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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11 Mar 2020

Today in Islamophobia: In the U.S. Muslim Americans organize around Bernie Sanders; after deadly anti-Muslim violence in Delhi, communities seek out ways to heal. Our recommended read today is by Omar Khan titled “Islamophobia and racism aren’t restricted to a few Tories and far-right thugs.” This, and more, below:


United Kingdom

11 Mar 2020

Islamophobia and racism aren’t restricted to a few Tories and far-right thugs | Recommended Read

If we look at the history of racism itself, we see that it didn’t emerge through scientific investigations or empirically rigorous endeavours, but instead to provide a justification for the economic, political and social domination and exclusion of particular groups. This is why it makes sense to call antisemitism and Islamophobia forms of racism. Perhaps a bigger barrier for understanding and responding to racism, including Islamophobia, is treating it as a fringe or marginal issue only perpetrated by far-right individuals. If we talk only about individuals, we end up with a conversation where respectable people with public platforms or large political majorities couldn’t possibly be personally racist and where it’s offensive even to suggest otherwise. Islamophobia in the Conservative party (like racism in all political parties) is based on wider social attitudes – views that end up justifying discrimination against all Muslims. In this sense, racial or ethnic stereotypes are structural or societal in nature, and people may legitimately be unaware where they picked up such stereotypes and may genuinely not intend to say or do racist things. This is why it’s important to focus on the wider social or structural causes of racism, and to avoid making the conversation about racism about whether a particular individual is a racist. read the complete article

Recommended Read
11 Mar 2020

Why Riz Ahmed's short film on Islamophobia is a call to action

A part of the Emmy-winning actor's conceptual album, The Long Goodbye, is a short film directed by Aneil Karia. In the wake of Brexit and the rising toll of Islamophobia, it's about how "Britain's broken up with me," says Ahmed. Though difficult to not give out any spoilers, a moment that was poignant in the film was when white and non-Muslim people stood behind closed windows and did nothing. One of the actors screamed "f*cking help us!" to those who didn't react. It spoke of the silence Muslims are faced with when encountering macro and micro-aggressions alike and of the rising global Islamophobia across the globe. Whether that's between colleagues, your new partner's family or the racism encountered online. The We Present's support feature echoed the sentiment that it wasn't just white supremacy that's the issue but also being in proximity to racial privilege i.e. allowing anti-Islamic rhetoric spelt across continents to be the norm, be it the Rohingya attacks in Myanmar, the imprisonment of Uighur Muslims in China and the extremism faced by Muslims in India by Hindu nationalists. In addition to this, the South Asian families in the film aren't explicitly said to be Muslim, mirroring how in real life, Islamophobia affects also those who 'look Muslim'. The Long Goodbye is a call to action that it's not enough to ignore Islamophobic intentions and actions – we've been doing enough of that – but a call out to be anti-Islamophobic. read the complete article

United States

11 Mar 2020

Man sent anti-Muslim tweets to a political candidate who then helped pay his medical debt

Qasim Rashid, a Democrat running for Congress, said a conservative constituent sent him "deeply hurtful anti-Muslim tweets" last week, which included a meme that falsely claimed that Islam promoted violent acts, such as rapes and beheadings. That constituent was Oscar Dillon. Dillon, 66, of Fredericksburg, said in a GoFundMe campaign he launched last month that his retirement savings were depleted. He said that because of the rising costs of his and his wife's medical care and because his annual income is about $38,000 a year, the couple are "broke" by the 23rd of each month. Rashid, a Muslim immigrant from Pakistan who is seeking the House seat of Republican Rep. Rob Wittman, said in his social media posts that when he learned of Dillon's difficulties, he donated to help cover the couple's "crushing medical debt." "My faith instead teaches me to serve all humanity," Rashid wrote in a tweet, adding that he donated $55 to Dillon's GoFundMe. Rashid also encouraged his followers to donate to Dillon's campaign read the complete article

11 Mar 2020

Bernie Sanders has brought out the Muslim vote in ways I’ve never seen before

As a Muslim American and a scholar of North American Islam who has spent the last decade studying Muslim leadership in the United States and Canada, I've never seen American Muslims organizing politically for a presidential candidate, much less a progressive one, on the scale they have for Sanders. It's no secret that Donald Trump has exacerbated American suspicions of Islam and Muslims, but many Muslims see establishment Democrats as no less guilty of perpetuating Islamophobic suspicions. The Obama administration’s 2014 “Countering Violent Extremism” program singled out Muslims as uniquely prone to the perpetuation of ideological violence, and Obama's failure to shut down the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, in addition to his use of drone strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen that killed Muslim civilians, crushed the optimism felt by many American Muslims after his election. Going into the 2020 race, Sanders immediately established a relationship with Muslim communities by appointing Faiz Shakir, an American Muslim civil rights lawyer, as his campaign manager. While other Democrats have also reached out to Muslims, political scientist Youssef Chouhoud told the Los Angeles Times recently, “Sanders has done it first and done it bigger.” read the complete article


11 Mar 2020

The Time to Reach Out to Your Muslim Friends is Now

With the details emerging from Delhi, I realise that the time for me to act on behalf of the minority citizens of India has come to pass. I have lived in Delhi NCR for six years – first as a student, and then as a full-time journalist. Now I am based in Kolkata. Sitting here, I wondered what I could do to make a difference. I racked my brains. I knew people in Delhi who would be at risk if the violence continued to spread. Since traveling to Delhi was not an option at the moment, I did what seemed like the next best option – call and reach out to the people I knew. One of them was the subject of a news story I had reported on. The other one, an auto driver who used to ferry me. Both of them Muslims with very different life trajectories yet equally vulnerable to the rightwing’s agenda. Building new human connections and reaffirming the existing ones will go a long way towards building a harmonious society. After all, if we attend rallies and renounce bigotry with every inch of our being, yet fail to connect and check-in with people who are the most vulnerable in the present atmosphere, are we living up to the humanity we are espousing? read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 11 Mar 2020 Edition


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