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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30 Sep 2021

Today in Islamophobia: In Bangladesh, Mohib Ullah, a leading Rohingya community leader, was shot dead at a refugee camp, meanwhile in France, the Interior Minister revealed plans for a greater clampdown on French Muslim civil society noting that the government had plans to shut down an additional six mosques, and a new report by the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley finds that nearly 75% of the participants believe women are more at risk of experiencing Islamophobia. Our recommended read of the day is by Edward Ahmed Mitchell for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on Tucker Carlson’s continued promotion of the far-right “Great Replacement” theory. This and more below:

United States

30 Sep 2021

OPINION: Tucker Carlson's racial paranoia is delusional - and dangerous | Recommended Read

Several months ago the television personality claimed that Democrats were trying to “replace the current electorate” with “more obedient voters from the Third World.” In response to public outrage and demands for his termination, Fox News defended Carlson and claimed that he had actually somehow “decried and rejected replacement theory.” But last week Carlson left no doubt about what he believes. After playing a deceptively edited 2015 clip of then-Vice President Joe Biden discussing America’s long history of benefiting from immigration, Carlson said: “An unrelenting stream of immigration. But why? Well, Joe Biden just said it, to change the racial mix of the country. That’s the reason, to reduce the political power of people whose ancestors lived here, and dramatically increase the proportion of Americans newly arrived from the Third World . . . “ Carlson added: "It's horrifying. But there’s a reason Biden said it. In political terms, this policy is called the great replacement, the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries.” The problem with Carlson’s claims is that they are not merely delusional; they are dangerous. Even deadly. When you tell white Americans that their government is actively plotting to dilute their voting power by welcoming, housing and enriching dangerous immigrants who want to destroy America’s way of life, you are setting the stage for bloodshed. All it takes for violence to erupt is just one Tucker Carlson viewer deciding to “take matters into his own hands.” read the complete article

30 Sep 2021

‘Race and Religion’: How White Christian supremacy perpetuates racial and religious oppression

Being Indian American and Hindu herself, Joshi explained how her experiences in dealing with discrimination were misleading, as she was never sure if they were racially or religiously motivated. She pointed out that religion is often more involved in racial incidences than we think, citing violent events like the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, a “Muslim” Hindu family being intentionally run over in southern California and the infamous Muslim ban signed by former President Trump. “Not being Christian has been a constant undercurrent in the story of exclusion,” Joshi said. Her statement was a segue into the session’s main topic, which explored the parallels between racism and religious oppression. According to Joshi, racism is made up of a system of advantages (white privilege) and disadvantages (prejudice against BIPOC) based on race, just as religious oppression is also a system of advantages (Christian privilege) and disadvantages (prejudice against religious minorities, atheists and humanists) based on religion. She went on to explain how developments like White Christian supremacy play a part in the further alienation of BIPOC people within their religious communities. “We have Asian American Christians, African American Christians, Hispanic Christians who have Christian privilege, but then there’s White supremacy that exists,” Joshi said. “Christian communities of color don’t have the same level of privilege that White Christians do. So White Christian supremacy is the overarching phenomenon going on.” read the complete article

30 Sep 2021

Muslim women more likely than men to experience Islamophobia, survey finds

A survey exploring the lives of Muslims in the United States found that Muslim women were more likely than men to have personally experienced Islamophobia, that younger Muslims were more likely to try to conceal their religious identities and that many Muslims self-censor themselves out of fear of how others may react to them. The report, “Islamophobia through the Eyes of Muslims,” was released Wednesday (Sept. 29) by the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley. Nearly 75% of the participants believe women are more at risk of experiencing Islamophobia, according to the report. The survey found 60.6% of respondents believe Islamophobia to be a “very big problem in the U.S.” More than two-thirds who participated in the survey (67.5%) have personally experienced Islamophobia, and women (76.7%) were more likely than men (58.6%) to have had a personal encounter with Islamophobia. Nearly all respondents (93.7%) said Islamophobia affects their emotional and mental well-being, according to the report. “This may suggest that even if a Muslim is not directly targeted by an Islamophobic act, the ubiquity of Islamophobia in our media and culture after 9/11 has created an atmosphere in which Muslims feel they are being monitored, judged, or excluded in some form,” Elsadig Elsheikh, the director of the Institute’s Global Justice program, said in a statement. read the complete article

30 Sep 2021

Microaggressions I faced at Juice Jam reflect Islamophobia at SU

The security guard body scanned me, and I thought it would end there. Instead, she reached for my bucket hat and tried to remove it. When I asked her what she was doing, she asked if I could remove my bucket hat and “what’s under it,” referring to my Hijab. That part in itself was a microaggression wrapped under another, until I said that I could not remove my bucket hat. It was holding my Hijab. And I could not remove my Hijab, for obvious reasons that I shouldn’t have had to explain. The security guard proceeded to condescendingly laugh, then use her hands to pat all over my bucket hat, and even reached under my Hijab and patted my hair. These “incidents” occur so often I feel to some degree, no matter how outraged I am, numb. In a post-9/11 sense of the world, or as the media knows it to be “Muslim Terrorist Attacks,” I am nothing but a vestle to carry bombs in my backpack and explosive chemicals under my Hijab until I don’t recognize myself outside of America’s “never forget” sphere. While Americans need a reminder, I don’t get the choice to forget, because 9/11 became the plotline for my life before I was even born, before I was even a concept. In today’s sense of the world, as known on this campus to be diversity and inclusion, my Hijab is not really a threat until I go through security checks for an event, or until the Department of Public Safety stops me multiple times asking why I look “unwell,” “concerned” or “suspicious.” My Hijab is not really a threat to be particular but a thing — a thing to be removed at security checks, patted up for American safety, and patted down to avoid a lawsuit, and before I know it, my whole being becomes that thing. The thing people refuse to even call the correct term: a Hijab. read the complete article

30 Sep 2021

Top Republicans rub shoulders with extremists in secretive rightwing group, leak reveals

A leaked document has revealed the membership list of the secretive Council for National Policy (CNP), showing how it provides opportunities for elite Republicans, wealthy entrepreneurs, media proprietors and pillars of the US conservative movement to rub shoulders with anti-abortion and anti-Islamic extremists. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors rightwing hate groups, describes the CNP as “a shadowy and intensely secretive group [which] has operated behind the scenes” in its efforts to “build the conservative movement”. The leaked membership list dates from September last year, and reveals the 40-year-old CNP put influential Trump administration figures alongside leaders of organizations that have been categorized as hate groups. The group was founded in 1981 by activists influential in the Christian right, including Tim LaHaye, Howard Phillips and Paul Weyrich, who had also been involved in founding and leading the Moral Majority. Initially they were seeking to maximize their influence on the new Reagan administration. In subsequent years, CNP meetings have played host to presidential aspirants like George W Bush and 1999 and Mitt Romney in 2007, and sitting presidents including Donald Trump in 2020. The document – which reveals email addresses and phone numbers for most members – shows that the CNP includes members of SPLC-listed hate groups. They include leaders of organizations listed as anti-Muslim hate groups, including: Frank Gaffney, founder and executive chairman of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), Brigitte Gabriel, founder and chairman of Act For America (AFA). read the complete article

30 Sep 2021

'Politics is power': American Muslim groups ramp up voting drives ahead of upcoming general elections

“We’re often the subject of political discourse, and we’re affected by policies, so it’s important to mobilise voters,” says Tala Bahbour, policy director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Ohio, which like other groups across the country has organised voting drives in recent weeks. “It affects you whether you realise it or not.” As a growing voting bloc with substantial populations in swing states with upcoming elections in November, such as a possible special election in Ohio, a gubernatorial election in Virginia, as well as local and state elections across the country, Muslim votes are increasingly important. Muslims in the US have long been in the unfortunate position of being adversely affected by government policies, while largely staying low-profile as part of a relatively small minority. Over the past two decades, however, as their numbers – now estimated at around 3.5 million, according to Pew – and visibility have grown, they have become important constituents that politicians need to court for votes. Moreover, an increasing number are running for office – and winning, showing that a community can grow its political clout through consistent organising. read the complete article


30 Sep 2021

‘There’s cameras everywhere’: testimonies detail far-reaching surveillance of Uyghurs in China

Muhammad was among dozens of survivors of Chinese detention and re-education camps who spoke at the first and second round of hearings of the non-governmental tribunal, which was organized by a group of lawyers, professors and advocacy groups such as the World Uyghur Congress, to bring attention to the treatment of Uyghurs in China. In the two decades since Chinese authorities first started monitoring Muhammad, the mass surveillance apparatus that targets Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities has vastly expanded, with technology having enabled it to become more targeted and effective. Camera surveillance has become pervasive in detention facilities and outside of them, the testimonies at the tribunal highlighted. The same machine that made Muhammad feel detention and arrest was inescapable is now equipped with tools such as facial recognition. The surveillance system propped up by these often global companies serves to facilitate that genocide, argues Dolkun Isaa, president of the World Uyghur Congress advocacy group. “The goal of these surveillance tactics is not only to instill fear in Uyghurs’ minds that every aspect of their behavior is monitored, but most importantly to single out Uyghurs for detention in the internment camp system,” Isaa said. read the complete article


30 Sep 2021

Prominent Rohingya leader shot dead in Bangladesh refugee camp

Rights groups have called for an urgent investigation after a prominent Rohingya community leader was shot dead at a refugee camp in Bangladesh, after months of worsening violence in the settlement. Mohib Ullah, who was chairman of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARPSH), was killed by gunmen on Wednesday evening as he spoke with other community leaders outside his office, according to police. He was a leading advocate for the Rohingya, a minority that has long suffered persecution in Myanmar, and was subjected to a brutal military crackdown in 2017, when hundreds of thousands were forced to seek refuge across the border in Bangladesh. Mohib Ullah documented abuses perpetrated by the Myanmar military, and campaigned for greater protection of refugees. He had spoken internationally about Rohingya rights, travelling to the White House to meet former president Donald Trump, and speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2019. In his address to UNHRC, he said: “Imagine you have no identity, no ethnicity, no country. Nobody wants you. How would you feel? This is how we feel today as Rohingya …” “For decades we faced a systematic genocide in Myanmar. They took our citizenship. They took our land. They destroyed our mosques. No travel, no higher education, no healthcare, no jobs … We are not stateless. Stop calling us that. We have a state. It is Myanmar.” read the complete article


30 Sep 2021

Why is Kim Kardashian praised for covering up, yet Muslim women are still criticised?

The same praise and approval given to Kardashian for creatively covering up is still not given to Muslim women, who too wish to cover up but are either banned by their government or mocked and called letterboxes, also by their government – all this is in a progressive Western society, nonetheless. Many others agreed and bloggers and journalists took to social media to call Kardashian out on her ‘distasteful’ choice of outfit. Fashion journalist Hafsa Lodhi also spoke up about the timing of the outfit in a column for The Independent. In it she said: “I can’t help but find this “trend”, for lack of a better word, to be terribly timed, not to mention utterly tone-deaf in light of the current situation in Afghanistan. “When it comes to the full-coverage burka, some women do wear these cloaks, complete with face veils, out of choice. But burka, niqab and hijab bans in various European countries and Canadian provinces curb these women’s rights to dress how they please. Watching Kardashian be praised for doing the exact same thing is, quite frankly, mind-boggling.” These double standards are also evident amongst many Western governments who have banned face coverings, burqas and even the hijab, yet are quick to stand up for women’s rights and empowerment. When the leaders at the very top are telling us that covering up, in a religious context, is wrong, it’s only normal that the media and society will follow suit. read the complete article


30 Sep 2021

France's Darmanin takes stock of Macron's anti-Muslim campaign

France is moving forward with its offensive campaign against the country's Muslim population, further shutting mosques and centers on the pretext of "radical propaganda," in a move that critics say promotes hate speech and Islamophobia within the nation and abroad. One year after French President Emmanuel Macron announced the national fight against "Islamic separatism" during a speech in Lex Mureaux, Paris, Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin assumed the responsibility of taking stock of a plan that mainly targets Muslims in a country that loudly claims to be the vocal advocate for secularism, rights and freedom. In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Darmanin said Tuesday that "never French government done so much against political Islam." "About 10 structures were dissolved in four years. That is to say three times more than under the two previous terms of office combined," Darmanin bragged. "Even before the separatism law promulgated at the end of August, this struggle was at the origin," he added. Alongside the minister for citizenship, Marlene Schiappa, Darmanin also presented a new plan stating that France seeks to shut six more mosques and break up several associations. He added that a third of the 89 places of worship "suspected of being radical" and flagged by the intelligence services had been checked since November 2020. Of those, an action to shut down six – in five different departments across France – had been launched, he said, according to remarks carried by Agence France-Presse (AFP). read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 30 Sep 2021 Edition


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