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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08 Oct 2019

Today in Islamophobia:  Man accused of mosque attack and killing step sister repeats Nazi salute in court, as the UN slams the Dutch burqa ban. The U.S blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang, as disturbing video emerges showing hundreds of blindfolded prisoners in Xinjiang. Our recommended read today is on “Denmark’s ghettos” and the country’s hardline stance against immigration. This, and more, below:


08 Oct 2019

Denmark's ghettos: How one of Europe's most open countries took a hard line on immigration | Recommended Read

Ellie's family arrived at the beginning of what's now been four decades of mass migration to Denmark. For much of that time, the nation was open and tolerant, welcoming foreigners. The drastic change in atmosphere and attitude towards Muslims has left migrants like Ellie living in what she calls a "grey zone". "The grey zone is basically a limbo land where you don't really fit in in the Danish community, neither the Persian community," she says. "So you're kind of in the middle with a foot in each camp. You don't really belong." Ellie hosts a popular YouTube series called The Pink Taxi. She films herself interviewing different personalities from all walks of life — and both sides of the political spectrum — while driving her taxi. Her goal is to use humour to examine Denmark's current identity crisis. "I meet people that are different than me, and I try to get to the bottom of, how did they become extreme Muslims? Extremist right-wing or whatever?" she says, as we drive around Copenhagen. "We're all different, but even though we're different, does that mean that we cannot talk?" For Ellie, no passenger is out of bounds. She even invited one of the country's most radical politicians into the pink taxi. Rasmus Paludan is notorious for wanting to expel all Muslims from Denmark. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day


08 Oct 2019

Man Accused of Attempted Mosque attack and Killing step sister repeats Nazi salute in court

Philip Manshaus, 22, was thwarted in his attempt on the Al-Noor mosque in Oslo on August 10 by a 65-year-old worshipper who managed to overpower him. But Manshaus's step-sister, Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, who had been adopted as a child from China by his father's girlfriend, was found dead at their home a few hours later with gunshot wounds to the head. A .22-caliber rifle was found in the accused's car. On September 9, Manshaus had given a Nazi salute during a court hearing to extend his detention in custody. In a court appearance on Monday, Manshaus, who was dressed in a dark gray suit, gave the Nazi salute for three seconds towards the waiting photograpers, Norwegian news outlet, reported. read the complete article

United States

08 Oct 2019

Supporting Muslim Teens in Face of Islamophobia — in Their Own Schools

Shohoud decided to enroll in a program to help Muslim youths handle harassment, inform peers about their faith and, in the process, create a more positive school environment. Since the Youth Speakers Training program launched three years ago, the nonprofit Islamic Networks Group now offers it in California and seven other states. As anti-Muslim sentiment has grown in the U.S., data show Muslim kids experience bullying and harassment at a higher rate than other students. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reports 53% of Muslim school-aged children in California said they have been “made fun of, verbally insulted or abused.” Nationally, 42% of Muslim children reported being bullied, according to the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. By comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 19% of all high school students say they have been bullied at school. read the complete article

08 Oct 2019

RealClear Media Has a Secret Facebook Page to Push Far-Right Memes

Called “Conservative Country,” the Facebook page was founded in 2014 and now boasts nearly 800,000 followers for its mix of Donald Trump hagiography and ultra-conservative memes. One recent post showed a man training two assault rifles at a closed door with the caption “Just sitting here waiting on Beto.” Others wink at right-wing conspiracy theories about Barack Obama’s “ties to Islam” or the Clintons having their enemies killed, or portray Muslim members of Congress as terrorist infiltrators. The page is effusive with praise for Vladimir Putin, and one post portrays Russia as the last bastion of freedom in Europe. read the complete article

08 Oct 2019

Seen but not heard: The Commission for Countering Extremism or the Mission to Close Political Space

Aside from attacks on Muslim civil society (almost all major civil society or advocacy groups are named), the ‘hard left’ (once more), far right, some Sikh groups all fall foul of CCE’s wrath. Whilst all attempts to tackle religious and racial hatred are welcome, CCE’s musings do not encompass the full gamut of the issue. Discussion of the far-right is meagre, work on attacks by Zionist groups and the coalition between some of these and the far-right entirely missing. Rather CCE demonises the legitimate activities and political speech of particularly Muslims but also the left – in particular any speech or activity that calls out structural racism and Islamophobia, or advocates for social justice whether in the UK or abroad. The paucity of argument in these articles is augmented by what is essentially verbose name calling. If a group has disagreed with a policy or called out individual acts or systemic injustices, they are labelled as extremist by the CCE who even go so far as to devise that anti-imperialism is an anti-Semitic enterprise. read the complete article

United Kingdom

08 Oct 2019

Far right swooping on towns to exploit tensions, report says

Far-right activists are exploiting community tensions by swooping into towns and cities and distorting the truth in an effort to turn residents against minorities, particularly Muslims, the government’s chief adviser on extremism has found. Extremists were stirring up white populations who would not normally support the far right and deepening social division, Sara Khan, who leads the Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE), said in her first major report. Figures such as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who is more commonly known as Tommy Robinson, Anne Marie Waters, the leader of the For Britain party, and Jayda Fransen, a former deputy leader of the fascist group Britain First, were singled out in the report for spreading anti-minority and anti-Muslim agendas. read the complete article

08 Oct 2019

Growth of far right networks 'fuelled by toxic political rhetoric'

An expanding far right has transformed itself into loose networks of online sympathisers who share and produce extremist material fuelled by toxic mainstream political rhetoric, experts have warned. These networks attempt to generate interest using messaging apps, social media and platforms such as Telegram, 8chan and Gab, with some openly supportive of Boris Johnson and his stated aim of taking the UK out of the European Union by the end of October. Researcher Jacob Davey, at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue thinktank, said: “There’s clearly been a response to Boris Johnson and some of the rhetoric from his government in far right circles. It has stimulated them.” read the complete article


08 Oct 2019

Disturbing video shows hundreds of blindfolded prisoners in Xinjiang

The video -- which was posted online anonymously last week -- shows hundreds of men, most of whom are dressed in purple and orange vests with the words "Kashgar Detention Center" printed on them, seated in rows on the ground of what appears to be a large courtyard outside a train station. Their heads are shaved and their hands bound behind their backs. All of the men are wearing black blindfolds over their eyes and they are being watched over by dozens of police officers in SWAT uniforms. CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of this video or the date it was shot. Chinese Foreign Ministry officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the video. In a statement to CNN on October 4, authorities in Xinjiang said that "cracking down on crimes in accordance with law is the common practice of all countries." read the complete article

08 Oct 2019

U.S. Blacklists 28 Chinese Entities Over Abuses in Xinjiang

The Trump administration said Monday that it had added 28 Chinese organizations to a United States blacklist over concerns about their role in human rights violations, effectively blocking those entities from buying American products. The organizations have been implicated in China’s campaign targeting Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities in the autonomous region of Xinjiang, according to a Commerce Department filing. Among the entities being placed on the list are Hikvision and Dahua Technology, two of the world’s largest manufacturers of video surveillance products. It also hits China’s well-funded, newly emerging class of artificial-intelligence start-ups. Together, the companies’ products are central to China’s ambitions to be the top global exporter of surveillance technology. read the complete article


08 Oct 2019

In Kashmir, a Race Against Death, With No Way to Call a Doctor

Two months after the Indian government revoked Kashmir’s autonomy and imposed harsh security measures across the Kashmir Valley, doctors and patients here say the crackdown has taken many lives, in large part because of a government-imposed communication blackout, including shutting down the internet. Cancer patients who buy medicine online have been unable to place orders. Without cell service, doctors can’t talk to each other, find specialists or get critical information to help them in life-or-death situations. And because most Kashmiris don’t have landlines in their homes, they can’t call for help. “At least a dozen patients have died because they could not call an ambulance or could not reach the hospital on time, the majority of them with heart-related disease,’’ said Sadaat, a doctor in a Kashmir hospital who did not want to be identified by his full name out of fear or reprisals. Kashmiri doctors have also accused Indian security forces of directly harassing and intimidating medical personnel. read the complete article


08 Oct 2019

UN racism expert slams Dutch burqa ban

Tendayi Achiume, the UN Special Rapporteur on racism, said the ban reflected a wider "consolidation of Islamophobia" in the Netherlands. The Dutch ban took effect in August, after being passed by parliament in 2018, and makes it illegal to wear face coverings in public buildings and on transport. "This law has no place in a society that prides itself in promoting gender equality," Achiume said in a report after a week-long fact-finding trip to the Netherlands. "The political debate surrounding the adoption of this law makes plain its intended targeting of Muslim women, and even if this targeting was not the intent, it has certainly been the effect," she said. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 08 Oct 2019 Edition


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