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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09 Sep 2020

Today in Islamophobia: U.S. moves to block cotton, tomato product imports from China’s Xinjiang over allegations of human rights violations in the region. Two Myanmar soldiers detail the junta‘s campaign of blanket killings, rape and mass burials of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state in a new video testimony that could lead to charges at the Hague. Our recommended read today is by Sarah Parvini on Muslim candidates in Michigan eyeing a seat in government. This, and more, below

United States

09 Sep 2020

Trump’s travel ban motivated Muslims to participate in politics. Now, they’re eyeing local office | Recommended Read

The five young Muslim Americans huddled around a table inside the Yemeni coffee shop, pouring adeni chai into curved red and gold glasses. Voice by voice the discussion turned to why they must make their presence felt on Nov. 3, and the need to hold politicians’ feet to the fire on issues like immigration, racial justice and foreign policy. “For a long time, Muslims have felt a lot of bigotry and racism, and just feeling like our contributions in society weren’t looked at or held like other communities,” Adam Abusalah, 19, told the group from behind his mask. That era is ending, Abusalah went on, because young Muslims like him are putting traditional career aspirations on hold in favor of getting politically active. “Trump’s election, that was just the icing on the cake,” he told the gathering, whose members are of Lebanese, Palestinian, Iranian, Yemeni and Iraqi ancestry. “Muslims said, we’re not going to only be doctors and engineers, but journalists and policymakers.” “Muslim people have been more engaged since 2016, post-Muslim ban, because they became more aware of their Muslim identity,” she said, referring to President Trump’s controversial 2017 order suspending immigration from several predominantly Muslim nations. The surge in Muslim voter participation in Michigan parallels an increase in the number of Muslims running for office. Muslim politicians in the state hold office at all levels — from school boards to the House of Representatives. It’s a trend that’s picking up in other cities and states. Nationwide, a record number of Muslims ran for office in 2018. More than 80 ran for state and local offices across the country in 2019; at least 39 of those won, according to a report from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, known as CAIR, and Jetpac. read the complete article

Recommended Read


09 Sep 2020

U.S. to block cotton, tomato product imports from China's Xinjiang over forced labor

The United States on Tuesday will move to block imports of cotton and tomato products from western China’s Xinjiang region over allegations that they are produced with forced labor, officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Reuters. The actions, which hit two of China’s major commodity exports, are expected to be formally announced later on Tuesday by CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan, along with five other import bans involving Xinjiang forced labor abuses in an unprecedented move likely to stoke tensions between the world’s two largest economies. The “Withhold Release Orders” allow the CBP to detain shipments based on suspicion of forced labor involvement under longstanding U.S. laws aimed at combating human trafficking, child labor and other human rights abuses. The Trump administration is ratcheting up pressure on China over its treatment of Xinjiang’s Uighur Muslims. The United Nations has said it has credible reports that 1 million Muslims have been detained in camps in the region, where they are put to work. read the complete article


09 Sep 2020

Dutch politician acquitted of inciting discrimination with anti-Islam rhetoric

Geert Wilders, a far-right anti-immigration and anti-Islamic populist who is leader of the opposition in the Dutch Parliament, was acquitted Friday in a Netherlands appeals court for inciting discrimination. The court agreed with an earlier decision to dismiss the offense of inciting hatred and dismiss a 5,000 euro fine. But the court upheld a conviction for intentionally insulting Moroccans as a group which Wilders has stated he will appeal. The incitement of hatred charge was dismissed because, while the comments at issue in the case were insulting, Wilders’s purpose was for political gain without intent to encourage his audience to discriminate against all Moroccans. He asked the audience at an election-night rally if they want more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands, to which they replied fewer. Wilders replied by saying, “Well, then we will arrange that.” The court reasoned that sentencing Wilders would not serve much purpose since he has paid a high price for his opinions for years. He has had police protection for more than a decade due to death threats. read the complete article

United Kingdom

09 Sep 2020

Twitter urged to ban prominent right-wing blogger David Vance over string of racist remarks

Vance is accused of trolling prominent black political activists with a flurry of offensive remarks, including Marcus Rashford, Labour MP David Lammy, and Remain campaigner Femi Oluwole. In his tweets he often makes sweeping statements which are retweeted and shared by his 170,000 followers. The social media networking website has been urged to act after he told footballing campaigner Rashford claiming that there is a “disproportionate problem within the (UK) Afro-Caribbean [sic] community of black men abandoning their pregnant girlfriends”, before asking if he had ever met his father. It prompted Lammy to intervene, telling Vance: “Absolutely despicable that this unabashed racism has a following in modern Britain. This is no way to speak to @MarcusRashford who has achieved far more at age 22 than you will in a lifetime”. Questions have been raised why the social media network has not taken the same swift action it served music artist Wiley for anti-Semitic tweets over the summer, which resulted in intervention from the home secretary, and a ban from the network. Users have flagged up screenshots of him using the n-word, branding India a “sh*thole” which is the “world centre of rape”, and branding EU migrants “car wash attendants”. In April he was criticised for suggesting Areema Nasreen, a Muslim NHS nurse who died during the pandemic working on the frontline, had been abroad in Pakistan when she contracted the virus - despite having worked in a hospital shortly before she picked up the symptoms. read the complete article


09 Sep 2020

The Re-education Of Mulan? Why Disney’s Critics Are Calling For A Boycott Over China

It is where the movie was filmed that has prompted calls to boycott the film, since parts of the blockbuster film were shot on location in China’s far west Xinjiang province, the location of the purported re-education camps. In the film’s closing credits, special thanks are expressed to multiple local Chinese authorities that helped enable the filming to occur in Xinang, including a local authority in the city of Turpan. In its reporting on the controversy, The Hollywood Reporter identified eight different Chinese authorities that were acknowledged, including the "publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uighur Autonomy Region Committee,” a department of the Chinese Community Party with responsibility for producing state sanctioned propaganda. Both Xinjaing province and the city of Turpan have been accused of being the location of detention camps where China is accused of operating re-education camps and programs aimed at China’s Muslim Uighur minority. Over the past several years, China has been accused of extrajudicially detaining over one million of its over 12 million Uighur population in camps as part of a larger strategy to mitigate and mollify the growth of the Muslim minority population in China. For its part, China has denied the existence of the re-education camps and characterized them as lawful work camps. Nonetheless, human rights activists have maintained a high profile campaign calling out China for its treatment of its Muslim minority. The calls to boycott Mulan are the newest chapter in that campaign. read the complete article


09 Sep 2020

Kitchener-Waterloo Unity Mosque in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, condemns systemic racism

A group of Muslims — who practise an inclusive and compassionate form of Islam — has expressed solidarity with Black people everywhere who are suffering and fighting because of institutionalized anti-Black racism and state-sanctioned violence. The Kitchener-Waterloo Unity Mosque — a gender-equal and LGBTQ affirmative mosque — is speaking out as anti-Black racism across North America has moved to the forefront of public consciousness with the recent deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, and Tony McDade to name just a few. "We proclaim that there is no room for racism in our world," coordinator Fran Pappert-Shannon told CBC News. "As our prophet proclaimed the fundamental importance of equity and justice, we also declare that Black Lives Matter, and we stand by this truth. In addition to calling for the cessation of anti-Black and Indigenous racism, they are also calling for the end of inequity, isolation and alienation enacted against some Muslims within their own mosques and communities because of their race, cultural background, sect, language, gender identity and sexual orientation. read the complete article


09 Sep 2020

Myanmar soldiers tell of Rohingya killings, rapes and mass burials

Two Myanmar soldiers have detailed a campaign of blanket killings, rape and mass burials of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state in video testimony that could be used as evidence of crimes against humanity in the international criminal court (ICC). The confessions, seen by the New York Times and the human rights organisation Fortify Rights, reportedly show Pte Myo Win Tun and Pte Zaw Naing speaking about what they say were orders for them to “kill all you see”, as well as destroying dozens of villages. Myo Win Tun said: “We indiscriminately shot at everybody. We shot the Muslim men in the foreheads and kicked the bodies into the hole.” He said he had raped a woman, and buried eight women, seven children and 15 men in one mass grave. Zaw Naing Tun described how he had been ordered by his commanding officer to “exterminate” Rohingya people. He said he had kept watch while more senior soldiers raped Rohingya women. It is the first time Myanmar military personnel have confessed to carrying out a campaign of violence against the minority ethnic group starting in August 2017, a campaign the UN and human rights organisations have said had genocidal intent. Their testimony corresponds with individual accounts given by Rohingya refugees, hundreds of thousands of whom who fled over the border to Bangladesh as their families were attacked and homes set alight, and with reports by a UN fact-finding mission and Amnesty International. read the complete article

Graphic Violence
Today in Islamophobia, 09 Sep 2020 Edition


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