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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19 Jun 2019

Today in Islamophobia: The man who shared footage of the New Zealand mosque shooting was sentenced to 21 months in prison, while a Muslim woman is finally allowed to proceed with a lawsuit against a U.S. county jail for degradation and humiliation during her night-long stay in 2013. China’s Uyghur community seeks asylum in the West from internment camps as many continue to die. Our recommended read for today is by Sarah Jones on one of the most vitriolic anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim activists in the U.S. Tony Perkin’s recent appointment to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. This, and more, below:

United States

19 Jun 2019

This Far-Right Activist Will Now Lead a Major U.S. Religious Freedom Body | Recommended Read

One of the most vitriolic anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim activists in the U.S. will now lead the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Tony Perkins, who was first named to USCIRF by Senator Mitch McConnell in 2018, will head the group for a year. Perkins is also the president of the Family Research Council, a far-right organization that lobbied against marriage equality and continues to work against anti-discrimination laws that cover LGBT people. Perkins’s chairmanship will likely undermine USCIRF’s mission, and his hostility toward LGBT people and Muslims mirrors the Trump administration’s positions in the worst possible ways. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
19 Jun 2019

Judge allows Muslim woman to proceed with lawsuit against Ramsey County jail

Aida Shyef Al-Kadi describes her night at the Ramsey County jail in August 2013 as one of punishment and degradation, suffering constant religious humiliation at the hands of her jailers. A devout Muslim, the 56-year-old woman said she was forced to stand naked in front of female jailers, then forced to remove her hijab for a booking photo, which was later released on the internet. She said her hijab was replaced with a bedsheet. When she complained about the treatment, she said she was locked in her cell for 23 hours. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

Opinion | Trump’s attacks on London’s mayor are a reflection of bigotry

The real rationale behind Trump’s tweets was likely far simpler. Khan, who has Pakistani heritage but is British-born, is a useful political foil for Trump because he is Muslim. Trump’s tweets about Khan aren’t only an issue because he is singling out a Muslim man for disproportionate criticism. In his latest broadside on Khan, Trump was agreeing with and amplifying Katie Hopkins, a far-right Islamophobe who is well-known in Britain. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

After fascist threat to Houston mosque, Texas Muslims call for increased security

Last week, a user on the online forum 4chan said he had stopped in a Subway restaurant for his last meal. Then, the user said, he would drive himself over to Houston’s Baitus Samee Mosque to re-create the massacre that left dozens dead at two New Zealand mosques in March. “Kebab is like cancer, if you remove it early than (sic) you won’t die,” he wrote, referring derogatorily to Islam. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

Controversial political appointee expected to be named Customs and Border Protection press secretary

Katharine Gorka, a political appointee at the Department of Homeland Security who has stirred controversy for her views on terrorism and her role in the department's efforts to combat violent extremism in the US, is expected to be the new press secretary at Customs and Border Protection. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

Man Sought in Anti-Muslim Graffiti Attacks on School in Brooklyn

Cops are searching for a man who allegedly tagged a Brooklyn school with anti-Muslim graffiti, in what is being probed as a possible hate crime. According to police, just before 9 p.m. Sunday the man allegedly tagged several doors of P.S. 52 on East 29th Street in the Sheepshead Bay section with multiple hateful messages. read the complete article


19 Jun 2019

Podcast | Xinjiang and the Uyghurs with Darren Byler

I’m very grateful to be joined in this episode by Darren Byler, lecturer in anthropology at the University of Washington. Darren’s research focuses on art and culture in Xinjiang and he’s done considerable field work in the region. He’s here to walk us quickly through Uyghur history, to talk about his own work in the region, and to give us a sense of the Chinese government’s campaign to stamp out Uyghur culture under the guise of “counter-terrorism.” read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

A Muslim Family Sought Help at the Belgian Embassy in Beijing. The Police Dragged Them Out.

Mr. Tursun says he has not heard from her since. His wife, Wureyetiguli Abula, 43, had gone to the Belgian Embassy to seek visas so the family — from the Uighur Muslim minority group — could be reunited with Mr. Tursun, 51, in Brussels, where he won asylum in 2017. But instead of finding protection, Ms. Abula and her children, ages 5 to 17, were dragged away after the Chinese police were allowed to enter the embassy. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

Scientists Are Aiding Apartheid in China

China is targeting Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities based on their racial identity with its use of internment camps, mass surveillance, repression of political and cultural expression, and other forms of discrimination. As part of these efforts, the Chinese government has genetically profiled much of the population of Xinjiang — everyone between 12 and 65 — as part of the most comprehensive and intrusive system of biometric surveillance ever implemented. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

Pen America is appalled by the tragic death of renowned Uyghur writer Nurmuhammad Tohti

The death of Nurmuhammad Tohti, a renowned writer in Xinjiang’s Uyghur community, after he was reportedly denied medical treatment for diabetes and heart disease in an internment camp, is an appalling and tragic loss at a time when China is trying to erase the cultural and intellectual life of the Uyghurs and others, PEN America said today. read the complete article

New Zealand

19 Jun 2019

Man who shared New Zealand mosque shooting video online jailed for 21 months

Philip Neville Arps, 44, was sentenced in Christchurch District Court on Tuesday to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to two charges of distributing objectionable material, his lawyer Anselm Williams confirmed to CNN. Arps sent copies of the footage -- which was streamed live on March 15 by the mosque shooter -- to about 30 people soon after attacks on worshippers inside two Christchurch mosques, according to CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand. read the complete article


19 Jun 2019

"Islam is not a religion" has been exported across the globe

Today, efforts to delegitimize the Islamic faith in the United States include anti-Sharia bills and opposition to the establishment of mosques. These actions have been decades in the making and are a result of the heightened anti-Muslim rhetoric following attacks on 9/11. In the following days, months, and years politicians, academics, and the media manufactured a “war on terror” discourse building on orientalist tropes depicting Islam and Muslims as inherently violent, foreign, and dangerous. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

Orban and Aung San Suu Kyi Gave in to Hate the Same Way

Orban and his allies have captured virtually all the mainstream media in Hungary. The 2010 electoral returns gave him a supermajority in parliament, enabling him to change the constitution to permanently entrench an electoral advantage for his party, as well as to weaken the judiciary and the Constitutional Court in the face of the executive. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

UN launches plan to combat escalating hate speech

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is launching a plan to combat hate speech and counter what he calls “a groundswell of xenophobia, racism and intolerance, violent misogyny, anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred” around the world. read the complete article

United Kingdom

19 Jun 2019

Sadiq Khan to accuse Tory hopefuls of 'aping' language of far right

Sadiq Khan will accuse Conservative leadership candidates of being willing to “ape and adopt” the language of the far right for short-term political gain, warning that ignoring Islamophobia could have consequences like the New Zealand mosques massacre. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

Video | Johnson, Hunt, Gove, Javid, Stewart on Islamophobia

The five men who could be the next Tory leader and PM were asked about Islamophobia. Abdullah Patel, Imam of a mosque, asked Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart whether they agree that words have consequences. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a terrifying prospect for Muslim women”

On 13 June 2019, Boris Johnson and his colleagues celebrated a landslide win in the first round of voting for the Tory leadership elections. That same day, Sophie, a 28-year-old freelance editor from London, was verbally abused and threatened at a bus stop for wearing the niqab. She and her 11-year-old daughter were left in tears, and shaking with fear. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

Sajid Javid puts rivals on the spot over Tory party 'Islamophobia'

All of the remaining Tory leadership candidates have committed to commissioning an independent investigation into Islamophobia in the Conservative party should they win the contest. The home secretary, Sajid Javid, a Muslim, has previously called for such action to be taken and asked each of his four rivals to back him during Tuesday night’s hour-long BBC TV debate. read the complete article

19 Jun 2019

'Disappointing and deluded': Imam lambasts Tory hopefuls on Islamophobia

Abdullah Patel, who is also deputy head of a primary school in Gloucester, asked a question via videolink from Bristol about the impact of Islamophobia, saying: “Do you accept words have consequences?” Patel wrote on Twitter that he had asked the question because of “numerous reports of blatant racism against members of my community”, saying he “wanted the candidates to admit that they’ve played a role in peddling this hate, and that things would change.” read the complete article


19 Jun 2019

Quebec Draws Challenge After Banning Many Public Workers From Wearing Religious Garb

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) filed a legal challenge against Quebec’s Bill 21 on Monday, seeking to halt the law’s application. The groups claim the law, passed Sunday evening, is unconstitutional, will harm religious minorities, and amounts to “state-sanctioned second class citizenship.” read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 19 Jun 2019 Edition


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