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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16 Sep 2020

Today in Islamophobia: U.S. readies bans on cotton, tomato imports from China’s Xinjiang. The UN warns of ongoing violation of human rights of the Rohingya in Myanmar. Our recommended read today is by Sameer Yasir and Hari Kumar on the museum in Agra, India set to be renamed for a Hindu warrior-king and refocused on Hindu history. This, and more, below:


16 Sep 2020

Museum in India Celebrating Muslim Dynasty Gets a Hindu Overhaul | Recommended Read

The museum was meant to showcase the arms, art and fashion of the Mughals, Muslim rulers who reigned over the Indian subcontinent from the 16th to the 18th centuries. But officials this week in Agra, home to the Taj Mahal — the world’s most famous example of Mughal-era architecture and India’s best-known building — had another idea: a complete overhaul of the museum so that it would instead celebrate India’s Hindu majority, leaders and history. The changes to the planned museum are the latest example of a Hindu nationalist revival sweeping the country, spurred by the country’s popular prime minister, Narendra Modi. Critics of the government say that Mr. Modi and his supporters are fanning the flames of religious division, damaging India’s secular foundation and rewriting the country’s history to remove Muslim achievements from the narrative. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
16 Sep 2020

Facebook India chief skips hate speech hearing

Facebook India's chief failed to appear Tuesday before a panel probing allegations that the social media giant failed to take action against hate speech, the committee's head said. India is the US-based company and its messaging service WhatsApp's biggest market in terms of users, and the firm is under pressure worldwide over the policing of hate speech. Last week, a Delhi Assembly panel on peace and harmony had summoned Ajit Mohan, managing director of Facebook India, to determine if the social networking site deliberately ignored instances of hate speech on its social media platform. read the complete article


16 Sep 2020

U.S. readies bans on cotton, tomato imports from China's Xinjiang

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have prepared orders to block imports of cotton and tomato products from China’s western region of Xinjiang over accusations of forced labor, though a formal announcement has been delayed. A Trump administration announcement, initially expected on Tuesday, has been put off until later this week because of “scheduling issues,” an agency spokesman said. The cotton and tomato bans, and those on five other imports, over alleged Xinjiang forced-labor abuses, would be an unprecedented move by the agency, likely to stoke tension between the world’s two largest economies. The “Withhold Release Orders” let the agency detain shipments based on suspicion of forced-labor involvement under long-standing U.S. laws to combat human trafficking, child labor and other human rights abuses. read the complete article

16 Sep 2020

Opinion | Why the calls to boycott ‘Mulan’ are a good thing

The hashtags #BoycottMulan and #BanMulan began trending on Twitter after Disney gave “special thanks” to authorities in the Xinjiang region, where over a million Uyghur Muslims have been forced into re-education camps. That the House of Mouse is seemingly willing to turn a blind eye to a campaign of genocide in order to attract Chinese box office is genuinely horrifying, and that’s why anyone seriously concerned about what is happening ought to consider boycotting Mulan. Social media users were quick to point out that Disney thanks the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) publicity department in Xinjiang, as well as agencies in the city of Turpan. One such body thanked is the Turpan Security Bureau, which is complicit in a mass-detention campaign in the region. In order to stamp out Turkic minorities and the Islamic faith in Xinjiang, more than a million people have been driven into gulags, mass surveilled, sterilised and forced to abort their children – by any legal and ethical standard, this is attempted genocide. The publicity department is responsible for diffusing propaganda to convince outsiders that this simply isn’t happening. Disney lists both of these entities as partners, entities that are “facilitating crimes against humanity”. read the complete article

United States

16 Sep 2020

Fact check: In 2010, Donald Trump offered $6M to try to stop a mosque near Ground Zero

One viral post tied the issue to the current contest between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. "BIDEN supported building a mosque at Ground Zero. TRUMP offered 6M to keep it from being built," the post reads. "Never forget." In reality, there was never a plan to build a mosque at or on Ground Zero. There were plans for a 13-story cultural center that included a mosque — along with a swimming pool, gym, basketball court, a 500-seat auditorium, restaurant, culinary school, library and art studios — two blocks away from the site. It's true that Trump made a bid to stop the construction of the mosque at the site. On Sept. 9, 2010, Trump wrote a letter to Hisham Elzanaty and offered to purchase his $4.8 million stake in the project for $6 million — around 25% more — per The Wall Street Journal. Trump also specified that any agreement would require that a mosque be built at least five blocks from the former World Trade Center. "I am making this offer as a resident of New York and citizen of the United States, not because I think the location is a spectacular one (because it is not) but because it will end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse," Trump reportedly wrote in a letter to Elzanaty at the time, according to the Journal. read the complete article

16 Sep 2020

Diversity Discussion In Hudson Moves Forward Despite Online Threat To 'Bring Your AR-15s'

Speakers at a listening session about diversity and law enforcement called for community change Monday evening in Hudson after a commenter on the St. Croix County Republican Party's Facebook page had publicly advised people to "bring your AR-15s and get rid of these communist Punk a---s." Organizers of the event had worried for the safety of their speakers following the comment, but pledged to move forward with the outdoor, privately organized event at a city park. A group of right-wing residents who attended sometimes jeered and shouted down speakers. At other times, supportive audience members applauded or shouted back at those disrupting the event. read the complete article

16 Sep 2020

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants Dies At 65

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants is being remembered as a profound legal mind with a deep commitment to making sure the justice system is fair for all. The court's associate justices announced Gants' death Monday afternoon. Gants death was sudden. He had announced last Tuesday that he underwent surgery after suffering a heart attack on Sept. 4, but expected to return to the court. read the complete article


16 Sep 2020

Institutionalizing the surveillance of Muslim activism in Austria

In March 2019, ÖVP announced the formation of a monitoring center called the “Documentation Center for Political Islam.” However, after ÖVP’s coalition with the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) dissolved amidst a corruption scandal, the ÖVP had to delay its implementation. In January 2020, following months of negotiations with its new coalition partner, the Green Party, Integration Minister Susanne Raab (ÖVP) presented the project to the general public with two academics at her side. The three of them praised the center as a “European lighthouse project.” read the complete article

United Kingdom

16 Sep 2020

Conservative MP says he 'doesn't care' if far-right groups intimidate asylum seekers

A refugee charity has warned an MP’s remark that he “doesn’t care what the far-right are doing” when discussing their confrontation of asylum seekers risks him “being seen to endorse unlawful, threatening and intimidatory behaviour”. Tory MP for Gravesham Adam Holloway made the comment on BBC Newsnight during its report about far-right activists confronting asylum seekers in hotels, as authorities try to tackle small boat arrivals on the Channel. read the complete article


16 Sep 2020

UN warns of 'further war crimes' against Rohingya in Myanmar

Myanmar's alleged continued targeting of civilians in its Rakhine and Chin states could constitute additional war crimes and crimes against humanity, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said. Michelle Bachelet on Monday demanded action to remedy the serious rights violations suffered by Myanmar's Rohingya minority in particular. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 16 Sep 2020 Edition


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