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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07 Sep 2020

Today in Islamophobia: Almost 300 Rohingya refugees arrive in Indonesia’s Aceh province. Bosniaks in Montenegro live in ‘fear, anxiety’ following the election. Our recommended read today is on Joy Reid’s recent comments about Muslims, and how they are “plain wrong”. This, and more, below:

United States

07 Sep 2020

Joy Reid is plain wrong. Muslims are some of our most peaceful citizens. | Recommended Read

Reid was attempting to draw a comparison between Trump’s stoking violence against his political opponents and leaders in the Muslim world, who, she said, “talk a lot of violent talk and encourage their supporters to be willing to commit violence, including on their own bodies in order to win against whoever they decide is the enemy.” Whatever your politics, Reid’s comment drew on a stereotype that equates Muslims with violence. The problem with reinforcing these kinds of stereotypes is that they confirm biases not only about Muslims “in the Muslim world” (by which Reid presumably meant Muslim-majority countries from the Middle East to Indonesia) but everywhere people encounter Muslims, including here in the United States, which nearly 4 million Muslims call home. Yet the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding found in a survey two years ago that American Muslim adults reject violence more than any other group in the U.S. American Muslims are more likely than the general public to reject violence against civilians by the military as well as by an individual or small group. In our new national report, “Bridging Religious Divides Through Higher Education,” we discovered that among all faith groups, graduating Muslim students were the most highly committed to bridging religious divides (88%), which included agreement with statements such as “I am currently taking steps to improve the lives of people around the world” and “I feel a sense of good will toward people of other religious and nonreligious perspectives.” They eclipsed Jews (82%), Catholics (78%), mainline Protestants (70%), atheists (66%), evangelicals (65%) and others on this front. Even more, Muslim students were the most likely to turn these values into action. Out of all faith groups, Muslim students were the most likely to affirm that they had developed a deeper skill set in college to interact with people of diverse perspectives (44%), beating out evangelicals (37%), Hindus (35%), Jews (26%), Buddhists (22%) and others. read the complete article

Recommended Read
07 Sep 2020

DHS draft document: White supremacists are greatest terror threat

White supremacists present the gravest terror threat to the United States, according to a draft report from the Department of Homeland Security. Two later draft versions of the same document — all of which were reviewed by POLITICO — describe the threat from white supremacists in slightly different language. But all three drafts describe the threat from white supremacists as the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S., listed above the immediate danger from foreign terrorist groups. John Cohen, who oversaw DHS’s counterterrorism portfolio from 2011 to 2014, said the drafts’ conclusion isn’t surprising. “This draft document seems to be consistent with earlier intelligence reports from DHS, the FBI, and other law enforcement sources: that the most significant terror-related threat facing the US today comes from violent extremists who are motivated by white supremacy and other far-right ideological causes,” he said. read the complete article

07 Sep 2020

Osama bin Laden's niece is a Trump supporter who has also backed the QAnon conspiracy theory movement

Noor bin Ladin, the niece of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, revealed she's a big fan of President Donald Trump in an interview with the New York Post. "I have been a supporter of President Trump since he announced he was running in the early days in 2015. I have watched from afar and I admire this man's resolve," said the Switzerland resident. Trump has long been accused of spreading anti-Muslim hate speech and pledged to ban Muslims from the US during his 2016 election campaign. But Noor bin Ladin claims that the US would be better protected from a second 9/11 under Trump. On Twitter, bin Ladin has posted pictures of herself wearing clothing emblazoned with pro-Trump slogans, with hashtags from the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy movement. She has also shared pro-Trump propaganda and attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement, and clips of Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a Trump ally. read the complete article

07 Sep 2020

DC Judge Shields Diversity Visa Winners From Ban

A D.C. federal judge on Friday temporarily barred the Trump administration from applying its visa ban to foreign citizens who won green cards in the Diversity Visa lottery, finding that the U.S. Department of State's refusal to process their visas is likely illegal. U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta said the federal government had "unreasonably delayed processing" of green cards won by a group of lottery winners and their relatives, who had found themselves unable to secure visas to move to the U.S. under President Donald Trump's travel restrictions. The judge ordered the government to "undertake good-faith efforts" to "expeditiously process and adjudicate" their green card applications by Sept. 30, the end of the government's fiscal year. "The department is aware of the court's ruling and is reviewing the decision with the Department of Justice," a State Department spokesperson told Law360 on Saturday. The order came down in five consolidated lawsuits targeting Trump's April and June proclamations barring certain foreign citizens seeking green cards and work visas from abroad from entering the U.S. The plaintiffs — a group of over 1,000 American citizens with overseas relatives, U.S.-based employers, diversity lottery winners and foreign nationals with approved petitions for temporary worker visas — had argued that Trump had overstepped his authority when he blocked them from entering the U.S. read the complete article

07 Sep 2020

Program aims to protect Asian youth from COVID-19 bullying, gets Kamala Harris' support

The campaign, Stand Up for AAPI Youth During COVID, offers schools a toolkit that includes lesson plans that address issues such as the model minority myth, implicit biases, microaggressions, self-acceptance, cultural appropriation and more. Program leaders held a virtual launch last Wednesday that Democratic vice presidential pick Kamala Harris kicked off. Harris gave a speech emphasizing the need to protect and support AAPI youth in the coming school year and beyond. Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang also spoke, along with other AAPIs in politics and pop culture. Beyond Differences, a nonprofit, and the Community Youth Center of San Francisco created the campaign in response to rising instances of discrimination recorded by the Stop AAPI Hate report that the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council developed. Stop AAPI Hate reported it has received a total of 2,583 reports of discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the U.S. from its inception on March 19 to Aug. 5. As part of this campaign, Beyond Differences will give schools free toolkits and resources developed by professionals to combat racist language in the classroom and help students understand their peers. In 2014, Beyond Differences spearheaded a similar initiative to help combat bullying and racism against Muslim-American children in the run-up to the presidential election. read the complete article


07 Sep 2020

Uighur Muslim teacher tells of forced sterilisation in Xinjiang

A teacher coerced into giving classes in Xinjiang internment camps has described her forced sterilisation at the age of 50, under a government campaign to suppress birth rates of women from Muslim minorities. Qelbinur Sidik said the crackdown swept up not just women likely to fall pregnant, but those well beyond normal childbearing ages. Messages she got from local authorities said women aged 19 to 59 were expected to have intrauterine devices (IUDs) fitted or undergo sterilisation. In 2017, Sidik was 47 and her only daughter was at university when local officials insisted she must have an IUD inserted to prevent the unlikely prospect of another pregnancy. Just over two years later, at 50, she was forced to undergo sterilisation. When the first order came, the Chinese language teacher was already giving classes at one of the now notorious internment camps appearing across China’s western Xinjiang region. She knew what happened to people from Muslim minorities who resisted the government, and a Uighur-language text message that she shared with the Guardian, which she said came from local authorities, made the threat explicit. “If anything happens, who will take responsibility for you? Do not gamble with your life, don’t even try. These things are not just about you. You have to think about your family members and your relatives around you,” the message said. “If you fight with us at your door and refuse to collaborate with us, you will go to the police station and sit on the metal chair!” read the complete article

07 Sep 2020

Uyghur lawyer describes brother's imprisonment in China

Rayhan Asat, the sister of Uyghur prisoner Ekpar Asat, told The Hill.TV that she hopes the United States will intervene in the Uyghur crisis and declare China's actions a genocide. Ekpar Asat was sentenced to 15 years in prison following his participation in the International Visitor Leadership Program and for providing a social media platform for Uyghurs, called Bagdax. Once portrayed in a positive light in the Chinese media, Ekpar Asat was later accused of "inciting ethnic hatred" after his return to China. "My brother's case should speak well to the fact that even model citizens once held by the Chinese government as such are not spared," said Rayhan Asat, adding that she has not heard any updates about her brother in four years. "The Chinese government is using a multi-pronged approach to eliminate the Uyghur people as a whole," said Rayhan Asat, citing what she called the intended use of sterilization and family separation. "It has risen to the level of genocide." read the complete article


07 Sep 2020

'I could have been killed': Heavily pregnant Muslim mum brutally bashed and stomped on in a café during a 'random racist attack' breaks her silence – as she reveals how a kind stranger saved her life

Rana Elasmar was 38 weeks pregnant when she was assaulted by Stipe Lozina. The mother was at Bay Vista Parramatta in Sydney's west with some friends. Lozina approached the group asking for change when he attacked Ms Elasmar. Sickening CCTV shows him repeatedly punching and then stomping on her head. Lozina, 43, has already plead guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Ms Elasmar said she won't be silenced by fear following the horrific attack. She wants to be a role model to her children to stand up to racial discrimination. read the complete article


07 Sep 2020

Macron decries 'Islamic separatism', defends right to blaspheme

French President Emmanuel Macron criticised what he called "Islamic separatism" in his country and those who seek French citizenship without accepting France's "right to commit blasphemy". Macron on Friday defended satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which published caricatures of Prophet Muhammad that helped inspire two French-born men to mount a deadly January 2015 attack on the paper's newsroom. The weekly republished the images this week as the trial began of 14 people over the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher supermarket. Speaking at a ceremony on Friday celebrating France's democratic history and naturalising new citizens, the French president said: "You don't choose one part of France. You choose France ... The Republic will never allow any separatist adventure." Noting the trial that opened on Wednesday, he said, "To be French is to defend the right to make people laugh, to criticise, to mock, to caricature." read the complete article


07 Sep 2020

A Biden-Harris Administration Would Mean a Harder Eye on Kashmir

On Aug. 5, 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government revoked Article 370, a core part of the India-Kashmir relationship that gave Kashmir a certain amount of autonomy relative to other Indian states—the ability to select a flag but also the ability to apply a different set of laws. The revocation of the article has been a longtime goal of Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but it was both a deeply unpopular move in Kashmir and a slap in the face to Pakistan, which disputes ownership of parts of the region. Immediately on the heels of the decision came a massive lockdown that included suspensions of communications, strict curfews, and the arrests of thousands of local political leaders—among them were multiple former chief ministers of Kashmir. A month later, in September 2019, Harris was asked about the unrest in Kashmir during a campaign event for her own presidential bid. She stated that “we are all watching,” and she implicitly attacked the Modi government’s handling of the issue up to that point by calling out human rights abuses inflicted by India. This was a relative rarity among the pool of candidates at the time; other than Harris, those who made statements on the issue were Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But Harris’s ethnic heritage—her mother was an Indian immigrant to the United States—gave her stance more weight among Indian Americans. The Indian American community has had mixed political views in recent years—though many of them pulled the lever for Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, they did so while backing much more nationalistic parties in India. But while Harris and Jayapal draw more attention because of their ethnicity, a Biden administration is likely to take a tough stance if he wins the presidency this November—especially compared to the one under President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who reportedly didn’t bring up Kashmir at all in an Aug. 6 phone call with Jaishankar. Former Vice President Biden himself has also been willing to criticize Indian political decisions. On Biden’s “Agenda for Muslim-American Communities,” Biden stated that the “Indian government should take all necessary steps to restore rights for all the people of Kashmir” and, further, that restrictions akin to the ones seen in the region weaken democracy. Kashmir is not the only issue where Biden has raised concerns much more so than those ever raised by his former boss. Biden has also strongly come out against the Citizenship Amendment Act as well as the National Register of Citizens—both projects of the Modi-led government that critics charge will make it easier to discriminate against and ultimately kick out Muslims from India. Biden is clearly more willing to criticize allies than his old boss was. And that leaves open the question of the future of the Indian American vote. Traditionally, this highly educated group votes strongly Democratic—but they are also often Modi supporters. Modi has made no secret of his love for Trump, and the inverse is true as well—each hosted the other at massive rallies in Gujarat and Texas, respectively. However, the increasingly nationalistic policy tacks of Trump and the Republican Party make a political switch unlikely. A Biden administration may not turn a blind eye to Modi—but it’s also very likely to lift the Trumpian visa and immigration restrictions that hit Indian American lives directly. read the complete article

07 Sep 2020

Marvel’s Avengers’ Sandra Saad: ‘Kamala’s not just Muslim. She’s not just Pakistani. She’s a three-dimensional character’

The first Kamala Khan Ms Marvel comic debuted less than a decade ago. Compared with some of the other Avengers – the Hulk, for example, who has been iterated what feels like dozens of times down the years – she feels like a breath of fresh air. What’s more, Kamala is Muslim. While Saad insists that “if you really, really look for representation, you can find it”, it’s clearly a big deal for an Egyptian-American woman to be fronting a game as big as Avengers. “Kamala’s not a token – she’s a real person,” explains Saad. “I feel like, all too often, when you do see Muslim characters – or specific characters that have something about them that’s different – they focus really heavily on that and that’s all that becomes of the character.” “The great thing about Kamala Khan is she’s not just Muslim. She’s not just Pakistani. She’s not just hopeful. She’s a fully actualised three-dimensional character with a life, a background and a family. She’s a first-generation American – she’s a lot.” This year has seen a widespread re-evaluation in the way that non-white characters are cast, across all media, with series like The Simpsons announcing they will no longer cast white actors in non-white roles. I suggest this is a change that’s long overdue, and Saad agrees. “I feel like: why not?” she says. “If we can make an effort to look for actors of colour, you can find them. I know that this is a really big thing with casting offices. You might like to play it safe and stick with the same people that they’re used to, whatever their background is from. But just taking that extra step to look for a new talent can be very important for those people watching who are that same race.” read the complete article

07 Sep 2020

Rohingya ICC case should sit in Asia

There are two main reasons why it would be sensible to hold the court in Asia. The first is to do with legitimacy. Unfortunately, the ICC has a less than stellar history and reputation, especially in South East Asia. Its handling of the cases brought before it against Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge is often cited as one of the most glaring failures of the global international law regime. Time has passed since those failures, but this will be one of the first major proceedings specifically regarding the region of South East Asia to be held since the Cambodia trials. It is incumbent on the ICC to actively seek out the recognition and respect of the people of the region, where it would expect to have a justified deficit. Conversely, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is already holding proceedings against Myanmar for the alleged crime of genocide against the Rohingya at The Hague. It is certainly not a good look for all these rulings to be coming down from on high in Europe, thousands of kilometers away. There is a real need for the international law system to become a more immediate presence for the people affected by crimes against humanity, and certainly also for the perpetrators and would-be perpetrators of such crimes. The second reason is that, unfortunately, it is never enough for justice to be served: It must also be seen to have been served. That is just as essential to any legal regime. And, of course, it must be seen to be served by the people who will be affected by the law and the court’s rulings on that law. read the complete article


07 Sep 2020

Bosniaks in Montenegro live in 'fear, anxiety' following election

Bosniak citizens of Montenegro say fear and anxiety pervades their communities after a series of attacks and vandalism targeted the minority population following the country's parliamentary election, which ushered in a new majority government dominated by right-wing nationalists. The intense election campaign pitted President Milo Djukanovic's pro-Western Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) against the right-wing "For the Future of Montenegro" (ZBCG) bloc, comprised mainly of Serb nationalist parties that seek closer ties with Belgrade and Moscow. ZBCG, combined with two other opposition alliances, achieved a razor-thin majority grabbing 41 out of 81 seats in parliament, bringing the DPS rule to an end after leading the NATO-member country for 30 years. Attacks and provocations against Bosniaks began as soon as exit poll results were released last Sunday and opposition supporters began celebrating on the streets. Bosniaks are the third largest ethnic group in the small Adriatic nation of 622,000 after Montenegrins and Serbs. read the complete article


07 Sep 2020

India: How a Muslim doctor was incarcerated for raising his voice

An Indian doctor who was jailed for more than seven months for criticising a controversial citizenship law was released on Tuesday night after a court in northern Uttar Pradesh state called his incarceration "illegal". Dr Kafeel Khan told Al Jazeera he was physically tortured while in captivity, which included him being stripped of his clothes and beaten and deprived of food for days. "It was very hard for the whole family. My 65-year-old mother was forced to visit the courts during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic," he said. Dr Khan was arrested in January for a speech made a month earlier that authorities in Uttar Pradesh (UP), governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), deemed incendiary. He was later charged under the National Security Act (NSA), which stipulates that a person can be held without charge for a year. His speech focused on major issues facing the country of 1.4 billion people such as malnutrition, lack of health facilities and unemployment crisis. read the complete article

07 Sep 2020

Coronavirus Crisis Shatters India's Big Dreams

Not so long ago, India’s future looked entirely different. It boasted a sizzling economy that was lifting millions out of poverty, building modern megacities and amassing serious geopolitical firepower. It aimed to give its people a middle-class lifestyle, update its woefully vintage military and become a regional political and economic superpower that could someday rival China, Asia’s biggest success story. But the economic devastation in Surat and across the country is imperiling many of India’s aspirations. The Indian economy has shrunk faster than any other major nation’s. As many as 200 million people could slip back into poverty, according to some estimates. Many of its normally vibrant streets are empty, with people too frightened of the outbreak to venture far. Much of this damage was caused by the coronavirus lockdown imposed by India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, which experts now say was at turns both too tight and too porous, both hurting the economy and spreading the virus. India now has the fastest growing coronavirus crisis, with more than 80,000 new infections reported each day. A sense of malaise is creeping over the nation. Its economic growth was slowing even before the pandemic. Social divisions are widening. Anti-Muslim feelings are on the rise, partly because of a malicious social media campaign that falsely blamed Muslims for spreading the virus. China is increasingly muscling into Indian territory. “The engine has been smashed,” said Arundhati Roy, one of India’s pre-eminent writers. “The ability to survive has been smashed. And the pieces are all up in the air. You don’t know where they are going to fall or how they are going to fall.” read the complete article

07 Sep 2020

The Sexual Autonomy of India's Muslim Women Is a Political Prisoner at Best

As a Muslim woman situated in the communally polarised state of Gujarat, and as a protest poet, I have woken up to rape threats, hate campaigns and innovative forms of misogyny since the day I step foot in public spaces to express dissent. My experience is shared by the vast majority of Muslim women in journalism, as well as activism, who have been hounded for their religious identity and political opinions. More than instilling fear, these attacks have created an air of mistrust, in both personal and political spaces. Since the sexual autonomy of non-cisgender, non-heterosexual women is a vast area in itself and there are limitations to my experience in that regard, I am primarily speaking of cisgender, heterosexual women in this piece, so as not to appropriate the struggles of LGBTQ community who can voice their struggles far better than I ever could. There are two commonly assumed fronts of our oppression: on the first, we’re Muslims, and on the second, we’re women. However, there is a third, where we’re Muslim women. While the first two deny us social distributive justice in their own ways – keeping us captives of the construct of gender, class and creed – the third impinges on our autonomy in more ways than the other two, particularly our sexual autonomy. This front has two sides. One, where Muslim women face challenges from Muslim men and patriarchal structures, something that has been discussed at length in volumes on sexual freedom, authored by furious insiders and curious outsiders. The other side, is one where sexual mores and the attitudes of dominant communities, the perception of Muslim women by dominant communities, and law and policy validated by the dominant communities, dictate our sexual decisions. read the complete article

07 Sep 2020

Facebook bans BJP figure for hate speech but is it too little, too late?

The social networking giant banned Raja Singh just shortly after the Wall Street Journal reported that a pro-Modi executive at the company had blocked any attempt to censure him. Singh, a BJP legislator in the state of Telangana, is accused of inciting violence and hatred against India’s Muslim community and has previously described Rohingya refugees as terrorists who should be shot. However, he denies that he ever had a page on Facebook. Facebook flagged Singh as a dangerous individual, but the Wall Street Journal reported in August that a senior executive prevented the company from taking action against him and others on the Indian far-right. Ankhi Das, Facebook’s Public Policy Director for South and Central Asia, is said to have prevented Facebook from banning individuals belonging to the BJP for fear that it would harm the company’s relationship with the party. The revelations earned Facebook’s India chief, Ajit Mohan, an invitation to a grilling by the Indian parliament’s panel on hate speech. Legislators from across the spectrum questioned the executive on Facebook’s policies on hate speech, with members on both sides accusing the company of bias. Mohan said the company had removed 22.5 million hate posts globally and insisted that it does not play favourites when it comes to politics. Despite its pledge to remain politically neutral and stamp out hate rhetoric, Facebook stands accused of not doing enough to prevent sectarian incitement and violence. Officials working on prosecuting those responsible for the deadly anti-Muslim riots in Delhi in January this year, found that groups of Hindu extremists had used the Facebook-owned messaging application, WhatsApp, to coordinate their attacks. A WhatsApp group with 125 members was used to share hate rhetoric and mobilise anti-Muslim rioters. A 2019 investigation by the activist group, Avaaz, found that Facebook was being used to stir up hate against Muslims in the eastern Indian state of Assam. read the complete article

07 Sep 2020

Will Facebook Ban Hate Speech From India’s Ruling Party?

In India, the revelations have sparked a political firestorm. Sharing screenshots of the Journal story on Twitter, opposition leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that the “BJP & RSS control Facebook & WhatsApp in India. They spread fake news and hatred through it and use it to influence the electorate.” The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteer Corps) is a powerful Hindu nationalist group that supplies the BJP with its ideological moorings, top leadership and most committed cadres. On Wednesday, Facebook India chief Ajit Mohan appeared before a parliamentary panel investigating the misuse of social-media platforms in India. In many ways, the company's calculations in India resemble those of the U.S. government. Both view the country partially through the prism of China. For the U.S., New Delhi is a potential counterweight to Beijing in Asia. For Facebook, being locked out of China increases the importance of India—the only other country with more than a billion people. Though India reportedly contributed only $980 million of Facebook’s $55.8 billion in global revenues in 2018, the country has the most Facebook users at 328 million. An estimated 400 million Indians use Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which hopes to expand into digital payments processing pending government approval. In April, Facebook made its largest ever investment by paying $5.7 billion for a roughly 10% stake in Indian telecom firm Reliance Jio. The rise of the BJP has made balancing interests and values more difficult for American diplomats and Facebook executives. The Trump administration has largely ignored, at least publicly, human-rights groups’ concerns about the Modi government’s harsh clampdown in the disputed Muslim-majority province of Kashmir, passage of a controversial new citizenship law that pointedly excludes Muslims from three neighboring countries from fast-track naturalization, and arrests of leftist and Muslim dissidents. Finding the right level of moderation has proved difficult for the company elsewhere. Facebook is under fire from both the left and the right in the U.S. for its content-moderation policies—the former calling for more moderation and the latter for less. read the complete article


07 Sep 2020

Almost 300 Rohingya refugees arrive in Indonesia's Aceh province

Almost 300 Rohingya refugees believed to have been at sea for six months landed in Indonesia’s Aceh province early on Monday, Indonesian authorities said. Acehnese police said a wooden boat carrying the Rohingya was spotted by local fishermen several kilometres (miles) off the coast of Lhokseumawe, before landing at Ujung Blang Beach just after midnight. “There are 297 Rohingya according to the latest data, among them 181 women and 14 children,” Iptu Irwansya, a local police chief, told reporters. Junaidi Yahya, head of the Red Cross in Lhokseumawe, said the group was currently being held in a temporary location. “We hope they can be moved to the evacuation centre today, but their health, especially related to COVID-19, is our main concern,” said Yahya. read the complete article

United Kingdom

07 Sep 2020

Port of Dover is brought to a standstill by far-right groups

Around him a ragtag collection of far-right supporters, white nationalists and neo-nazis knelt on the A20 outside Dover’s Eastern Docks. “Thanks for taking a f*cking knee in the proper way,” he said, clearly delighted with his perversion of the global peaceful protest symbol adopted by millions following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Marcham, also known as “The Little Veteran” and an increasingly prominent far-right figure attacking asylum seekers crossing the Channel by boat, had accomplished his aim of shutting down entry into Europe’s busiest ferry port. Not many among the 400 or so who had assembled on the A20 to stop traffic in both directions could believe their feat. “We did it. We shut Dover. No more illegal immigrants! Now we need to do what Trump says – help your own first, then the others,” said Paul Brockley, 27, from Buckland, north Dover. By 1.30pm the tailback stretched three miles west outside Dover to the Samphire Hoe nature reserve. In the other direction, lorries and frustrated tourists sat bumper to bumper deep into the port as figures brandishing the flag of St George danced around the stationary vehicles. From 10am a disparate collection of far-right supporters had gathered in Dover to protest against the Channel boat crossings. Identified among them were members of the Pie and Mash Squad, football thugs with a nazi following, the fascist Britain First and the anti-Muslim For Britain party. Former Combat 18 and English Defence League supporters were also spotted among the crowd. Later, with the port blocked, some could be seen waving QAnon flags, the Donald Trump-backed antisemitic conspiracy theory, with others holding banners attacking the Tories for housing “illegal immigrants in 4-star luxury”, a reference to the mid-range hotels where some asylum seekers are being housed under emergency coronavirus measures. read the complete article


07 Sep 2020

Geert Wilders' conviction for insulting Moroccans upheld by Dutch court

Dutch judges on Friday upheld Geert Wilders' conviction for collectively insulting Moroccan people at a rally, but fell short of punishing the controversial far-right leader, who branded it a "political trial". The appeals court threw out a charge of inciting discrimination over a 2014 gathering where the peroxide-blond Wilders asked supporters if they wanted "fewer or more Moroccans" and the crowd chanted "Fewer! Fewer!" The court said his comments were for political gain and had "not intended to encourage his public to do so." In a politically charged judgment ahead of elections next year, the judges decided not to punish Wilders, saying he had already paid the price because he needs constant personal protection due to death threats over his anti-Muslim remarks. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 07 Sep 2020 Edition


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