Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:33 am Post subject: TRUMP AND ISLAM
All of Islam Isn’t the Enemy
Is President Trump trying to make enemies of the entire Muslim world? That could well happen if he follows up his primitive ban on refugees and visa holders from seven Muslim nations with an order designating the Muslim Brotherhood — perhaps the most influential Islamist group in the Middle East — as a terrorist organization.
Such an order, now under consideration, would be seen by many Muslims as another attempt to vilify adherents of Islam. It appears to be part of a mission by the president and his closest advisers to heighten fears by promoting a dangerously exaggerated vision of an America under siege by what they call radical Islam.
Canadian woman turned away from U.S. border after questions about religion, Trump
A woman from the Montreal suburb of Brossard says she was denied entry into the U.S. Saturday after being fingerprinted, photographed and questioned in detail about her religion and her views on U.S. President Donald Trump.
Fadwa Alaoui, a Moroccan-born Canadian citizen who is Muslim and wears a hijab, says she has used her Canadian passport to enter the United States many times without incident to visit her parents and brother, who live there.
On the weekend she was travelling with two of her children and an adult cousin, who all have Canadian passports. She said they planned to spend the day shopping in Burlington, Vt., but after four hours at the border they were turned back.
As Tensions Rise, Steve Bannon and ISIS Get Closer to Their Common Goal: Civilizational War
The Trump administration has taken sweeping, drastic measures that it says are necessary to protect Americans from the threat of terrorism, including its executive order halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. But the radical policies and beliefs of this administration could just as easily end up fueling the narratives of extremist groups fighting the United States. When Trump ran a campaign built on promises to destroy ISIS, how can one explain the fact that supporters of the group in Mosul were reportedly celebrating his Muslim ban?
The order was based on plainly dubious claims about national security, targeting for scrutiny some of the most heavily vetted visitors to the United States. But the tangible purpose it did serve, before being at least temporarily frozen by the courts, was to divide Americans from millions of people in the Muslim world by sending the latter a message of gratuitous insult and contempt — and emboldening the very extremist movements the order was ostensibly directed against.
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Hundreds rally against motion calling on Canadian government to condemn Islamophobia because they say it hurts free speech
Hundreds of people, some sporting Make America Great Again hats and others wearing Infowars T-shirts, filled a Toronto Christian college on Wednesday in opposition to a motion before the Canadian parliament that would officially condemn Islamophobia.
There were many reasons to oppose President Trump’s travel ban on refugees and visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries, which is now blocked by a federal court’s temporary restraining order. Unfortunately, those same objections are also likely to apply to the revised version of the executive order that Mr. Trump promised on Thursday, which will share with its predecessor the goal of “immediately protecting the country” — presumably by keeping out people from countries he deems to be a threat.
One objection to such policies is that there is no good evidence that citizens of the countries the president has singled out so far present a significant threat to the United States. Another is that any policy that effectively discriminates against members of a specific religion is decidedly un-American.
But perhaps the most important objection, given the ostensible goal of protecting national security, is that these are precisely the sort of policies that can increase radicalization of Muslims already on American soil. Recently, a group of former diplomats and national security officials signed an open letter condemning the original ban on that ground, arguing that it would make the country less safe by feeding the narrative that America is anti-Islam.
London mayor: 'Cruel' Trump should be denied state visit
LONDON — London's mayor says that President Donald Trump shouldn't receive a state visit in Britain because of his "cruel" policies on immigration.
Sadiq Khan said Sunday the U.S. president should not get VIP treatment when he comes to Britain later this year because of his "ban on people from seven Muslim-majorities countries" and his decision to block refugees from entering the United States.
Khan said that "in those circumstances we shouldn't be rolling out the red carpet."
He spoke one day before British legislators are expected to debate a proposal to downgrade the planned state visit. The debate was scheduled in response to an online petition calling for the honuor to be rescinded.
A state visit usually includes extensive pomp and a stay at Buckingham Palace.
British Muslim teacher denied entry to US on school trip
A British Muslim schoolteacher travelling to New York last week as a member of a school party from south Wales was denied entry to the United States.
Juhel Miah and a group of children and other teachers were about to take off from Iceland on 16 February on their way to the US when he was removed from the plane at Reykjavik. The previous week, on the 10 February, a US appeals court had upheld a decision to suspend Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily banned entry to the country from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Trump Talk of Terror Listing for Muslim Brotherhood Alarms Some Arab Allies
CAIRO — In Morocco, it would tip a delicate political balance. In Jordan, it could prevent American diplomats from meeting with opposition leaders. In Tunisia, it could make criminals of a political party seen as a model of democracy after the Arab Spring.
Of all the initiatives of the Trump administration that have set the Arab world on edge, none has as much potential to disrupt the internal politics of American partners in the region as the proposal to criminalize the Muslim Brotherhood, the pre-eminent Islamist movement with millions of followers.
“The impact would be great,” said Issandr El Amrani, an analyst with the International Crisis Group based in Morocco, where a Brotherhood-linked party won the last election in October. “It could destabilize countries where anti-Islamist forces would be encouraged to double down. It would increase polarization.”
At issue is a proposal floated by Trump aides that the 89-year-old Brotherhood be designated as a foreign terrorist entity. The scope of any designation remains unclear, but its potential reach is vast: Founded in Egypt, the Brotherhood has evolved into a loose network that spans about two dozen countries. It has officially forsworn violence.
For President Trump, the designation debate is an election promise made good. He has made no bones about taking an approach to the Middle East that is narrowly focused on counterterrorism, and that plays to domestic supporters who view all Islamist movements — or even all Muslims — as potentially hostile.
In much of the Middle East, though, the rapid pace and embattled rollouts of Mr. Trump’s early orders have induced anxiety. Now many are following the potential indictment of the Muslim Brotherhood as a harbinger of things to come.
“The Obama administration moved us away from the ‘clash of civilizations’ narrative,” said Emad Shahin, a dissident Egyptian academic who lectures at Georgetown University. “Trump is taking us deeper into it.”
H.R. McMaster Breaks With Administration on Views of Islam
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s newly appointed national security adviser has told his staff that Muslims who commit terrorist acts are perverting their religion, rejecting a key ideological view of other senior Trump advisers and signaling a potentially more moderate approach to the Islamic world.
The adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, told the staff of the National Security Council on Thursday, in his first “all hands” staff meeting, that the label “radical Islamic terrorism” was not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic,” according to people who were in the meeting.
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That is a repudiation of the language regularly used by both the president and General McMaster’s predecessor, Michael T. Flynn, who resigned last week after admitting that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about a phone call with a Russian diplomat.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The son of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali was detained for hours by immigration officials earlier this month at a Florida airport, according to a family friend.
Muhammad Ali Jr., 44, and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the first wife of Muhammad Ali, were arriving at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Feb. 7 after returning from speaking at a Black History Month event in Montego Bay, Jamaica. They were pulled aside while going through customs because of their Arabic-sounding names, according to family friend and lawyer Chris Mancini.
Immigration officials let Camacho-Ali go after she showed them a photo of herself with her ex-husband, but her son did not have such a photo and wasn't as lucky. Mancini said officials held and questioned Ali Jr. for nearly two hours, repeatedly asking him, "Where did you get your name from?" and "Are you Muslim?"
Does It Matter If Islam Is A Religion? An American Ahmadi Explains The Effects Of Religious Discrimination
In an NPR interview the morning after Mr. Trump’s latest attempt to pivot to something resembling presidential, national security advisor Seb Gorka declined to affirm that Islam is a religion, saying the administration didn’t want to get involved in “theological debates.”
Gorka, of course, has a long history of fringe right-wing views on this and other matters. Max Boot—no liberal himself—once described Gorka as an “anti-Muslim extremist.” Other foreign policy specialists have described him as an Islamophobe. Gorka was a member of the Order of Vitéz, a Nazi-linked Hungarian group, and proudly displayed medals from the group at Trump’s inauguration.
Most relevant, though, despite disavowals of animus toward Islam, Gorka has described it more in terms of a totalitarian ideology than a complex, diverse, global religion. That assessment echoes a common view among right-wing nationalists, including administration figures like former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and senior political advisor Steve Bannon.
It’s worth noting that the US government already does make de facto decisions about what counts as a religion and what doesn’t. The tax code makes implicit judgments about religious legitimacy in parceling out breaks to some groups and not others. Those rules, however, are fairly broad, and they don’t target certain religions as enemies of American society.
Throughout the 2016 campaign, Trump made repeated promises to curb Muslim immigration to the United States and institute a registry of Muslims in the country. In the opening days of his administration, now-President Trump made good on at least the first of those promises with his infamous and presently court-blocked executive order on immigration, which the administration is promising to reissue in the next few days.
This is a dangerous road to go down. It’s useful to look at the example of the Ahmadiyya Community. Ahmadis began as a branch of Islam in 1889, centered on the Punjabi teacher Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whom they believe to be the final prophet and messiah of Islam. Recent Oscar winner Mahershala Ali is a member of the community.
Ahmadis consider themselves fully Muslim, and to most American eyes they would be indistinguishable from any other Muslim denomination. But this self-understanding is highly contested within Islam. They have been described as the “Quakers of Islam” because of their commitment to pacifism, social equality, and democratic self-governance.
Canadian woman en route to Vermont spa denied entry to U.S., told she needs immigrant visa
Montreal resident Manpreet Kooner says thought of crossing border now makes her sick
A Canadian woman travelling on a Canadian passport says she was turned away at the U.S. border and told she needed a valid immigrant visa to enter the country.
Manpreet Kooner, 30, is a Canadian citizen who was born to Indian parents in Canada and raised here. She now lives in Montreal's LaSalle borough with her fiancé and works in a science lab at a local college.
She told CBC she was on her way from Montreal to a spa in Vermont for a day trip with two friends, who are both white, Sunday afternoon. They never made it.
Kooner said she was held at the border for six hours before being turned away.
WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday signed a revised version of his executive order that would for the first time rewrite American immigration policy to ban migrants from predominantly Muslim nations, removing citizens of Iraq from the original travel embargo and scrapping a provision that explicitly protected religious minorities.
The order, which comes about a month after federal judges blocked Mr. Trump’s haphazardly implemented ban in January on residents from seven Middle Eastern and African countries, won’t affect people who had previously been issued visas — a change that the administration hopes will avoid the chaos, protests and legal challenges that followed the first order.
Five ways Trump’s new travel order is different from the earlier “Muslim ban”
US president Donald Trump signed a revised executive order today (March 6). It restricts travelers to the US from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, and all refugees for 120 days—and contains some marked differences from an earlier order that caused chaos at US airports in January and was suspended by federal courts.
While the White House has not made the new order public yet, it has issued an FAQ and a “fact sheet” on it. Based on those, here are the major differences in the new order versus the old:
Ottawa must fight Trump’s chill on the border: Editorial
Ottawa should make clear that, while the U.S. has the right to control its own border, it is unacceptable for its officials to discriminate on the basis of ethnic or religious background.
There’s a chill along the border between Canada and the United States, and it has nothing to do with the weather. Fallout from the Trump administration’s crackdown on asylum seekers and its travel ban on people from half a dozen Muslim countries risks making crossing the border more difficult and certainly more worrisome for many Canadians.
The Trudeau government needs to make clear to Trump’s Homeland Security secretary, John Kelly, the importance of easy cross-border travel when he visits Ottawa this week.
And it should encourage Americans, especially those in neighbouring states that also value good cross-border relations, to speak out against the Trump administration’s misguided policies that are throwing unnecessary roadblocks in the way of Canadians trying to travel south.
One of the most troubling developments is an emerging pattern of Canadians being denied entry to the United States for no apparent reason other than their ethnic background.
So far about half a dozen cases have become public — a tiny number among the tens of thousands of Canadians who cross the border on an average day. But they raise questions about whether U.S. border agents have taken Trump’s aggressive language toward outsiders (and especially Muslims) as permission to get tough on anyone with brown skin..
Digital Privacy at the U.S Border: A New How-To Guide from EFF
Protect Yourself While Traveling To and From the U.S.
San Francisco - Increasingly frequent and invasive searches at the U.S. border have raised questions for those of us who want to protect the private data on our computers, phones, and other digital devices. A new guide released today by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) gives travelers the facts they need in order to prepare for border crossings while protecting their digital information.
"Sec. 3. Enforcement of All Laws for Entry into the United States. I direct the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of all other relevant executive departments and agencies (as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security) to rigorously enforce all existing grounds of inadmissibility and to ensure subsequent compliance with related laws after admission. The heads of all relevant executive departments and agencies shall issue new rules, regulations, or guidance (collectively, rules), as appropriate, to enforce laws relating to such grounds of inadmissibility and subsequent compliance. To the extent that the Secretary of Homeland Security issues such new rules, the heads of all other relevant executive departments and agencies shall, as necessary and appropriate, issue new rules that conform to them. Such new rules shall supersede any previous rules to the extent of any conflict."
Rejection rate on the rise for Canadians at U.S. border
The growing number of stories about Canadians turned away at the American border is more than just an anecdotal trend: Statistics show the United States is turning away visitors from Canada at an increasing rate.
Muhammad Ali's son says he was detained again at airport
Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained and questioned at a Washington airport before being allowed to board a flight to Fort Lauderdale after meeting with lawmakers to discuss a separate airport detention incident last month, a lawyer for the late heavyweight champion's son said Friday.
Federal judge declines to halt revised Trump travel ban
A U.S. federal court on Friday refused to put an emergency halt to Republican President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, saying lawyers from states opposed to the measure needed to file more extensive court papers.
Several states jointly sue to block Trump's revised travel ban
A group of states renewed their effort on Monday to block President Donald Trump's revised temporary ban on refugees and travelers from several Muslim-majority countries, arguing that his executive order is the same as the first one that was halted by federal courts.
Court papers filed by the state of Washington and joined by California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon asked a judge to stop the March 6 order from taking effect on Thursday.
An amended complaint said the order was similar to the original Jan. 27 directive because it "will cause severe and immediate harms to the States, including our residents, our colleges and universities, our healthcare providers, and our businesses."
Federal judge in Hawaii freezes President Trump’s new executive order
A federal judge in Hawaii has frozen President Trump’s new executive order temporarily barring the issuance of new visas to citizens of six-Muslim majority countries and suspending the admission of new refugees.
U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson froze the order nationwide.
Because You’re Not Fooling Anyone: Why Trump Travel Ban 2.0 Still Unconstitutional
Trump’s second attempt at banning travel from certain Muslim-majority countries is clearly written to avoid being struck down under the Establishment Clause. Most notably, it no longer contains provisions that preference entry for religious minorities—language the President himself admitted was intended to prioritize entry for Christian rather than Muslim refugees.
So why isn’t the new EO constitutional, at least with regard to First Amendment claims? Because cutting its most obviously discriminatory provision doesn’t fix the fact that the new EO was passed with the same invalid purpose as the President’s first attempt—to reduce Muslim immigration into the U.S. When a candidate campaigns for nearly two years on the promise of banning, profiling, and even registering Muslims, that is context that a court can—and should—consider in evaluating whether his actions are motivated by religious animus or legitimate security concerns.
Trump immigration policies kill work visas for specialized Canadian nurses
Advanced practice nurses and nurse anesthetists told they no longer qualify for professional visas
Canadian nurses working at Michigan hospitals were shocked last week when border security officers stopped them from entering the U.S. because of changes to their working visas under new immigration policies.
Staff at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital heard reports of nurses unable to renew their working visas. Last week, a new Canadian hire at Henry Ford tried to go to work, but was turned away at the Windsor-Detroit border.
■Trump's border ban kills access to FAST lanes for Windsor truck driver
■Canadians working in U.S. under NAFTA exemption worry about future under Trump
She was told advanced practice nurses and nurse anesthetists no longer qualify for the working visas because of policy changes under U.S. President Donald Trump.
"For hundreds of Iranian-Americans in Southern California, who traditionally travel back and forth to be with family for Nowruz, long-held plans and family gatherings have been disrupted because of uncertainty over the ban. Weddings that were scheduled around the holiday have been postponed, and elderly relatives are fearful they will never see their grandchildren again.
For many members of the diaspora, this is the first time since arriving in the United States after the Iranian revolution of 1979 that they feel that they cannot risk leaving the country for fear they will not be allowed to return."
Devices Banned on Flights From 10 Countries Over ISIS Fears
WASHINGTON — Intelligence showing that the Islamic State is developing a bomb hidden in portable electronics spurred the United States and Britain on Tuesday to bar passengers from airports in a total of 10 Muslim-majority countries from carrying laptop computers, iPads and other devices larger than a cellphone aboard direct inbound flights, two senior American counterterrorism officials said.
Two additional American officials said the explosives were designed to be hidden in laptop batteries. All four spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to publicly discuss the sensitive information.
No African citizens granted visas for African trade summit in California
Every single African citizen who requested a visa was rejected, according to the organizer of the African Global Economic and Development Summit
An annual African trade summit in California had no African attendees this year after at least 60 people were denied visas, according to event leaders.
The African Global Economic and Development Summit, a three-day conference at the University of Southern California (USC), typically brings delegations from across Africa to meet with business leaders in the US in an effort to foster partnerships. But this year, every single African citizen who requested a visa was rejected, according to organizer Mary Flowers.
Some are now questioning whether the denials to the Los Angeles event could be tied to the anti-immigration policies of Donald Trump, who is pushing forward with a travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries despite ongoing legal challenges.
Trump’s Muslim Ban and the History of Stolen Citizenship in America
Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, now in its second iteration, deserves its shorthand designation: the Muslim Ban. And this new administration’s slapdash effort to ban travel from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—currently blocked by federal judges in Hawai’i and Maryland—serves as a striking reminder of how precarious citizenship is.
Green card holders have traditionally been extended the full courtesy of citizenship for entry into the United States. In January, they were robbed of that privilege without any warning. Normally, we would argue that we have to be on guard for this happening to naturalized citizens. Unfortunately, we do not have time to wait when citizens of the United States are barred from entering their own country by their own government.
As historians of South Asian America, we know that having your citizenship stripped because of the color of your skin is not unusual in our history. The United States has a long history of racism being encoded into law, and manifesting in law, on a regular basis. The story of internment of Americans of Japanese descent is perhaps the one that is most recent in our collective memory, partly because of George Takei’s tireless work to keep those stories alive.
Trump Administration Orders Tougher Screening of Visa Applicants
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is making it tougher for millions of visitors to enter the United States by demanding new security checks before giving visas to tourists, business travelers and relatives of American residents.
Diplomatic cables sent last week from Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson to all American embassies instructed consular officials to broadly increase scrutiny. It was the first evidence of the “extreme vetting” Mr. Trump promised during the presidential campaign.
The new rules generally do not apply to citizens of 38 countries — including most of Europe and longstanding allies like Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea — who can be speedily admitted into the United States under the visa waiver program. That program does not cover citizens from any country in the Middle East or Africa.
Even stricter security checks for people from six predominantly Muslim nations remain on hold because federal courts have temporarily blocked President Trump’s travel ban.
Canada’s largest school system has suspended student and staff trips to the United States until further notice due to the “uncertainty” surrounding President Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban.
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) announced on Thursday that it would allow 24 pre-approved trips to the United States to proceed, but that no further trips would be booked.
“We do not make this decision lightly, but given the uncertainty of these new travel restrictions and when they may come into effect, if at all, we strongly believe that our students should not be placed into these situations of potentially being turned away at the border,” said the statement by John Malloy, the TDSB director of education.
Zahra Jamal, “Being and Becoming Muslim in Trump’s America.” Dr. Jamal is Associate Director of the Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance at Rice University. Her research interests include citizenship, civic engagement, gender, and human rights in Muslim communities. She is in the process of completing a book on “Work No Words”: Voluntarism and Piety among South Asian Ismaili Muslims. She has consulted for an array of international organizations.
TRUMP’S FEAR AND LOATHING WON’T SILENCE THE NATION’S SOLE LGBT MUSLIM ORGANIZATION
In the days of the Trumpian order, American LGBT Muslims, a minority within minorities, find themselves especially vulnerable to the forces of racism, homophobia, and Islamophobia. As a member of this minority community myself, I can say that the burgeoning manifestations of these forms of hatred—from threats of lynching to incinerated Pride flags to vandalized mosques—have increased our anxiety about our future in American society. One minority advocacy group, however, is challenging the bigotry head on.
No American president in modern times has disparaged Islam as much as Donald Trump. From the attempted visa ban on Muslim-majority countries to his campaign claims that “Islam hates us” to his Islamaphobic advisers, the president’s record of hostility is well documented.
So his first overseas trip as president is something of a paradox, with a first stop in Saudi Arabia — a major force in the Sunni Arab world —- that includes meetings with members of the royal family, a summit meeting with other Arab leaders and a major speech on Sunday.
Does that mean Mr. Trump has changed his stripes? Given his casual approach to the truth and his malleable belief system, it’s impossible to know his true views on Islam. What we do know is that he needs all the help he can get from Muslim countries to fight the Islamic State. If he uses the speech and the trip to set a new tone with the Muslim world, that would be greatly in America’s interest.
Two of our opinion writers, Mustafa Akyol in Istanbul and Wajahat Ali in the Washington, D.C. area, watched President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia this morning and discussed what they thought it means for the Middle East, American foreign policy and Muslims around the world.
Where Candidate Trump taunted the Saudis, President Trump embraced them on the first foreign trip of his term. No doubt delighting his Sunni hosts, Mr Trump blamed Iran, a mainly Shia country, for most of the Middle East’s woes in a speech yesterday. The Kingdom must have a short memory: Mr Trump’s appeal to “drive out” extremism seemed to go down well. Perhaps it helped that he did not bring up his host’s human-rights record
Appeals court upholds injunction blocking Trump's travel ban
A Richmond, Va.-based federal appeals court on Thursday refused to reinstate President Trump’s ban on nationals from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S., delivering a major blow to the Trump administration.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 10-3 ruling that Trump’s executive order "speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination."
In delivering the opinion of the court, Judge Roger Gregory wrote that Congress granted the president broad power to deny entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute. “It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation,” he wrote.
In addition to being discriminatory, the court found that the order would delay and disrupt pending visa applications.
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