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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14 Sep 2020

Today in Islamophobia: At least three young Rohingya refugees die in Indonesia after seven months at sea.  Delhi summons top Facebook India official in hate speech probe. Our recommended read today is from Just Security on a “new approach to national and human security.” This, and more, below:

United States

14 Sep 2020

Toward a New Approach to National and Human Security: Introduction | Recommended Read

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the United States responded with military force intended to target those responsible. More broadly, it invoked extraordinary powers reserved for what should be exceptional: war. The legal and policy framework created to facilitate that response resulted in a cascade of human rights and law of war violations, ranging from indefinite detention at the Guantanamo Bay prison, to systemic torture, to “special registration” targeting people based on religion and national origin, to warrantless surveillance, to discriminatory watchlisting, to now seemingly endless conflicts often waged in secretive and unaccountable ways. In the name of U.S. national security and counterterrorism, our government has violated human rights; damaged the rule of law, international cooperation, and the United States’ reputation; set a dangerous precedent for other nations; fueled conflicts and massive human displacement; contributed to militarized and violent approaches to domestic policing; diverted limited resources from more effective approaches; and, most consequentially, destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives, primarily of civilian, Muslim, Black, and Brown people. The longer the current war-based legal and policy architecture persists, the more corrosive it becomes—from both a human rights and a national security perspective. read the complete article

Recommended Read
14 Sep 2020

Toward a New Approach to National and Human Security: Close Guantanamo and End Indefinite Detention

On January 11, 2021, the detention facility at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba will enter its 20th year. Forty Muslim men remain captive there, at a cost of $540 million per year; $13 million per detainee. Twelve of them have been charged in the fundamentally broken military commission system, including five men accused of varying degrees of responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks whose case has not yet gone to trial and won’t anytime soon. Many of the 40 men are torture survivors, some of them formerly disappeared at “black sites” before being sent to Guantanamo. All of them have been exposed to the physical and psychological trauma associated with prolonged indefinite detention. They are also aging rapidly and increasingly exhibiting complex medical conditions that staff at Guantanamo are not equipped to manage, such as severe coronary vascular disease, complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury. Any condition that requires magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT scans), or cardiac catheterization cannot be treated adequately at the detention facility. Putting an end to the extralegal, abhorrent, and wasteful policies and practices with which Guantanamo will forever be synonymous is a human rights obligation, a moral responsibility, and a national security imperative. That’s why calls for its closure have ranged from President Bush to President Obama, the military to medical professionals, international jurists to a wide range of human rights organizations and local activists, to the late Senator John McCain. Closing Guantanamo responsibly is not an intractable problem, the checkered history of prior efforts notwithstanding. It can be done, and in relatively short order, if decision-making is swift, decisive, and governed by the following principles. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Toward a New Approach to National and Human Security: Uphold the Prohibition on Torture

The former Vice President was right, but a full reckoning for state-sanctioned American torture remains unfinished. During eight years in office, the Obama administration took important steps towards fulfilling the United States’ obligations under the U.N. Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). Those included issuing Executive Order 13491 (formally ending the CIA’s torture program), signing the McCain-Feinstein anti-torture amendment into law, and acknowledging publicly – albeit generally – that the United States tortured detainees in its custody after 9/11. But ultimately, the Obama administration fell short of what is necessary to ensure meaningful transparency, accountability, and redress for government-sanctioned torture, and to build durable safeguards against its return. Significantly, it did not even declassify and release the full Torture Report, let alone hold to account the architects of the torture program or the officials who sanctioned it. And it failed to provide redress for survivors and victims of U.S. torture. Completing this work is necessary to ensure that systemic torture never happens again. For its part – and sadly, enabled at least in part by the failings of the Obama administration to seek accountability or provide redress – the Trump administration has taken no steps at all, and indeed has backtracked by, for example, promoting torture perpetrators and the brutal cruelty caused by family separations. An urgent course change is needed. Whoever sits in the White House come January can move the country a long way towards that end by implementing the recommendations outlined below. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Sinophobia, the new Islamophobia

On the 19th anniversary of that devastating day, a similar tragedy is unfolding for Americans of Chinese and East Asian ancestry. These communities are facing the challenges and uncertainties of the global pandemic compounded by a "second pandemic" of anti-Asian violence. Almost 2,600 incidents were reported between March and early August, including attempted murder, death threats, verbal assaults, and a huge spike in online racism across the United States. During this pandemic, 31 percent of Asian Americans report being the subject of slurs or jokes and 26 percent worry about being threatened or physically attacked. These numbers are higher than for any other racial group. Just as September 11 prompted a resurgence of Islamophobia, the pandemic has catalysed a new wave of Sinophobia. Historians have chronicled American Sinophobia dating back to the 1850s and its government sanction in numerous laws including the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. While much has rightly been made of US President Donald Trump's jingoistic emphasis on the origin of the coronavirus and the tepid response of the Justice Department to anti-Asian violence, focusing solely on these actors detracts from an uncomfortable truth. Sinophobia is a byproduct of a racialised state. While the history and experience of the Chinese in America is different from other racial groups, anti-Asian sentiment forms a powerful, self-perpetuating foundation that undergirds the violence we are witnessing today. Most of us readily denounce anti-Asian bias, but we have not acknowledged our tacit complicity in it. Nor have we taken seriously the power and responsibility we have to prevent it. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Muslims Shut Down Paul Krugman’s Tweets Erasing Post-9/11 Islamophobia

During the first week after the attacks, 645 bias incidents aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab Americans reportedly occurred. Physical assaults against Muslims rose drastically that year and still haven’t receded to pre-Sept. 11 levels. Muslim communities were subjected to illegal and targeted surveillance by law enforcement. Mosques were and continue to be vandalized, burned, and bombed. While Krugman appears to have returned to flying easily, Muslim Americans report still being unfairly profiled and detained at airports. Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump fanned the flames of anti-Muslim sentiment in 2015 by calling for a “complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S. ― a threat he partially followed through on by targeting Muslim immigrants and refugees in an executive order on entry to the country he issued days after he became president. The Sept. 11 attacks also sparked new forms of activism and advocacy in Muslim and other communities, including the organization of national civil rights groups and increased interfaith outreach. Krugman’s tweets came “from a place of ignorance and privilege,” according to Scott Simpson, public advocacy director for Muslim Advocates, a civil rights group founded in response to 9/11. He told HuffPost that the tweets were also a reminder that “liberals who ostensibly support the rights of American Muslims can also be disturbingly dismissive of their lives and basic dignity.” read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

‘At the Intersection of Two Criminalized Identities’: Black and Non-Black Muslims Confront a Complicated Relationship With Policing and Anti-Blackness

Blake Sr.’s recitation of the prayer moved Iesa Lewis, a Black Muslim graduate student at the University of Chicago and part-time community organizer, evoking for him “just how deeply embedded Islam is within the Black community.” But the moment also encapsulated the complicated relationship that the Black Muslim community has with non-Black Muslims. Lewis says that while many non-Black Muslims would likely embrace Blake Sr.’s decision to recite the Qur’an, many would also continue to perpetuate anti-Blackness in their own lives and communities—everything from non-Black Muslims not returning greetings, to assuming ignorance about Islam, to not considering Black Muslims worthy of marrying their non-Black children. The Black Lives Matter Movement is forcing the Muslim community to reckon with its own anti-Blackness and scrutinize its already tense relationship with law enforcement. The police shooting of Blake, as well as the murder of George Floyd—whom Minneapolis police killed after staff at a non-Black Muslim owned store called 911 over a suspected counterfeit $20 bill—has sparked introspection within the non-Black Muslim community about how they may contribute to overpolicing despite also being profiled by law enforcement. Black Muslims account for at least one-fifth of all Muslims in the U.S. even as they face discrimination from within their religious community. Some mosques are segregated by race, reflecting the neighborhoods they are located in. The refusal to fully integrate Muslim communities runs deep, Lewis says. While some Muslims want to maintain good relations and cooperate with police in an attempt to assimilate without causing trouble, others have been angered by secretive surveillance programs targeting Muslims as well as police brutality directed toward Black Americans. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Paul Krugman's erasure of anti-Muslim hatred after 9/11, and why it matters

Memory fades after two decades, but that does not explain a bizarre statement made by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Friday. The Nobel-winning economist wrote a series of posts on Twitter in which he stated: “Overall, Americans took 9/11 pretty calmly. Notably, there wasn't a mass outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence, which could all too easily have happened. And while GW Bush was a terrible president, to his credit he tried to calm prejudice, not feed it.” It was a maddening erasure of history and Krugman has been justly roasted for it. He also wrote that “home-grown white supremacists” pose a much greater threat, but it came too late. As of Saturday, he had not clarified or deleted his post. Hate crimes targeting Muslims spiked immediately after 9/11, such that President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft made public speeches calling on Americans to knock it off. It wasn’t just Muslims but Sikhs, South Asians, anyone who looked like they might be Middle Eastern, or people with Arabic names. Mosques were vandalized or burned. Hijabs and other coverings were knocked from people’s heads in our streets. Shopkeepers and laborers were denounced as terrorists, told to “go back” to some country they may never have seen. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Economist Paul Krugman says there was no anti-Muslim sentiment after 9/11

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has sparked outrage by suggesting there was no anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States after the 11 September terrorist attacks in 2001. Social media users were very quick to criticise Krugman, pointing out a plethora of examples of anti-Muslim sentiments and violence post 9/11. “This revisionist nonsense is a slap in the face of American Muslims and Muslims around the world killed and maimed and left destitute by collective punishment sanctioned by the American people,” wrote Aisha Ahmad, a PhD student at the University of Oxford. Many Twitter users shared their experiences of being Muslim after the so-called "war on terror" was launched by former US President George W Bush in response to the attacks. Some noted out that it wasn’t just Muslims who were victims of discrimination and hate crimes after 9/11, but also Sikhs and other minorities. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Yes, 9/11 Did Cause An Increase In Islamophobia

While the attacks that day caused direct devastation, myriad aftershocks have had other horrifying consequences — notably, the endless wars the U.S. started in Afghanistan and Iraq. Another, immediate effect of the attacks was a rise in Islamophobia throughout the United States. Though Islamophobia certainly wasn’t invented in 2001, political and social reactions to 9/11 fueled ignorance and bigotry and violence towards Muslims. And this wasn't just limited to the weeks following 9/11, in the years since then, anti-Islamic hate crimes have surged across the U.S. This rise in Islamophobia is well-documented, which made it all the more surprising that New York Times journalist Paul Krugman tweeted earlier today that "there wasn't a mass outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence." In the months following 9/11, the number of hate crimes against Muslims jumped: In 2000, there were just 28 recorded hate crimes; in 2001, there were 481. While anti-Muslim hate crimes used to be the second-least reported type of religious-bias incidents, they quickly became the second-highest reported; Muslims spoke out about being shamed and physically assaulted in public. In the week after September 11 alone, three people were killed because of Islamophobia. On September 15, Balbir Singh Sodhi — who was Sikh but, according to NPR, was mistaken for being Muslim because of his turban — was killed in Arizona. The same day, Waqar Hasan and Vasudev Patel were gunned down in Texas, where the perpetrator said he did it to “avenge" the United States on 9/11. The hatred hasn't stopped, and anti-Muslim sentiment fueled by 9/11 continues to affect Muslims in America. In a survey from 2017, 75% of Muslim Americans said there’s a lot of discrimination against Muslims in the United States, with 48% of those surveyed responding they had experienced at least one incident of discrimination in the last year. Across America, Muslims have continued to speak out about the ways they’re treated with suspicion, called names, or singled out by airport security. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Bush’s Empty Words on Post-9/11 Tolerance Were Good, Actually

In the next few days, I’d feel under attack as a Muslim. Our imam at our masjid brought to the prayer a big box stuffed with tiny American flags. He told us that if any of us felt unsafe, we could hang these flags out of our cars or out of our homes. Stories about Muslim women in hijabs and Muslim men with big beards being accosted in the street in hateful “revenge” attacks became commonplace. An FBI hotline was flooded with anonymous tips—96,000 of them in the week after the attacks—and the bar for being suspicious felt as low as being visibly Muslim. It didn’t feel safe to be Muslim outside of the mosque. All over the country, not just my corner of Jersey, hate crimes against Muslims—and anyone perceived to be Muslim—soared in the days after 9/11. The White House sought to stave off a full-blown wave of violence. President George W. Bush quickly made the distinction between Muslim Americans and the terrorists who attacked us. On Sept. 17, Bush famously gave a speech from inside the Islamic Center of Washington. “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam,” he said. “That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.” He’d go on to reaffirm this position several times in the weeks after, saying, “The war against terrorism is not a war against Muslims, nor is it a war against Arabs.” Another time: “The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends.” And: “The Muslim faith is based upon peace and love and compassion. The exact opposite of the teachings of the al-Qaida organization, which is based upon evil and hate and destruction.” But as he made those speeches, his administration was beginning to roll out its signature “Patriot Act,” which gave the government power to lawfully surveil Americans with no probable cause, monitor their phone and email communications, collect bank information and transactions, and track anyone’s internet activity. Muslim Americans, and people who could be mistaken for Muslim like Sikhs and Indians, became terrorism suspects. The Bush administration also rounded up thousands of Muslims suspected of terrorism for having jobs or living in an apartment with other Muslims; they were brutalized and humiliated by their arresting agents. The government also produced a no-fly list that was so carelessly thrown together that it included many children under the age of 5. In 2002, the New York Police Department assembled a surveillance team that mapped Muslim communities, even in New Jersey, like they were enemy combatants. The program famously produced zero leads on terrorist activities, but did irrevocable damage to the relationship between Muslim Americans and law enforcement. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

I’m a Muslim Iranian-American With a Sept. 11 Birthday. Here’s How I’ve Come to Terms With My Identity

People are always surprised when I tell them my birthday is Sept. 11. They’ll raise their eyebrows, or just flat-out say, “Ouch.” Given that I’m also visibly Middle Eastern, I get it. 9/11 was a day that changed America forever. It changed my life forever, too. During recess, boys would ask me why “my people” had attacked the Twin Towers. I was taunted and called names, like so many other Muslim and Middle Eastern people at that time. I was already used to feeling like an outsider. Now I was also a “terrorist.” And there was something else: I’m gay. Growing up in suburban Virginia, I didn’t think I would ever come out. To be Iranian in post-9/11 America was one thing, but to be gay, too? One oppressed identity was enough to make me feel isolated. These two together felt impossible. On Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day, I was watching the New York Times live stream of the Gays for Trump DeploraBall Gala (oh, the irony). The reporter asked one attendee what he thought Trump would do for the LGBTQ community. His response? “Protect us from radical Islam.” Muslim Americans are far from the only group that’s been villainized in the U.S. Our country was founded on racist ideals. And every day in Trump’s America, it seems like a different identity is under attack. When our leaders complain about “radical Islam,” when they tell American congresswomen to “go back” to the “crime infested places from which they came,” when they stoke the flames of systemic racism and when they discriminate against LGBTQ folks, what they’re saying is: You don’t belong here. And it’s impossible not to internalize that. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

U.S. school principals discriminate against Muslims and atheists, our study finds

Our recently published paper in the Public Administration Review shows that — even 19 years later — public officials in the United States discriminate against Muslims. The experiment was designed to measure whether U.S. public school principals would respond differently to families based on their religious beliefs. To do this, we sent emails to a sample of more than 45,000 public school principals divided evenly across the country. The emails were purportedly sent by a fictional family interested in sending their child to the principal’s school, and asked principals for a meeting. We randomly assigned the family a religious affiliation or lack thereof. Our study provides two key insights into how Muslim families are treated in the U.S. public school system. One is that putatively Muslim families were much less likely to receive a reply. Compared with emails with no quote at the bottom of the email signaling a religious belief, emails from the “Muslim” family had a 4.6 percentage point lower probability of receiving a reply. That’s substantively important — it’s on par with what previous studies have shown about the size and extent of discrimination against African Americans in the United States. We found this discrimination against Muslims to be widespread and systematic across the United States, just as likely to occur in urban areas as in rural areas. The characteristics of the school or the surrounding area matter very little. Further, “Muslim” families looking for a compatible school or for some accommodation of their beliefs were both about 8 percentage points less likely to receive a reply than individuals who did not mention their religion. One possible reason for this response was that the principals in our sample discriminated against Muslims, in part, because they perceive that serving such families requires their time and energy. Principals might anticipate that these families would make illegitimate, costly demands on schools or because other members of the school community might object to their presence, causing conflicts that principals would prefer to avoid. Or it could be that these requests activated principals’ biases against “Muslims.” While it’s hard to know why principals behaved this way, this much is clear: Public school principals in the United States are likely to discriminate against students from religious minorities. read the complete article


14 Sep 2020

Toward a New Approach to National and Human Security: End Endless War

The American people have rightly grown skeptical of the war-centered approach of the last two decades, and the presidential candidates for both parties have promised to end America’s “endless wars.” Meanwhile, the people on the receiving end of American power—largely in Muslim, Brown, and Black countries—have been subjected to lethal force, injuries, greater internal strife, displacement, and other deep and long-term harms to their rights and security. Continuing down the path of endless war is not only unpopular and harmful, it is also unnecessary. The United States has a robust array of diplomatic, law enforcement, peacebuilding, development, and other resources to mitigate actual security concerns abroad and at home. The United States need not, therefore, remain in this harmful, counterproductive, and costly state. Moreover, with the growing recognition of other pressing global challenges—from the coming devastation of climate change to global pandemics, systemic racism, unprecedented forced displacement, mass inequality and authoritarianism—the next administration has a renewed opportunity to usher in a new era of a sustainable and rights-respecting approaches to national security policy, and shift national resources and attention away from endless war and toward the most pressing challenges of the future. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Three Rohingya refugees die days after seven-month ordeal on trafficking boat

At least three young Rohingya refugees have died this week since landing in Indonesia after seven months at sea, relief workers have said. After being refused entry by several countries and held hostage at sea by traffickers, 296 refugees disembarked in Aceh province on Monday, weak and in poor health. Two-thirds of them were women and children. The UN refugee agency said tests for Covid-19 had all come back negative but there was concern for the refugees’ health. “They were in a terrible condition,” said Rima Shah Putra, local director for Aceh-based NGO Geutanyoe Foundation. “We had to burn their clothes they used before because they hadn’t been able to bathe or change their clothes. They were starving … about 30 of them died on the journey and they threw all the bodies to the sea.” read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Disney Wanted to Make a Splash in China With ‘Mulan.’ It Stumbled Instead.

Almost as soon as the film arrived on Disney+, social media users noticed that, nine minutes into the film’s 10-minute end credits, the “Mulan” filmmakers had thanked eight government entities in Xinjiang, the region in China where Uighur Muslims have been detained in mass internment camps. Activists rushed out a new #BoycottMulan campaign, and Disney found itself the latest example of a global company stumbling as the United States and China increasingly clash over human rights, trade and security, even as their economies remain entwined. Disney is one of the world’s savviest operators when it comes to China, having seamlessly opened Shanghai Disneyland in 2016, but it was caught flat-footed with “Mulan.” Top studio executives had not seen the Xinjiang credits, according to three people briefed on the matter, and no one involved with the production had warned that footage from the area was perhaps not a good idea. The filmmakers may not have known what was happening there when they chose it as one of 20 locations in China to shoot scenery, but by the time a camera crew arrived in August 2018 the detention camps were all over the news. And all of this for what ended up being roughly a minute of background footage in a 1-hour-55-minute film. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Members of Congress demand answers over Disney's filming of Mulan in Xinjiang

A bipartisan group of 19 members of Congress on Friday penned a letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek questioning Disney's cooperation with "security and propaganda authorities" in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) during its filming of the remake of "Mulan." The letter asks that Disney explain its cooperation with XUAR authorities, including what contractual agreements were made, Disney executives' awareness of the political complexities of the region, what local labor was used and what Disney policies exist on prohibiting relationships with human rights abusers. "The closing credits of Mulan extend thanks to the 'Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Security' and the 'Publicity Department of CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee' as well as other local level XUAR propaganda elements," the letter adds, noting that "in October 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security added the Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Security to its Entity List for 'human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the XUAR.'" read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Is Islamophobia the 'Last Acceptable Form of Prejudice?'

Around the world, From China and India to the U.K. and U.S., reports of hate crimes against Muslims are increasing. In the case of Uighurs and Rohingya Muslims, there is evidence of ethnic cleansing. Nearly half of adults in the U.K. believe that Islam is incompatible with British values and in the U.S, a survey found that two in five Americans believe the same when it comes to American values.* Donald Trump signed an executive order dubbed a "Muslim ban" by critics, banning residents of six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2018 compared Muslim women who wear the burka to letterboxes and bank robbers. What's driving the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment? Why is prejudice against Muslims so widespread and so socially acceptable and what role, if any, have social media companies played in the normalization of Islamophobia? "Islamophobia is one of the last standing bastions of acceptable bigotry," Khaled Beydoun, associate professor of law at the University of Arkansas and author of "American Islamophobia: The Roots and Rise of Fear" tells Newsweek. "In the political context, it actually is advantageous to be bigoted towards Muslims especially on the right and even on the left because there's political incentive, there's a willing demographic among the electorate who want to hear anti-Muslim rhetoric." The India Spend Initiative has found that 90 percent of religious hate crimes since 2009 have occurred after India's governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014. In April, A BJP leader accused Muslim vendors of "infecting vegetables with saliva". In Canada, hate crimes against Muslims grew 253 percent from 2012 to 2015. In 2017 they increased by 50 percent. In Germany, there 813 incidents involving attacks on Muslims or mosques in 2018, a drop from the previous year's 950 incidents. However, the number of people being injured in the attacks increased from 32 to 54.* Beydoun believes that the rise of populism and populist politicians, who boil down complex issues into simplistic solutions and blame minorities, has played a major role in increasing anti-Muslim hatred in recent years. He cites France, Britain, the U.S., India and China as examples, with the U.N. expressing alarm over the detention of Uighurs, a Muslim minority, a million of whom it says are in Chinese detention camps. Chinese authorities deny these claims. read the complete article

United Kingdom

14 Sep 2020

Uncovering The Reality Of Islamophobia In The NHS Shocked Me In A Way I Wasn't Expecting

When it came to abuse from patients, many of the Muslim NHS staff I interviewed shrugged their shoulders and dishearteningly accepted it as an inevitable reality. However the Islamophobia directed at medics by those who work alongside them had a very different impact. Those I spoke to described it as “covert” and “insidious”. Even worse, many of these Islamophobic incidents go completely under the radar as it is disguised as “banter” or “just a joke.” These “jokes” included describing someone as looking like a terrorist, taunting them for not eating bacon or drinking alcohol, or asking them if they’re planning to join Isis. How the same people who strive together in the common goal of improving and saving lives, could inflict this kind of vitriol on their colleagues, was something that truly horrified me. And coming amid the coronavirus pandemic, when so many Muslim medical staff have put themselves in the firing line by risking their own lives to save others, is another major kick in the teeth. Let’s not forget the first NHS doctors to die of coronavirus on the frontline were Muslim. While some of the incidents recounted are downright discrimination and bullying, others are more inconspicuous – and by that very nature more dangerous as difficult to prove. From the rolling of eyes, to being excluded from nights out, and backhanded compliments telling someone they speak “Good English” – even when they’ve been born and brought up in the UK. Those who are visibly Muslim, such as women wearing hijabs, divulged they were particularly susceptible to Islamophobia – from being treated with the stereotype they are less educated to being denied training opportunities and career progression to being yelled at for entering theatre with a hijab on. read the complete article

14 Sep 2020

Exclusive: Muslim Medics Called 'Terrorists' And Told 'Go Back To Your Country' – By Patients

Muslim NHS workers have revealed the disgraceful Islamophobia they face from their own patients, with taunts about being “terrorists” and being told “go back to your own country”. HuffPost UK joined forces with the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) for a flagship survey of more than 100 Muslim medics about the Islamophobia they experienced at work. In the first part of our investigation, we looked at the institutional Islamophobia Muslim medics face from bosses and colleagues within the NHS. But many Muslim healthcare staff have admitted they regularly face Islamophobic abuse from patients, too, with some refusing to be treated by Muslim doctors at all and others bringing up terrorism or even accusing them of killing people. A startling 80% of Muslim medics surveyed by HuffPost UK revealed they had experienced Islamophobia or racism from patients in the NHS. read the complete article


14 Sep 2020

Delhi summons top Facebook India official in hate speech probe

The administration in India's capital has summoned Facebook's country chief to answer allegations that it failed to remove hateful content on its platform. The Delhi state assembly's panel on peace and harmony on Saturday said it would investigate evidence - described by the committee as "incriminating material on record" - submitted by four prominent journalists and digital rights activists. The committee has asked Ajit Mohan, the managing director of Facebook India, to appear before it on September 15 to determine the "veracity of allegations" made by the group. Facebook has been embroiled in a huge dispute in India after the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported in August that the site failed to take down anti-Muslim comments by a politician from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in order to protect its business interests. Following the WSJ report, an Indian parliamentary committee also grilled Mohan last week over the company's pro-BJP bias. read the complete article


14 Sep 2020

Police identify man stabbed to death outside Etobicoke mosque as Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, 58

Toronto police have identified the victim of a fatal stabbing at an Etobicoke mosque on Saturday evening as 58-year-old Mohamed-Aslim Zafis. Police say Zafis, of Toronto, was stabbed once by a man while sitting outside the front doors of the International Muslim Organization (IMO) mosque, 65 Rexdale Blvd., near Islington Avenue. Zafis, working as a volunteer caretaker at the mosque, was controlling access into the place of worship to ensure compliance with public health regulations. He is Toronto's 52nd homicide victim of the year. Officers responded to a call of unknown trouble around 8:40 p.m. When paramedics arrived, they found Zafis without vital signs. Police confirmed he died at the scene. read the complete article


14 Sep 2020

Myanmar genocide criminal case should now be ironclad

The recent confessions by military personnel involved in operations against the Rohingya in Myanmar reveal clear “genocidal intent.” Over the course of just 12 months, between the summers of 2018 and 2019, at least three quarters of Rohingya were forced out of the country of their birth and across the border into Bangladesh by federal armed forces, in what the military leadership called “clearing operations.” By any objective measure, this is a clear example of genocide. However, the legal standard under international law for proving the crime of genocide requires more than simply establishing that it occurred. It also requires proof that the actions of the perpetrators were motivated by “genocidal intent” — and proving intent is one of the more fraught aspects of the law. So one of the “quirks” of international law is that a state can commit genocide by “accident,” as it were, and nobody will be held liable. This appears to be one of the arguments put forward by the Myanmar authorities during proceedings against them in both the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. Yes, the military ordered those “clearing operations,” but they were only supposed to target “terrorists.” The dozens of villages inhabited by Rohingya civilians that were burnt down during those operations — as can clearly be seen in satellite images — are therefore “fake news” and/or accidents. For the first time, we have testimony from two soldiers that the orders they received from the military hierarchy unambiguously had genocidal intent. When they were sent to civilian villages, the orders were “shoot all you see and all you hear” and “kill all you see, whether children or adults.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 14 Sep 2020 Edition


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