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 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In the United States, a white man shot and killed a Muslim Moroccan-American man who was sitting in his parked car, meanwhile in the United Kingdom, students and staff at Kings College London are protesting against the University for hosting former US Army General and CIA Director, David Petraeus, and in India, tension prevails in the north-eastern state of Tripura following attacks on mosques and properties owned by Muslims. Our recommended read of the day is by Jeanne Morefield for Jacobin on how liberal organizations, governments, and lawyers have promoted the idea that wars can be made “humane,” a concept which has “only served to justify US belligerence and endless drone warfare abroad.” This and more below:


28 Oct 2021

How Liberalism Justifies the Forever Wars | Recommended Read

For over half a century, liberal organizations, governments, and lawyers have promoted the idea that wars can be made “humane.” The concept’s triumph in the twenty-first century has only served to justify US belligerence and endless drone warfare abroad. Samuel Moyn’s Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War follows the historical ascendance of the idea that war should be fought “humanely.” The book is an important extension of themes he has been developing since his critical account of “human rights” in 2010’s The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History. Over the last half-century, according to Moyn, liberal activists, organizations, states, and (most notably) international lawyers, have thrown their weight behind the development of international norms grounded in our shared, universal “humanity.” In The Last Utopia, Moyn described how the world’s great powers weaponized these norms against anti-colonial and Third Worldist movements in the 1970s and ’80s. His latest book similarly highlights the way “humane war” serves as a conceptual Trojan Horse for a dystopic new reality: a deterritorialized form of American endless-war-making, carried out by drones and special forces, in which one side has “complete immunity from harm” but takes “unprecedented care when it comes to killing people on the other.” To explore the emergence of “humane war” as a now hegemonic idea in US foreign policy, Moyn begins the book with a rhetorical question: “Is it good enough — is it good at all — that American war could someday become as humane as advocates both within and outside government can make it?” His answer to this question is clear: No, it isn’t good at all. In the process of fighting war crimes, he insists, we have “forgotten the crime of war.” The humanization of war has normalized war itself, transforming it from an episodic to a prolix phenomenon. This has meant mutating violence into something more disciplinary and traumatizing for men and women in the “war-on-terror” zones, ensuring their experiences are even less visible to the self-satisfied denizens of “liberal democracies” than they already were. read the complete article

28 Oct 2021

Religious violence flares up in India and Bangladesh

Attacks against religious minorities are flaring up on both sides of a porous, hilly border separating India and Bangladesh, raising the prospect of swelling violence between Hindus and Muslims after Bangladesh was rocked by one of its worst bouts of communal strife in years. In Panisagar town in Tripura, a remote Indian state hugging the Bangladesh border, more than 3,000 Hindu activists held a protest Tuesday night that quickly erupted into violence, said Soubik Dey, a local police official. A mosque and several homes were attacked, forcing Muslim residents to flee. Dey said that no deaths were reported and that the town is now “under control” with a heavy police presence. Muslim leaders in Tripura say the Tuesday rally was the latest in a string of revenge attacks targeting their community this month in response to events in Bangladesh, where Muslims have targeted Hindus, who make up a tenth of the population. read the complete article


28 Oct 2021

Gujarat: Mob Chants Anti-Muslim Slogans, Opposes Hotel's Inauguration

When a 60 plus-year-old man Kisanbhai (name changed on request) shouted that Muslims should be beggars, not hotel owners, he meant it. “This is my country. America is not my country. If Muslims want to live in my country, they will have to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Whenever we ask them to”, he said, not taking into consideration that his son who lives in the US works for a Muslim-owned company as he furiously shouted anti-Muslim slogans. Kisanbhai was one of the 100-odd people who protested at Anand in Gujarat on Tuesday, October 26. The target of their ire: Hotel Blueivy. The Hindus feel that the hotel has no place in “their area”. Two of the hotel’s three owners are Muslims. The group which had doctors, lawyers and students sang Ram Bhajans, Ram Dhoons and sprinkled Ganga jal to “purify” the area. “The hotel has to go,” Binaben Patel said. “This is a Hindu area. This hotel is owned by Muslim[s]. It is a blot on our Hindu culture to have this hotel here”. Hotel Blueivy, which has a banquet hotel, restaurant, hotel rooms and coffee shops does not serve any non-vegetarian food. Not even omelettes or any other egg items. “So what,” another woman screams. “This hotel is owned by Muslims. It is a sin for us to see them also.” Another catch: of the hotel’s three owners – a Gujarati Patel and two Gujarati Muslims – all dress alike. They have no beard or skull caps. So how do the Hindus know they are Muslims? “We can feel it. This entire area was very good. The vibes are different since this Muslim-owned hotel has come up,” another housewife chips in. read the complete article

28 Oct 2021

Tripura: Anti-Muslim violence flares up in India state

Tension prevails in India's north-eastern state of Tripura following attacks on mosques and properties owned by Muslims. Security has been tightened and restrictions on gatherings have been enforced in the affected areas. The violence followed clashes between Hindu groups and the police. The groups were protesting against the police refusing them permission to hold a rally against recent attacks on Hindus in neighbouring Bangladesh. At least seven people were killed, temples desecrated and hundreds of houses and businesses of the Hindu minority torched in Bangladesh earlier this month after rumours spread that the Quran had been insulted at a special pavilion set up for the annual Hindu religious festival of Durga Puja. Tripura is encircled on three sides by Bangladesh and connected by a thin corridor to the neighbouring state of Assam. The state has been run by India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2018 after 25 years of Communist rule. More than 10 incidents of religious violence have been reported from the North Tripura district in the past four days. Authorities enforced restrictions on large gatherings after Tuesday night's violence in the border town of Panisagar in which a mosque and several shops belonging to Muslims were vandalised. read the complete article

28 Oct 2021

Q&A: ‘Religious freedom conditions in India greatly concerning’

In April this year, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, bipartisan federal government commission, recommended India be placed on a religious freedom blacklist for the second year in a row. In its annual report for 2021 (PDF), the commission, which makes religious freedom and foreign policy recommendations to the US president, the US Congress, and the Department of State, called for India, the world’s largest democracy, to be designated as a “country of particular concern” (CPC) for “egregious religious freedom violations”. India shares the CPC list with 14 other countries, which include Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, Myanmar, Eritrea, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Syria, Russia, Vietnam and Turkmenistan. The report also recommended that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken should impose targeted sanctions on Indian government agencies and officials responsible for the “severe religious freedom violations” by freezing their assets, including barring their entry into the US. The current USCIRF chair Nadine Maenza, who earlier served as a commissioner and vice-chair of the commission and has been vocal against the deteriorating religious freedom situation in India, spoke to Al Jazeera about the attacks on minorities, the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the jailing of activists and protesters, and steps President Joe Biden should take to address these concerns. read the complete article


28 Oct 2021

Two thirds of French people believe white Christians are 'threatened with extinction' by Muslim migration, new poll shows

Poll quizzed French people on the concept of a 'Great Replacement' of white, Christian populations in Europe with Muslim migration from Africa. 61 per cent of people thought the scenario will 'definitely' or 'probably' happen. It comes as far-right pundit Eric Zemmour gains ground in French election polls. The idea of a 'Great Replacement' has been touted by Zemmour, who argues parts of France are being 'colonised' by Muslim migrants. read the complete article

28 Oct 2021

Let’s Talk About: The problem of laïcité in France

In France, the word laïcité –– the constitutional separation of church and state –– is considered the backbone of the republic. But for as long as laïcité has existed in France, it has also been controversial at the national and international levels. The constitutional concept of laïcité has divided the country, leaving certain communities — Muslims, in particular— to feel out of place. First, it is important to acknowledge that laïcité — though originally rooted in the French government’s distrust of the Catholic church — has been weaponized to perpetuate Islamaphobia against French Muslim communities. In 2004, the law was expanded to ban any visible symbol of religious expression in public schools. In practice, the enforcement of the law tended to target Muslim communities, whether the government realized it or not. In 2015, the French Council of State upheld a ruling prohibiting a Muslim student from attending class because her skirt was too long and thus carried too much religious significance. And last April, the French government voted to ban Muslim girls under the age of 18 from wearing the hijab. Hate crimes against Muslim communities in France increased by 53% in 2020. This may suggest that laïcité has prompted Islamophobia and violence against Muslim communities. Perhaps, in 19th century France, where it was mostly a Catholic state, laïcité was simpler to understand as it was designed to prevent the sway of the Church. But in modern France, where society is more heterogeneous and multi-cultural, laïcité becomes too thorny. read the complete article

United States

28 Oct 2021

'Mayor Mohamed' documentary examines Islamophobia, small-town politics

A documentary chronicling the life of Mayor Mohamed Khairullah as a political figure, humanitarian and family man will be screened at the Montclair Film Festival on Thursday. The film takes viewers into the mayor's home, on the campaign trail and at the bedside of Syrian children who fell victim to airstrikes on the city of Aleppo. But the central theme of the film is an issue of acceptance — how Khairullah, a Muslim, is accepted by people of Prospect Park, and in a much broader sense, how immigrants are received throughout the U.S. Jeffrey Togman, a professor of political science at Seton Hall University, said Khairullah was the perfect subject for the film because he has a "foot in both worlds." Khairullah, a Syrian immigrant and one of five assistant principals at Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne, said he is pleased with feedback he has heard from audiences in this area. "Its intent was to be an educational piece," he said, "and I think that it's serving its purpose. As it gains more traction, I hope that it opens more eyes." "Hate is caused by ignorance," the mayor said of the film's underlying message. "When people get to know each other, we can reduce hate, intolerance and misunderstanding." read the complete article

28 Oct 2021

White Man Kills Moroccan Muslim Because He Was “Suspicious” – But Why?

31 year-old Moroccan-American Muslim, Adil Dghoughi, was in his parked car in a rural neighborhood late at night in Texas and according to local reports, Dghoughi was shot through the window of the car and died at the scene. Dghoughi was shot because a white resident was “suspicious” about the man in the vehicle. The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office said they responded to a report of a shooting at 3:42 AM. They stated that a 65 year-old homeowner “confronted a suspicious vehicle” that was parked outside his residence – according to NPR. The victim’s girlfriend later told the Daily Beast that Dghoughi enjoyed late night drives and listening to music in his car, and was his way of relaxing. “I just killed a guy,” the Texas man told the dispatcher, and said the victim “tried to pull a gun at me, I shot.” However, sheriff’s deputies found no gun in Dghoughi’s car. Considering the facts at hand, it’s necessary for us to have the talk, again. We can’t help but wonder if this case would be dealt in the same manner if a Muslim or black citizen was the shooter instead. Why was he suspicious of him? Was it because he looked Arab, or because perhaps he knew he was a Muslim? It proves to be difficult to believe that the only reason he was suspicious was simply because he was sitting in his car minding his own business, in addition to being next to his home. Islamophobia and discrimination cannot be encapsulated into just one article. However, you can pretty much get the gist of it from news such as this. To be deemed a threat simply due to someone’s suspicion. People can condemn you, give you an instant guilty sentence, and execute you simply because Islamophobia exists. read the complete article

United Kingdom

28 Oct 2021

Hundreds of outraged students accuse King's College London of hosting alleged 'war criminal'

A university has come under fire as students and staff have accused it of hypocrisy for hosting an alleged "war criminal". Former US Army General and CIA Director, David Petraeus has been invited by King's College London's School of Security Studies and the Royal United Services Institute tomorrow evening, October 28. Students and campaigners at the institution have rallied together to oppose the move, with 260 signing the petition to condemn the event so far. PhD candidate Lucy Thomas, at the Department of War Studies, explained the growing sentiment: "The decision to host David Petraeus on campus shows KCL’s disregard for students directly and indirectly impacted by the global War on Terror. "UK support for the US’ invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan has directly led to growing Islamophobia, racist hate crimes, murderous immigration and border policies, and surveillance of racialised communities. "KCL’s decision to host those responsible for death and destruction in the Middle East shows how the university will seek high-profile speakers and PR opportunities at the expense of students impacted every day by the War on Terror’s fallout. "Students and staff are disappointed by the hypocrisy KCL shows by promoting its Sanctuary Programme and being the first ‘Refugees Welcome’ university, but proudly hosts an army commander who has overseen millions of deaths and displacements across the Middle East and Central Asia in the ongoing so-called War on Terror." read the complete article


28 Oct 2021

Covid and human rights concerns remain with 100 days until Beijing Winter Olympics

Beijing will be the first city to stage both the Summer and Winter Games, but the 2022 event is shadowed by the coronavirus pandemic and calls from human rights groups for a boycott over China’s treatment of Tibet, Uyghur Muslims and Hong Kong. Since then, China has risen to superpower status, locked in antagonistic competition with the United States and under the increasingly authoritarian leadership of President Xi Jinping, with tightened censorship and suppression of dissent. Rights groups and some U.S. lawmakers have called on the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Winter Games and relocate the event unless China ends what the United States deems ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups. Activists and U.N. rights experts have said that at least 1 million Muslims were detained in camps in Xinjiang since 2017. Beijing denies all allegations of abuse of Uyghurs and describes the camps as vocational training facilities to combat religious extremism. While no country has said its athletes will boycott the Games, European, British and American lawmakers have all voted for their diplomats to do so. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 28 Oct 2021 Edition


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