it has regained that role: the most important trade routes in China’s hugely ambitious Belt and Road Initiative pass through Xinjiang. But for the Uyghur people who live there, is has brought nothing but violence and oppression. Uyghur and Kazakh people once declared an East Turkestan Republic, for a short while, in the last years of the second world war, and China’s government will stop at nothing to prevent anything like that happening again. The main engine of control has been the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps – the XPCC, known in Chinese as the Bingtuan, or military corps – which has two million members. The XPCC has been stationed in Xinjiang since 1954, the year before the latter was established as an autonomous region. For the Uyghurs and other minorities, the XPCC is nothing less than a colonial institution. Many towns with a Uyghur majority are encircled by it. read the complete article

28 Oct 2019

He was a Communist Party member and model Uyghur. It didn't save him from Beijing

Apart from a leaked government film that accused him of ethnic "separatism," the Chinese state has provided no explanation for the geography professor's detention. Like hundreds of other Uyghur intellectuals, the government has made him disappear. Tiyip was given a two-year suspended death sentence in September 2017. And as that deadline nears, Amnesty International has issued a statement warning that his execution may be imminent. More than 1,000 scholars from around the world have signed a petition from the American Association of Geographers asking the government of Chinese President Xi Jinping to stay Tiyip's execution and release him. As Tiyip's students and relatives have told us, Tiyip was widely respected as a model of how Uyghurs could succeed within the Chinese system. A long-standing state employee and academic, he has dedicated his life to leading by example. read the complete article

United Kingdom

28 Oct 2019

Man pleads guilty to anti-Muslim abuse following New Zealand mosque shootings

Dean Dyer, a construction worker from Kensington and Chelsea, was drunk and on-board a London Overground train service between West Croydon and Canada Water on 19 March this year when he made religiously offensive comments about the Christchurch attack in front of shocked passengers. In the video which was posted on YouTube by an unnamed user, Dyer admitted his hatred for Muslims and showed no sympathy for the 50 victims of the New Zealand terrorist attack. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 28 Oct 2019 Edition


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