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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20 Sep 2019

Today in Islamophobia: Trump administration says joint Duke-UNC program portrays Islam “too positively,” even as 2 Muslim American men allege their flight was canceled because the crew “didn’t feel comfortable” with them on board. Women’s March is accused of Islamophobia for forcing out Zahra Billoo. Our recommended read today is by Mattha Busby on Islamophobia within the U.K’s Conservative Party. This, and more, below:

United Kingdom

20 Sep 2019

Conservative members suspended for online Islamophobia | Recommended Read

The BBC was passed details of a number of incidents by an anonymous Twitter user, and it highlighted more than 20 new cases to the Conservative party after independently verifying them. Incidents were said to have ranged from individuals “liking” Islamophobic pictures or statements on one or two occasions, to people who said they were Tory members regularly posting anti-Muslim content. The government minister Kwasi Kwarteng said on Friday that action had been taken when the members were suspended, but he did not directly respond to a question on whether he thought an independent inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia within the Conservative party was necessary. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
20 Sep 2019

Pawel Golaszewski jailed for possessing terror manuals

Police found a stash of material on Pawel Golaszewski's computer, including weapon-making instructions and "silent assassination" techniques. A judge at the Old Bailey said the 34-year-old's views were "Islamophobic and of an extreme right-wing nature". Golaszewski, from Leeds, had previously been convicted of terror offences. read the complete article

20 Sep 2019

Fastest-growing UK terrorist threat is from far right, say police

Police have vowed to thwart the rise of the far right, which they have said is the fastest-growing terrorist threat in the UK, as they try to stop race hate ideologues from bringing violence to the country’s streets. Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer, the Met assistant commissioner, Neil Basu, said the most likely attempts would come from “lone actors” and, as with Islamist terrorism, the authorities could not guarantee to foil every plot. The Guardian understands that investigators have found links on far-right material on legitimate platforms such as YouTube that allow people to find more extremist propaganda. Police said they and MI5, which since 2018 has taken the lead on the most serious extreme rightwing plots, were carrying out 80 investigations to stop violence fuelled by ideologies such as white supremacism and Islamophobia. read the complete article


20 Sep 2019

Opinion | Islamophobia and racism were part of this election long before Trudeau’s racist makeup

The irony here is that Justin Trudeau has, in fact, taken a lot of heat for standing up to racists and, in particular, to anti-Muslim sentiment. Among the misinformation and deliberate smears against the Liberal leader is that he is a Muslim. He has faced the accusation by far-right groups and actors online and at protest rallies for a variety of reasons. These reasons include that his government has accepted more than 50,000 Syrian refugees since 2015, countered Islamophobia with Motion 103 and apologized and compensated Omar Khadr for the violations of his rights. While the suggestion that he is an Islamist may be as ludicrous as the Netflix comedy in which a comedian tries to convert him to Islam, the consequences of growing Islamophobia among Canadians is not. In fact, Alexandre Bissonnette, the young man who murdered six men in a Quebec City mosque in 2017, told police that he snapped when Trudeau famously tweeted: “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.” read the complete article

United States

20 Sep 2019

Trump administration says joint UNC, Duke program portrays Islam too positively

The Education Department wrote in an Aug. 29 letter to the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies that the program disproportionately portrays "the positive aspects of Islam." The agency requested they amend the program by Sept. 22 or lose a grant they've been receiving for almost a decade, The Associated Press reported. The National Resource Center provides grants to programs that support foreign language learning. read the complete article

20 Sep 2019

2 Muslim men say their American Airlines flight was cancelled because the crew 'didn't feel comfortable' with them on board

Two Muslim men said their American Airlines flight was cancelled because the crew "didn't feel comfortable" flying with them, according to a Dallas Morning News report. The two men, who knew each other but were traveling separately, said that they waved to each other while boarding, which made a crewmember suspicious. The flight was cancelled, and the two men were interrogated and searched by law-enforcement before being booked on another flight. read the complete article

20 Sep 2019

Women's March accused of Islamophobia as CAIR's Zahra Billoo is forced out

Zahra Billoo, a lawyer and executive director of the San Francisco chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), has been voted off the board of Women’s March after a relentless campaign led by critics who accused her of antisemitism for a series of old tweets in which she condemned Israel's mistreatment of Palestinians. Billoo, who has been associated with the Women's March since its inception, told Middle East Eye that the decision to oust her for her criticism of Israel was a clear message that the organisation did not have space for women who challenged the status quo. Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), told MEE that Islamophobia was one of the reasons behind Billoo's ouster. “I just think it is a devastating decision. I am disappointed because the Women's March was always a progressive, bold leader. And Zahra was selected on to the board for precisely those reasons," Vilkomerson said. "This is a wake-up call for the Islamophobia that exists inside progressive movements." read the complete article


20 Sep 2019

With Trump by his side, Indian PM Modi set to fire up Houston rally

Modi is travelling to the United States to speak at the UN General Assembly, seven weeks after his government revoked the partial autonomy enjoyed by Muslim-majority Kashmir in a move that prompted anger in the region and in neighbouring Pakistan, which also lays claim to it. Before travelling to the United Nations headquarters in New York, Modi will address a rally at a stadium in Houston that Trump has also agreed to attend. Modi’s supporters say he has won a diplomatic victory by getting Trump on his side. “They’ve developed quite a good camaraderie between them, leaders of the two most influential democracies on earth,” said Shalab Kumar, an Indian-American businessman who founded the Republican Hindu Coalition, modelled on the Republican Jewish Coalition, in 2015. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 20 Sep 2019 Edition


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