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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04 Oct 2019

Today in Islamophobia: Tulsi Gabbard’s Islamophobia world view surfaces, as China continues to detain Muslims in concentration camps. Domestic terrorist pleads guilty to gun and drug charges. Our recommended read today is Daniel Burke on a shadowy FBI program that’s ensnaring thousands of Muslim immigrants. This, and more, below:

United States

04 Oct 2019

He applied for a green card. Then the FBI came calling | Recommended Read

The ACLU, which is representing Ostadhassan in a landmark legal case, says his uncertainty can be traced to an obscure national security program called CARRP, which stands for Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program. The program, which began in 2008 under President George W. Bush, is used by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to vet immigrants it classifies as potential national security concerns before granting green cards, citizenship or asylum. But not much is known about how CARRP actually works or who it selects for additional levels of scrutiny. Immigrants and their lawyers are often kept in the dark about CARRP, according to court documents and depositions of USCIS officers. The program is not found in any public statutes or agency regulations. Even seasoned immigration experts told CNN they had no idea CARRP existed. The ACLU argues that CARRP is discriminatory and illegal. The Justice Department counters that CARRP is essential to maintaining national security. read the complete article

Recommended Read
04 Oct 2019

Immigration Law Defies the American Constitution

Last year, in Trump v. Hawaii, the Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s “travel ban” policy, which barred most entry into the United States from several Muslim-majority nations. The Court did so despite overwhelming evidence showing that the motivation behind the travel ban was religious discrimination targeting Muslims, as Trump himself repeatedly stated. The supposed security rationale for the travel ban was extraordinarily weak, bordering on outright fraudulent. In almost any other context, the courts would have ruled against a policy so transparently motivated by religious bigotry, and so lacking in any legitimate justification. It would have been considered an obvious violation of the First Amendment. The travel ban is far from the only case in which immigration restrictions have been held to a lower constitutional standard compared with almost any other exercise of government power. In August, the Israeli government was rightly criticized for barring entry to two American members of Congress because of their support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. But few recalled that the U.S. also has a long history of banning foreigners with political views that the government disapproves of. Concerns that European immigrants had dangerous political views were a major motivation behind the highly restrictive 1924 Immigration Act, and were also used to justify barring many Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Even today, the law forbids entry to anyone who has been a “member of or affiliated with the Communist or any other totalitarian party.” Meanwhile, the government cannot discriminate against U.S. citizens who share those same views, including by denying them government services available to others. read the complete article

04 Oct 2019

Twin Cities mosque on edge after opponents start pointing the cameras at children

A Bloomington mosque has for months been the focus of online videos produced by a right-wing social media website. But in recent weeks, worshippers and mosque officials say scrutiny of the Dar Al Farooq Youth and Family Center has taken an even more sinister turn as opponents of the mosque have shown up to photograph or record video of young children on a nearby playground. Abdulahi Farah, the mosque’s program director, said the disturbances have reached a tipping point. “It was a new low. You’re harassing adults, we get it, whatever. An adult can overcome that and they can put that into perspective,” he said. “But when you're harassing kids who have been looking forward to recess the whole morning, what is that? How insensitive are you?” Dar Al Farooq is at the center of a video series called “The Mosque Diaries” by a Minnesota-based website, Third Rail Talk, which dubs itself as a source of news that “big media” won’t cover. It’s not clear whether any photos or video of the kids on the playground will be published on that site, which has already produced three episodes featuring the Bloomington mosque. Third Rail Talk has been banned from Twitter and Facebook, but viewers are still able to see its content on YouTube and other platforms like BitChute and Gab, where the videos attract thousands of views. read the complete article

04 Oct 2019

'Domestic Terrorist' Christopher Hasson Pleads Guilty On Gun, Drug Charges

A Coast Guard lieutenant with white supremacist views pleaded guilty to Thursday to four gun and drug charges in a case that tested the federal government’s ability to charge heavily armed domestic extremists plotting terrorist attacks. Christopher Hasson, a 50-year-old who resided in a Maryland suburb of D.C., was arrested back in February on gun and drug charges. But federal prosecutors said those charges were just the “tip of the iceberg,” and that Hasson had been planning to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” Hasson, federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing, “is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct.” read the complete article

04 Oct 2019

Islamophobic World View of Tulsi Gabbard's Guru Revealed in Unearthed Recordings – Can she Still Run for President?

Questions about Tulsi Gabbard and her family’s ties to Chris Butler, a self-styled guru and founder of an offshoot organisation of the Hare Krishna movement called The Science of Identity, have dogged the 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate since the moment she ran for a seat in Hawaii’s state house aged 21 in 2002. Gabbard must answer further questions about her ties to Butler now that a source close to Science of Identity has leaked to me previously unheard audio recordings of her guru describing Muslims in the most viciously racist ways imaginable, alongside what appears to be a 2018 video of Gabbard attending a ceremony in which she and other attendees are seen giving praise to an altar carrying a framed photo of Butler. The tapes and the accompanying transcripts, which run to more than 8,000 pages, document lectures given by Butler to his flock in Hawaii from the late 1960s to 2006. read the complete article

United Kingdom

04 Oct 2019

How Mohamed Salah inspired me to become a Muslim

I’m embarrassed to say this but my opinions on Islam used to be that the religion, the culture and the people were backward; that they didn’t integrate and wanted to take over. I always looked at Muslims like the elephant in the room. I had a hatred of Muslims. When I was in sixth form it was a period where I think I needed someone to blame for my misfortunes. Unfortunately Muslims got the brunt of it and I quickly discovered right-wing media pages. They sort of groomed me by sending me long propaganda pieces and suchlike. Even though I had these horrible ideas of Islam, I would never say them to a Muslim. At this point I didn’t know any Muslims. My degree in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Leeds changed everything. read the complete article

04 Oct 2019

Jacob Rees-Mogg Urged To Remove Parliament Ads From Breitbart

Parliament has been accused of “funding hate” after adverts for free tours of the House of Commons appeared on the far-right website Breitbart. The UK parliament, not MPs, is responsible for placing adverts promoting the institution at home and abroad and has “paused” the ads while it is reviews its digital policy. But Labour MP Mary Creagh wants Rees-Mogg to intervene as a minister to ensure ads promoting parliament do not appear on fake the site again. In a letter to Rees-Mogg, Creagh describes Breitbart as a “home to misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism, islamophobia, racism and wild conspiracy theories”. Describing Breitbart as an “extremist, far-right, white supremacist fake news website”, the Wakefield MP adds: “A quick tour of the site reveals it is a home to misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism, islamophobia, racism and wild conspiracy theories. read the complete article


04 Oct 2019

Xinjiang Education Reform And The Eradication Of Uyghur-Language Books

When Kaiser asked Abida why she started using these “cute” Chinese phrases, she said it was because all of her classmates did this at school and she did Chinese-language homework every day after school, so Chinese was always on her mind. She told Kaiser that she felt a lot of “pressure” (Uy: bıssim) to speak only in Chinese throughout most of the day. As she spoke, she began to cry. At the end of the school year there would be a major Chinese test. If she did not pass it, she would not be allowed to go on to high school. Instead, she would be sent to a vocational school where she would be trained in Chinese and political ideology before being sent to work in a factory. Essentially, her education would end if she didn’t pass the test. She felt as though her entire life hung in the balance. For as long as she could remember, she had dreamed of becoming a doctor. It was a lot of pressure for a 15-year-old. As scholars have long noted, the “bilingual” education system that was introduced over the past decade in Xinjiang is better characterized as an attempt to transform Xinjiang minority education systems, moving away from the maintenance of local native languages and traditions toward a Chinese-medium education. One of the ways this was ensured was through the removal of Uyghur students from their home communities through a “boarding school” (Uy: yataqliq mektep) system. First, nearly all schools above eighth grade became residential schools, where students are held behind walls except on weekend home visits. Then, beginning in 2017, many elementary schools and nurseries also became residential schools. Uyghur children of all ages are increasingly separated from their parents and raised in a non-Muslim, Chinese-speaking environment. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 04 Oct 2019 Edition


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