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Hate Against Indian-Americans; Trump NSA Gen McMaster; Pak Op Radd-ul-Fasaad

Why was Garmin engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, shot dead and his colleague Alok Madasani, also 32, injured in shooting at a bar in Olathe, Kansas? Why are Indian-Americans being targeted by white nationalists after President Donald Trump's victory? Why have hate crimes against ethnic and religious minorities in America jumped in the last few months? Is Trump's election campaign rhetoric and his subsequent silence on hate crimes contributing to it?

Kansas Shooting Victim Late Srinivas Kuchibhotla with His Wife
Who is Trump's new national security advisor General H.R. McMaster? Why are his views of Muslims and Islam so completely different from his predecessor Gen Michael Flynn? Why does he oppose the use of the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism" by Trump? Can McMaster succeed in shaping Trump's Islamophobic policies heavily influenced by White House strategist Steve Bannon?

What is Pakistan's anti-terror military operation Radd-ul-Fasaad launched by General Javed Bajwa after the latest wave of terror attacks? How is it different from ex-COAS General Raheel Sharif's prior anti-terror operation named Zarb-e-Azb? Is the inclusion of the province of Punjab in Radd-ul-Fassad the only difference between the two? Will Radd-ul-Fassad succeed in ending terror without a simultaneous long-term commitment to change the national narrative?

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

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Trump Phenomenon

A Conversation with White Nationalist Jared Taylor

Implications of Trump's Muslim Ban

Islamophobia & Gun Violence in America

Policy Impact of Trump's Appointments 

Latest Wave of Terror Attacks in Pakistan

Views: 95

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 28, 2017 at 7:40pm

#Indian-#American's home trashed with dog poop and #hate messages in #Colorado. #Hatecrime

An incident of possible hate crime has come to light in a US town where a house of an Indian man was trashed with eggs, dog poop and hate messages.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the case which took place in Southern Colorado on February 6.
Authorities believe it was the work of group of people because of the all the damage.
According to reports in Denver media, hateful messages and racial slurs were sprawled all over the home of the Indian man.
The homeowner said that around 50 papers were stuck everywhere on his door, window and car and added that the unidentified group had thrown at least like 40 eggs on his house.
He further said that racial slur like 'You brown or Indian shouldn't be here,' was also written outside the house.

The homeowner says despite the hate, he was reminded of compassion. He says his neighbours came together and completely cleaned up the house for him.
Earlier, an Indian engineer has been shot to dead in Kansas, U.S. in an alleged racial attack, after the gunman was heard shouting "get out of my country" 

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 2, 2017 at 10:20am

Spate of mosque fires stretches across the country. 4 torched in first 2 months of 2017. #Islamophobia #Trump @CNN

In just the first two months of the year, at least four mosques have gone up in flames as attacks against religious minorities have surged.

Those fires follow "the worst year on record for incidents in which mosques were targets of bias," according to the Council of American-Islamic Relations.
CAIR documented 139 incidents of "damage/destruction/vandalism" at mosques last year -- the most since record-keeping began in 2009. It does not track fires separately.
"Islamophobic bias continues its trend toward increasing violence," said Corey Saylor, director of CAIR's Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia.
The wave of hostility comes as President Donald Trump campaigned on -- then enacted -- a temporary ban on travelers from Muslim-majority countries entering the United States. He is said to be drafting a new version after the first was struck down in court.

January 7: Austin, Texas
The Islamic Center of Lake Travis hadn't even been completed yet when it mysteriously caught fire.

January 14: Bellevue, Washington
A fire that torched the Islamic Center of Eastside near Seattle was an act of arson, Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett said.
No one was inside the mosque at the time of the blaze, which firefighters said shot 40-foot flames into the sky.

January 27: Victoria, Texas
The fire that destroyed the Victoria Islamic Center mosque was intentionally set, the Houston office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives said.
The ATF, CrimeStoppers and the mosque are offering a combined $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of whoever set the mosque on fire.
While members of the mosque grappled with their loss, leaders of a local Jewish congregation stepped in to help -- and gave them the keys to their synagogue so they could continue to worship.

February 24: Thonotosassa, Florida
A fire that damaged the Islamic Society of New Tampa has been ruled arson, Hillsborough County fire investigators said.
Authorities have not ruled whether the fire was a hate crime, but Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the attack "is no different than the wave of anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish community centers and synagogue and bomb threats that have been called in all across the country, including in Tampa over the recent months."

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 3, 2017 at 8:55am

#Pakistan Army Winning the war on #terror. #ZarbeAzb #RaddulFasaad via @MailOnline

Winning the war on terror: From the badlands of Pakistan where Al Qaeda planned their attacks on Britain, PETER OBORNE, the first Western journalist to visit this epicentre of terror files a riveting dispatch

For more than a decade, the Pakistani tribal area of North Waziristan has been the deadly epicentre of global terror.
This mountainous area on the remote Afghan border was the secure base from which Taliban and Al Qaeda warlords launched attacks across the world.
Many have been aimed at Britain.

For example, it was from here that Rashid Rauf (the Al Qaeda terrorist who at the time was described as ‘one of the world’s most wanted’) masterminded the 7/7 London bombings in 2005 which killed 52 and injured more than 770 people.
Rauf — born in Pakistan but radicalised by a sect in Birmingham in his late teens after moving to Britain in the early Eighties — was also suspected of being the ringleader of a foiled plot to detonate liquid explosives on a transatlantic plane in 2006, which a senior British policeman said would have caused ‘mass murder on an unimaginable scale’.

I have travelled regularly to Pakistan ever since the darkest days of the country’s descent into terror. At times, the country seemed on the verge of collapse. Indeed, at one point it was regarded by global intelligence agencies, including Britain’s MI6, as the most dangerous state in the world.
This week, I was the first Western journalist in many years to travel to the North Waziristan capital, Miranshah.
Until recently, it was from these streets that Taliban commanders ordered public beheadings and Al Qaeda chiefs groomed innocent children as young as ten to be suicide bombers.
It seemed unimaginable back then that Al Qaeda and the Taliban would be driven out of Pakistan’s tribal territories. Yet the Pakistan army now claims that every last Taliban fighter has been expelled.

It is nothing short of miraculous that Pakistan survived after so many atrocities and disasters.
This, then, is a story of optimism; of how the men of terror can be taken on and defeated.
After a sustained assault, Pakistani troops managed to take control of Miranshah. The terrorists fled — but left a scene of heartbreaking devastation.
Entire streets were reduced to rubble. The city’s ancient market, once home to more than 600 shops, was flattened.

The blight of terrorism in the area dates back to 9/11 in 2001, and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan by the Western allies in revenge for the attacks on America.
In order to escape pursuing British and U.S. troops, Taliban and Al Qaeda forces, including the latter group’s leader Osama Bin Laden, fled from their traditional strongholds in Afghanistan into the tribal areas of Pakistan.
They were safe here under the protection of local tribes, many of whom had strong links to Afghanistan.
In due course, the Taliban used their new bases in Waziristan to attack British and American forces in Afghanistan.
Thousands of foreign fighters, including British Jihadis such as Rashid Rauf, who had been a student at Portsmouth University and had worked for a bakery in Birmingham, flocked to join them.
The Pakistan army was duly placed under huge pressure from the West to attack the Taliban in these tribal hideouts.
After protracted battles, the Pakistan military finally managed to clear the region of its last terrorist stronghold. But not before the Taliban had launched numerous reprisal attacks inside Pakistan itself, engulfing the country in a bloody civil war that claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 5, 2017 at 8:12am

#Trump admin ignores top #India officials' please, puts priority #H1B visas on hold via @economictimes

The Trump administration on Friday temporarily suspended the expedited premium processing of H1B visas as part of its squeeze on what it said is an overloaded guest worker program. The suspension came even as New Delhi pressed, without success, for a fair and rational approach on the matter from a trade and business perspective. 

By paying an additional $1,225 premium, companies can have an H-1B application processed within 15 days, whereas a standard process takes three to six month .. 

But even as the Indian officials said their "forceful presentation" to Congress and the administration over the past three days "has been met with a degree of understanding,'' the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) brought the axe down on the expedited processing system which many Indian and American companies use to facilitate the entry, and sometimes rotation, of tens of thousands of skilled professionals for project work in the US By paying an additional $1225 premium, companies .. 

Read more at: 

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 6, 2017 at 8:51pm

Khizr Khan, Gold Star #Muslim-#American father, says his “freedom to travel abroad” is under review by #Trump Admin

On the same day that the White House announced President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban on residents of six majority-Muslim nations, Gold Star father and Muslim-American Khizr Khan confirmed that his “traveling privileges” were under review and that his “freedom to travel abroad” had been temporarily suspended.

Khan, a Pakistani-born naturalized U.S. citizen of more than 30 years, was set to speak “about tolerance, understanding, unity, and the rule of law” at a luncheon in Toronto on Tuesday. The two-hour event was slated to include a question-and-answer session on “what we can do about the appalling turn of events in Washington — so that we don’t all end up sacrificing everything,” according to the organizer.

On Sunday, however, Khan was informed that he would be unable to travel to Canada, CTV’s Rosa Hwang first reported.

According to Ramsay Talks, the organization that had planned Khan’s talk, the Harvard-educated lawyer’s “travel privileges are being reviewed.” It is unclear what review or revocation of “travel privileges” Khan would be subject to given his status as a U.S. citizen: Anyone with a valid U.S. passport should be able to enter and leave the U.S. It is also not clear who is reviewing those privileges, as Canadian officials have not returned a request for comment.

Pakistan is not one of the six nations whose citizens are temporarily prohibited from travel into the U.S. under Trump’s revised ban — which isn’t scheduled to go into effect until March 16.

Ramsay Talks quoted a statement said to be from Khan in its announcement. “This turn of events is not just concerning to me, but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad,” said Khan, whose son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun S.M.Khan, was killed by a car bomb in Iraq in 2004. “I have not been given any reason as to why.”

In addition, Ramsay Talks said Khan offered his “sincere apologies” to those who had planned to attend the event, in a statement posted on Facebook. The group also offered to refund the fees for those who had already paid to attend the event.

At least one other Canadian organization, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, has confirmed that Khan’s planned trip to Canada has been canceled.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 9, 2017 at 10:24am

#Pakistan: #Afghanistan Border to Remain Shut Until X-Border #Terrorism Concerns Addressed. #India #NDS #RAW #TTP

Pakistan is defying calls for permanently opening the border with landlocked Afghanistan, asserting that terrorist attacks emanating from the neighboring country continue to hurt Pakistani citizens and security forces.

A string of deadly suicide bombings across Pakistan last month prompted authorities to close all regular crossings for movements of people and trade convoys across the largely porous frontier spanning roughly 2,600 kilometers.

The move also halted transit of containerized cargo, an economic lifeline of Afghanistan, which is dependent on Pakistani ports.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nafees Zakaria, reiterated Thursday that fugitives linked to the anti-state Pakistani Taliban and affiliates of Islamic State are plotting the violence from across the border, pointing to statements the militants have made taking credit for it.

"The decision of the closure of the border was actually the security context ... to protect our own citizens from the dastardly attacks which were continuing from the other side of the border by those terrorist groups who are enjoying sanctuaries in Afghanistan," Zakaria told a news conference in Islamabad.

The Pakistan military earlier this week alleged that militants staged cross-border raids on its outposts, killing five soldiers.

The Afghan government says it has nothing to do with the violence and has criticized Pakistan for shutting the border. Kabul has called for the border's immediate opening to legitimate migration and trade.

Independent critics and some Pakistani commentators have emphasized the need for resolving political differences through diplomatic channels, rather than resorting to punitive measures such as closing the border.

Zakaria said that Pakistan has taken steps to strengthen security and tighten monitoring on its side under a comprehensive border management plan, and is urging the Afghan government to do the same for effectively deterring movement of terrorists in both directions.

“This border management is the most important aspect as far as we are concerned to control the cross-border terrorism and movement of terrorists who are actually hurting both sides. This is in the interest of both the countries to cooperate and this is what we had been talking about with Afghanistan,” the spokesman maintained.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 19, 2017 at 4:41pm

#Modi taps firebrand #hindu politician as UP CM who once advocated killing #India's #Muslims - The Washington Post

Yogi Adityanath is a saffron-robed Hindu priest, a five-term member of India’s Parliament and has more than a dozen criminal cases pending against him, including an attempted murder charge. In incendiary speeches across the sprawling and impoverished Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, he has long advocated for Hindu ideals and even exhorted his followers to kill Muslims.

On Saturday, in a surprise move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party tapped him to lead Uttar Pradesh, which analysts see as a clear signal that Modi is building on his party’s recent win in the state’s elections and moving to consolidate his Hindu base in a run-up to the 2019 general election.

In a front-page story Sunday, the Times of India called the selection of the “saffron hardliner” a “defiant assertion” of the party’s Hindu nationalist credentials.

“By picking him to govern India’s largest state, Modi and Shah have sent a clear message that they will be bound by neither the norms of ‘politics as usual’ nor the requirements of political correctness,” the Times wrote.

Adityanath, 44, has held sway in eastern Uttar Pradesh since he was first elected to Parliament at age 26, as a “sanyasi,” or devotee, of the Gorakhnath temple religious community.

Known as a controversial and fiery orator, he has vowed to cleanse India of other religions and in 2014 suggested that mosques feature Hindu deities.

“This is the century of Hindutva, not just in India but in the entire world,” he said.

He once accused Mother Teresa of being part of a conspiracy to Christianize India and likened a well-known Bollywood star, Shah Rukh Khan, to a terrorist. At one rally, Adityanath vowed, “If one Hindu girl marries a Muslim man, then we will take 100 Muslim girls in return.” He went on, “If they [Muslims] kill one Hindu man, then we will kill 100 Muslim men.”

He was arrested in 2007 and spent 11 days in prison for violating prohibitory orders in what was deemed a “communally sensitive area,” with tensions between the Muslim and Hindu communities. He had 18 criminal cases registered against him, according to one tally during the 2014 parliamentary elections, including attempted murder, criminal intimidation and rioting.

During rallies for state elections this winter, Adityanath’s supporters often chanted for Hindu-centric rule and demanded that Muslims leave the country. Adityanath also praised President Trump for his first travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries and added that similar action is needed in India.

Adityanath was credited with helping the BJP and its allies win 325 of Uttar Pradesh’s 403 assembly seats during the state’s recent elections.

Uttar Pradesh, roughly the size of Brazil and with a population of more than 220 million people, has a history of Hindu-Muslim riots. In 2013, riots between the two groups resulted in the death of more than 60 people, with thousands displaced.

Analysts said the state’s electorate will now look to Adityanath to deliver on the party’s campaign promises, including the banning of cow slaughterhouses and the building of a temple on a mosque site that has been the subject of a decades-long controversy.

The BJP's announcement about Adityanath caught even some of the party’s most staunch supporters by surprise. “I am thankful to the party and PM Modi for considering me worthy of the post,” Adityanath said. “I will take UP forward with ka saath sabka vikas,” meaning "development for all.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 19, 2017 at 6:11pm

The Guardian view on a key poll: victory for anti-#Muslim bigotry in #Modi's #India | Editorial #Islamophobia

he world breathed a sigh of relief last week as the Islamophobe populist Geert Wilders failed to become the head of the biggest party in Holland. The respite from elected bigotry did not last long. On Sunday an even more stridently anti-Muslim extremist took power in the biggest election of this year. Uttar Pradesh, with a population of more than 200 million, is not an independent nation. It is India’s biggest and most important state. UP, as it is known, by itself would be the world’s fourth biggest democracy – behind the rest of India, the United States, and Indonesia. In a stunning victory, the ruling Bharatiya Janata party swept the state elections, winning, along with its allies, 80% of the seats. Elections here are the most significant in India. UP sends 80 MPs to India’s national parliament of 545 seats. Regardless of party, they pay careful attention to the mood of UP’s electorate. If the nation’s governing parties do well in UP, parliamentarians feel they ought to stay in line. If opposition parties do well in UP, then gridlock rules in Delhi.

The man chosen by the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, to lead UP, home of Hinduism’s holy Ganges river and the Moghul tomb of Taj Mahal, is a fellow Hindu nationalist, Yogi Adityanath. Mr Adityanath is a Hindu priest who, while elected five times from his temple’s town, has been shown repeatedly to be contemptuous of democratic norms. He has been accused of attempted murder, criminal intimidation and rioting. He says young Muslim men had launched a “love jihad” to entrap and convert Hindu women. Mother Teresa, he claimed, wanted to Christianise India. He backs a Donald Trump-style travel ban to stop “terrorists” coming to India. On the campaign trail, Mr Adityanath warned: “If [Muslims] kill one Hindu man, then we will kill 100 Muslim men”. This cannot be dismissed as mere rhetoric. The argument that once in power the BJP would become more reasonable does not wash. There’s little sign India’s constitutional protections would enable the BJP to continue in power while the dynamics of its wider movement are kept in check. Mr Adityanath, now a powerful figure, is signalling that in India minorities exist merely on the goodwill of the majority. Step out of line and there will be blood. For some of India’s 140 million Muslims the threat is enough to see them debate withdrawing from public life to avoid further polarisation.


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