Latest: September 19, 2018
U.S. Paid $1B to Contractor Accused of Bigotry at Iraq Air Base (The Daily Beast)
The US government has paid military contractor Sallyport Global over $1 billion since January 2014 to support daily operations of the Balad Air Base in Balad, Iraq. Current and former employees of Sallyport Global have spoken out against the company and accused the company of widespread abuse, including “[trading] safety for corruption and a racial system influenced by Apartheid.” The company declined to comment on any allegations regarding its finances and corporate structure, leadership on base, animal abuse, racism, pro-Apartheid social media posts, theft, misuse of money, security failures, rigged security inspections, the Iranian militia, procurement issues, generator explosions, confiscated passports, and HR complaints.
Florida’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis spoke at a conference organized by ACT for America, an anti-Muslim organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as the “largest anti-Muslim group in America. During his speech, DeSantis said the US should not “provide entitlements” to refugees or asylum seekers. DeSantis was previously criticized for also attending events organized by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
To learn more about ACT for America, read this Bridge Initiative factsheet.
Rep. Brian Mast (FL-18) was an unpaid speaker at David Horowitz Freedom Center events in 2016 and 2017, the same conferences that Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis was recently criticized for attending. The Southern Poverty Law Center described Horowitz’ events as ranging “from single-day presentations given by anti-Muslim fear mongers in Horowitz’s network to extravagant weekend getaways that convene government officials with far-right thought leaders and activists.”
For more on David Horowitz and the David Horowitz Freedom Center, read this Bridge Initiative factsheet.
UK police: possible hate crime outside Muslim center; 3 hurt (Washington Post)
UK police are investigating an anti-Muslim hate crime after a car hit pedestrians and injured three people outside a Muslim community center and mosque in northwest London. Officials reported that anti-Muslim comments were made after a confrontation developed between four people in a car and a group visiting the Muslim community center. Simon Rose, the metropolitan police chief superintendent, said “It is being dealt with as an Islamophobic hate crime and it is being dealt with as a racist hate crime.”
After receiving requests from the Muslim Council of Britain to condemn the racial undertones of Zac Goldsmith’s 2016 campaign, one of three Conservative London mayoral candidates, Andrew Boff, broke party lines to say he agreed that Goldsmith’s racially comments against his opponent Sadiq Khan were a “mistaken tactic.” The Muslim Council of Britain spokesperson said “Muslim Londoners would have expected all Tories seeking the votes of Londoners to clearly set themselves apart from this shameful episode, but it is deeply disappointing to see that is not the case for two of the candidates.”
Commentary: We must all take some responsibility for the monster that Katie Hopkins has become (The National)
Since first appearing on The Apprentice in 2006, Katie Hopkins has gained notoriety for racist, inflammatory speech. Hopkins has realized that the more offensive her outbursts, the more attention and recognition she gains for the public, including lucrative slots on reality television shows such as I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and Celebrity Big Brother. As viewers, we must accept our role in Hopkins’ rise to fame, argues Rupert Hawksley.
For more on Katie Hopkins and her long history of making anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and anti-black remarks, read this Bridge Initiative factsheet.
Commentary: Slovakia’s deplorable move to criminalise Islam (The New Arab)
Slovakia’s recently passed laws now require a religion to have 50,000 followers to be a state religion that can receive state benefits and build public places of worship. Today, Slovakia is home to about 5,000 Muslims who do not have any mosque in the country at which to worship. The motive for these laws is to suppress expression and practicing of Islam within Slovakia, argues CJ Werleman.
Each day, the Bridge Initiative aims to bring you the news you need to know about Islamophobia. This is a developing resource. Stay tuned to this page for daily updates and stay tuned for the full version of this resource on our new website later this fall.
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