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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24 Sep 2020

Today in Islamophobia: A recent study from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute finds China has built nearly 400 internment camps in Xinjiang region, with construction on dozens continuing over the last two years. The “Cost of War” project estimates eight of the most violent “counterterror” wars the U.S. government has engaged in since 9/11 — in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — have produced 8 million refugees and 29 million internally displaced people. Our recommended read today is by Craig Chamberlain on Naomi Paik’s new book, which lays out the long history behind current U.S. immigration policies. This, and more, below:

United States

24 Sep 2020

Today's immigration policies rooted in long history, author says

Going back to the nation’s founding, there is a history of seeking to “exclude, contain and remove” people that often contradicts the welcoming “nation of immigrants” narrative, according to A. Naomi Paik, a professor of Asian American studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “That narrative of the nation of immigrants is very powerful, and it is very compelling to many people who are immigrants or who want to be immigrants,” said Paik, herself a child of immigrants. “But even as the United States can be a nation of immigrants, it has also been something else entirely.” read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
24 Sep 2020

Normally a refuge on campus, college Muslim groups fight students’ isolation in a pandemic

In normal times, a college campus can be an overwhelming place for Muslim students. On top of the usual pressures of assignments, they face the social pressure of being different: stereotyping, misunderstandings and micro-aggressions can come from faculty, peers and even non-Muslim friends. Above all there is the exhausting expectation that they are responsible for educating the campus about Islam. For many, their refuge is a Muslim student association, where they can feel at home and not stand out for anything but being themselves. The associations also give students the opportunity to grow spiritually — and make raising awareness of Islam among the larger student body a collective project. Since the pandemic hit, however, many university MSAs are struggling to maintain that community feeling. read the complete article

24 Sep 2020

Donald Trump is spreading 'disease of hate', Ilhan Omar says

Racist remarks against Muslim-American Congresswoman Ilhan Omar are becoming a regular feature of President Donald Trump's speeches at campaign rallies in the run-up to November's US election. During a speech delivered in the swing state of Pennsylvania late on Tuesday, Trump renewed his attacks on Omar, saying the Somalia-born US legislator was telling Americans how to run "our country". "She's telling us how to run our country," Trump told his supporters. "How did you do where you came from? How is your country doing?" The Minnesota Congresswoman, who easily fended off a well-financed primary challenge last month, was quick to hit back at Trump on Twitter, questioning why the president and his supporters are "obsessed" with her. "Firstly, this is my country & I am a member of the House that impeached you," she wrote. "Secondly, I fled civil war when I was 8. An 8-year-old doesn't run a country even though you run our country like one." On Wednesday, she continued to push back against the president, accusing him of preying on people's fears. "He spreads the disease of hate everywhere he goes, and these cult rallies that he's holding across the country are now being fuelled by fear, and it is no surprise that he is so fearful of winning Minnesota that he has to resort to this hate," Omar told CNN. read the complete article


24 Sep 2020

The U.S. ‘War on Terror’ Has Displaced 37 Million People

The report conservatively estimates that eight of the most violent “counterterror” wars the U.S. government has engaged in since 9/11 — in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — have produced 8 million refugees and 29 million internally displaced people. The 37 million total displaced is more than those displaced by any war since at least the start of the 20th century, except World War II. Critiques of the report centered around the degree to which the U.S. government is responsible for displacement in all eight of these countries. People agreed that the George W. Bush administration launched the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, some have said that the other countries we include in our estimate — Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — are incredibly complex conflicts in which the U.S. government has been a less central combatant, making it hard to say what role, if any, the U.S. government has played in creating displacement. read the complete article

24 Sep 2020

Why The Idea Of ‘Moderate Muslims’ Is A Narrative Subtly Rooted In Islamophobia

The term ‘moderate Muslim’, although commonly used without malicious intent, is a label I have always silently disagreed with. At a glance, it appears to be a vague, rather wide-ranging umbrella-term, invoking a range of perceptions; From imams making condemnations towards militant extremists yet again after each terrorist attack, to ‘Westernised, liberal Muslims’, or devout Muslims in Islamic nations who speak against the atrocities of their governments often committed in the name of religion. read the complete article

24 Sep 2020

Has COVID-19 destroyed the case for banning the burqa in Europe?

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown up an interesting paradox in European countries that have banned the full-face veil. In some French cities, for example, failure to cover your face and protect against COVID-19 can land you a €135 fine. Yet, officially at least, you could also be fined as much as €150 for covering your face in public places if the covering is a full-face veil. In 2011, France became the first European country to ban the full-face veil in public. Other European countries have followed by introducing total or partial bans of the burqa, including Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Latvia and Norway. Now, with many Europeans told they must wear face masks to combat the spread of COVID-19, some are highlighting the apparent contradiction. read the complete article


24 Sep 2020

China Update: Fashion’s Next Apocalypse Is Cotton From Xinjiang

With all the issues facing the fashion industry today, the arrival of seasonal politics with a bias against China, has catapulted the Xinjiang cotton problem to the top of the list. Almost every retailer is adjusting to their own new world order (created by COVID-19) and trying to be positive as they head into the Holiday season. Now, along comes the Xinjiang spider to weave the industry into an even more difficult web. The basic issue in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is the accusations of Chinese “retraining and repression” that is being targeted against Muslim Uyghur, Kazakh, and Turkic minorities. The (alleged) forced labor in the cotton industry is part of the issue, and is something that China is having difficulty to explain. At the same time, forced labor is an issue that the fashion industry just will not tolerate. Global activists have been calling out Xinjiang for some time, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has now concluded that they too are also concerned with “reasonable but not conclusive evidence that there is a risk of forced labor in the supply chains” related to Xinjiang. read the complete article

24 Sep 2020

Terror and territory

Almost twenty years later, all Uighurs in China are being targeted by a set of policies that effectually exhaust the authoritarian playbook. Over one million have been arbitrarily detained in a vast network of detention facilities that the authorities refer to as “re-education centres”, which offer “vocational training” and which, with no hyperbole, can be called concentration camps. Within them every moment of the detainees’ life is regulated; they must endure ideological programming sessions coupled with threats and intimidation. As for the remaining eleven million or so Uighurs outside the camps, they are subjected to intensive human and digital surveillance, even in their homes, where visiting officials quiz children about the religious habits of their parents. Prominent Uighur academics and artists have been arrested; mosques and sacred sites have been destroyed. There have also been reports of sterilization campaigns and forced labour programmes, especially in clothing and textiles (Xinjiang produces 7 per cent of the world’s cotton). read the complete article


24 Sep 2020

U.N. rights envoy to Myanmar says election will fail to meet standards

The United Nations human rights investigator to Myanmar said on Tuesday an election set for November would fail to meet international standards because of the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims. Thomas Andrews, addressing the U.N Human Rights Council, said the polls could not be free and fair because of the exclusion of Rohingya of voting age living in the western Rakhine state and in refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh. read the complete article


24 Sep 2020

Why Muslims in France fear a bill on Islamic 'separatism'

Macron has pushed for a “French Islam” for years, and his latest proposed bill may give him the unbridled powers to see it happen. The solution? Passing a long-anticipated ‘Separatism’ bill granting the government powers to ensure that groups do not adhere to an alternative French identity, tethered to religious or ethnic affiliation, according to Le Figaro. But details of the bill remain shrouded in secrecy, having become the golden grail of French politics: a means to permanently ensure France will remain French, without additional cultural or ethnic identities attached. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 24 Sep 2020 Edition


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