Monday, May 16, 2016

Pakistanis Make Up Silicon Valley's Largest Foreign-Born Muslim Group

Pakistani-Americans are the largest foreign-born Muslim group in San Francisco Bay Area that includes Silicon Valley, according to a 2013 study. The study was commissioned by the One Nation Bay Area Project, a civic engagement program supported by Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, Marin Community Foundation and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.

 Overall, US-born Muslims make up the largest percentage at 34% of all Muslims in the 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.

Silicon Valley Pakistani-American by the Numbers:
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%)



Based on the survey findings, the majority of Muslims live in the following three counties:

Alameda (37%)

Santa Clara (27%),

and Contra Costa (12%)

Pakistani-American Techies:

Thousands of Pakistan-born techies are working at Apple, Cisco, Google, Intel, Oracle and hundreds of other high-tech companies from small start-ups to large Fortune 500 corporations. Pakistani-Americans are contributing to what Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee describe as "The Second Machine Age" in a recent book with the same title.

A Representative Sample of Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley

Pakistani-American entrepreneurs, advisers, mentors, venture capitalists, investment bankers, accountants and lawyers make up a growing ecosystem in Silicon Valley. Dozens of Pakistani-American founded start-ups have been funded by top venture capital firms. Many such companies have either been acquired in M&A deals or gone public by offering shares for sale at major stock exchanges. Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN) has become a de facto platform for networking among Pakistani-American entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

Pakistani-American techies presence in Silicon Valley has been recognized in a popular HBO show called "Silicon Valley" that stars a Pakistani actor Kumail Nanjiani playing a Pakistan-born Silicon Valley techie.

Silicon Valley's biggest tech start-up incubator Y-Combinator is now headed by Qasar Younis, a Pakistani-American born in the Pakistani village of Lala Musa. Younis was a keynote speaker at the Pakistani-American entrepreneurs conference called OPEN Forum 2016 just last month in Silicon Valley.

Islamophobia in America: 

Muslim-Americans, including Pakistani-Americans are thriving in the high-tech Bay Area in spite of the recent rise of Islamophobia in parts of America where the Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump appears to be popular.

But Muslim-Americans can not afford to ignore the gathering clouds of Islamophobia and xenophobia in America. The economic difficulties of many Americans are being exploited by demagogues like Donald Trump who is blaming foreigners for their unemployment and underemployment which can be traced to the twin forces of automation and globalization.

First, it was the manufacturing jobs that moved offshore in 1980s and 1990s in an effort to save costs and fatten profits. This forced many factory workers to move into service industries and take pay cuts. Now the service sector jobs are also falling prey to outsourcing and automation.

Instead of addressing the root causes of economic difficulties faced by many Americans, Republican front-runner Donald Trump's presidential primary campaign is blaming immigrants and Muslims for their problems. This is  giving rise to forces of racism, bigotry, xenophobia and Islamophobia in America.

Summary: 

It's in the best interest of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, particularly Muslim-American entrepreneurs, to pay attention to the economic difficulties being faced by many Americans who are losing jobs to automation and globalization. These difficulties lie at the root of growing xenophobia and Islamophobia. The Muslim-American entrepreneurs need to think of new ways to help people who are being left behind. They need to explore ideas such as helping build new skills needed for the new economy, promote policy discussions on the idea of universal basic income and expansion of safety nets and development of new gig economy to ensure full employment with decent incomes. Failure to do so could lead to significant social strife and cause irreparable damage to the very foundations of the system that has brought great wealth and power to America as a nation.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

The Trump Phenomenon

Islamophobia in America

Silicon Valley Pakistani-Americans

Pakistani-American Leads Silicon Valley's Top Incubator

Silicon Valley Pakistanis Enabling 2nd Machine Revolution

Karachi-born Triple Oscar Winning Graphics Artist

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fire-eye Goes Public

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

Minorities Are Majority in Silicon Valley 


28 comments:

Sing said...

Great for you guys. If you make an effort and connect these skilled ex-Pakistanis (Idk what should I call them) with institutions in Pakistan, that will be very beneficial for your country....
In contrast, it is a rare thing to find a Malay outside of Malaysia or Singapore

Riaz Haq said...

Sing: "In contrast, it is a rare thing to find a Malay outside of Malaysia or Singapore"

Silicon Valley is the envy of the world. People from all over the world, including Europe, Israel and Japan, come here to work and learn and absorb the unique Silicon Valley culture.

Majumdar said...

Prof sb,

You could have mentioned your own name (being a Paki) as one of the builders of the Valley, but you are too modest as usual. But great reading about Paki contribution to the Valley.

Regards

Anonymous said...

Riaz SB.,

Very interesting article. Any idea about overall ratio of Pakistanis in the valley?

Zamir

Riaz Haq said...

Zamir: "Very interesting article. Any idea about overall ratio of Pakistanis in the valley?"


There are 250,000 Muslims total in the SF Bay Area, making up 3.5% of the total population of the area.

Of these, 14% were born in Pakistan. Assuming that a quarter of 34% US-born Muslims are of Pakistani origin, that would add another 11.25% to 14% , or 25.25% of the entire Muslim population in the area which itself is 3.5% .

So , my guess is that population of Pakistani heritage is of the order of a quarter of 3.5%, or 0.875% of the total population in the bay area.

Anonymous said...

And indian muslims are just behind Paki muslims in the Bay Area. So much for the Sachar report.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "And indian muslims are just behind Paki muslims in the Bay Area. So much for the Sachar report."


It's ludicrous to argue that a mere 25,000 Indian-born Muslims (vs 35,000 Pakistan-born Muslims) in SF Bay Area are representative of nearly 200 million Indian Muslims.

It's just as absurd as arguing that a few successful Indian Hindus in America represent all Hindus in India.

It reminds of me what Time magazine columnist Joel Stein wrote a few years ago about Indians in Edison, NJ:

"For a while, we assumed all Indians were geniuses. Then, in the 1980s, the doctors and engineers brought over their merchant cousins, and we were no longer so sure about the genius thing. In the 1990s, the not-as-brilliant merchants brought their even-less-bright cousins, and we started to understand why India is so damn poor."

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1999416,00.html

Riaz Haq said...

#Houston, #Texas # Republican tries to block nominee, Syed Ali, from party office for being #Muslim. #Islamophobia

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/05/19/his-beliefs-are-total-opposite-republican-tries-to-block-nominee-from-office-because-he-is-muslim/

A Christian pastor in the nation’s third-most-populous county tried to stop a Muslim man from serving in the local Republican Party because of his religion.

The massive jurisdiction of Harris County, Tex. — with 4 million residents in the city of Houston and its surroundings — has more than 1,000 precincts, and the Republican Party appoints a chair for every single one. Approving the people picked by a committee to fill some of those spots should have been a run-of-the-mill task.

But Trebor Gordon stood up at a meeting of the county’s GOP on Monday night. He said that Syed Ali — a 62-year-old Houston resident who has been a loyal Republican since the Reagan administration — should not be appointed.

Gordon said that Ali should be blocked “on the grounds that Islam does not have any basis or any foundation. It is the total opposite of our foundation.”

“Islam and Christianity do not mix,” Gordon said. Party chairman Paul Simpson said that Gordon serves as chaplain for the Harris County Republican Party and is a part-time pastor at a Houston-area church.

“During my prayer, this man did not bow his head. During the pledge of allegiance, he did not utter a word. He didn’t even try to fake it and move his lips,” Gordon said at the meeting, where attendees said nearly 200 people were present. “If you believe that a person can practice Islam and agree to the foundational principles of the Republican Party, it’s not right. It’s not true. It can’t happen. There are things on our platform that he and his beliefs are total opposite.”

Seeing her party chaplain make such a motion, precinct chair Felicia Winfree Cravens said she was stunned. “There were more shocked faces in that room than you could count,” she said. Cravens’s camera happened to be rolling — she said she was showing a friend how to use the new Facebook Live tool, so she was broadcasting the otherwise humdrum party meeting. Suddenly, she found herself capturing the discussion of Ali’s religion on tape.

The Houston area has more Muslim residents than most other parts of the United States. More than 1 percent of the city’s residents are Muslim, and the city has more than 80 mosques and at least 10 Muslim schools, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The debate over the motion was brief but contentious. One man brought up the party’s rules prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion. That prompted another man, identified by Simpson and Cravens as precinct chair Mike Robertson, to stand up to ask whether Islam is a religion at all.

“Can I have a point of information?” Robertson said. “Has there been any factual information provided that Islam is a religion?”


Ali did not speak during the debate. One precinct chair, Dave Smith, came to his defense. “In our founding document, the Constitution, even back 230 years ago, when our founding fathers were establishing rules by which our country would be governed, they specifically put in there: no religious test,” Smith said. “No religious test is good enough for the founding fathers. It’s good enough for me.”

-----

Cravens said that as someone active in Republican politics, she is seeing much more anti-Muslim sentiment in her Facebook feed lately, in conjunction with the rise of Donald Trump. “If there were a hashtag more intense than #NeverTrump, I would be it,” she said.

But she does not know whether Trump has increased anti-Muslim viewpoints or just exposed them. “I don’t know how much of that is preexistent that he’s tapped into, or how much of that is him making people feel safe to say things like that, or if I just didn’t notice it,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to lay at the feet of Donald Trump something that he merely capitalized on.”

Riaz Haq said...

Jacob Shapiro "#India is one state but it is a hodgepodge of many different incredibly poor countries" #Modi #BJP https://geopoliticalfutures.com/india-one-state-many-countries/ …


Excepts:

India is not one country. It is a hodgepodge of many different countries. India is often touted as the world’s largest democracy. But India is actually an unwieldy collection of semi-autonomous states and union territories. India’s constitution designates Hindi and English as the country’s official languages, but India has no true national language. States within India can specify their own official languages, and there are 22 such languages spread throughout the entire country. India has no fewer than five active separatist movements, some peaceful and some violent. That is without counting the ongoing Maoist insurgency in eastern India being carried out by the Naxalites

India is an incredibly poor country. According to the World Bank, over a quarter of a million people in India earn less than $1.90 a day. Over 700 million Indians live on less than $3.10 a day. Even decades of preternatural GDP growth are not going to bring regular Indians the disposable income they would need to afford a new iPhone. Companies like Apple are seeing large percentage growth in revenues for products sold in India, but those increases are from relatively small customer bases that do not look poised to expand greatly in the near future.

The second is that despite Modi’s attempts, India’s regulatory environment is complex and convoluted. Apple has been active in India for almost 10 years and is only just breaking through some of the regulatory barriers. The Times of India reported on April 22 that the Indian government is planning to waive a rule that requires 30 percent of goods sold by foreign companies in India be sourced within India. Apple has been trying to get around this rule for years because it keeps Apple from opening its own stores in India, instead forcing the company to rely on local distributors.

Readers familiar with our writing know that when we look at the world, we see Eurasia in a state of systemic crisis. India is the exception – but that does not mean India is stable. India is in a state of perpetual crisis. It is no more or less chaotic than it always has been. Strategically, India is in a rather nice position. It is stronger than its only regional competitor, Pakistan. Russia and China are both absorbed with internal challenges, which potentially gives India room to maneuver in the Indo-Pacific. Because of a global economic destabilization and a dearth of other options, foreign capital is flowing into the country. Wealthy companies are braving India’s regulatory systems to enter its markets in the hope of cracking a secret code to profitability in the country. Meanwhile, the U.S. wants India to be its friend, and India can enjoy the attention and the perks that come with U.S. solicitations while maintaining a level of relative neutrality with China and other claimants in the South China Sea.


But that still leaves one insurmountable problem. India’s greatest challenger is India. In our forecast for 2040, India does not play a very big role, because it’s not a challenge we expect New Delhi to overcome in the next 25 years.

Riaz Haq said...

#Republican Sen. Bob Bennett from #Utah Apologized to Muslims for #Trump While on Deathbed. #MuslimBan http://nbcnews.to/1sAuGuA via @nbcnews

In the final days of his life, former Utah Republican Senator Bob Bennett turned to his son and asked him, "Are there any Muslims in this hospital?"

The question caught his son, Jim Bennett, off-guard. It felt like a non-sequitur, and he thought it may have had something to do with his father's recent stroke.

But Jim said his father, even after the stroke, was "sharp as a tack."

"So I was standing there with him in the hospital and out of nowhere he asked me, 'Are there any Muslims in this hospital?'" Jim Bennett told NBC News Wednesday evening.

"I said, 'Yes, dad, I'm sure there are.'" Jim said of the conversation, which was first reported by the Daily Beast. "And he was very emotional and said, 'I want to go up to every single one of them and apologize, I want to go up to every single one of them and tell them how grateful I am that they are in this country and apologize on behalf of the Republican Party for Donald Trump.'"

Jim Bennett said that when he later spoke to his mother, Joyce Bennett, about the conversation, she told him that expressing a sense of inclusion for ostracized populations, especially Muslims, had become "something that he was doing quite a lot of in the last months of his life."

Joyce told her son that his father had approached people wearing hijabs in an airport to "let them know that he was grateful they were in the country and the country was better for them being here."

Bennett, a three-term Republican Senator who lost in Utah's 2010 Republican primary to two tea-party opponents, had become increasingly concerned with Trump's rhetoric in recent months, even after he had initially written off the billionaire businessman when he first jumped into the race.

"I think he got increasingly troubled as he saw the Republican Party becoming the party of Trump," Jim told NBC News. "I think Trump's rise was really the motivation for him to recognize the importance of expressing his desire for inclusion. He just felt it was his responsibly to push back."

Jim said that his father became interested in Islam after 9/11, citing a desire to be informed about the religion while making policy decisions in the wake of terrorist attacks.

"He spent a lot of time studying Islam and wanting to be informed enough to that he wouldn't be making decisions on the floor of the Senate ignorantly," Jim said.

Bennett also took issue with Trump's comments related to immigration, considering the former Senator's support for comprehensive immigration reform was a contributing factor in his 2010 defeat.

"He felt like immigration required a comprehensive solution," Jim said of his father, "And that didn't go over well with Utah delegates who just thought that building a big wall, in a Donald Trump fashion, was the only way to go."

Jim Bennett told the story about his father's comments about Muslims at both memorial services for his father, telling NBC News he "was so grateful to be able to see that demonstration of integrity when there were so many other things that could have been front of mind for him during that time."

"I was just very proud of him," Jim said. "It just demonstrated the integrity of my father wasn't just a public front, that even in personal moments of his last days, this was something that was of deep concern to him, and that he was thinking of other people before he was thinking of himself."

Riaz Haq said...

Citizen Khan. Zarif Khan: #American #Muslim Hot Tamale King Louie of #Wyoming. #Islamophobia http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/06/06/zarif-khans-tamales-and-the-muslims-of-sheridan-wyoming … via @kathrynschulz
---

The events that propelled him there took place in the town of Gillette, ninety minutes southeast of Sheridan. Situated in the stark center of Wyoming’s energy-rich but otherwise empty Powder River Basin, Gillette grew up around wildcat wells and coal mines—dry as a bone except in its saloons, prone to spontaneous combustion from the underground fires burning perpetually beneath it. Because its economy is tied to the energy industry, it is subject to an endless cycle of boom and bust, and to a ballooning population during the good years. The pattern of social problems that attend that kind of rapid population growth—increased crime, higher divorce rates, lower school attendance, more mental-health issues—has been known, since the nineteen-seventies, as Gillette Syndrome. Today, the town consists of three interstate exits’ worth of tract housing and fast food, surrounded by open-pit mines and pinned to the map by oil rigs. Signs on the highway warn about the fifty-mile-per-hour winds.

A couple of hundred Muslims live in northeastern Wyoming, and last fall some of them pooled their money to buy a one-story house at the end of Gillette’s Country Club Road, just outside a development called Country Club Estates, in one of the nicer neighborhoods in town. They placed a sign at the end of the driveway, laid prayer rugs on top of the wall-to-wall carpeting, and began meeting there for Friday worship—making it, in function if not in form, the third mosque in the state.

Most locals reacted to this development with indifference or neighborly interest, if they reacted at all. But a small number formed a group called Stop Islam in Gillette to protest the mosque; to them, the Muslims it served were unwelcome newcomers to Wyoming, at best a menace to the state’s cultural traditions and at worst incipient jihadis. When those protests darkened into threats, the local police got involved, as did the F.B.I.

Whatever their politics, many outsiders, on hearing about Stop Islam in Gillette, shared at least one of its sentiments: a measure of surprise that a Muslim community existed in such a remote corner of the country. Wyoming is geographically huge—you could fit all of New England inside it, then throw in Hawaii and Maryland for good measure—but it is the least populous state in the Union; under six hundred thousand people live there, fewer than in Louisville, Kentucky. Its Muslim population is correspondingly tiny—perhaps seven or eight hundred people.

Contrary to the claims of Stop Islam in Gillette, however, the Muslims who established the mosque are not new to the region. Together with some twenty per cent of all Muslims in Wyoming, they trace their presence back more than a hundred years, to 1909, when a young man named Zarif Khan immigrated to the American frontier. Born around 1887, Khan came from a little village called Bara, not far from the Khyber Pass, in the borderlands between Afghanistan and Pakistan. His parents were poor, and the region was politically unstable. Khan’s childhood would have been marked by privation and conflict—if he had any childhood to speak of. Family legend has it that he was just twelve when he left.

What he did next nobody knows, but by September 3, 1907, he had got himself a thousand miles south, to Bombay, where he boarded a ship called the Peno. Eight weeks later, on October 28th, he arrived in Seattle. From there, he struck out for the interior, apparently living for a while in Deadwood, South Dakota, and the nearby towns of Lead and Spearfish before crossing the border into Wyoming. Once there, he settled in Sheridan, which is where he made a name for himself, literally: as Hot Tamale Louie—beloved Mexican-food vender, Afghan immigrant, and patriarch of Wyoming’s now besieged Muslim population.

Riaz Haq said...

#UCLA shooter identified as #Indian-#American #IIT grad Mainak Sarkar. Victims include #Minnesota woman. #India

http://abcnews.go.com/US/ucla-student-tied-fatality-campus-shooting/story?id=39554492


The man suspected of shooting and killing a UCLA professor Wednesday before turning the gun on himself is also the suspect in another homicide that police believe occurred before the campus shooting, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said today.

Police identified the gunman as former UCLA student Mainak Sarkar. Beck said that Sarkar, who earned a Ph.D. from the school in 2013, was "heavily armed."

Investigators found two semiautomatic guns on him at the scene of the crime. Both were legally purchased.

Sarkar had a note on him requesting that whoever found the note check on his cat; it then listed his Minnesota address.

Beck said today that police believe Sarkar drove to Los Angeles in "the last couple of days" before the shooting.

When police searched his home, they found a list with the names of three people: two UCLA professors and a Minnesota woman. One of the professors, William Klug, was the shooting victim on Wednesday; the other was off campus and was unharmed.

The woman, who has not been publicly identified, was found dead of a gunshot wound at her residence in a town near St. Paul, where Sarkar lived.

Riaz Haq said...

A new Midas Lister, Mamoon Hamid founded The Social+Capital Partnership ... Born in Pakistan and raised in Frankfurt, Hamid is a dual U.S.-German ...

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ehgj45eild/mamoon-hamid/

The Social+Capital offices are in an old Palo Alto bus depot made over with the lustrous industrial aesthetic of a Chelsea art gallery. Palihapitiya hosts a monthly happy hour, along with his partners Mamoon Hamid and Ted Maidenberg, both of whom he lured away last fall from U.S. Venture Partners. Guests drink and mingle among the brushed-metal furnishings and ergonomic chairs. If Palihapitiya is interested in talking to someone, he’ll take them into the main conference room, a glass cube in the middle of the polished concrete floor.

In contrast to traditional VC funds, where the partners have comparatively little of their own money at stake, Palihapitiya, Hamid, and Maidenberg are providing nearly a quarter of the fund’s total.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-07-26/social-plus-capital-the-league-of-extraordinarily-rich-gentlemen

Riaz Haq said...

Surging #California #economy grew 5.7% to $2.46 trillion making it the world’s 6th largest in 2015.
http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article83706577.html


California, along with Oregon, had the nation’s highest rate of economic growth in 2015 and has vaulted to sixth largest economy in the world.

The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis says that California’s economy expanded by 5.7 percent in 2015, second only to Oregon’s 5.9 percent in nominal terms and tied with Oregon at 4.1 percent in constant dollars.

The BEA pegged the state’s economic output last year at $2.46 trillion and with several of its international rivals, particularly Brazil and France, experiencing slumps, that would place California at sixth place, behind only the U.S., China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. The state had been the eighth largest economy, and passed France and Brazil with the release of the latest report.

The BEA data were released just as Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators are finalizing a 2016-17 budget that’s based, in part, on recent declines in revenue growth and Brown’s oft-voiced warnings that the state is overdue for recession after a very long recovery from last decade’s Great Recession.

“The next recession is getting closer,” Brown warned in his revised budget last month, “even if we cannot tell exactly when it will hit.”

Brown’s warning is rooted, in part, on a global economic slowdown because the state’s economy is highly interconnected with that of other nations.

The most recent estimates of global economic trends say that while the U.S. and China both saw gains in 2015, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom faded slightly, and the economies of France, Italy and Brazil dropped sharply – in Brazil’s case by nearly 30 percent. In 2014, California and Brazil were virtually tied, but by 2015 California’s economy was more than a third larger.

In broad BEA categories, California’s finance and insurance sector was the largest in 2015 at $535 billion, with government at $300 billion and manufacturing at $278 billion following. Agriculture, once an economic mainstay, was just $39 billion.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article83706577.html#storylink=cpy

Riaz Haq said...

As 7th largest immigrant population, #Pakistanis not eligible for US diversity visa. #Pakistan #America #Immigration

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1147303/7th-largest-immigrants-pakistanis-no-longer-eligible-us-diversity-visa/

According to the US law, diversity laws are only allowed to counties that have low rates of immigrants, said US consulate in Karachi’s spokesperson Brian Asmus, during a media tour of the Karachi consulate’s visa section on Friday. Pakistan had 104,000 immigrants in the 10 years between 2005 and 2014, he said, explaining why Pakistanis are no longer eligible.

The state department has only stopped diversity visas and there are a lot of other options, such as petitions, student, visit and exchange programme visas, which come under the non-immigrant category. “One can always apply for immigrant visa if they have immediate family in the US,” explained US consulate’s Non-Immigrant Visa chief Mary Pellegrini.

She also explained that it takes around one year for spouse and children, two years for parents and, for siblings, the time can vary up to a decade.

Nevertheless, the Pakistanis who have managed to immigrate are doing pretty well. According to a recent survey, an average Pakistani in the US earns $63,000 every year while an average US citizen earns only $51,000 a year, said Asmus.

Asmus dismissed the misconception that fewer Pakistanis are able to get visa for the US. The percentage of applications is increasing every year and the number of Pakistani citizens getting visas has also increased by 20% between 2014 and 2015, and another 20% between 2015 and 2016, he said.

The US Consulate in Karachi only deals in non-immigrant visas while immigrants visas are dealt at the embassy in Islamabad. Last year, the consulate issued a total of 72,000 visas across the country. So far in 2016, the US consulate in Karachi has issued a total of 14,400 visas.


Riaz Haq said...

Obama picks #Pakistan-born #American #Muslim as federal judge in #Washington DC district court . http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-muslim-federal-judge_us_57cf2cfbe4b03d2d45970d3a … via HuffPost Politics

President Barack Obama made history on Tuesday by nominating the first Muslim person to the federal judiciary, Abid Qureshi.

“I am pleased to nominate Mr. Qureshi to serve on the United States District Court bench,” Obama said in a statement. “I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”

It’s unlikely Qureshi’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will go anywhere. With just months left in Obama’s term, Senate Republicans have all but stopped confirming his judicial picks.

Riaz Haq said...

CNN commentator Van Jones calls #Muslims "model minority" and those from #Pakistan "geniuses". #Trump #Islamophobia https://www.facebook.com/startupmuslim/videos/1870421143194717/ …

Riaz Haq said...

Education Achievement by Religion according to Pew Research

http://www.pewforum.org/2016/12/13/religion-and-education-around-the-world/

Jews are more highly educated than any other major religious group around the world, while Muslims and Hindus tend to have the fewest years of formal schooling, according to a Pew Research Center global demographic study that shows wide disparities in average educational levels among religious groups.

These gaps in educational attainment are partly a function of where religious groups are concentrated throughout the world. For instance, the vast majority of the world’s Jews live in the United States and Israel – two economically developed countries with high levels of education overall. And low levels of attainment among Hindus reflect the fact that 98% of Hindu adults live in the developing countries of India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

But there also are important differences in educational attainment among religious groups living in the same region, and even the same country. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, Christians generally have higher average levels of education than Muslims. Some social scientists have attributed this gap primarily to historical factors, including missionary activity during colonial times. (For more on theories about religion’s impact on educational attainment, see Chapter 7.)


Drawing on census and survey data from 151 countries, the study also finds large gender gaps in educational attainment within some major world religions. For example, Muslim women around the globe have an average of 4.9 years of schooling, compared with 6.4 years among Muslim men. And formal education is especially low among Hindu women, who have 4.2 years of schooling on average, compared with 6.9 years among Hindu men.

Yet many of these disparities appear to be decreasing over time, as the religious groups with the lowest average levels of education – Muslims and Hindus – have made the biggest educational gains in recent generations, and as the gender gaps within some religions have diminished, according to Pew Research Center’s analysis.

Riaz Haq said...

Is Notorious Islamophobic Think Tank Inspiring More Far-Right Terrorism?
More worrying is the prestige that the Gatestone Institute seems to be able to flaunt along with its considerable resources.

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/notorious-islamophobic-think-tank-inspiring-more-far-right-terrorism

Blumenthal notes that Gatestone emerged in 2011 as an offshoot of the right wing Hudson Institute. Since then it has become a hub for anti-Muslim ideologues of all hues; neoconservative, ultra-Zionist and so-called ‘counterjihad’. It has acted as a clearing-house, for example, for claims about Muslim ‘no-go zones’ (the likes of which ‘terrorism expert’ Steven Emerson was widely ridiculed for, including by UK Prime Minister David Cameron). Its articles carry fear-mongering titles such as: ‘‘Spain: Soon the Muslims will be kings of the world’, ‘Britain’s Islamic future’, ’The Islamization of France’, ‘The Islamization of Germany’ and ‘The Islamization of Belgium and the Netherlands’.

The theme of so-called ‘Islamisation’ is fundamental to the paranoid political imaginary of the counterjihad movement, combining anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment. It is the notion that animates a network of groups under the banner ‘Stop the Islamisation of Nations’ (SION), and underpins street movements like Germany’s PEGIDA (an acronym of the German for ‘Patriot Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West’) and the English Defence League (EDL) – and their respective copycat movements.

It is a favourite topic of many right-wing populist politicians like the infamous Geert Wilders, anti-Islam leader of the Dutch ‘Party for Freedom’, who, according to Blumenthal, calls Gatestone founder Nina Rosenwald a ‘good friend’ (perhaps why Gatestone recently published an article defending his call for ‘fewer Moroccans’ in the Netherlands, comments for which he is facing hate speech charges). ‘Islamisation’ was also, of course, the major preoccupation of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik. In July 2011 he killed 77 people in an attack he called ‘gruesome but necessary’ and saw as a precursor to the civil war he believed was inevitable - that he hoped would drive Islam and Muslims out of Europe.

Eurabia conspiracy theorists and the Abstraction Fund

Breivik detailed his views – typical of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant counterjihad movement - on the ‘threat’ posed to Europe by Islam in a 1,518 page ‘manifesto’. Given that virtually every article that Gatestone publishes is suffused with the same assumptions (for instance ‘How Islam Conquers Europe’, ‘UK Islamic takeover plot’) it is no surprise to learn that the institute’s authors include many of the writers cited by Breivik in his notorious tract. Gatestone author Robert Spencer and his Jihad Watch website were mentioned 116 times, while Daniel Pipes and his Middle East Forum (MEF) got 18 citations. Other Gatestone authors mentioned in Breivik's lengthy screed include David Horowitz and the aforementioned Steven Emerson.

More importantly, Nina Rosenwald’s mega-foundation, the Abstraction Fund, provides funding to many of these organisations: the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism, Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP), Pipes MEF, and many other Islamophobia industry groups besides. (Abstraction also gives to a host of pro-Israel organisations like CAMERA, MEMRI and the Zionist Organization of America, illustrating the increasingly common funding overlap between many anti-Muslim and some pro-Israel groups, observed in the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network’s recent report ‘The Business of Backlash’.) Interestingly, as well as presiding over the Gatestone Institute, Rosenwald is also financing it with money from the Abstraction Fund, albeit indirectly: as with other groups, the money is being channelled via a third party (MEF).

Riaz Haq said...

The Spectator Index‏
@spectatorindex

Following
More
US deaths cause, 2015

Suicide: 43,000
Motor accidents: 32,000
Gun homicide: 13,286
Domestic violence: 1,600
Islamic terrorism: 19
Sharks: 1

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #software engineers cheapest but of poor quality. #SiliconValley most expensive. #bangalore https://qz.com/938495/bengaluru-indias-silicon-valley-offers-the-cheapest-engineers-but-the-quality-of-their-talent-is-another-story/ …

Bengaluru’s startup ecosystem is what it is because of its engineers.
With an average annual salary of $8,600, engineers in India’s tech hub cost 13 times less than their Silicon Valley counterparts, according to the 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem Report released on March 14. The city is home to the world’s cheapest crop of engineers, with the average annual pay of a resident software engineer falling well below the global figure of $49,000.
And companies, Indian and otherwise, choose to work out of Bengaluru because it is the most cost-efficient.

Not only has the tech center nurtured startups like Flipkart and Big Basket, it is also home to big foreign firms like Uber and Amazon.

However, the city’s talent pool poses challenges in access and quality. For the most part, “engineers haven’t been hired very quickly, experience is average, and visa success is low,” the report says. “The quality and professionalism of resources is also questionable in many cases,” Abhimanyu Godara, founder of US-based chatbot startup Bottr.me, which has a development team in Bangalore, said in the report.
The city, home to between 1,800 and 2,300 active startups, also has the youngest tech talent among all startup ecosystems.
Overall, Bengaluru bagged the 20th spot out of 55 cities when evaluated on parameters such as performance, funding, market research, talent, and startup experience by research firm Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network. Despite dropping five ranks from last year, it remains India’s favorite tech hub.

Riaz Haq said...

Actor Kumail Nanjiani: 'I feel more #Pakistani than I have in the last 10 years' #SiliconValleyHBO https://usat.ly/2tUlQZg via @usatoday


"I feel way more defined by my ethnicity now," Nanjiani says. "If there's an ethnicity that is maligned and attacked and demonized ... I'm with you. I stand with you. Because it's unavoidable that people are seeing me a certain way, I kind of want to own it. I feel more Pakistani than I have in the last 10 years."


NEW YORK — The Big Sick is not only a uniquely personal love story, but one that's taken on political undertones in the months since President Trump's inauguration.

Co-written by Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, the romantic comedy (in theaters Friday in New York and Los Angeles, expands nationwide July 14) is a lightly fictionalized account of the first year of their relationship, when an unexpected medical crisis landed her in a coma for eight days.

While Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) is in the hospital, Kumail (Nanjiani) gets to know her parents, Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano), who tag along with him to a comedy club one night where he's performing stand-up. When his set is disrupted by a heckler — who yells, "Go back to ISIS!" — Beth vehemently responds by trying to hit the man before she's thrown out.

"In test screenings, which we were doing before the election, (Beth's outburst) just got huge laughs," says Gordon, 38. But at festival screenings ever since Sundance Film Festival, where Sick premiered on Inauguration Day, "it often gets applause breaks, which is interesting."

Adds Nanjiani, 39: "I was very concerned at Sundance, like, 'How is this going to play?' I was just afraid that (scene) was going to be sad, but it isn't. It's joyful, but it's also righteous anger. People clap as if (it's) almost triumphant."

Nanjiani, who appears in HBO's Silicon Valley (Sundays, 10 ET/PT), was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, where he was brought up in a strict Shiite Muslim household. He moved to the USA at 19 to attend Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, and started doing stand-up comedy his senior year. But he was wary of incorporating his Pakistani background into his routine, save for his opening line, "Don't worry, I'm one of the good ones."

Riaz Haq said...

#Saudi Money Fuels the #Tech Industry in #SiliconValley. #Twitter #Facebook #Uber #WeWork The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/06/technology/unsavory-sources-money-fueling-tech.html

We need to talk about the tsunami of questionable money crashing into the tech industry.

We should talk about it because that money is suddenly in the news, inconveniently out in the open in an industry that has preferred to keep its connection to petromonarchs and other strongmen on the down low.

The news started surfacing over the weekend, when Saudi Arabia arrested a passel of princes, including Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire tech investor who has large holdings in Apple, Twitter and Lyft. The arrests, part of what the Saudis called a corruption crackdown, opened up a chasm under the tech industry’s justification for taking money from the religious monarchy.


-------


Unsurprisingly, this is not a topic many people want to talk about. SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate that runs the $100 billion Vision Fund, which is shelling out eye-popping investments in tech companies, declined to comment for this column. Nearly half of the Vision Fund, about $45 billion, comes from the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

WeWork and Slack, two prominent start-ups that have received recent investments from the Vision Fund, also declined to comment. So did Uber, which garnered a $3.5 billion investment from the Public Investment Fund in 2016, and which is in talks to receive a big investment from the SoftBank fund. The Public Investment Fund also did not return a request for comment.

Twitter, which got a $300 million investment from Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Company in 2011 — around the same time that it was talking up its role in the Arab Spring — declined to comment on his arrest. Lyft, which received $105 million from Prince Alwaleed in 2015, also declined to comment.

Privately, several founders, investors and others at tech companies who have taken money from the Saudi government or prominent members of the royal family did offer insight into their thinking. Prince Alwaleed, some pointed out, was not aligned with the Saudi government — his arrest by the government underscores this — and he has advocated for some progressive reforms, including giving women the right to drive, a restriction that the kingdom says will be lifted next year.

The founders and investors also brought up the Saudi government’s supposed push for modernization. The Saudis have outlined a long-term plan, Vision 2030, that calls for a reduction in the state’s dependence on oil and a gradual loosening on economic and social restrictions, including a call for greater numbers of women to enter the work force. The gauzy vision allows tech companies to claim to be part of the solution in Saudi Arabia rather than part the problem: Sure, they are taking money from one of the world’s least transparent and most undemocratic regimes, but it’s the part of the government that wants to do better.

Another mitigating factor, for some, is the sometimes indirect nature of the Saudi investments. When the SoftBank Vision Fund invests tens of millions or billions into a tech company, it’s true that half of that money is coming from Saudi Arabia. But it’s SoftBank that has control over the course of the investment and communicates with founders. The passive nature of the Saudi investment in SoftBank’s fund thus allows founders to sleep better at night.

On the other hand, it also has a tendency to sweep the Saudi money under the rug. When SoftBank invests in a company, the Saudi connection is not always made clear to employees and customers. You get to enjoy the convenience of your WeWork without having to confront its place in the Saudi government’s portfolio.

Riaz Haq said...

How Muslims, Often Misunderstood, Are Thriving in America
They’re a vibrant and increasingly visible part of the tapestry in communities across the nation.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/05/being-muslim-in-america/

There was nothing to do but watch as the copper-domed building in the southern Texas oil town of Victoria burned down.

The mosque where Abe Ajrami’s BeyoncĂ©-loving daughter was feted with other high school graduates, the mosque where his children went to religion classes, the mosque where he and his family went every Friday to pray and mingle over a potluck of seven-layer dip and spiced biryani, was gone.


“I was trying not to break down,” says Ajrami, a Palestinian American who raced to the mosque after getting a phone call in the dead of night. He recounts the experience to me in his living room as his wife, Heidi, an American convert to Islam, sits to his right and his daughters, Hannah and Jenin, sit to his left, while his son, Rami, sleeps upstairs.

This family reminds me of my own. My father, from Lebanon originally, also came to the United States for an education and a better future, as Ajrami did. My mother was a Unitarian Universalist, like Heidi, and she met her future husband in college and converted. My parents have raised five ambiguously tan American Muslim kids.

-------------

Airaj Jilani, a retired oil-and-gas project manager from suburban Houston, performs as Elvis Presley. He has been a fan since he was a boy growing up in Pakistan. “I was the Elvis fan. My brother was the Beatles fan,” he says. In 1978 he visited Presley’s Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee; the following year he moved to Texas.

-----------
The community has spent about three million dollars trying to build this mosque, but the Islamic center is still just a blueprint in Sohail Akhter’s kitchen. The Pakistani American is the project manager. “Fearmongering is the greatest weapon that they’ve used against us because we’re so few,” he explains to me, saying that opponents have accused them of trying to build a terrorist training camp. “Not a lot of people here have ever met a Muslim. They associate all of us with that. They’re afraid.”

-------------------

Nawab grew up culturally confused. She’s the daughter of parents from Pakistan, she was raised in a largely Arab immigrant suburb of Chicago, and she went to a mostly white school but identified with various cultures, including black culture and hip-hop. “I knew I was Muslim,” she says. “I just didn’t know what it meant. And people put you in boxes: Arab, Muslim, immigrant, doesn’t speak English. I didn’t know how I fit in.”

-------------

IMAN is a way to make Islam relevant to American Muslims, Nashashibi says, especially those searching for a purpose and a connection to a faith so often portrayed as a foreign threat on American television. For this work he was recognized last year with a prestigious MacArthur Foundation “genius” award. “We’re trying to celebrate the legacy of the spirit of a transformational, empowering, inspirational Islam that is not constantly trying to apologize and explain itself,” he says.

It’s the antidote, he says, to the apathy that leads people away from the faith or the vulnerability, disenfranchisement, and anger that lead people to violence, be it on the South Side of Chicago or the battlefields in Syria and Iraq. And America, he says, is the best place to be a Muslim today. “America has always provided, even in its darkest hours, spaces through which people have challenged it to live up to unfulfilled ideals.”

Riaz Haq said...


Islamic centers and mosques in Silicon Valley


South Valley Islamic Center (SVIC)
14770 Columbet Avenue, San Martin, CA


West Valley Muslim Association
12370 Saratoga Sunnyvale Road, Saratoga, CA


Taha Services Masjid
1285 Hammerwood Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA



MVPA Musalla
849 Independence Avenue, Mountain View, CA

NONDENOMINATIONAL


Harris Way Islamic Center (SBIA)
2345 Harris Way, San Jose, CA



SABA Islamic Center
4415 Fortran Court, San Jose, CA



4.8
4

Peninsula Muslim Association
361 Villa Street, Mountain View, CA


Masjid An-Noor
1755 Catherine Street, Santa Clara, CA

South Bay Islamic Association
325 North 3rd Street, San Jose, CA


Muslim Community Association
3003 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA


Blossom Valley Islamic Community Center
5885 Santa Teresa Blvd., San Jose, CA


Muslim American Society Educational Center
2116 Walsh Ave, Ste B, Santa Clara, CA


Islamic Community of Bay Area Bosniaks
345 Northlake Drive, San Jose, CA



Masjid Al Rasool
552 South Bascom Avenue, San Jose, CA


South Bay Afghan Islamic Community Center
32 Rancho Drive, San Jose, CA


https://www.salatomatic.com/sub/United-States/California/SF-Bay-Area/Silicon-Valley/d58MmVmxYy

Riaz Haq said...

Fashion’s Muslim Voices: Bazaar Goes Behind The Scenes At San Francisco's De Young Museum

https://www.harpersbazaararabia.com/fashion/the-news/contemporary-muslim-fashion-exhibition-de-young-museum

On December 26, 2016, barely a month after Donald Trump was sworn in as the President of the United States, the New York Times announced in a bold article that San Francisco’s de Young Museum was embarking on the first major exhibition to explore the complex and diverse nature of Muslim contemporary fashion. The pioneering show would not only address modest dress codes but also examine the ways in which Muslim women serve as arbiters of style within and beyond their communities. “When the announcement was made we initially received some negative comments, but for the most part we’ve gotten very positive feedback and encouragement for the exhibition,” says Miriam Newcomer, the de Young’s Communications Director.

“This exhibition was planned long before the president was elected, but with the Muslim travel ban, the immigration debate and negative portrayals of Muslims in the media, we felt if was important to make the statement that we’d be moving ahead despite the country’s current political climate,” adds Miriam, noting that the de Young has already been approached about having the exhibition travel to other museums in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. “It’s heartening to see the amount of interest and curiosity this exhibition has generated amongst museums and curators, especially for the de Young, which was born out of the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. So it made sense for us to showcase a facet of Muslim culture, which makes up nearly 25% of the world’s population,” she says, while making her way down a small unassuming corridor to the de Young’s Textile Study Center.

Fashion’s Muslim VoicesPreparation for the exhibition is underway

On top of three tables in the center of the room are carful arrangements of gallery floor plans and images of garments being looked over by the exhibition’s curators Jill D’Alessandro and Laura Camerlengo. “The idea for the exhibition grew out of discussions we had with the museum’s former director Max Hollein shortly after he arrived here in June 2016. We talked about the role fashion plays in society and how it often reflects the world around us,” says Jill, the de Young’s Curator in Charge of Costume and Textile Arts, who joined the museum in 2002. The curators went on to conduct extensive research, in addition to going through hundreds of social media platforms and articles on modest fashion that regularly appeared online. “We also looked at publications such as Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, which has been chronicling the modest fashion movement in the Middle East over the past ten years,” notes Laura, the Associate Curator of Costume and Textile Arts, who came to the de Young in 2015.

Riaz Haq said...

5 #American #Muslim Candidates Elected to Local Offices in #SanFrancisco Ba y Area in #Elections2018. Sabina Zafar, Javed Ellahie, Aisha Wahab, Maimona Berta, Cheryl Suddeth.
https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/5-American-Muslim-Candidates-Elected-to-Local-Offices-500051011.html via @nbcbayarea

The election of five American Muslims to local office in the Bay Area on Tuesday is a sign voters are ready for diverse leadership despite troubling increases in hate crimes nationwide, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Before Tuesday, only one elected official among hundreds of representatives on the region's local councils, panels and boards was Muslim, Bay Area representatives of CAIR said today.

"These victories come in the face of CAIR's recent report revealing a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents and a 15 percent increase in hate crimes against American Muslims since Trump took office," said Zahra Billoo, Bay Area executive director of CAIR.

Nationwide, 55 American Muslim candidates won election to offices, 11 of them in California, according to CAIR.

The American Muslim candidates elected Tuesday to Bay Area offices won seats on a variety of local panels.



Sabina Zafar, a technology executive, was elected to the San Ramon City Council.

Business information technology consultant Aisha Wahab won one of two seats open on the Hayward City Council.

Maimona Afzal Berta, a special education teacher, ran successfully for the election to the Franklin-McKinley School Board.

Cheryl Suddeth, a molecular biologist, won election to the West County Wastewater District Board.

Attorney Javed Ellahie was elected to one of three open seats on the Monte Sereno City Council, in Santa Clara County. That election, however, is subject to an automatic recount.

Riaz Haq said...

Anti #Pakistan anti #Muslim pro #Trump Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher Loses, Eroding #Republican Foothold in #California

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/10/us/politics/dana-rohrabacher-loses-harley-rouda.html

Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican fixture in California who represented Orange County for 15 terms, has lost his bid for re-election. His defeat underlines the party’s setbacks in a part of the state that was long a symbol of its political dominance.

The Associated Press called the race on Saturday, with Harley Rouda receiving 52 percent of the vote to Mr. Rohrabacher’s 48 percent.

Mr. Rouda, 56, is a former Republican turned Democrat who became a symbol of the Democratic efforts to win back Congress this year. Mr. Rohrabacher, 71, was viewed as particularly vulnerable because he defended Russia in the midst of allegations about its efforts to intervene in elections in the United States.

In July, Mr. Rohrabacher admitted to meeting with Maria Butina, who was charged by federal prosecutors this summer with conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent, during his trip to Russia in 2015. Mr. Rohrabacher was considered so valuable to the Kremlin that the F.B.I. warned him in 2012 that Russia regarded him as an intelligence source worthy of a code name. His support for President Vladimir Putin of Russia raised questions even among fellow Republicans.

Mr. Rouda capitalized on that in his campaign, running ads emphasizing Mr. Rohrabacher’s Putin ties and criticizing Mr. Rohrabacher for questioning the assertion by United States intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Mr. Rouda has said he is in favor of Medicare for All and a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage tied to inflation, along with free tuition at public colleges. In a post on Twitter after the race was called, he thanked his supporters “who dedicated countless hours to flipping” the 48th Congressional District. He told The Associated Press that he intended to be “honest, transparent, accessible and tireless” in Washington.

Democrats have focused on seven seats in California that were controlled by Republicans. The loss by Mr. Rohrabacher marks the third Democratic victory in those races.

On Saturday night, three other races remained too close to call.

Josh Harder, a Democrat, was ahead of Representative Jeff Denham by 1.9 percentage points in the 10th District. Representative Mimi Walters, a Republican, was leading Katie Porter by 0.9 percentage point in the 45th District. And Young Kim, a Republican, was beating Gil Cisneros by 1.4 percentage points in a race to replace Representative Ed Royce, a Republican who is retiring from the 39th District seat.

Support for Republicans has been steadily eroding in Orange County; in 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win there since the Great Depression. Roughly a third of voters in the county are registered Republicans, down from more than half in 1990. About 30 percent of voters in the district are not registered with either party.