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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18 Sep 2019

Today in IslamophobiaA couple separated by Muslim Ban is reunited after HuffPost report. Rohingya in Bangladesh face a tide of hostility as welcome turns to fear. Our recommended read of the day is by Hamid Dabashi titled “Who is a ‘Muslim American’?”  This, and more, below:

United States

18 Sep 2019

Opinion | Who is a 'Muslim American?' | Recommended Read

Certain types of Muslims have now cornered the market in defining who or what an "American Muslim" is. They get themselves invited to the White House, serve on certain panels, perform certain rituals. They, of course, have every right to define how they understand what the term "American Muslim" means. But can they seriously delimit the meaning of the category in an inclusive or exclusive way? Our strength as Muslims living in the United States, in my judgment, and if we are to have any enduring effect on this country, is precisely in our diversity, multiplicity, and in fact undecidability, in the fact that we cannot be pigeonholed and defined and ruled. It is good that we will not, indeed cannot, put all our Muslim eggs in one denominational basket for the nefarious Islamophobes to shoot at us. The question is happily no longer who is a Sunni or a Shia. The question is something far more urgent. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
18 Sep 2019

Magistrate says charges against Bloomington mosque bombing suspect should not be dismissed

A federal magistrate recommends that a judge decline to dismiss charges in the case of an Illinois man accused of firebombing a Minnesota mosque in 2017. Attorneys for Michael Hari argued in court this summer that the government relied on unconstitutional laws when it indicted their client on five counts related to the bombing, requesting four of the charges be dropped. U.S. Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer, who presided over the oral arguments, recommended against the dismissal Tuesday, saying case law doesn’t support Hari’s claims. The final decision now goes to U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank, who is overseeing the case. If Frank agrees with Bowbeer, the case could head to trial, likely early next year. Hari is one of three members of a white nationalist militia they called the “White Rabbits 3 Percent Illinois Patriot Freedom Fighters” who threw a pipe bomb into Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, according to charges. read the complete article

18 Sep 2019

Stopping Islamophobia means recognizing its racism. Interfaith panel talks solutions for hate.

Ending Islamophobia in the United States requires recognizing that the hatred of Muslims is rooted in cultural racism and is part of a national system that marginalizes people of the faith, said Todd Green, associate professor of religion at Luther College. "From Sept. 12 onward, and 2001 onward, we became a nation where Islamophobia became ground into our foreign policy and, ultimately, our domestic policy," Green said. He was part of an interfaith discussion on Islamophobia Tuesday afternoon at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center alongside local faith leaders who spoke about their own experiences with Islamophobia and bigotry. Muslims are racialized in America, seen as one group of people with one worldview, rather than individuals, Green said. Muslims are typically not white and have beliefs that are not held by the majority of Americans. This leads to cultural racism, Green said. When one act of violence is done in the name of the faith, all Muslims are grouped together as though they were all complicit. As a parallel, when a white man murdered nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, white men were not called upon to denounce the act. White men were not all seen as complicit and possibly the next attacker, Green said. read the complete article

18 Sep 2019

Muslims Most Negatively Portrayed Minority in U.S Media

The Media Portrayals of Minorities Project (MPoMP) at Middlebury College published a report in September 2019 on the portrayals of minority groups in American mainstream newspaper databases. The report examined 2018 coverage of five significant racial, ethnic, or religious minorities: African-Americans (who comprise about 13% of the US population), Asian-Americans (5%), Latinos (16%), Jews and Muslims (2% and 1%, respectively). The researchers sought to address key questions about media coverage of these groups including: “Are some mentioned more frequently in US newspapers than others? How positive or negative is coverage of these groups, and why? How does 2018 compare to earlier years in terms of the amount and the tone of coverage? What themes are present in the reporting of all five groups, and which were distinctive to each in 2018?” read the complete article

18 Sep 2019

Couple Separated By The Muslim Ban Reunited After HuffPost Report

It was the evening of Sept. 7, and the 30-year-old business analyst had waited three years for this moment. He and Asmaa Khadem Al Arbaiin, both originally from Syria, were married in 2016, but they’d spent much of the intervening time forcibly separated, due to President Donald Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries. For years, Alghazzouli pleaded with the U.S. government to grant a visa to Al Arbaiin, who was stranded in Turkey ― but to no avail. HuffPost reported on the couple’s plight in June of this year. Not long after, Alghazzouli received a life-changing email: His wife’s visa application was approved. Two months later, Al Arbaiin was on a plane to America. read the complete article

18 Sep 2019

Chronicling New York’s Muslim History

The guide, Katherine Merriman, a doctoral candidate in Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, started highlighting the area’s past for her friends, and then for friends of those friends. Interest kept growing and, five years ago, she opened the Muslim History Tour NYC to the public. You can find her walking backward and pointing to Muslim-related sites past and present on about a half-dozen Sundays of the year. Ms. Merriman told us about the first Muslims in New York, who arrived as slaves in the 1600s. “Muslim history is New York City history,” she said. Most of us were stumped when she asked how many mosques were in the city today. I don’t recall anyone coming within the ballpark of 300, the correct answer. Early on, she used the iPad to show us the site of an African-American-owned bookstore where Malcolm X studied that is now a state office building. We could only imagine what the bookstore was like while she delivered an oral history. read the complete article

18 Sep 2019

Opinion | Admitting the Terrorism Watchlist was Unconstitutional is Important, But Not Nearly Enough

Even though the having the infamous Watchlist declared unconstitutional can be seen as a significant win for the Muslim American community, the remedy requested by the Plaintiffs is narrow and is unlikely to affect the many other policies that target Muslims. And without addressing the context in which the Watchlist exists, this decision risks the ultimate creation of what could amount to two Watchlists for two classes of people. One for U.S. citizens, including notice, the opportunity to rebut one's listing, and whatever other procedures the court deems appropriate; and a second Watchlist that is not bound to any of those procedural requirements for all non-U.S. citizens, who, at any given point in time are not on U.S. soil. read the complete article


18 Sep 2019

Rohingya in Bangladesh face tide of hostility as welcome turns to fear

Most Rohingya Muslims are denied citizenship in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where they are regarded as interlopers, illegal immigrants from South Asia. Rohingya were driven from their villages in Myanmar into Bangladesh in the 1970s and again in the 1990s, fleeing what they said was persecution at the hands of the Myanmar military. Many Bangladeshis accuse the Rohingya of crime, taking jobs and pushing down wages. Once-lush forests have been cleared for the camps and the road to Cox’s Bazar, the nearest major town, is clogged with aid trucks. A trip that used to take an hour can now take four on rutted, broken roads. Recently, a hundreds-strong mob blocked roads and destroyed shops frequented by Rohingya as well as some U.N. offices, in a protest against the killing of a Bangladeshi ruling party youth leader. Several Rohingya accused of involvement in the murder were later shot dead in what the police said were gunfights. read the complete article


18 Sep 2019

India’s massive, scary new detention camps, explained

That citizenship list, published last month, is part of the government’s effort to identify and weed out what it claims are illegal immigrants in the northeastern state of Assam. India says many Muslims whose families originally came from neighboring Bangladesh are not rightful citizens, even though they’ve lived in Assam for decades. If you live in Assam and your name does not appear on the NRC, the burden of proof is on you to prove that you’re a citizen. The obvious move would be to dig out your birth certificate or land deed, but many rural residents don’t have paperwork. Even among those who do, many can’t read it; a quarter of the population in Assam state is illiterate. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 18 Sep 2019 Edition


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