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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23 Sep 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Facebook challenges hate-speech hearing summons in India’s top court. In the U.S., Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deports immigrant father who sued agents for assault.  Our recommended read today is by Pranav Dixit on Twitter, and how the social media platform allowed dozens of doxxing accounts to stay up for months in India. This, and more, below:


23 Sep 2020

Twitter Let Dozens Of Tweets Doxing Interfaith Couples In India Stay Up For Months | Recommended Read

For nearly two months, tweets by far-right Hindu nationalists in India doxing dozens of young interfaith couples — usually Muslim men marrying Hindu women — circulated on Twitter. “This is going to be a long thread,” one of the accounts involved in the doxing said, following it up with 17 more tweets. Each tweet contained pictures of government documents including names, ages, occupations, addresses, and photographs of Hindu-Muslim couples in India. “Look at these pictures,” another tweet from the same account said. “Who instigates these couples to get together? It can’t be that they just ‘fall in love.’” read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
23 Sep 2020

The 100 Most Influential People of 2020: Bilkis

With prayer beads in one hand and the national flag in the other, Bilkis became the voice of the marginalized in India, an 82-year-old who would sit at a protest site from 8 a.m. to midnight. She had been sitting there ever since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government passed the Citizenship Amendment Act, which could block Muslims from citizenship in the country, in December, and she continued through the cold winter. Bilkis, along with thousands of women who joined her in Shaheen Bagh, a neighborhood in New Delhi, became the symbol of resistance in a nation where the voices of women and minorities were being systematically drowned out by the majoritarian politics of the Modi regime. Bilkis gave hope and strength to activists and student leaders who were being thrown behind bars for standing up for the unpopular truth in a democracy that was sliding into authoritarianism, and inspired peaceful copycat protests across the country. read the complete article

23 Sep 2020

Facebook challenges hate-speech hearing summons in India's top court

Facebook India's chief has lodged a petition with India's top court challenging a summons to appear before a panel probing allegations the social media giant failed to take action against hate speech. Ajit Mohan, Facebook India's managing director, was summoned to appear before a Delhi legislative panel on Wednesday after failing to front the committee last week. In his petition to the Supreme Court, obtained by AFP, Mohan said the state legislative panel was operating outside its jurisdiction in its summons to Facebook India. The petition also stated that the summonses "create a chilling effect on the free speech rights of users of the Facebook service". read the complete article

United States

23 Sep 2020

In debate, Rashid accuses Wittman ad of ‘tying him to Islamic terrorism.’ Wittman says it's ‘an outright lie.’

Rep. Rob Wittman and his Democratic opponent Qasim Rashid sparred on climate change, Social Security, rural broadband and other issues during a sometimes contentious debate Monday night. But the exchange became most heated when Rashid accused Wittman of a campaign ad “attacking” his Muslim faith and “tying him to Islamic terrorism,” a claim that Wittman denied. Rashid, 38, a human rights lawyer who lives in Stafford County, was referring to a 30-second television spot Wittman, 61, released last week that criticizes six of Rashid’s tweets, two of which dated back to 2015. The 30-second spot, which Wittman posted on his Facebook page later Monday night, refers to tweets Rashid sent in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020 in which he wrote about terrorism; the deficit and military spending; a conversation he had with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; and his support for the Green New Deal. read the complete article

23 Sep 2020

ICE Deports Immigrant Father Who Sued Agents For Assault

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported an immigrant detainee to his native Uzbekistan on Tuesday, just four days after he filed a lawsuit alleging that three ICE agents beat him and shocked him with a stun gun during a previous removal attempt. Bakhodir Madjitov, 39, who was able to avoid deportation twice in the past, was denied a temporary restraining order Monday afternoon. He was forced to board a plane from Louisiana that night. Madjitov, a caregiver who works with elderly people, wasn’t able to say goodbye to his family in person. He has never met his youngest son, who was born a week after ICE detained Madjitov in 2017. He won’t get the chance to appear in court for his civil rights suit against the U.S. government and ICE agents, which was filed on Friday in the Eastern District of New York. Now Madjitov is headed back to Uzbekistan, where he fears he will be persecuted over his Muslim faith and family ties. read the complete article

23 Sep 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy of empathy and courage

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life embodies the best of America. Her experiences of being a first-generation American, a religious minority, and a woman who overcame discrimination informed her jurisprudence. Her life experiences constantly reminded her that the gulf between America, the ideal, and America, the reality, was wide. During her Senate confirmation hearing in 1993, Ginsburg candidly stated, “I am alert to discrimination. I grew up during World War II in a Jewish family. I have memories as a child, even before the war, of being in a car with my parents and passing a place in [Pennsylvania], a resort with a sign out in front that read: “No dogs or Jews allowed.” In a 2018 interview, Ginsburg admitted that “the sense of being an outsider – of being one of the people who had suffered oppression for no . . . no sensible reason . . . it’s the sense of being part of a minority. It makes you more empathetic to other people who are not insiders, who are outsiders.” It should come as no surprise that Ginsburg’s work has inspired a generation of people who experience outsider status in the US, including Muslims. For the past 20 years, overt anti-Muslim racism has been rampant. Ranging from protests calling on Muslims to get out and “go home” to state legislation seeking to deny Muslims the right to practice their religion as part of an “anti-Shariah” national campaign, Muslims have been as openly condemned as Jews were a century ago. read the complete article


23 Sep 2020

Trudeau offers condolences to family of Toronto mosque stabbing victim

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered condolences to the family of a volunteer caretaker who was stabbed to death at a Toronto mosque earlier this month — while also saying reports that the incident is connected to Neo-Nazism and Islamophobia are worrisome. "My heart goes out to the loved ones of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis," Trudeau tweeted Tuesday morning. "The reports that his murder was motivated by Neo-Nazism and Islamophobia are extremely concerning. We stand with Muslim communities against such hatred, which has no place in Canada. We are with you." Guilherme "William" Von Neutegem, 34, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the killing of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis. Zafis, 58, was stabbed when he was sitting outside an Etobicoke mosque on Sept. 12, controlling the number of people who entered in order to comply with public health regulations. In the days after his death, Zafis was mourned by his family and friends as a "kind, gentle soul" who would hand out food to the hungry and keep his fellow worshippers safe. read the complete article

United Kingdom

23 Sep 2020

Tackling Islamophobia in ‘Terrorism’ Won’t happen by Sticking the Label On More White Perpetrators

The latest report by the Muslim Council of Britain’s Centre for Media Monitoring, How The British Media Reports Terrorism, is an important exercise in tracking how Islamophobia is communicated and disseminated through the mainstream media in its coverage of ‘terrorist’ incidents. The CfMM rightly points out that media coverage, driven by the battle for attention spans and right-wing political agendas, has fanned Islamophobia through British society, and has cemented the association between Muslims, Islam and ‘terrorism’. read the complete article

23 Sep 2020

If Christmas Isn't Cancelled, Boris Johnson Will Have To Answer Questions About Eid

Throughout this Covid pandemic, as people gathered for street parties and filled beaches during the hot weather, Muslims have been repeatedly ignored – and scapegoated. When Ramadan came around, a month in which Muslims fast and focus on their spirituality and community, Muslims were not able to come together. Nightly prayer congregations and family dinners were abandoned. Instead, in the midst of a pandemic we were expected to adjust, to either come together virtually or be left alone and alienated in a time of intense hardship for our communities. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 23 Sep 2020 Edition


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