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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.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

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Trump Phenomenon

Islamophobia in America

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India Surpasses Mexico as the Biggest Source of Illegal Immigrants

Commonalities Between Trump and Modi

GOP's Dog-whistle Politics Produced Trump

Views: 249

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.

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 8, 2019 at 10:23pm

Eugenics, Anti-Immigration Laws Of The Past Still Resonate Today, Journalist Says

Nearly 100 years ago, Congress passed a restrictive law that cut the overall number of immigrants coming to the United States and put severe limits on those who were let in.

Journalist Daniel Okrent says that the eugenics movement — a junk science that stemmed from the belief that certain races and ethnicities were morally and genetically superior to others — informed the Immigration Act of 1924, which restricted entrance to the U.S.

"Eugenics was used as a primary weapon in the effort to keep Southern and Eastern Europeans out of the country," Okrent says. "[The eugenics movement] made it a palatable act, because it was based on science or presumed science."

Okrent notes the 1924 law drastically cut the number of Jews, Italians, Greeks and Eastern Europeans that could enter the country. Even during World War II, when hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and dying, access remained limited. The limits remained in place until 1965, when the Immigration and Nationality Act ended immigration restrictions based on nationality, ethnicity and race.

Okrent sees echos of the 1924 act in President Trump's hard-line stance regarding immigration: "The [current] rhetoric of criminality, the attribution of criminality — not to individual criminals but to hundreds of thousands of people of various nationalities — that's very similar to the notion of moral deficiency that was hurled by the eugenicists at the Southern and Eastern Europeans of the 1910s and '20s."

On what immigration was like at the turn of the 20th century, before the Immigration Act of 1924

Ellis Island opens in 1892 and within a few years it becomes one of the busiest port spots anywhere in the U.S. Ellis Island was a teeming hive of activity as hundreds of thousands — in some years more than a million — immigrants came pouring through. [It] was a very, very busy place and a very alienating place for a lot of people, because of the examination that people had to go through, particularly for tuberculosis, trachoma and other diseases. But once through the line, and then onto the ferry boat that took people to Manhattan, it was really a wonderful place to have been.

On the Immigration Act of 1924, and the quotas set up to restrict immigration

First, there is an overall quota. At various times it was 300,000 people, then it got chopped down to ... 162,000 people. ... The second part is where did these people come from? And it was decided that, well, let's continue to reflect the population of America as it has become, so we will decide where people can come from based on how many people of their same nationality were already here. ...

If 10 percent of the current American population came from country A, then 10 percent of that year's immigrants could come from country A. Except — and this is probably the most malign and dishonest thing that came out of this entire movement — they didn't do this on the basis of the 1920 census, which had been conducted just four years before, or the 1910, or even the 1900. But those numbers were based on the population in 1890, before the large immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe had begun. So to any question about whether there was any racist or anti-Semitic or anti-Italian intent, this established there clearly was. ...

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 15, 2019 at 8:01pm

Answering a twitter poll run by @dachibear50 asking "Should schools in America be forced to teach Arabic numerals?", 90% of the respondents said "No" (though they themselves didn’t realize that we already do). #Islamophobia #xenophobia #Arabic #America

Friday, May 3, 2019 is a day that I likely will not forget anytime soon. It’s the day that I saw a poll on twitter and was incredulous about the purported results.

How, I asked myself, could 90% of people responding to this poll not know that we use the “Hindu-Arabic” numeral system, and how could they not know that we already “force” schools to use it? That was, after all, the question posed by the original poll.

It asked: “Should schools in America be forced to teach Arabic numerals as a part of their curriculum?”

I figured that this had to be a fluke. It had to be nothing more than a mix-up. I mean, it had to be … right? This must be due simply to a lack of education as to what Arabic numerals were.

So, I decided to make that poll the subject of an upcoming school paper. That required a thesis statement, so I decided to see how my Facebook contacts and their friends would react, and also decided to see if they would change their votes after learning what “Arabic” numerals were.

So off I went and posted the poll — with the definition of “Arabic numerals” in the comments.

It went along alright at first. I was watching what I thought would happen, happen. Where it took off to next, however, has literally decimated my hope for civil discourse and peer-to-peer education in our country.

The 10 days since I posted my poll have consisted of 10 days of watching the very worst that America has to offer. Some were offended that we would teach Arabic numerals and not “American” ones. Others were offended that people did not want “Arabic” numbers in their school (though they themselves didn’t realize that we already do). Yet others were just upset that the American public education system had failed to teach something as basic as where our numbers come from.

(On a side note, I wonder if they still teach that our alphabet comes ultimately from ancient Proto-Sinatic or Semitic letter system that originates in Egypt… but I digress.)

To say that the streams were filled with vitriol and hatred would be an overwhelming understatement. The poll went viral and has continued on social media platforms far beyond the original two that were used. It remains a hotbed of debate that has far eclipsed the 26,000 people who responded to the Facebook poll. And those comment threads? They are far worse and far uglier than the one that I shut down.

Charges of bigotry, racism, xenophobia, treason, sympathizing against America, and all kinds of other hateful rhetoric have flown freely and without pause. I am watching people who are simply unable to contain their emotions spew some of the most venomous poison on each other, and you know what? I find myself heartbroken, heartsick, and many other things, including being infuriated at myself for not seeing this coming, but the one the thing I am not, is surprised.

You see, this is what America has become. This great melting pot of humanity has become a balkanized state of racial, political, lifestyle, and religious tribes. Most are members of more than one tribe, but they identify strongest with one or another, and they’re ready to fight for it.

That is who we have become: a nation of civil warriors, each fighting for their side. No one’s talking, not really. We’re shouting, or we’re talking at, over, under, and around each other, or we’re talking about each other. But the one thing we’re not doing is talking TO each other.

We have locked ourselves in our own echo chambers and have rejected anyone unlike us – and may the Lord help whoever it is that doesn’t fit in our circle.


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