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Implications of Trump's Muslim Ban, Mexico Wall

Why did President Donald Trump bar entry of citizens of 7 Muslim majority nations (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen) for 90 days? Will it extend to Pakistan and other Muslim majority countries in the future? What message does it send to world's 1.5 billion Muslims, including American Muslims?

Are persecuted Muslim refugees no longer welcome in the United States? Why did Trump choose Holocaust Memorial Day to sign such an order to hurt the people most at risk of similar fate as that of the European Jews during the 2nd World War? Is this an unconstitutional religious test, especially when Trump says he will accept Christians from these countries?

Will Trump's Muslim ban order survive court challenges planned by CAIR and ACLU? Will it encourage attacks on American Muslims in the United States? Will it play into the hands of ISIS that claims the US is at war with Muslims? Will Trump's Muslim ban make America more or less safe? Will it hurt American interests at home and abroad?

Why does President Trump want to have Mexico pay for a border wall? Is Mexico the biggest source of illegal immigrants into the United States? Or is it India? Will the Wall work to stop immigrants determined to come to the United States?

Is Trump willing to risk a trade war with Mexico to extract $15 billion payment? How will this hurt the 2 million US jobs tied to $230 billion US exports to Mexico? Will its impact on Mexican economy bring more illegal immigrants to US from Mexico when such immigration is at all time low?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with panelists Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (

Implications of Trump's Muslim Ban, Mexico Wall from Ikolachi on Vimeo.

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Views: 96

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 29, 2017 at 10:03pm

How #SiliconValley and #Hollywood plan to fight #Trump's #Muslim travel ban. #MuslimBanprotest … via @YahooNews

Top execs in Silicon Valley, Hollywood actors, and Washington politicians are coming to the defense of Muslims affected by a temporary travel ban into the United States that White House implemented on Friday.

Google and Facebook’s chief executives criticized President Trump’s immigration order, while former secretary of State Madeleine Albright, actress Mayim Bialik, and feminist Gloria Steinem all said they would register as Muslims if such a registry is created. This opposition to the executive order comes as Muslim advocacy groups prepare to challenge the order’s constitutionality in court.

Mr. Trump has long vowed to ban or limit Muslim immigration into the country in order to protect Americans from terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic extremists. Now that his administration has lived up to such campaign pledges, those resisting it argue it is un-American, both constitutionally and morally.

“We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat,” wrote Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg in a post on his personal page on Friday.

“We are a nation of immigrants,” continued Mr. Zuckerberg, mentioning his German, Austrian, and Polish ancestry. “And we all benefit when the best and brightest from around the world can live, work and contribute here.”

The executive order the president signed on Friday temporarily bans both people from at least seven Muslim-majority nations and suspends the broader refugee program. For at least 90 days, travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are barred from entering the US. The order also indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from the US.

Trump said the order gives his administration time to develop stricter screening process for refugees, immigrants, and visitors.

“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. Don’t want them here,” Trump said on Friday at the Pentagon. “We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people.”

The order took effect immediately, with travelers bound for the US already affected. The Department of Homeland Security issued a directive on Friday afternoon instructing the Customs and Border Control to enforce the order, according to the New York Daily News. Late Friday, some green card and visa holders were already being blocked from boarding US-bound flights, according to the newspaper.

However, Trump indicated on Friday he will prioritize bringing Syrian Christians into the US. The president said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network that Christians seeking refugee status would receive priority. Trump indicated the US has unfairly treated Syrian Christians seeking religious asylum.

Some Republicans praised the executive order because they said the self-declared Islamic State has threatened to exploit the US immigration system.

"I am pleased that President Trump is using the tools granted to him by Congress and the power granted by the Constitution to help keep America safe and ensure we know who is entering the United States," said Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

But Google chief executive Sundar Pichai criticized the travel ban in an email to staff on Friday, saying it affects at least 187 of the company’s employees.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 29, 2017 at 10:11pm
Comment by Riaz Haq on January 30, 2017 at 9:46am

#Islamabad warns against extending US #MuslimBan to #Pakistan. Will withhold coop if #travelban applied. … via @FT

Islamabad has warned the US that it will reduce its co-operation with Washington in the fight against Islamist militants if Pakistan is added to the list of countries covered by President Donald Trump’s controversial visa ban.

Pakistani officials have told the Financial Times that a move by Mr Trump to put their county on the list of those for whom visas are banned would hamper joint efforts to fight extremism, especially in Afghanistan. This follows comments from the White House chief of staff suggesting the travel ban could be extended to other countries, including Pakistan.

The US still has around 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, and has found its attempts to reduce those numbers hampered by counter-attacks by the Taliban. 

While Pakistan has been criticised in the past for not doing enough to stop homegrown terrorism, the Pakistani military has handed over hundreds of suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda militants to the US following the 9/11 attacks.

One senior Pakistani official warned: “If the US puts a ban on our travellers, how can we continue supporting the US in the same manner? The [US-Pakistan] alliance will automatically get scaled down if there is a US ban [on travellers from Pakistan].”

Another warned: “Washington risks endangering its Afghanistan stabilisation project.”

The head of a prominent Pakistani business group said: “Progress made by the US in defeating the Taliban and al-Qaeda will be undone if the US scales down relations with Pakistan.”

The warnings came on Monday, a day after Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff, suggested that the no-visa policy already implemented for seven Muslim countries could be extended to Pakistan.

Mr Priebus told CBS News: “You can point to other countries that have similar problems like Pakistan and others — perhaps we need to take it further.”

Experts said Mr Priebus’s comments marked a significant escalation in the immigration policy by involving a nuclear-armed country with which the US often co-operates closely.

Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, senior fellow for South Asia at the International institute for Strategic Studies, said: “We have seen the Americans provide funding to Pakistan for their defence programme and particularly for their efforts in Afghanistan, where they have strong joint interests.”

Mr Roy-Chaudhury predicted that Islamabad might react to any extension of the visa ban by restricting visas to American security and intelligence personnel, as has happened during previous diplomatic rows.

Officials in Pakistan have been trying to work out what Mr Trump’s election means for their relationship with the US, which will spend $860m this financial year in aid to the south Asian country.

Mr Trump has in the past criticised Pakistan for harbouring terrorists, and in 2012 called on the country to apologise for “providing a safe sanctuary to Osama bin Laden for six years”.

In December, however, he delighted Islamabad with a gushing phone call to Nawaz Sharif, Pakistani prime minister, in which he called Pakistan a “fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people”

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 31, 2017 at 9:11pm

firms hesitant to invest in "unstable" : prof Masahiro Kawai. via

Underdeveloped infrastructure, unstable social conditions, and legal systems and a lack of security are some “important reasons” why Japanese firms are hesitant to invest in the country, said Japanese professor Masahiro Kawai on Saturday.

Kawai was speaking on the final day of the Bengal Global Business Summit, at a meeting between academics and economic experts from India and the ASEAN. In an effort to accelerate economic growth in Asia, experts said, the primary focus of all countries needed to be connectivity and road infrastructure.

Japan invests $1 trillion across the world. Out of this, India receives only $14 million, which is less than one per cent.”

“There are some important reasons for this. One of the main concerns that Japanese firms have is the underdeveloped infrastructure in India. The second is the underdeveloped legal system, which makes investment routes unclear. The third is the taxation system, which can be mitigated through introduction of GST. And the fourth is the lack of security and unstable social conditions,’’ he said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 7, 2017 at 7:55am

How #Trump's policies and rhetoric are Uniting #American #Jews and #Muslims. #Antisemitism #Islamophobia #MuslimBan

To many Jews, Trump’s targeting of migrants from predominantly Muslim countries evokes painful memories of Jews who were forced to identify themselves with yellow stars before their extermination at the hands of Nazis — and of the countries that turned them away when they tried to flee.

“It speaks to a lot of people very personally because their own families have stories about being refugees. There is a communal resonance,’’ said Shuli Passow, a rabbi at New York’s congregation B’nai Jeshurun, who recalled how her grandparents were hidden in barns and basements in Poland during the Holocaust. 

Donald Trump may not be able to forge peace in the Middle East, but he is doing wonders for relations between Jews and Muslims in the United States.

Jewish and Muslim activists in the United States are forging alliances like never before in reaction to the president’s rhetoric and action toward Muslim immigrants.

Many Jewish organizations have interpreted Trump’s executive order banning entry by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries as a call to arms. Jewish delegations turned out en masse for a 10,000-strong demonstration Sunday night in New York. (“Granddaughter of Holocaust survivors standing with refugees, Muslims immigrants,” read one sign.)

Almost every day in New York this last week there was an interfaith conference or prayer service — involving Christian groups as well as Muslims and Jews — devoted to the current crisis over predominantly Muslim immigrants and refugees.

“We have common interests,” said Al Hadj Talib Abdur-Rashid, the imam of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem. He was one of several Muslim leaders who appeared at a rally in Brooklyn in November after a playground was defaced with pro-Trump graffiti and swastikas. “The same kind of people who bomb synagogues [also] bomb black churches and now mosques.”

A Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, made up of business and cultural leaders of both communities, both Democrats and Republicans, was formed days before the election and convened for its first regular meeting Wednesday in Washington to push the government for a coordinated response to hate crimes, up sharply against both Muslims and Jews. 

The week after the election, Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, raised eyebrows when he declared at a meeting in New York that if Trump imposed a Muslim registry, “this proud Jew will register as Muslim’’ — a dramatic statement for the head of an organization founded to fight anti-Semitism and protect Jewish identity. 

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 16, 2017 at 9:36pm

#Trump plans to rescind #MuslimBan executive order, issue revised order - by bcn_sfex - The San Francisco Examiner

The U.S. Department of Justice told a federal appeals court in San Francisco on Thursday that President Donald Trump plans to rescind an existing executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries and replace it with a new, narrower order “in the near future.”

Trump made a similar announcement during a news conference at the White House on Thursday, saying he expects to roll out the new order next week.

The Department of Justice said the revised order will address the concerns of a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled unanimously last week that Trump’s original Jan. 27 order appeared to violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of due process.

The original order barred visitors and refugees from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days. It also sought to stop refugees from all countries for 120 days and exclude Syrian refugees indefinitely.

The Department of Justice’s brief Thursday was submitted in response to the appeals court’s request for responses on whether the smaller panel’s decision should be reviewed by an expanded 11-judge panel.

The department said it is not requesting the expanded review.

Department of Justice lawyers wrote, “Rather than continuing this litigation, the president intends in the near future to rescind the order and replace it with a new, substantially revised executive order to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were constitutional concerns.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 23, 2017 at 9:18pm

#Travel Press Reporting '#Trump Slump,' a Devastating Drop in #Tourism to the United States | Frommer's #MuslimBan

Though they may differ as to the wisdom of the move, the travel press and most travel experts are of one mind: They are currently drawing attention to an unintended consequence of the Trump-led efforts to stop many Muslims from coming to the U.S., pointing to a sharp drop in foreign tourism to our nation that imperils jobs and touristic income. 

It’s known as the “Trump Slump.” And I know of no reputable travel publication to deny it.

Thus, the prestigious Travel Weekly magazine (as close to an “official” travel publication as they come) has set the decline in foreign tourism at 6.8%. And the fall-off is not limited to Muslim travelers, but also extends to all incoming foreign tourists. Apparently, an attack on one group of tourists is regarded as an assault on all.

As far as travel by distinct religious groups, flight passengers from the seven Muslim-majority nations named by Trump were down by 80% in the last week of January and first week of February, according to Forward Keys, a well-known firm of travel statisticians. On the web, flight searches for trips heading to the U.S. out of all international locations was recently down by 17%. 

A drop of that magnitude, if continued, would reduce the value of foreign travel within the U.S. by billions of dollars. And the number of jobs supported by foreign tourists and their expenditures in the United States—and thus lost—would easily exceed hundreds of thousands of workers in hotels, restaurants, transportation, stores, tour operations, travel agencies, and the like. 

While, earlier in the year, the Administration had boasted of saving 800 jobs in the Carrier Corporation, the drop-off in employment resulting from the travel ban would eclipse that figure. 

According to the Global Business Travel Association, in only a single week following announcement of the ban against certain foreign tourists, the activity of business travel declined by nearly $185 million. 

Other observers, including local tourist offices, have reached similar conclusions. In referring to New York City’s $60 billion tourist industry alone, the head of the city’s tourist effort complained that his agency’s effort to portray the United States as a welcoming destination to foreign citizens “was all in jeopardy.” Several other tourist officials have made like statements. 

As you can see, there is plenty of evidence for a negative conclusion.


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