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 2022

Today in Islamophobia: In Canada, Senators are hearing about the many ways Black, Muslim women in Edmonton face discrimination, meanwhile, a new study finds that Muslim characters are “missing” from the vast majority of popular western TV series, with only one percent of characters from 200 popular TV series being Muslim, and in the United States, a new book reveals that “at a law firm dinner in New York in May 2016, an “unhinged” Rudy Giuliani, behaved in a drunken and Islamophobic manner.” Our recommended read of the day is by Romita Saluja for Al Jazeera on how Muslim domestic workers in India are forced to hide their religious identities, even changing their names to Hindu sounding ones, due to the marginalization and discrimination they face on the job as a result of their Muslim identity. This and more below:


09 Sep 2022

Muslim domestic workers in India changing names out of fear | Recommended Read

Munni Begum was 10 when her mother made her drop her last name. At that time, she did not understand why. She often accompanied her mother and grandmother as they juggled multiple cleaning, cooking and caregiving jobs in the Indian capital, New Delhi. But it was only when Begum, now in her late 50s, started doing domestic work herself that she learned that all the women in her family had to pick up Hindu-sounding names at their workplaces in order to survive. “They just won’t hire us,” she told Al Jazeera. “They hated us Muslims. Some of them said it to our face that we are bad people. So, Munni was a name that went well with both [Hindu and Muslim] communities.” Begum recalls her widowed mother would go to work wearing a sari and bindi that are traditionally associated with the Hindu culture. “And my sister used to work even on Eid al-Fitr to avoid suspicion,” she said. Having worked for more than 40 years as a domestic worker, Begum said she faced discrimination and insults at many Hindu and Jain households. She said she was turned away at many homes because of her Muslim identity. India’s domestic workers in general face rampant caste-based discrimination and even violence. Employers often restrict workers’ access to kitchens, washrooms, elevators, and even their places of worship. There are separate utensils for the workers to eat with. But Muslim workers face further marginalisation due to their religious identity, said Anita Kapoor, activist and general secretary at the Shehri Mahila Kamgar Union (Urban Domestic Workers’ Union) in New Delhi. read the complete article

09 Sep 2022

Watch | Despite Hate Speech Case, Suresh Chavhanke Continues to Make Anti-Muslim Remarks

Sudarshan TV’s editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke was seen making anti-Muslim comments yet again in a rally held on September 4 in Haryana’s Badarpur. Chavhanke listed several harmful stereotypes about Muslim men. He also told the crowd that India needs to be made a Hindu Rashtra. Chavhanke has a history of making anti-Muslim statements, including on his TV show and at various events. Though a case against has been filed for hate speech, he continues to make controversial comments. read the complete article

09 Sep 2022

‘Not Very Fair to Compare Hijab Ban With Practices in Sikhism,’ Says SC

It is “not very fair” to compare the ban on hijab with the practices in Sikhism, the Supreme Court observed on Thursday, September 8, while hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Karnataka high court’s decision to uphold a ban on hijab. A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia observed this after an advocate, appearing for one of the petitioners in the case, gave an example of Sikhism and turban. According to LiveLaw, advocate Pasha said, “Justice Gupta mentioned in the morning that wearing of turban is cultural. It is protected. Wearing of hijab, even if regarded as cultural, is protected. If a Sikh has to wear a turban, and he is told not to come to school if he wears a turban, it is violative…I went to an all boys school and in my class, there were several Sikh boys who wore turban of the same colour of uniform. It has been established that it will not cause violation of discipline.” Justice Gupta further said, “Please don’t make any comparison with Sikhism. These are all practices well-established, well-engrained in the culture of the country.” To this, Pasha responded as saying, “Islam is also there for 1,400 years and the hijab is also present.” read the complete article

United States

09 Sep 2022

Many anti-Muslim crimes go unreported, study finds

A new report examines hate crimes targeting the Muslim New York City residents. The study, Feeling the Hate, was released by the Council on American Islamic Relations, New York. Legal Director Ahmed Mohamed said the organization wanted to see how often the Muslim community was targeted in bias incidents. The report found 64% of Muslims in New York City have experienced a hate crime, bias incident, or both. “We also learned, shockingly, and verified what we’ve been saying all along,” Mohamed said. “Muslims underreport; only 4% of Muslims are reporting hate crimes to law enforcement.” It was distressing news to report co-author Asad Dandia. “I’m sad because this report is so raw and so intense,” Dandia said. During his research, Dandia said they learned “a significant number of witnesses were present in during these incidents and didn’t do anything.” A full copy of the report can be found online. read the complete article

09 Sep 2022

Muslim groups slam CNN for hiring ex-NYPD official John Miller: ‘A cruel joke’

Muslim groups slammed CNN’s decision to hire a former top cop at the NYPD to serve as its chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst — calling it a “cruel joke” because of his role in the police surveillance program after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Chris Licht, the new chairman and CEO of CNN, announced on Tuesday that the cable network would be bringing on former NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller — the young executive’s first big hire at the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned outfit since succeeding the departed Jeff Zucker. Miller, who stepped down as the NYPD’s top intelligence and counterterrorism officer in June, told the City Council earlier this year that the department never engaged in illegal surveillance of Muslim Americans after 9/11. Miller’s testimony enraged local Muslims and was condemned by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the retired NYPD captain, who said: “What we did was wrong.” The NYPD settled three lawsuits over its surveillance program, the existence of which was first revealed by the Associated Press. The news agency, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for its reporting on the program, learned that the NYPD used census data to spy on Muslim Americans in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The NYPD acknowledged that the surveillance program did not net any terrorism-related arrests or uncover any plots. read the complete article

09 Sep 2022

‘Unhinged’ Rudy Giuliani drank and ranted about Islam, new book claims

At a law firm dinner in New York in May 2016, an “unhinged” Rudy Giuliani, then Donald Trump’s suggested pick to head a commission on “radical Islamic terrorism”, behaved in a drunken and Islamophobic manner, horrifying clients and attorneys alike. According to a new book by Geoffrey Berman, a former US attorney for the southern district of New York (SDNY), at one point Giuliani turned to a Jewish man “wearing a yarmulke [who] had ordered a kosher meal” and, under the impression the man was a Muslim, said: “I’m sorry to have tell you this, but the founder of your religion is a murderer.” “It was unbelievable,” Berman writes. “Rudy was unhinged. A pall fell over the room.” In May 2016, Trump told Fox News he had proposed a ban on Muslims entering the US because “radical Islamic terrorism” was “a real problem”. He added: “In fact, I’m thinking about setting up a commission perhaps headed by Rudy Giuliani to take a very serious look at this problem.” Giuliani had just joined Berman’s law firm. Berman writes that he organised a “cross-selling dinner”, to introduce the former mayor and other new lawyers to clients “at a large financial institution”. Giuliani behaved well to start with, Berman says, but he “continued to drink” and “shifted the conversation to his work for Trump on immigration”. For Berman, the dinner became “an utter and complete train wreck”. Giuliani, Berman writes, shared a “wholly inaccurate, alt-right history of the creation and development of Islam, stating that it was an inherently violent religion from its origins to today”. To growing consternation among guests, Giuliani produced his phone and “showed the group drawings of violent acts purportedly committed by Muslims”. read the complete article


09 Sep 2022

A UN Report Implicates the Chinese Government in Crimes Against Humanity. What Comes Next?

Mere minutes before the end of her four-year mandate at midnight on Aug. 31, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet released a long-delayed and long-awaited report on the Chinese government’s human rights violations against Uyghurs and other Turkic communities in the Xinjiang region. The report’s findings confirm wide-scale evidence of mass arbitrary detentions, family separations, torture, and religious persecution — and it concludes that Chinese authorities may have committed crimes against humanity. Given Beijing’s anger over the report’s release, and its well-known efforts to silence its critics around the world, governments with Uyghur diaspora communities should take steps to ensure that Chinese authorities do not harass or intimidate people in their countries. Any such intimidation should be promptly investigated and appropriately prosecuted. The report’s heart-wrenching focus on how the Chinese state separated families, often across borders, should further compel governments to act. They should urgently establish efforts to try to locate the missing relatives of citizens of Uyghur descent in their countries, and press Beijing for the whereabouts and well-being of those individuals. Chinese authorities may dismiss those demands, contending that the family members are citizens of the People’s Republic of China, but steady diplomatic pressure will make that fiction harder to maintain. Several governments, including Canada and the United States, have issued statements in response to the report, pledging to hold those responsible for the violations to account. Now it is time to put those words into action. Judicial officials who have the ability should, open preliminary investigations into crimes against humanity committed abroad, such as in China. read the complete article

09 Sep 2022

Muslims 'missing' from TV with only 1 percent of characters on 200 shows in US, UK, Australia and New Zealand

Muslim characters are "missing" from the vast majority of popular western TV series, according to a report from US Think Tank USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative published this week. Out of 200 popular TV series in the US, UK, Australia and New Zeland from 2018 and 2019, only one percent of the characters were Muslim, revealed a report titled "Erased or Extremists: The Stereotypical View of Muslims in Popular Episodic Series". The study showed that 174 of the 200 series had no Muslim characters. Typically only one Muslim character appeared on-screen in the rare cases where there was some form of representation. "Omitting this large, global community from storytelling communicates to viewers in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand - as well as those who view the entertainment exports from these countries - that Muslims do not exist or do not matter," read the report. "In reality, Muslims are not only part of the international audience, but reside and consume entertainment in each of the countries whose programme was studied," they added. The study of 200 shows found only 12 incidents where Muslims were "series regulars" despite Muslims making up 25 percent of the global population. Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa were disproportionally represented compared with other regions, such as Asia or Europe. Muslim women were grossly "underrepresented" and their appearance on-screen was often tied to narratives of fear and peril, the report said. read the complete article

09 Sep 2022

UN approves Austria’s Volker Turk as new human rights chief

The United Nations General Assembly has approved the appointment of Austrian diplomat and veteran UN staffer Volker Turk as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to replace former commissioner Michelle Bachelet. Most recently working in Guterres’ office as under-secretary-general for policy, Turk now faces the challenge of dealing with the follow-up to a UN rights office report on China’s systematic abuse of ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. The long-delayed report, which stated that the “arbitrary and discriminatory detention” of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the region may constitute crimes against humanity, was published by Bachelet minutes before her departure. The Uyghur Human Right Project responded to Turk’s appointment by welcoming his new position and also urging that he robustly pursue the possible perpetration of crimes against humanity in Xinjiang. New York-based Human Rights Watch said Turk must immediately follow up on Bachelet’s report on Uighurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, and he must be ready to call out human rights abuses in the United States and violations by US allies. “Whether it’s confronting crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, war crimes in Ukraine and Ethiopia, or racism in the United States, the rights chief’s most effective tools are robust investigations and a strong voice,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement. read the complete article


09 Sep 2022

Edmonton's Muslim community testifies to Senate human rights committee on Islamophobia

“Violent Islamophobia is here in Alberta” a Senate human rights committee studying Islamophobia heard Thursday morning. Members of Edmonton’s Muslim community testified in front of the committee at the Signature Sandman Hotel in Downtown Edmonton. The study began in mid-June with an aim to examine the sources of Islamophobia, its effect on individuals, and incidents of discrimination, physical violence and online hate against Muslims. Senator Salma Ataullahjan, the chair of the human rights committee, proposed the study on Islamophobia. “When I was looking at the stats and I found out that the most Muslims killed in a G7 country, were in Canada, I was shocked to find that out, because we don’t think of Canada as a place where you have so much violence,” she said. “I realized that there’s a bigger issue here.” The morning session heard from a number of witnesses, including Said Omar, the Alberta Advocacy Officer for the National Council of Canadian Muslims. He described to the committee recent attacks against Black and Muslim women over the past two years. read the complete article

09 Sep 2022

Black, Muslim women in Edmonton face multifaceted discrimination, senators told Social Sharing

Senators are hearing about the many ways Black, Muslim women in Edmonton face discrimination, as the Senate Committee on Human Rights stops in select Canadian cities most impacted by Islamophobia. Dunia Nur, president of the African Canadian Civic Engagement Council, urged senators Thursday to look at Islamophobia from a multifaceted lens. Black, Muslim women face Islamophobia, in addition to anti-Black racism, Afrophobia and gender-based discrimination and violence, Nur told senators. "When you identify and you experience that pain on a daily basis, it is as if you are excluded and you feel a sense of isolation and you belong to no community," Nur told CBC News, after her presentation. The committee hearings were born out of the alarming rise in Islamophobia in Canada, said Sen. Salma Ataullahjan, the chair of the committee. Police-reported hate crime against Muslim people in Canada rose from 84 incidents in 2020, to 144 incidents in 2021, Statistics Canada data shows. "The one thing we're finding out: it's really bad for Muslim women," Ataullahjan said while on CBC Radio's Edmonton AM. "We're going to be looking at gendered Islamophobia, and if you're Black and Muslim, then your experiences are worse." Black, Muslim women have been the target of a string of verbal and physical attacks in Edmonton in recent years. read the complete article

United Kingdom

09 Sep 2022

Michael Gove: Racism fears have made Prevent counter-extremism programme ‘inept’

Michael Gove has said the Government’s counter-extremism Prevent programme is “inept” and “inefficient” because of Whitehall fears of being branded racist or Islamophobic. In his first policy intervention since stepping down, the former Cabinet minister said that, as a result, civil servants working on Prevent had not been given the “tools” to counter Islamist extremism. This meant that organisations promoting extremism had received government funds because analysis of their ideology had not been properly undertaken. First, there were people who “just don’t want to do the work,” Mr Gove said. Secondly, he said there were people who believed the mere mention of political Islam – even if qualified that it was different to the religion of Islam – meant “you’re already treading into territory where you are Islamophobic and therefore racist and illiberal”. This was allied to the “strong pushback” to anyone who raised it on a public platform he said, adding: “You can be absolutely certain not just that Islamists but that others will attack you. I was called an Islamophobe by various historians.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 09 Sep 2022 Edition


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