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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28 Sep 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In the United Kingdom, the far-right anti-Muslim group, Britain First, has been allowed to re-register as a political party, while in France, the country’s top administrative court approved the French authorities’ December 2020 dissolution of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a leading anti-discrimination group, and in the United States, GOP members continue to stall the vote to confirm Biden’s nomination, Dilawar Syed, for SBA Deputy Administrator. Our recommended read of the day is by Anagha S for Feminism India on how the recent viral fake news directed at iD Fresh Foods, a food production company, highlights how in “today’s India, our food choices highlight our religious, spiritual, emotional and political perspectives.” This and more below:


28 Sep 2021

Communal Narratives & Fake News: On The iD Fresh Foods Incident & Our Islamophobia | Recommended Read

One such recent disruption was caused by a viral fake message, which was directed at a food production company based in Bangalore, iD Fresh Foods. The viral message claimed that the idli/dosa batter made by the company contains cow bones and calf rennets to make the batter thicker. The message gained a highly communal hue when it continued to say that the company only hires Muslims and has a halal certificate. From stigmatising against a particular community and in the process, also further alienating daily-wage factory workers through the fake news of HIV contaminated blood mixed in Frooti to adding on to India’s extremist, Islamophobic sentiments by spreading unchecked rumours of cow bones and calf rennets in the said brand’s dosa batter, safe to say, we have progressively come a long way backwards. Needless to say, in a political narrative that is largely determined by right-wing, extremist narratives that has sought to otherise the Muslim through its projection of a Hindutva state, the identities communicated through food choices, purchase decisions and consumptions have become highly categorical. read the complete article

United Kingdom

28 Sep 2021

Academic accused of Islamophobia invited to Cambridge University

Jordan Peterson, a controversial academic who has been accused of Islamophobia, has said he will attend a series of seminars at the University of Cambridge in November, The Times reported on Monday. The Canadian psychology professor was banned by the university following accusations of Islamophobia in 2019. His proposed visiting fellowship offer was canceled by administrators after he was photographed with a man wearing an Islamophobic T-shirt. When the photographs went viral, Prof. Stephen Toope, the university’s vice chancellor, said Peterson’s “casual endorsement” through association was “antithetical” to the efforts of the divinity faculty. Peterson has faced opposition for his writing and talks on gender, politics, religion in general and Islam in particular. His latest invitation to Cambridge was sent out by Dr. James Orr, also from the divinity faculty, who said Peterson will be spending between 10 days and two weeks at the university, where he will attend seminars, talks and other engagements. read the complete article

28 Sep 2021

Bristol arrest made over 'Islamophobic and racist' attack

A woman has been arrested after a picnic in celebration of Somali women was marred by a "racist and Islamophobic" attack in Bristol. Police said a number of minor assaults and public order offences were reported in St George Park on 25 September. The 30-year-old was arrested earlier and is being questioned on suspicion of assault and a public order offence. Avon and Somerset Police inquiries into the suspected hate crime are continuing. read the complete article

28 Sep 2021

Far-right group Britain First allowed to register as political party by Electoral Commission

The far-right group Britain First has been allowed to re-register as a political party by the Electoral Commission. The watchdog said an official application “met the legal criteria”, despite leader Paul Golding holding convictions for a terror offence and hate crimes. Britain First was a political party from 2010 until it was deregistered by the Electoral Commission in 2017 for administrative reasons. It became notorious for “mosque invasions” and other activism targeting Muslims, and was condemned by the government after Donald Trump shared Britain First tweets in 2017. At the time, Britain First had a large following on Twitter and more than 2 million likes on Facebook, but the pages have since been removed. read the complete article

United States

28 Sep 2021

‘It feels like a facade’: Students chalk driveways and plant signs outside chancellor’s house at protest of Martin’s response to Islamophobia

Roughly 60 students decried Chancellor Andrew Martin’s silence on recent Islamophobia at a protest outside his house Friday afternoon, leaving signs in his lawn and chalking his driveway with slogans such as “Silence is Violence,” “Protect Muslim community members” and “WashU is racist.” The protest came nine days after some students went on academic strike, skipping class or attending remotely out of fear for their safety or in solidarity with Muslim, Black and brown students. The strike was in response to Islamophobia that resulted after senior Fadel Alkilani’s removal of commemorative 9/11 flags from Mudd Field. “I want Andrew Martin in there to know that his student body is not okay with him just abandoning them and leaving them to feel helpless and unheard,” junior Mahtab Chaudhry, who gave a speech at the protest, told Student Life afterward. “He needs to take accountability for how he’s making students feel and his failure to act as a chancellor should.” Martin has come under fire for failing to acknowledge Islamophobia and other hate in his Sept. 12 message to the community, with Thomas and Karole Green Professor of Law Gregory Magarian writing last week that Martin’s message did “far greater harm” than the initial removal of the flags. read the complete article

28 Sep 2021

Biden’s SBA nominee would be the country’s highest-ranking Muslim. The GOP won’t let him get a vote.

President Biden’s pick of Dilawar Syed as Small Business Administration (SBA) deputy administrator also has created strange bedfellows. Jewish organizations are among a diverse coalition defending Syed, who would be the highest-ranking Muslim in government, against antisemitism allegations from Republicans. His backers recently denounced the GOP claims as “flagrant anti-Muslim animus surrounding Mr. Syed’s historic nomination.” One list of more than 200 Syed supporters includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which often supports GOP positions, and the National Small Business Association. In the face of various Republican complaints, related or not to Syed, his selection has languished in the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee for months — after his nomination was approved by a committee voice vote that was overturned by the Senate parliamentarian. read the complete article


28 Sep 2021

French Court Confirms Dissolution of Anti-Discrimination Group

On September 24, France’s top administrative court, the Council of State, approved the French authorities’ December 2020 dissolution of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a leading anti-discrimination group. The court’s decision seriously damages the country’s self-proclaimed reputation as a champion of freedom of expression and association. Over the years, CCIF has played a key role in providing legal support to people facing anti-Muslim discrimination and documenting the discriminatory impact on Muslims of France’s counterterrorism measures. The closure of CCIF and last week’s ruling are likely to have a chilling effect on freedom of expression and association of those working on non-discrimination in France and elsewhere in Europe. Shuttering CCIF weakens the country’s credibility as a champion for rights and sets a dangerous example for governments quick to use vaguely defined laws to silence critics. French authorities should stop pushing censorship on civil society organizations and instead demonstrate their commitment to freedom of expression and association, and their determination to fight discrimination. read the complete article


28 Sep 2021

This Is What Impunity Looks Like: Myanmar’s Coup Built on Years of Failed Accountability

On August 1, Myanmar’s commander-in-chief, Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, dressed in civilian clothes, made a televised speech six months to the day after leading a coup that thrust the country back under brutal military rule. Amid claims of establishing a multiparty democracy, the junta leader announced that his manufactured state of emergency, which has given rise to massive human rights abuses, would be extended until August 2023. Human Rights Watch determined that the military’s post-coup abuses—vast, methodical, and systematic—amount to crimes against humanity. The broad-based and consistent nature of the crackdown reflects not the individual actions of security officers, but a countrywide policy of the junta. In 2017, Min Aung Hlaing orchestrated crimes against humanity in which the military committed genocidal acts and other horrific abuses against ethnic Rohingya in northern Rakhine State, killing thousands and forcing over 730,000 to flee to Bangladesh. The same notorious military units implicated in the 2017 atrocities—since sanctioned by the US and UK—have been deployed in the streets of Yangon, Mandalay, and other cities and towns since the coup, terrorizing protesters calling for civilian democratic rule. read the complete article


28 Sep 2021

Uyghur Tribunal is a litmus test of the human rights establishment

What can international human rights law accomplish in the absence of credible international courts? That is the question posed to the world by the Uyghur Tribunal, an “independent people’s court” in London that recently wrapped up its second and final round of hearings. In the face of what is likely today’s most heinous atrocity — and the demonstrated ineptitude of international courts to take on the case — the Uyghur Tribunal’s coming verdict will be a litmus test of the human rights legal establishment, now and in the China-ascendant future. Following a request from the World Uyghur Congress, an international organization representing Uyghur interests abroad, the Uyghur Tribunal was launched in 2020 by Sir Geoffrey Nice­, the lead prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal that tried Slobodan Milošević’s war crimes in Kosovo. The Tribunal has been successful in assembling legal experts to formally collect and assess evidence of China’s crimes against its Muslim minorities, more than a million of whom have been interned in camps that reportedly include the use of torture, sexual abuse, coerced labor, forced sterilization and other horrors. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 28 Sep 2021 Edition


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