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Massive Show of Support for Muslims in Silicon Valley after Trump's Ban

Thousands of protesters and dozens of civil rights lawyers from ACLU and CAIR flocked to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to free Muslim travelers detained by the US Customs and Immigration Service after President Donald Trump's Muslim Ban executive order over the weekend.

Silicon Valley companies rely on technology talent from many Muslim nations around the world. They also do significant business in the Islamic world. It is in Silicon Valley's best self-interest for the United States to have friendly ties with world's 1.5 billion Muslims. Among the most famous sons of Muslim immigrants was the legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Anti-Ban Protest at San Francisco International Airport 

While the scene with anti-ban protesters and civil rights lawyers was repeated at all major international airports across the United States, what was special about San Francisco was the presence of Silicon Valley tech elite,  including Google cofounder Sergey Brin and Y Combinator president Sam Altman,  among the protesters.  The Who's Who of America's technology world work with tens of thousands of Muslim technologists everyday. They have all spoken out against Trump's Muslim ban. Meanwhile, several Silicon Valley venture capitalists have committed to match donations to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the biggest organization of civil rights lawyers in the United States. ACLU says it has already raised over $10 million so far to fight Trump's Muslim Ban in the US Court system.

Silicon Valley Muslims:

Silicon Valley companies rely on technology talent from many Muslim nations around the world. They also do significant business in the Islamic world. It is in Silicon Valley's best self-interest for the United States to have friendly ties with world's 1.5 billion Muslims. Among the most famous sons of Muslim immigrants was the legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs.

The US-born Muslims make up the largest percentage at 34% of all Muslims in San Francisco Bay Area, followed by 14% born in Pakistan, 11% in Afghanistan, 10% in India, 3% in Egypt and 2% each in Iran, Jordan, Palestine and Yemen.
Bay Area Muslims by Country of Birth 

There are 35,000 Pakistani-born Muslims in San Francisco Bay Area,  or 14% of the 250,000 Muslims who call the Bay Area home, according to the study. Bay Area Muslim community constitutes 3.5 percent of the area’s total population and is one of the highest concentrations of Muslims in the country.

As of 2013, South Asian Muslims, including Pakistanis, have the highest income levels, with nearly half (49%) of them having a household income above $100,000. In comparison, those groups with the lowest proportion of household incomes above $100,000 were Hispanic Muslims (15%), Afghans (10%), and African American Muslims (10%).

The Bay Area Muslim community is very diverse in terms of race and ethnicity:

South Asians (30%)

Arabs (23%)

Afghans (17%),

African Americans (9%)

Asian/Pacific Islanders (7%)

Whites (6%)

Iranians (2%)

Silicon Valley Tech Elite Protest:

While Sergey Brin (Google) and Sam Altman (Y Combinator) physically joined the protest at San Francisco International Airport, there are many more among the Who's Who of the tech world who have voiced their opposition to Trump's Muslim Ban: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla founder Elon Musk, Netflix founder Reed Hastings,  Apple CEO Tim Cook, PayPal cofounder Max Levchin, AirBnB founder Brian Chesky, DropBox founder Drew Houston, and many many more. They all know how critical the Muslim immigrant talent is to the success of their companies.

Many of the tech elite cite the fact that legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs was the son a Syrian Muslim immigrant father Abdul Fattah Jandali.

Summary:

Silicon Valley tech elite have joined the growing protests against Trump's Muslim Ban. Some have shown up at San Francisco International Airport while others have issued statements through social media to voice their opposition. Several venture capitalists have committed to match all individual contributions to  ACLU,  the civil rights lawyers' organization  that has already raised $10 million over the weekend to fight Trump's executive order banning Muslims. They all know how critical Muslim immigrant talent pool is for the continuing success of Silicon Valley technology industry.

Here's video clip of a discussion on Trump's Muslim Ban:

https://youtu.be/DYrc5BpjLiA





https://vimeo.com/201559485



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

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Trump's Muslim Ban

Steve Jobs: the Son of Syrian Muslim Immigrant Father

The Trump Phenomenon

Islamophobia in America

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Pakistani-American Leads Silicon Valley's Top Incubator

Silicon Valley Pakistanis Enabling 2nd Machine Revolution

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Views: 317

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 31, 2017 at 7:46am

#ACLU raises record $24 Million in online donations this weekend. #Trump's #MuslimBan http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/01/30/aclu_received_24_... … via @slate

The American Civil Liberties Union broke all its fundraising records this weekend as it became the main group challenging President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions. The ACLU raised $24,164,691 this weekend from 356,306 online donations after Trump signed the order suspending the country’s refugee program and banning entry into the United States of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The nonprofit organization usually raises $4 million a year from online donations, ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Romero told Yahoo News earlier on Sunday when the number stood at $10 million. “People are fired up and want to be engaged. What we’ve seen is an unprecedented public reaction to the challenges of the Trump administration.”

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of two Iraqi men who were detained at the JFK Airport in New York that resulted in a federal judge blocking part of Trump’s order on Saturday night. The organization that vowed the day after the election to be “eternally vigilant” during Trump’s presidency has seen its membership double to 1 million members since Nov. 8.

"People understand the threats the Trump administration poses and they are willing to take action to fight those threats," Romero said. "They don't just want to write a check and be done with it."

The donations saw a huge boost thanks in part to some big headline-grabbing names supporting the ACLU’s efforts. Singer Sia, for example, wrote on Twitter that she would match up to $100,000 in donations. Rosie O’Donnell followed suit with the same pledge. The founders of ride-share company Lyft also said they would donate $1 million to the ACLU over the next four years.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 31, 2017 at 10:31am

"Let me save the government some money and offer up the data right now," he (Fareed Zakaria, CNN GPS) said, quoting a study by Alex Nowrasteh of the CATO Institute, a conservative think tank that has tallied the number of Americans killed on US soil from 1975 to 2015 by citizens of the seven countries.
"Iraq - zero, Iran -zero, Syria - zero, Yemen - zero, Libya - zero, Somalia - zero, Sudan -- zero," Zakaria said.
As to how these particular countries were chosen, Zakaria said it was "truly mysterious," before observing that "none of the Muslim majority countries that have a Trump hotel, building or office are on the list."
"There is really no rational basis for this ban," he said, before adding that it could only be explained by looking at what he considered to be the hallmark of Trump's political career: "the exploitation of fear."
"From the birther campaign to the talk of Mexican rapists, Trump has always trafficked in fear mongering," Zakaria said.
To "present himself as the country's protector," Trump had chosen to "punish ordinary men, women and children who are fleeing terrorism and violence," Zakaria said.
"These people are the roadkill of Trump's posturing," he added.
"The image, reputation and goodwill of the United States of America as the beacon of the world" was destroyed by the executive order, Zakaria said.
"Donald Trump seems to want to turn off that lamp on the Statue of Liberty."

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/us/zakaria-take-executive-order-cnntv/

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 31, 2017 at 10:59am
Comment by Riaz Haq on January 31, 2017 at 9:19pm

As of 2010, there were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making Islam the world’s second-largest religious tradition after Christianity. And although many people, especially in the United States, may associate Islam with countries in the Middle East or North Africa, nearly two-thirds (62%) of Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Pew Research Center analysis. In fact, more Muslims live in India and Pakistan (344 million combined) than in the entire Middle East-North Africa region (317 million).


http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/31/worlds-muslim-popul...

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 31, 2017 at 10:18pm

#ISIS cites “blessed ban” as proof #US is at war with #Islam. #Trump #MuslimBan https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/is-trump-drivi... … #science

For starters, consider the fact that, when Trump announced his intention to ban Muslims from the U.S. on the campaign trail, ISIS promptly re-aired the announcement as part of its propaganda offensive. At the time, General James Mattis, now Secretary of Defense, said the proposed ban was “causing us great damage.” ISIS leaders also used news of Trump’s election victory as a rallying cry, celebrating it as heralding “the imminent demise of America.” And, although it is too early to gauge the full reaction to this latest escalation, jihadist groups have already hailed the “blessed ban” as proof the U.S. is at war with Islam—with one group going so far as to describe President Trump as “the best caller to Islam,” according to the Washington Post.
All the early evidence indicates that the seven-nation ban doesn't fight fire with fire—as President Trump contends—but rather adds fuel to that fire. The reciprocal dynamic here could not be clearer: Trump feeds off ISIS and ISIS feeds off Trump. This is part of what Douglas Pratt from the University of Waikato in New Zealand refers to as co-radicalization . Extreme actions and statements are used to provoke others to treat your own group as dangerous—and that helps to consolidate followers around those very leaders who preach greater emnity. 
Here lies the real power of terrorism. It is not so much about spreading fear as it is about seeding retaliation and further conflict. ISIS (or ISIL) exploits this dynamic with ruthless effect. Their core narrative, and the basis of their propaganda appeal, is very simple. According to Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor in the Obama administration, the narrative goes like this: "ISIL is the caliphate. They are representatives of all Islam. Islam is a war with the West and the United States. And therefore, Muslims have a responsibility to come join ISIL and to fight in that war." The aim of their actions is to goad Western nations in acting in ways that give credence to this narrative.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 1, 2017 at 11:09am

5-year-old boy handcuffed at Washington Dulles airport for being 'security threat'. #Trump's #MuslimBan 



http://metro.co.uk/2017/01/31/boy-5-handcuffed-at-us-border-for-bei...

The little boy was seen on CNN being showered by kisses from his mum as they were reunited.
According to the Mirror, Senator Chris Van Hollen, who revealed that the child was from America, described the incident as ‘outrageous’.
He allegedly added that the boy was detained despite authorities having advance notice of his arrival.

Van Hollen added that he later tried to see if the child had been released – but was refused information by airport authorities.
On Friday, Trump signed an executive order banning refugees from entering the country, during a Pentagon swearing-in ceremony for Secretary of Defence, James Mattis.
He claims that the order is designed to ‘prohibit radical terrorists from entering the country’ – however, it will temporarily ban any refugee from entering the United States.
No new visas will be issued from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen for at least 30 days.
An indefinite ban will be implemented on Syrian refugees.
Refugees from the other six countries will be banned for 120 days.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 1, 2017 at 7:05pm

Proposed #Trump Executive Order Clamps Down on #H1B #Visas. #India Worried. http://www.indiawest.com/news/global_indian/proposed-trump-executiv... … via @IndiaWest

President Donald Trump is currently considering an executive order that would make sweeping changes to highly-skilled foreign worker visa programs, including H-1B visas.

A leaked draft of the executive order titled “Protecting American jobs and workers by strengthening the integrity of foreign worker visa programs” appeared on the New York Times Web site Jan. 27.

“With this executive order, President Trump will help fulfill several campaign promises by aligning immigration policies with the national interest, and ensuring that officials administer our laws in a manner that prioritizes the interests of American workers and – to the maximum degree possible – the jobs, wages, and well-being of those workers,” read the draft order, signed by Andrew Bremberg, assistant to the president and the director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House.

Bremberg unfathomably focused on undocumented immigration in his preamble to the order, and also incomprehensively mentioned the impact of highly-skilled foreign worker programs on “low-skilled, teenage, and African American and Hispanic workers.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from Northern California’s Silicon Valley, also introduced legislation in the House last week, mandating that H-1B workers be paid a minimum wage of $130,000, to curtail what she called “the abuse of the work visa program.”

Shares of top Indian IT companies sank Jan. 31 in response to news of the re-formatting of the H-1B program. A total of 65,000 H-1B visas are allocated each year, with about 70 percent going to Indians. The H-1B visa allows American employers to hire highly-skilled foreign workers for a two-year period, which can be renewed.

Indian American immigration attorney Kalpana Peddibhotla, who handles a large number of H-1B applications each year, told India-West she has already seen a drop in applicants.

Trump’s “Buy American, Hire Americans” campaign slogan has had a chilling effect on Indian nationals willing to travel to the U.S. for temporary work. “It is not a drop in need, it is a drop in the number of people willing to fill those needs,” said the Newark, Calif.-based attorney.

Peddibhotla said there were several paragraphs of “unsettling language” in the six page order, particularly a directive that would mandate the Department of Homeland Security to “ensure that beneficiaries of the program are the best and the brightest.”

The attorney said this was troubling, as it invites government oversight into private employers’ hiring decisions. “It imposes a lot of ambiguous language on employers,” she said.

Furthermore, she told India-West, the term “national interest” is vague, and not defined in the order, noting that the order mandates DHS within 90 days to determine whether foreign worker programs violate prevailing immigration laws and are not in the national interest.

The text of the order does not impose an immediate freeze on the number of H-1B visas issued this year, but Peddibhotla said the language suggests there will be a reduction in the number of visas issued in future years.

Peddibhotla said the continuance of work authorization for some H-4 spouses of H-1B visa holders is uncertain and undefined in the draft order. At a press briefing Jan. 30, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters: “You’ve already seen a lot of action on immigration and I think whether it’s that or the spousal visas or other types of visas, I think there’s an overall need to look at these programs. You’ll see both through executive action and through comprehensive measures a way to address immigration as a whole.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 3, 2017 at 4:34pm
#Trump quickly condemns #Louvres attack, still quiet on #QuebecCityMosqueShooting @CNNPolitics. #Islamophobia http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/03/politics/trump-tweet-quebec-louvre/ Last Sunday night, a French-Canadian man allegedly killed six people and injured five others during a shooting at a mosque in Quebec City.
 
President Donald Trump has not tweeted about or publicly mentioned that incident.
Early Friday morning, a man at the Louvre museum in Paris yelled "Allahu Akbar" -- in Arabic, "God is greatest" -- and attacked a group of soldiers, police said. One soldier was slightly injured.
Within hours, Trump tweeted about the incident, calling the suspect a "radical Islamic terrorist" and imploring the US to "GET SMART."
 
Trumps contrasting reactions to the two attacks have raised questions about how the identities of the suspects and victims informs the President's response.
Daniel Dale, the Washington correspondent for The Toronto Star, was one of several reporters to compare the President's rapid response to the Louvre attack with his silence on Quebec.
 
At the Louvre, the suspected attacker rushed toward a group of soldiers and guards while wielding a machete, Paris police said. He was shot by a soldier and apprehended. He had no identity documents on him, police said.
By any measure, the shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center was more destructive and random. Witnesses said the alleged gunman fired indiscriminately into a crowd of worshipers at the mosque, which included men, women and children.
The suspect in the Quebec attack, Alexandre Bissonnette, is a 27-year-old French-Canadian who had been known for far-right views he posted online.
"I wrote him off as a xenophobe," Vincent Boissoneault, a classmate, told The Globe and Mail. "I didn't even think of him as totally racist, but he was enthralled by a borderline racist nationalist movement."
Comment by Riaz Haq on February 3, 2017 at 8:17pm

#Trump strategist Bannon says "#Islam and #China are expansionists". Anticipates "war within the president’s term’
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/02/steve-bannon-donald...

“You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian west is on the retreat,” Bannon said during a February 2016 radio show.

“We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years,” he said in March 2016. “There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face – and you understand how important face is – and say it’s an ancient territorial sea.”


Aside from conflict between armies, Bannon repeatedly focused on his perception that Christianity around the world is under threat.


But China is not the only hotspot Bannon sees, and forecasts another ground war for American troops in the Middle East.

“Some of these situations may get a little unpleasant,” Bannon said in November 2015. “But you know what, we’re in a war. We’re clearly going into, I think, a major shooting war in the Middle East again.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 6, 2017 at 9:22am

#Apple, #Facebook and #Google Say #Trump’s Travel Ban Would Hurt Business. #MuslimBan #SiliconValley

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/06/business/trump-travel-ban-apple-...

In a filing to a federal appeals court dated Sunday, nearly 100 technology companies argued that Mr. Trump’s temporary ban on all visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries would hurt their businesses and violate both immigration law and the United States Constitution. A lower court on Friday temporarily halted crucial parts of the ban, but the Trump administration said it would fight to have them reinstated.

“The tremendous impact of immigrants on America — and on American business — is not happenstance,” the companies said in a friend-of-the-court filing. “People who choose to leave everything that is familiar and journey to an unknown land to make a new life necessarily are endowed with drive, creativity, determination — and just plain guts.”

“The energy they bring to America,” it said, “is a key reason why the American economy has been the greatest engine of prosperity and innovation in history.”

Trump administration officials were not immediately available to comment late Sunday. The issue is set to be considered this week by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco.

In addition to Apple, Facebook and Google, major technology names that signed the brief included Microsoft, Uber, Twitter, Airbnb, Intel and Snap, the parent of Snapchat. A few names from outside the technology field, like Levi Strauss, the jeans maker, and Chobani, a yogurt company, also signed the brief. Separately, a group of prominent Democrats also protested the ban in a court filing.

The filing is likely to fray already tense relations between Mr. Trump and the technology industry. Its most prominent figures largely backed Mr. Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, in last year’s election campaign.

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