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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26 Sep 2019

Today in Islamophobia: A chilling new report alleges China is harvesting organs from Uighur Muslim minority, as Hui Muslims in the country fear ‘they are next.’ Writing for The Intercept, Rashmee Kumar unravels the network of Hindu nationalists behind Modi’s “diaspora diplomacy” in the United States. Our recommended read today is by Bradley Jardine on the U.S war on terror, and how it paved the way for China’s repression of Muslims in Xinjiang. This, and more, below:


26 Sep 2019

U.S. Terrorism Policy Paved the Way for China’s Repression | Recommended Read

While members of Congress have publicly denounced Beijing’s brutal campaign in recent months, U.S. President Donald Trump has remained silent. The White House’s Islamophobic rhetoric and harsh treatment of Muslims have also further undermined America’s moral standing in the region. But the policies that emboldened China to build detention camps began long before Trump. The uncomfortable truth is that in the years after 9/11, the United States was often willing to accept China’s depiction of Xinjiang as a strategic outpost in its global war on terrorism. In 2001, the U.S. government held 22 Uighurs in Guantánamo Bay—a decision now widely seen as a mistake. Then, as now, China has worked to tie the Uighur separatist movement to international terrorism. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day

United States

26 Sep 2019

The Network of Hindu nationalists behind Modi's "Diaspora Diplomacy" in the U.S

On the face of it, the blockbuster “Howdy, Modi” event was the Indian American diaspora’s extravagant welcome to the Indian prime minister for the first time since his landslide reelection victory in May — complete with flashy musical and dance numbers. But beneath the cultural gloss, it was essentially a political rally for two nationalist world leaders, organized by a nonprofit with Hindu nationalist links. For decades, a network of American groups affiliated with Hindu nationalist organizations in India has embedded itself in the diaspora by holding cultural and religious events, lobbying Congress, contributing to political campaigns, and acting as a mouthpiece for Modi and the BJP. Since the early 2000s, these groups have worked to expunge Modi’s once-tarnished reputation in the U.S., enlisting the Indian American community, about half of whom are Hindu, and U.S. lawmakers to defend his increasingly authoritarian agenda and whitewash his complicity in human rights abuses. read the complete article

26 Sep 2019

Trump’s travel ban really was a Muslim ban, data suggests

Since the ban went into effect, 98 percent of people from affected countries who applied for a visa were rejected, and the other 2 percent received a waiver. However, USCIS information does not indicate how many of those 2 percent have received a visa for entry into the United States to date, and there have been lawsuits from potential immigrants who say they have been under waiver for at least 16 months without any resolution. Without any way to know how many people who received a waiver ultimately got a visa, we cannot fully assess the impact of the ban. If these people are denied a visa, then the effect of the travel ban will be even larger than what the data shows. The only way to know is for USCIS to release this information or for members of Congress to demand it. read the complete article

26 Sep 2019

Opinion | It’s Time for the Democratic Candidates to Talk About the Muslim Ban

During the past two years, the leading Democratic presidential candidates have denounced the ban, and some have said they would rescind it. But none of the three debates has included a question to the candidates about the travel ban specifically—and none of the candidates spoke about it beyond a mention (Jay Inslee reminded the nation he was the “first governor to stand up against Donald Trump’s heinous Muslim ban,” and Beto O’Rourke described the policy as racist.)“I’m not surprised at all,” Linda Sarsour, one of the founders of MPower, told me. “Most elections are about us, without us.” Given the scale of crises to discuss—health care, climate change, internment at the border—omission of the Muslim ban in the debates can be understandable. But the ban is not just a “Muslim issue.” It represents a unique intersection of Trump’s draconian immigration policy, the war on terrorism, and Islamophobia. Not giving it airtime cedes ground to Trump and the Republicans to frame the ban as a necessary national-security measure. And debating it forces Democratic candidates to answer a challenging question: What does it mean to oppose the ban? read the complete article


26 Sep 2019

China Wants the World to Stay Silent on Muslim Camps. It’s Succeeding.

China contends that its state-mandated detention camps, surrounded by high walls and watchtowers, are central to its fight against Islamist extremism. Beijing has called them boarding schools, explaining detainees are there voluntarily. China said recently that it has reduced the numbers in the camps, although doubts persist about the claim. “There has not been a single case of violent terrorism in the past three years,” Wang Yi, state councilor and foreign minister of China, said at an event on the sidelines of the United Nations summit. “The education and training centers are schools that help the people free themselves from terrorism and extremism and acquire useful skills.” read the complete article

26 Sep 2019

Chinese hackers who pursued Uighurs also stalked Tibetans: Report

In the attacks, people posing as human rights workers or journalists contacted unnamed senior figures in Tibetan groups over Facebook's WhatsApp messaging service, according to screenshots featuring their phone numbers posted in the Citizen Lab report. Citing the technical similarities between these attacks and ones uncovered by US tech firms against Uighurs, the report suggested that forces who were probably working with the Chinese government may be upgrading their surveillance efforts against key minorities. read the complete article

26 Sep 2019

'Afraid We Will Become The Next Xinjiang': China's Hui Muslims Face Crackdown

The crackdown on Muslims has been most extreme in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, where scholars estimate that up to 1.5 million Muslim Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking group, and other ethnic minorities have been detained since 2016, in one of the most sophisticated surveillance states in the world. The same restrictions that preceded the Xinjiang crackdown on Uighur Muslims are now appearing in Hui-dominated regions. NPR has learned that since April 2018, Hui mosques have been forcibly renovated or shuttered, schools demolished and religious community leaders imprisoned. Hui who have traveled internationally are increasingly detained or sent to reeducation facilities in Xinjiang. read the complete article

26 Sep 2019

China is harvesting thousands of human organs from its Uighur Muslim minority, UN human-rights body hears

The China Tribunal, a pressure group that's investigating the organ harvesting, said at a tense meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council that the Chinese government was taking hearts, kidneys, lungs, and skin from groups including Uighur Muslims and members of the Falun Gong religious group. The China Tribunal describes itself as a group of lawyers, academics, and medical professionals, backed by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China, an Australian not-for-profit organization. read the complete article


26 Sep 2019

Rohingya Refugees Risk Going Back to Another Genocide in Myanmar

Myanmar’s government is pushing for the more than 1 million Rohingya refugees currently in Bangladesh to start returning to the country, in an effort to project an image of peace and reconciliation to the outside world. Yet as grim as the situation is for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, where they live in what is now the world’s largest refugee settlement, their prospects back in Myanmar are even worse. It is little surprise, then, that few if any Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority in Myanmar, have taken up the offer. This is Myanmar’s second attempt at facilitating the repatriation of Rohingya, after an earlier effort failed last November. Bangladesh’s government, which supports repatriation, has been making life harder for Rohingya refugees in the country. In early September, it shut off mobile internet access in refugee camps, a move condemned by human rights groups because it could make it more difficult to deliver humanitarian services. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 26 Sep 2019 Edition


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