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

Sign up for the Today in Islamophobia Newsletter
06 Oct 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In Germany, new research finds that anti-Muslim discrimination is widespread in the country, as nearly 30% of respondents suggested restricting the practice of Islam in the country, meanwhile in Iran, women are not protesting against the hijab but against its being forced on them, and in France, far-right French politician Marine Le Pen has called for more mosques to be closed in the country. Our recommended read of the day is by The New Arab on a recent segment aired by a popular Hindi news channel that claimed “Muslim men were attending Hindu festivals with the aim of ‘befriending’ Hindu women,” further amplifying the “love jihad” conspiracy theory. This and more below:


06 Oct 2022

Indian channel slammed over 'love jihad claims' as 'Muslim men participate in Hindu festival' | Recommended Read

A mainstream Indian news channel has been slammed after claiming that Indian Muslim men attended the Hindu festival of Navratri in order to "befriend" Hindu women, further amplifying the 'love jihad' conspiracy theory, according to activists. AajTak, one of India’s biggest Hindi news channels with hundreds of millions of viewers, ran a segment where the anchor Sudhir Chaudhary claimed, with little evidence, that Muslim men changed their names and took part in Navratri celebrations, a Hindu festival involving traditional dances. 'Love jihad' is a pernicious falsehood generally spread to demonise and alienate Muslims in India. Its proponents claim that Muslim men lure Hindu women away from their families and marry them with the aim of converting them to Islam. Chaudhary goes on to falsely claim that it is only Muslim men that participate in the festivities and not Muslim women. Muslims, who have often participated in Hindu festivals in the past, have been barred by organisers and regional governments from attending Navratri celebrations in several parts of India following the spread of such falsehoods. The video has been roundly criticised online. Journalist Alishan Jaffrey accused Chaudhary of "mainstreaming the violent far-right, covertly tagging Muslim businesses as unlawful, and actively excluding Muslims from any kind of social activity". read the complete article

06 Oct 2022

Modi Government’s Ban Of Controversial Muslim Organization Popular Front Of India Worries Critics

Last week the Indian government banned one of the country’s top and controversial Muslim organizations for at least five years, claiming the Popular Front of India has links to terrorists. PFI denies the allegation and has hosted protests nationwide against the ban. Critics of the government have two main concerns: The proof that the PFI has participated in terrorist activities is unclear, and the government does not appear to be similarly motivated to investigate Hindu extremist organizations that have participated in or instigated violence. The central government decision comes as a part of a series of crackdowns on the group, including arrests or detentions of at least 270 people in seven states and raids on its offices across the country. “The ban is discriminatory in nature and a politically motivated attack to shut the rising Muslim voices of the country,” said a Muslim student at Jamia Millia Islamia, a Muslim minority university. Jamia warned its students and teachers not to gather on or near the campus because the government banned protests for 60 days amid the crackdowns on PFI. The Muslim student, who chose to remain anonymous, asserted that “the ruling government banning the PFI is absurd, as the Modi-led BJP itself has open affiliations to the fanatic Hindu organizations that are on a pattern calling for a genocide against Muslims." read the complete article

06 Oct 2022

India police flogging Muslim men in public sparks outrage

Nine Muslims have been publicly flogged by policemen in the western Indian state of Gujarat after being accused of throwing stones at a Hindu religious event. A video of the police flogging quickly went viral on social media, drawing criticism from politicians and civil rights activists alike. Stone pelting was reported on Monday at the Garba event during Navratri celebrations in Undhela village in Gujarat's Kheda district. The event was held in a location near a mosque. According to police, at least six people were injured in the stone pelting. The police arrested nine people for allegedly throwing stones and instead of taking them to the court brought them to the village on Tuesday. The Muslim men were then tied to a pole and publicly flogged by the police amidst cheering by the locals, who reportedly raised religious slogans. Meanwhile, a member of Gujarat's Legislative Assembly from the opposition Congress party, Gyasudding Sheikh, has demanded action against the policemen. "The government must immediately take action against those policemen involved in flogging. The police have no right to do this against the accused publicly," he told reporters in Ahmadabad. Another Congress leader, Karti P Chidambaram, took to Twitter to criticise the ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for turning India into a Hindutva (Hindu fundamentalist) state. "What next, public beheadings? And the chants?" he asked. read the complete article

06 Oct 2022

‘India fast heading towards much-feared genocide’

With the multiple video footage of Muslims being publicly flogged by Hindu fanatics surfacing on the internet, analysts believe that India is fast heading towards the much-feared stage of genocide. Recently an upsurge in lynching and mistreating of Muslim youngsters has been observed in India, especially during the religious festival of Garba. In multiple incidents, the right-wing Hindu extremist mob maltreated Muslims around the said religious festival. On October 3 and 4, three incidents were reported where state machinery supported Hindu extremists in their anti-Muslim agenda. “India has all of the preparatory stages for more genocidal massacres,” according to Dr Gregory Stanton, the founder of Genocide Watch. Dr Stanton had predicted a genocide in Rwanda years before it took place in 1994. Now he has warned of an impending genocide of Muslims in India, comparing the situation of the country under the Narendra Modi government to events in Myanmar and Rwanda. The analysts believe that India is becoming a Hindu Rashtra where Muslims will be forced to live as second-class citizens and will be persecuted and murdered. In Narendra Modi’s India, the Hindutva hateful ideology is being propagated and supported by Indian media and state machinery. The Muslims are being demeaned and accused of bogus charges with their houses being demolished. read the complete article


06 Oct 2022

White Feminism Has Appropriated the Hijab Protest, Without Understanding It

They shout, “We’ll die for Iran,” “Death to the dictator,” and “Women, life, freedom.” And still many people, including in the Western media, are brazenly reducing the protest of the Iranian women to a battle against wearing the hijab. It’s a political and feminist error to treat the protest of the Iranian women as a protest only against wearing the hijab, because their protest is broader than that. First, the Iranian women are not protesting against the hijab but against its being forced on them. They are protesting against its politicization and against the violent use being made of it in order to exclude them physically and mentally from the public space. They are protesting the profound, systematic and violent gender apartheid, which is based on a system of religious sharia law – forcing them to wear the hijab is only one of its flagrant and sexist characteristics. Therefore, both the Arab and Western feminist discourse focus on that instead of discussing the mechanisms that support and enable the continuation of this system. The same gender apartheid encompasses very broad issues such as the marriage of minor girls, custody of children, freedom of movement without the approval of a guardian, employment rights and a long list of matrimonial laws that discriminate against Iranian women and subject them to the absolute control of the men. That is what they are protesting. They want to decide by themselves about their bodies without dictating to other women in other parts of the world, who are fighting for their right to wear the hijab, what to do. In that sense they have understood – as opposed to most of the dominant Western feminist discussion – that blind support for refusing to wear the hijab and on the other hand, blind support for wearing it, are the same thing. Both are denying Iranian and other Muslim women all over the world their ownership of their bodies, and are legitimizing the continued violence against the female Muslim body, which in any case is persecuted and excluded. read the complete article

06 Oct 2022

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Should Support Xinjiang’s Muslims

Member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) face a moment of truth as the current session of the United Nations Human Rights Council nears its conclusion in Geneva: Will they support a discussion of the recent report by the former UN high commissioner for human rights exposing the Chinese government’s systematic targeting and repression of Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China, or will they remain conspicuously silent? The report details Chinese authorities’ religious profiling of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang as “extremists,” based on criteria such as “wearing hijabs,” “‘abnormal’ beards,” “closing restaurants during Ramadan,” “giving one’s child a Muslim name,” and other conduct that the high commissioner described as “nothing more or less than personal choice in the practice of Islamic religious beliefs and/or legitimate expression of opinion.” The report also highlights a broader program to suppress Uyghur language, culture, religion and identity, noting that “alongside the increasing restrictions on expressions of Muslim religious practice are recurring reports of the destruction of Islamic religious sites, such as mosques, shrines and cemeteries.” It concludes that the extent of these and other violations may constitute international crimes, “in particular crimes against humanity.” Under the OIC Charter, all member states shall “safeguard the rights, dignity and religious and cultural identity of Muslim communities and minorities in non-Member States.” The OIC and its members have rightly defended the rights of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, condemned apartheid against Palestinians by Israeli authorities, and denounced acts of Islamophobia in Western countries. read the complete article


06 Oct 2022

China bans residents from leaving Xinjiang, just weeks after its last Covid lockdown

China has banned residents from leaving Xinjiang over a Covid-19 outbreak – just weeks after the far-western region began relaxing restrictions from a stringent extended lockdown, fueling public frustration among those scarred by food shortages and plunging incomes. On Tuesday, the region – home to 22 million people, many belonging to ethnic minorities – reported 38 new asymptomatic Covid cases. It was enough to alarm officials, with Xinjiang’s Vice Chairman Liu Sushe vowing to “strengthen the control of cross-regional personnel and insist that people do not leave the region unless it is necessary.” Liu added that Xinjiang will strengthen control measures in airports, train stations and checkpoints to prevent the virus from spreading to other parts of the country. All outbound trains, inter-provincial buses and most flights will be suspended until further notice. At the airport in Urumqi, the regional capital, 97% of departing flights and 95% of arriving flights were canceled on Wednesday, according to data from flight tracking company Variflight. Meanwhile, all flights departing Kashgar, a southern oasis town home to Xinjiang’s second-largest airport, were canceled – except for two heading to Urumqi. Many parts of Xinjiang were placed under strict lockdown from August to September, with people in affected areas banned from leaving their homes – causing severe shortages of food, medicine and other basic necessities. Yang added that Covid restrictions elsewhere in China pale in comparison to the harshness of the lockdown in Urumqi. In tightly-controlled Xinjiang, where Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have been subject to years of intense crackdown, authorities have taken a hardline approach – both to carry out zero-Covid policies, and to snuff out any sign of dissent. The sweeping surveillance systems put in place to target ethnic minorities are now used to track the digital footprints of residents speaking out against Covid restrictions online. Yang and many social media users say they have received phone calls or home visits from the police, who told them to delete their posts criticizing the lockdown. read the complete article


06 Oct 2022

Far-right party leader Marine Le Pen calls for 'more' mosque closures in France

Far-right French politician Marine Le Pen has called for more mosques to be closed in France. In an interview with French broadcaster BFM TV, the former presidential candidate called on the current interior minister – Gerald Darmanin – to shut down more mosques and for the deportations of Muslims who adopt a "radical rhetoric". Le Pen's demands come despite Darmanin closing 24 mosques in the last two years, according to the Turkish Anadolu agency, including his recent closure of the Obernai Mosque on suspicion of "separatist activities" last week. She said: "Darmanin… closes a mosque here and a mosque there…. He dismisses a preacher once in a while, but he must close all extremist mosques in our lands". Le Pen then emphasised that mosques and deportations should be carried out based on what she calls "Islamist" criteria and that France must undertake a "merciless" fight against "Islamism". read the complete article


06 Oct 2022

Anti-Muslim attitudes prevalent in Germany, research says

Discrimination against Muslims is widespread in Germany, according to research by the Expert Council on Integration and Migration (SVR). Nearly 48% of respondents said they believe "Islam is not compatible with German society,” while 29% suggested restricting the practice of Islam in the country. "Negative attitudes toward Islam are widespread in all groups examined – people with and without a migration background,” the researchers said in their report. Nearly 44% of Germans surveyed argued that Muslim organizations should be monitored by the state’s security agencies, while only 16% opposed such a move. Anti-Islamic attitudes were slightly more common among migrants who arrived in Germany from non-Muslim countries. People who had social contact with Muslims, however, were less inclined to hold anti-Islamic attitudes, according to the report. The SVR’s study also analyzed anti-Semitic attitudes in Germany and concluded that anti-Semitism was widespread both among Germans and migrant communities in the country. "Negative attitudes toward people of the Muslim and Jewish faiths are divisive and undermine social cohesion. However, attitudes of this kind are not only held by people without a migration background, but also by people with a history of migration,” the report said. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 06 Oct 2022 Edition


Enter keywords


Sort Results