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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09 Oct 2019

Today in IslamophobiaU.S restricts visas for Chinese officials over Uighur internment in Xinjiang, as CAIR releases anti-bullying guide for Muslim families. A new Senate report says Russian trolls orchestrated the 2016 clash at Houston Islamic center. Our recommended read today is by Emily Feng reporting on the changing nature of the Xinjiang crisis, where Uighurs are allegedly being moved from camps into prisons. This, and more, below:


09 Oct 2019

China Has Begun Moving Xinjiang Muslim Detainees To Formal Prisons, Relatives Say | Recommended Read

Last month in Kazakhstan, NPR interviewed 26 relatives of ethnic Kazakhs and Uighurs currently detained or imprisoned in Xinjiang and five former detainees. They said that rather than setting free reeducated citizens, the authorities have been transferring many detainees to formal prisons. Those who have been released remain under strict surveillance. Xinjiang courts have been sentencing detainees to lengthy prison terms — sometimes up to 20 years — in hasty trials where little but a verdict is presented, according to relatives and an ex-detainee. The sentences overwhelmingly target citizens with religious Muslim backgrounds; 23 of the 32 people sentenced in Xinjiang recently were religious students, imams or people who prayed regularly, according to their family members. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
09 Oct 2019

US restricts visas for Chinese officials over 'campaign to erase religion' in Xinjiang

The restrictions, announced by the state department on Tuesday, come a day after the US commerce department imposed export restrictions on US companies preventing them from selling their products – particularly face recognition and other surveillance technology – to 28 Chinese entities, including the Public Security Bureau and firms involved in surveillance in Xinjiang. The US punitive measures mark the first time China has been held to account internationally for its programme of mass incarceration and persecution of religious minorities. read the complete article

United States

09 Oct 2019

Islamophobia: A Bipartisan Xenophobia in American Politics

While the vast majority of conservative Islamophobia in the United States generally centers itself around an overall hatred of Islam, the specter of liberal Islamophobia seems to revolve around a disdain for the religious freedoms of Muslim citizens when they supposedly contradict with culturally relative Western liberal orthodoxies. According to Deepa Kumar, a media studies professor at Rutgers University and author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, the critical distinction between conservative Islamophobia and liberal Islamophobia is “[t]he way liberal Islamophobia works is that it roundly criticizes Islam-bashing, thereby preempting charges of racism, but then it goes on to champion programs that target and vilify Muslims.” For instance, a liberal might condemn hate crimes against Muslims, but also support illiberal policies like the New York City Police Department’s long-time spying program on Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities after 9/11. read the complete article

09 Oct 2019

Fans Furious at Trump After Mar-a-Lago Cancels Anti-Muslim Group’s Event

Trump fans are fuming at the president’s signature Florida resort after Mar-a-Lago canceled an anti-Muslim group’s fundraiser starring conservative columnist Michelle Malkin. In a statement posted on Twitter, Gabriel blamed the cancellation on “Trump attorneys” and tweeted that the cancellation would cost her group “a large portion of our operating budget.” read the complete article

09 Oct 2019

Russian trolls orchestrated 2016 clash at Houston Islamic center, new Senate intel report recalls

A Senate intelligence committee report issued Tuesday recounts efforts by Russian trolls to orchestrate a clash in Houston between local Muslims and anti-Muslim demonstrators in May 2016 — one of many instances of Russia trying to stoke unrest in the United States. Russian trolls used a Facebook page called "Heart of Texas," a home for advocacy of Texas secession and a variety of conservative goals that drew 250,000 followers at its peak, to promote a protest against Islam at noon on May 21, 2016. The protest would occur outside the Islamic Da'wah Center, a mosque established and funded by retired basketball star Hakeem Olajuwon, who played center for the Houston Rockets. The Russians used targeted ads urging supporters to attend the "Stop Islamization of Texas" event. read the complete article

09 Oct 2019

CAIR releases anti-bullying guide for Muslim families

According to recent studies, Muslim students in public schools face bullying at twice the rate of their non-Muslim peers and nearly half of Muslim families report at least one bullying incident over the last year. Evidence suggests that Muslim and other religious minority children and their families lack confidence in the ability of schools to address the issue. Teachers and administrators themselves also report that they lack the resources and training to deal with issues around religious and cultural sensitivity and responsiveness effectively. read the complete article

United Kingdom

09 Oct 2019

What's an alternative to the UK's counter terrorism policy?

In Western countries, the war on terrorism led to the development of new programs and legislation with the aim of eliminating “violent extremism” and “terrorism.” But it has done neither and has managed only to criminalize and stigmatize Muslim communities. Eighteen years later, it’s clear that counter-terrorism policies aren’t working, which raises the question: What’s the alternative? On September 3, 2019, the Transnational Institute hosted an event in the British parliament to launch the publication of its new report, Leaving the War on Terror: A progressive alternative to counter-terrorism policy. The report focuses on Britain’s counter-terrorism (CT) policy as it delves into the failures of CT, noting that it has failed to demonstrate a reduction in terrorism, failed to uphold human rights, and has institutionalized Islamophobia. During his opening remarks at the event, New York University Professor Arun Kundnani, one of the authors of the report, also noted the undemocratic nature of CT policy as it wasn’t developed on “clear statements of goals and evidence;” rather, he says, it’s been created by the security establishment and is loyal to elite interests, not the public. read the complete article


09 Oct 2019

Opinion | A new India is emerging, and it is a country ruled by fear

This is because – without the matter being explicitly articulated – citizen has been set against citizen: not just Muslim against Hindu or, say, Kashmiris against the rest of India, but those who subscribe to the BJP’s new conception of the nation against those who do not, leaving one without trust in the other. I recently signed a letter of protest addressed to the prime minister, drawing attention to increased religious violence. My co-signatories were 48 of India’s most eminent film-makers, academics, activists, artists and writers. In response to a petition in Muzzafurpur, Bihar, a court has now asked the police to open a case against us. Then there’s the National Register of Citizens (NRC), a central government-backed project in the state of Assam aimed at uncovering and expelling “foreigners” (that is, Muslim refugees from Bangladesh who don’t have the relevant documents, though the reality has turned out to be far messier, and the majority of those now deemed “foreigners” have turned out to be Hindus). Many are threatened with being uprooted, and others in the region are being asked to help uproot their neighbours. These extraordinary developments got me thinking about ethnicity and citizenship. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 09 Oct 2019 Edition


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