Today in Islamophobia: Daily News Roundup

Today in Islamophobia: Daily News Roundup
Latest: September 12, 2018

UNITED STATES

Virginia Politics Saudi school dominates TV ads in race for suburban Richmond congressional seat (The Washington Post)

The battle for Republican Dave Brat’s suburban Richmond congressional seat has spawned a flurry of TV ads on Democrat Abigail Spanberger’s substitute-teaching job at a Saudi-funded Islamic school in Northern Virginia. Spanberger taught English literature at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria for part of the 2002-2003 school year.

U.S. voices concern on China’s Muslim crackdown, sanctions weighed (Reuters)

Echoing the Trump administration’s reactions to China’s detainment of Uighur and other minority Muslims, the U.S. State Department shared concern for the “worsening crackdown” in the Xinjiang region. The administration is considering sanctions against China, which, if implemented, would be the first time the U.S. levied economic penalties against China over human rights concerns.

Republican congressional candidate called Obama a secret terrorist-supporting Muslim (CNN)

A CNN KFile review found that current Republican candidate in California’s 8th district Tim Donnelly called then-President Barack Obama a “secret Muslim and terrorist sympathizer” and “Ayatollah Obama” on his radio program. Additionally, he espoused a conspiracy theory that members of the Obama administration were part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Opinion/Commentary

9/11’s Anniversary Means 17 Years Since the Guantánamo Prison Opened (Teen Vogue)

Aliya Hana Hussain, advocacy program manager at the Center for Constitutional Rights, explains the ongoing need to call for the closure of the Guantánamo Bay prison and describes her work advocating for the nearly 800 men who are detained, all of whom are Muslim.

CHINA

China installing QR codes on Uighur Muslim homes as part of mass security crackdown (The Independent)

As part of the mass crackdown on Uighur and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province, the Chinese government is now reportedly installing QR codes at the homes of Muslim minorities in order to instantly retrieve the personal details of residents. Former residents claimed that the government also collected DNA and voice samples from them when applying for passports.

China’s Muslim ban (Lowy Institute)

Uighur and other Muslim minorities shared their experiences living in Xinjiang during the government’s ongoing crackdown on religious minorities. Individuals interviewed stated that authorities now require everyone in their village to attend weekly Chinese flag-raising ceremonies, have confiscated prayer mats and copies of the Quran, and have forced women to remove their veils. The Chinese government defended its actions by stating that it aims to eliminate “terrorist threats” by “eradicating ideological viruses” of some “incorrrect” Islamic beliefs and non-Chinese identities.

UK

The thirst for stories that vilify Muslims has eroded basic principles of journalism (New Statesman)

In August 2017, the Times published a front page story claiming a white “Christian child [was] forced into Muslim foster care,” and a week later published a follow-up story stating that the attention generated from the article resulted in the child being moved. Despite the fact that the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) ruled that the entire premise of the story was false, the paper has not issued an apology. Nesrine Malik asserts that reporting on Muslims in the UK has gone from dog-whistling to fear mongering, to complete fabrication over the past decade.

Hit BBC drama Bodyguard is accused of spreading Islamophobia after first episode kicked off with would-be suicide bomber being brainwashed by her Muslim husband (The Daily Mail)

After releasing the first episode of its series “Bodyguard,” the BBC drama faced criticism that the series perpetuated negative stereotypes about Muslims. Critics pointed out that the show’s portrayal of an “oppressed, Muslim” woman on the verge of committing a suicide bombing reinforced stereotypes about Islam and terrorism. The show’s creator, Jed Mercurio, defended the episode and called for viewers to watch the whole show before making assumptions.

Labour MSP Anas Sarwar up for award after taking on the fight against Islamophobia (Daily Record)

Labor MSP Anas Sarwar will be recognized at the No2H8 Crime Awards on Thursday for his persistence in speaking out against Islamophobia despite facing hatred and racism from individuals linked to Neo-Nazi terrorists. Earlier this year, Sarwar launched a Cross Party Group (CPG) on tackling Islamophobia, outlined proposals to tackle “everyday racism and Islamophobia” across Scotland, and called for a review of the legal framework surrounding racist and Islamophobic abuse on social media. The No2H8 Crime Awards were established in memory of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox to celebrate individuals who put themselves “at risk” to protect the human rights of others.

 

GERMANY

Book sparks new controversy over anti-Islamic hate-mongering in Germany (The National)

Former politician and author Thilo Sarrazin released his new book, Hostile Takeover, which advances anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, including the claim that “Islam threatens the development of Germany” due to “intolerance.” Sarrazin stated that the arguments made in his book are based on his“direct understanding” of the Quran; however, Sarrazin has no training to be a theologian and has never studied Arabic, the language of the Quran. According to The National, Sarrazin’s novel is being widely read by Germany’s far-right and made it to the number one ranking on Germany’s Amazon bestseller list before going to print.

 

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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.

Think we missed something, or have suggestions for what you’d like to see here? Contact us at bridge@georgetown.edu.

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