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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21 Sep 2020

Today in Islamophobia: H&M dumps Chinese supplier following allegations of forced Uyghur labor, as a new Amnesty investigation reveals list of European companies selling surveillance tools to key players of the Chinese mass surveillance apparatus. On New York Times, David Marchese profiles Ilhan Omar: the Black, Muslim, Democratic Congresswoman from Minnesota. Our recommended read today is by Nurdoukht Khudonazarova Taghdumbashi on the forced disappearance of China’s Muslim minorities titled “We have not heard from my Baba-jaan’s relatives in Kashgar for almost two years now.” This, and more, below:


21 Sep 2020

We have not heard from my Baba-jaan’s relatives in Kashgar for almost two years now | Recommended Read

Some of their last messages were photos of themselves wearing arranged mannerisms, uncomfortable poses, and awkward smiles while embracing Chinese state officials during an imposed home stay as a part of the government’s “Strike Hard Campaign Against Violent Terrorism” policies. After that, there were messages that my youngest aunt’s husband hadn’t come home from work, and that he may have been arrested. And after that, messages from my cousins trying to find the fastest way back home from their respective schools in Ürümqi, Beijing, Shanghai, Xining, Chengdu, and Chongqing. They wanted to go to her — she was then alone at home — to help her find out what was happening. There hasn’t been a word from them since. We have been calling upon the world to pay attention to Islamophobic discrimination, human rights violations, ethnic cleansing, cultural genocide, and the legacies of Han-Chinese chauvinism and Sinosupremacist imperialisms. Until recently, it almost felt like the world just didn’t care. There was some concern, but not enough to generate the kind of energy from allies and accomplices in joint-struggle to throw down with us. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
21 Sep 2020

COVID-19 Drives Conspiracy Theories and Islamophobia

After the outbreak of COVID-19, I was commissioned, alongside my colleague Roxana Khan Williams, by the chair and independent members of the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group to produce an evidenced-based research report that looks at the impacts of conspiracy theories perpetuated by the radical right and how these norms have impacted Muslims. For me, it was very clear that COVID-19 could be acting as a trigger event that would galvanize hatred against Muslims, but I needed to find out whether this has already started amid the pandemic. After examining a range of social media posts, we found that Islamophobic tropes pushed the narrative that Muslims were solely responsible for spreading COVID-19. This narrative was perpetuated by, firstly, dehumanizing Muslims; secondly, through creating a “them and us” narrative; and, finally, by driving forward the message that Muslims are not to be trusted. read the complete article

21 Sep 2020

Nick Clegg should directly address Facebook's role in spreading Islamophobia

The former deputy PM, now a Facebook executive, hid behind a spokesperson when asked about anti-Muslim hate on the platform. Facebook has a terrible record of being used as a platform to spread hatred, including antisemitism and other kinds of bigotry, so much so that if the social media platform was a British newspaper or magazine, it would have been closed down long ago. In light of all this, I sent a series of questions to Clegg in his capacity as Facebook's vice president of global affairs and communications. I put it to the former Liberal Democrat leader that Facebook had allowed its platform to be used to foment sectarian violence and hatred against Muslims. I asked for his response to the evidence that generals used Facebook to incite the massacres of the Rohingya in Myanmar, and to the reports that false rumours spread via Facebook stoked violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka. read the complete article

21 Sep 2020

EU companies selling surveillance tools to China’s human rights abusers

European tech companies risk fuelling widespread human rights abuses by selling digital surveillance technology to China’s public security agencies, a new Amnesty International investigation reveals. The findings are published ahead of a crucial meeting in Brussels on 22 September where the European Parliament and EU member states will decide whether to strengthen lax surveillance export rules. Amnesty International found that three companies based in France, Sweden and the Netherlands sold digital surveillance systems, such as facial recognition technology and network cameras, to key players of the Chinese mass surveillance apparatus. In some cases, the export was directly for use in China’s indiscriminate mass surveillance programmes, with the risk of being used against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups throughout the country. read the complete article


21 Sep 2020

Xinjiang government confirms huge birth rate drop but denies forced sterilization of women

The government of China's Xinjiang region has confirmed a significant drop in the birth rate in Xinjiang, China, but denied reports of forced sterilization and genocide in a letter to CNN. The letter comes after a previous CNN report that documented a campaign of abuse and control by Beijing targeting women from the Uyghur minority. CNN's Ivan Watson reports. read the complete article


21 Sep 2020

Yogi Adityanath’s Mughal hatred based on Jizya. But BJP has many modern versions for Muslims

After renaming Allahabad to Prayagraj, Faizabad to Ayodhya, Mughalsarai Junction to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction, and then, Agra Airport to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Airport, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has found a new ‘target’. Driven by a compulsive need to rename ‘Muslim-sounding places’ to something that sounds more ‘Hindu’, Adityanath set his eyes on an under-construction Mughal museum in Agra that was envisioned by his predecessor Akhilesh Yadav. read the complete article

21 Sep 2020

Muslims not allowed - the stereotypes of Mumbai's rental property market

My first call to a broker was no less than a telephonic interview for a matrimonial. I liked the house he had posted on Facebook and wanted to check if I could come for a visit. So he asked me a few questions about my profession, my budget, requirement and how long I would want the house for. But for me, the most humiliating was “Oh aap Muslim ho? Sorry, Muslims ko nahin denge” ("oh are you Muslim? Sorry, they won't rent the property to a Muslim.). This was the first time someone had rejected me for my religion. And these are the upmarket areas of the city. read the complete article


21 Sep 2020

With the Charlie Hebdo trial underway, does ‘Je suis Charlie’ still resonate in France?

While opinion surveys suggest a majority in France still back the project of Charlie Hebdo, among younger generations there is less tolerance for claims of secularism or free expression as a cover for Islamophobia. And, in the meantime, Charlie Hebdo as an institution has undergone something of a transformation in the years after the attack. According to a survey commissioned by the newspaper, though conducted by respected polling agency Ifop, 59 percent of respondents in France said newspapers were “right” to publish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad “in the name of freedom of expression” — up from 38 percent in 2006. But that conviction fell to 35 percent among those polled under age 25. And 47 percent of that age group said they understood the outrage over the cartoons among certain Muslims. read the complete article


21 Sep 2020

‘Burka ban’ has led to upsurge in attacks on Muslim women – report

The Report Islamophobia Foundation (Stichting Meld Islamofobie) has called on parliament to reconsider the law banning face coverings on public transport and in buildings including schools and hospitals. Between 200 and 400 women in the Netherlands are estimated to wear a burka or niqab that cover the face. Since August 1 last year they face being fined €150 if they breach the ban. It does not apply to garments such as the hijab or chador that cover the hair but leave the face exposed. ‘Muslim women with and without face veils say they have been the target of islamophobia more frequently since the law was introduced,’ the organisation wrote in its annual report. ‘They are mostly targeted in places where the law does not apply such as shops and playgrounds and the police are not always properly informed about what the law says, meaning Muslim women do not have confidence in them.’ read the complete article


21 Sep 2020

'Random' Murder of Muslim Man Linked to 'Neo-Nazi Death Cult': Report

Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, a 58-year-old Muslim man, was sitting outside a Toronto mosque when he attacked and stabbed to death on September 12. He was the second person of colour to be stabbed to death in Toronto over just several days. On Friday police arrested and charged 34-year-old Guilherme (William) Von Neutegem with first-degree murder in connection to Zafis’s death. In a press conference announcing the arrest, Toronto Police Inspector Hank Idsinga said Von Neutegem “simply walked up to (Zafis) and stabbed him.” Police said it is too early to exclude Von Neutegem from the investigation into the killing of Rampreet Singh who was stabbed to death just days earlier. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 21 Sep 2020 Edition


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