Sunday, November 13, 2016

Implications of Trump’s Victory for Muslims, India and Pakistan

How did all the pollsters and pundits read the US Presidential Elections 2016 so wrong?


Why did Hillary Clinton fail to get the majority of the electoral votes that pollsters forecast?

Who voted for Donald Trump and why?

Will America’s international image as a tolerant and inclusive society be damaged by Trump’s win?

Will President Trump follow through on his Muslim ban?

Will American Muslims be alienated or marginalized by the incoming Trump administration?

What will be President Trump’s policy vis a vis India and Pakistan?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions (in English) with panelists Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)


https://youtu.be/libFw4Wk9WU





https://vimeo.com/191375232


(in English) Implications of Trump's Victory for Muslims, India and Pakistan from Ikolachi on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is Husain Haqqani Advising Trump?

US Elections 2016

Trump Phenomenon

Trump's Muslim Ban

Talk4Pak Think Tank

VPOS Youtube Channel

VPOS Vimeo Channel


21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Todd Green ‏@toddhgreen 4h4 hours ago
Bannon on Robert Spencer: "One of the top two or three experts in the world on this great war...against fundamental Islam"

Riaz Haq said...

The Incendiary Appeal of Demagoguery in Our Time. #Trump #Modi #Bigotry

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/opinion/the-incendiary-appeal-of-demagoguery-in-our-time.html?_r=0


The stink first became unmistakable in India in May 2014, when Narendra Modi, a member of an alt-right Hindu organization inspired by fascists and Nazis, was elected prime minister. Like Donald Trump, Mr. Modi rose to power demonizing ethnic-religious minorities, immigrants and the establishment media, and boasting about the size of a body part.

To paraphrase Jean-Paul Sartre: If the truth remains cloaked in the motherland, in the colonies it stands naked. Before Mr. Trump’s election in America exposed the failures of democracy, they had been revealed in Mr. Modi’s India. Most disturbing, in both places, the alt-rightists were enabled by the conceits, follies and collusion of impeccably mainstream individuals and institutions.

Arguments over what precisely is to blame for Mr. Trump’s apotheosis — inequality, callous globalized elites, corruptible local legislators, zealous ideologues, a news media either toxic or complaisant — will only intensify in the coming months. Writers as various as George Packer and Thomas Frank have already identified as a culprit a professional class of bankers, lawyers, technocrats and pundits. Promoting free trade and financial deregulation around the globe, the Washington Consensus eventually produced too many victims in Washington’s own hinterland.

In the case of India, the role of institutional rot — venal legislators, a mendacious media — and the elites’ moral and intellectual truancy is clear. To see it one only has to remember that Mr. Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, was accused of supervising mass murder and gang rapes of Muslims — and consequently was barred from travel to the United States for nearly a decade — and that none of that prevented him from being elected to India’s highest office.

Mr. Modi’s ascent, like that of many demagogues today, was preordained by the garish dreams of power, wealth and glory that colonized many minds in the age of globalization. Americans are, as Mr. Frank writes, “a population brought up expecting to enjoy life in what it is often told is the richest country in the world.” In India, one of the poorest countries in the world, “the tutelage of a distant and self-satisfied elite” — to borrow from Ross Douthat, describing America — spawned a much more extravagant sense of entitlement. In that elite’s phantasmagoria, the India that embraced deregulation and privatization was a “roaring capitalist success story,” according to a 2006 cover of Foreign Affairs magazine.

The narrative went something like this: Now that the government was getting out of the way of buoyant entrepreneurs, a rising tide was lifting the boats of all Indians aspiring to the richness of the world. Suave technocrats, economists and publicists (mostly U.S.-trained) endlessly regurgitated free-market nostrums (imported from America) — what Mr. Frank calls the “liberalism of the rich.”

The fervent rhetoric about private wealth-creation and its trickle-down benefits openly mocked, and eventually stigmatized, India’s founding ideals of egalitarian and collective welfare. It is this extraordinary historical reversal, and its slick agents, that must be investigated in order to understand the incendiary appeal of demagoguery in our time.

Riaz Haq said...

Why #India Can’t Hide Its Love For #Israel Anymore. #Modi #BJP #RivlinInIndia http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/why-india-can-t-hide-its-love-for-israel-anymore-265482.html … via @indiatimes

India loves Israel; there is not even an iota of doubt about it. Arguably, there were several pretensions and preventions earlier, but now India and Israel are out in open to change their relationship status from ‘it’s complicated’ to ‘engaged’, and perhaps for some, even ‘married’.

With the arrival of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at Mumbai airport for a six-day visit, both Tel Aviv and Delhi will send a strong message across the world about their bilateral relations. This, for the advocates of Indo-Israeli relations, is happening quite slowly, though. While they wish Godspeed to both the states, India, on its part, has evolved its Israeli policy, gradually calculating all the factors and their implications.
It’s been almost 25 years since India began its diplomatic relations with Israel after recognising it in 1950 two years after its creation. Now, when the two states seem closer than ever before and their leaders are meeting and reciprocating state visits, the way only takes them forward to strengthen the ties.

Israel has always looked up to India, in order to garner support at the international forums, where it seeks support to legitimise its policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. India, however, has not been able to oblige Israel on all occasions, but voices its support for Israel’s fight against terrorism, allegedly originating from the neighbouring states. India, so far, has used the ‘abstinence card’ whenever it comes to dealing with the issues related to Israel.
Things seem to be changing now. Earlier, the Indian leaders would try to keep the relationship with Israel as hidden as possible. The extent of diplomatic relations, economic pacts, defence ties and military deals with Israel were done in concealed manner. Even the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in the late 1990s would not venture out to speak openly about Indo-Israel relations, although India had sought Israeli help (and received it) during Kargil War in 1999.

Riaz Haq said...

#Obama's pivot to Asia uncertain after #Trump, #India may have to reassess its Act East policy http://ecoti.in/ICjjcY85 via @economictimes

As the world gropes in the dark to discern likely changes in the US foreign policy under Donald Trump, ‎many in Asia are worried that Trump's isolationist disposition could see him dropping Barack Obama's baton on the US Rebalance or Pivot to Asia.

‎How this will impact India's own Act East Policy, which has converged sharply with the Pivot under Obama and PM Narendra Modi, is already evoking intense speculation in the country.


Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55429399.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Riaz Haq said...

Declining private investment in #India is a danger sign for its economy. #Modi #BJP #AchheDin http://bv.ms/2eXs9sm via @BV

India’s celebrated position as the world’s fastest-growing large economy conceals a dangerous weakness: Too few people seem to want to invest in the country. Even going by the government’s growth figures, private investment is shrinking at an increasing pace -- by 1.9 percent between January and March, and by 3.1 percent between April and June.

The government is struggling to make up for this lack of confidence with its own money. Recent reports suggest officials may seek parliamentary approval for $7.5 billion of additional spending over the next five months, which they hope will increase growth by 0.4 percentage points.

The strategy isn't new. When he entered office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi confronted a slowdown in private investment that had brought India’s growth down from near double digits in 2010 to around 5 to 6 percent in 2014. He and his economic team decided then that public spending was the answer. They hoped that boosting government expenditure would “crowd in” private investment -- that it would raise investors’ spirits, fuel optimism and lead to major private-sector activity on the ground.

But that’s simply not happened. And it’s worrying that, with half its term gone, the government seems unable or unwilling to admit that its approach isn't working.

There are two reasons for India's dangerous investment gap. First, the financial pipeline for new investment is broken. In India, funding for new projects tends to come from the banking sector, which is dominated by state-controlled banks. Unfortunately, state banks are struggling with their balance sheets. They’ve got a large number of bad debts to clean up; while many have been accounted for in the last couple years, more will no doubt emerge. The result, of course, is that credit growth has been anemic. As a matter of fact, bank lending to industry actually contracted in August for the first time in a decade.

The government has done too little to fix the pipeline. There’s only one real solution: to reduce the economy’s dependence on public sector banks, which are so vulnerable to manipulation by influential tycoons. Instead, officials have not only taken the idea of privatizing these banks off the table, but are now promising to be more “pragmatic” -- read: more lenient -- about forcing them to clean up their books.

Second, investors have been burned too often in the past by arbitrary government decisions; disputes over taxation or environmental regulations have stopped work on many projects. Infrastructure investment in particular continues to be held up -- about half of India’s large projects are delayed -- tying up capital and leading to big losses for investors.

Anonymous said...

What will be the implications of deportation of illegal immigrants on diff people groups like Latinos Africans Asians in your opinion?

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "What will be the implications of deportation of illegal immigrants on diff people groups like Latinos Africans Asians in your opinion? "

It will adversely impact almost every sector of the US economy.

Most severely affected will be farms, construction and restaurants where a large number of illegal immigrants work and contribute to the US economy.

You'll see unpicked fruits and veggies rotting on the farms.

You'll see a large number of restaurants shut their doors.

Work on many construction sites will grind to a halt.

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump's top advisor Steve ‘Turn On the Hate’ Bannon, in #WhiteHouse. #Racism #Islamophobia #Antisemitism #Misogyny

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/opinion/turn-on-the-hate-steve-bannon-at-the-white-house.html

In an ominous sign of what the Trump presidency will actually look like, the president-elect on Sunday appointed Stephen Bannon as his chief White House strategist and senior counselor, an enormously influential post.

Many if not most Americans had never heard of Mr. Bannon before this weekend, and for good reason: He has kept a low profile, even after taking over Mr. Trump’s campaign in August. Before that, he worked as the executive chairman of the Breitbart News Network, parent company of the far-right website Breitbart News, which under Mr. Bannon became what the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a “white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill.”

Mr. Bannon himself seems fine with that description, telling Mother Jones last summer that Breitbart was now “the platform for the alt-right,” a loosely organized group of mostly young men who believe in white supremacy; oppose immigration, feminism and multiculturalism; and delight in harassing Jews, Muslims and other vulnerable groups by spewing shocking insults on social media.

To scroll through Breitbart headlines is to come upon a parallel universe where black people do nothing but commit crimes, immigrants rape native-born daughters, and feminists want to castrate all men. Here’s a sample:

“Hoist It High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage” (This headline ran two weeks after a white supremacist massacred nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C.)

“Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy”

“Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield”

If you don’t find the headlines alarming, check the reader comments. Or take a look at who’s rejoicing over Mr. Bannon’s selection. The white nationalist Richard Spencer said on Twitter that Mr. Bannon was in “the best possible position” to influence policy, since he would “not get lost in the weeds” of establishment Washington. The chairman of the American Nazi Party said the pick showed that Mr. Trump might be “for ‘real.’” David Duke, former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, called the choice “excellent” and said Mr. Bannon was “basically creating the ideological aspects of where we’re going.”

Mr. Bannon is in some ways a perplexing figure: a far-right ideologue who made his millions investing in “Seinfeld”; a former Goldman Sachs banker who has reportedly called himself a “Leninist” with a goal “to destroy the state” and “bring everything crashing down.” He has also called progressive women “a bunch of dykes” and, in a 2014 email to one of his editors, wrote of the Republican leadership, “Let the grassroots turn on the hate because that’s the ONLY thing that will make them do their duty.”

A few conservatives have spoken out against Mr. Bannon. Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart News editor who resigned in protest last spring, said Mr. Bannon was a “vindictive, nasty figure.” Glenn Beck called him a “nightmare” and a “terrifying man.”

Riaz Haq said...

'Go back to #India b*tch': #Seattle councilwoman Kshama Sawant threatened for encouraging #Trump protest http://via.q13fox.com/dwaox via @Q13FOX

A Seattle city councilwoman who called on protesters to “shutdown” Donald Trump’s inauguration has since received hundreds of angry emails and phone calls, some telling her to kill herself, her office said.

A spokesperson for Councilwoman Kshama Sawant said the office has been inundated with racist messages and threats of violence following remarks Sawant gave during a post-Election Day press conference at Seattle City Hall on Nov. 9.

“Join me, I appeal to you, today at 4 p.m. at Westlake (Park),” Sawant told a crowd. “Let’s have a massive protest and tell America we do not accept a racist agenda and let’s make sure that on Inauguration Day, on the 20th and 21st of January, let’s do a nationwide shutdown and occupy inauguration.”

Hundreds of people later showed up at an anti-Trump rally at Westlake Park, where Sawant reiterated her call for protest. A video of the speech went viral, and Sawant’s office said they fielded more than 200 calls before 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

“A (Sawant) staffer was told on phone: ‘I will come and tattoo a swastika on your head and on that bitch’s head,’” Council spokesperson Dana Robinson Slote told Q13 News in an email.

The office was also inundated with emails.

“Go back to India bitch,” one email read. “I am tired of being shamed because I’m a white male. You automatically think I’m a racist. How about you go the (expletive) back to India or wherever you came from?”

Another email accused Sawant of enticing a riot.

“We didn’t riot with Obama was elected,” the email reads. “Ever stop to think we see (Obama) as a racist? But we carried on and lived to fight another day. Stop being such a cry baby bitch and go hang yourself.”

Sawant’s call for protest is not a surprise. The socialist council-member has herself engaged in acts of civil disobedience during her time on the council and was arrested during a wage protest in 2014.

Riaz Haq said...

League of nationalists

Economist Magazine

http://www.economist.com/news/international/21710276-all-around-world-nationalists-are-gaining-ground-why-league-nationalists

It is troubling, then, how many countries are shifting from the universal, civic nationalism towards the blood-and-soil, ethnic sort. As positive patriotism warps into negative nationalism, solidarity is mutating into distrust of minorities, who are present in growing numbers (see chart 1). A benign love of one’s country—the spirit that impels Americans to salute the Stars and Stripes, Nigerians to cheer the Super Eagles and Britons to buy Duchess of Cambridge teacups—is being replaced by an urge to look on the world with mistrust.

----------

In India ethnic nationalism, never far beneath the surface, is worryingly resurgent. Since 2014 the country has been ruled by Narendra Modi of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The party seeks to distance itself from radical Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) groups, which criticise it as “soft” on Pakistan, Muslims and those who harm cows (which are sacred to Hindus). And Mr Modi is urbane, pro-business and friendly towards the West. But he is also a lifelong member of the RSS (National Volunteer Organisation), a 5m-strong Hindu group founded in 1925 and modelled loosely on the Boy Scouts.

Members of the RSS parade in khaki uniforms, do physical jerks in the morning, help old ladies cross the street, pick up litter—and are occasional recruits for extremist groups that beat up left-wing students. And last year Mr Modi’s minister of culture, Mahesh Sharma, said that a former president was a patriot “despite being a Muslim”. The minister remains in his job.

Hindutva purports to represent all Hindus, who are four-fifths of India’s population. It promises a national rebirth, a return to an idealised past and the retrieval of an “authentic” native identity. Its adherents see themselves as honest folk fighting corrupt cosmopolitans. They have changed India’s political language, deriding “political correctness”, and calling critical journalists “presstitutes” and political opponents “anti-national”. The RSS also exerts huge sway over education and the media. Some states and schools have adopted textbooks written by RSS scholars that play up the role of Hindutva leaders and marginalise more secular ones.

The BJP has made a big push to control the judiciary by changing rules for appointments, but has met strong resistance. It does not control most states in the east and south. Many of the educated elite despise it. And banging on too much about Hinduism and not enough about the economy is thought to have cost it a state election in Bihar last year.

So India will not slide easily into Turkish-style autocracy—but plenty of secular, liberal Indians are nervous. The police, especially, are thought to favour the ruling party. A reporter nabbed by cops for the “crime” of filming angry crowds outside a bank in Delhi this week says they threatened him with a beating and said: “Who gave you permission to film? Our government has changed; you can’t just take pictures anywhere you like any more.”

Riaz Haq said...

#US exports to #Pakistan sustain 10,000 jobs in #America http://uspolitics.einnews.com/pr_news/354361502/south-and-central-asia-benefits-of-u-s-pakistan-economic-cooperation …

South and Central Asia: Benefits of U.S.-Pakistan Economic Cooperation
Our economic partnership with Pakistan, a growing country of over 190 million, directly benefits America by creating well-paying U.S. jobs, promoting U.S. businesses and exports, and advancing scientific progress in critical areas. The following are some examples:

Creating U.S. Jobs:

The United States exported $1.8 billion in goods to Pakistan in 2015, creating or supporting over 9,200 U.S. jobs according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. As one example, in 2016, General Electric won a contract to provide 55 locomotives to Pakistan Railways, all of which will be manufactured in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Foreign direct investment from Pakistan to the United States in 2015 supported up to 1,000 additional U.S. jobs.
Promoting U.S. Businesses and Exports:

The United States and Pakistan launched the U.S.-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership in 2015, which supports private investment in financially sound, clean energy projects in Pakistan. The Partnership aims to add at least 3,000 megawatts of clean power in Pakistan by 2020, creating opportunities for U.S. businesses across the clean energy spectrum.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted a Pakistani group of Cochran and Borlaug Fellows to study the benefits of using U.S. wood products.
USDA connects U.S. and Pakistani scientists to jointly develop varieties of seeds that will resist diseases that threaten both U.S. and Pakistani cotton and wheat production.
Advancing Science and Technology Achievements:

Since 2005, grants co-financed by both countries under the U.S.-Pakistan Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement have funded 96 research projects in a variety of scientific areas.
Researchers from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and the University of California at Davis are developing a low-cost, blood-based Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic test—more sensitive than the current World Health Organization-recommended sputum test—that is undergoing trials in Chennai, India to prepare for approval and commercial launch of the test in India. This test could eventually enable patients testing positive for TB to undergo effective treatment sooner for a highly damaging disease affecting populations across multiple TB-endemic countries.
Researchers at the University of Michigan at Dearborn and the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) in Lahore are collaborating to develop air quality monitoring that can be applied to mobile and wireless devices. This new area of research aims to improve air quality in polluted urban areas in both countries, and possibly soil and water quality in future applications.
23 U.S. universities from 16 states and the District of Columbia have received grants to work with counterpart Pakistani universities in fields ranging from business development to gender studies.

Riaz Haq said...

After pink slips, #UCSF tech workers train their foreign replacements from #India. #Trump #Jobs http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/03/after-pink-slips-ucsf-tech-workers-train-their-foreign-replacements/ … via @mercnews

In a move that could spread to other universities, about 80 information tech workers at UC San Francisco are facing layoffs and have begun training their replacements — lower-paid tech workers from an Indian outsourcing firm.

The outsourcing, laid out in a $50 million contract with Indian employment firm HCL Technologies, is unusual among public institutions, experts say. The school expects to save $30 million over five years.

“I don’t know of any other university that’s done this,” said Ron Hira, a Howard University professor who studies immigration and outsourcing. “At some point, you start to cross these ethical lines.”

The majority of the outsourced work will be done in India. Additional IT staff may be brought to the UCSF campus from overseas on H-1B visas, according to public documents.

Employees and advocates are criticizing the move, saying it will leave the university and the UCSF Medical Center staff with inferior service and could endanger medical data. The UCSF workers, due to lose their jobs in February, are training their replacements, sometimes via videoconferencing to India.

U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren on Tuesday asked University of California President Janet Napolitano to reverse the decision. Lofgren wrote that replacing some of the workers with H-1B visa holders would be a misuse of the visa

“I think it is proper to expect our major public institutions, such as the University of California, to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the law,” Lofgren said.

---

“They can replace just about any IT job with H-1B workers,” he said. “It’s obviously a major issue.”

UCSF offers graduate degrees in medicine, nursing, dentistry and pharmacy and has a $5.4 billion annual budget, with about two-thirds earmarked for employee salaries and benefits. Administrators say the university faces fiscal challenges.

“We’re under a great deal of pressure,” Joe Bengfort, chief information officer at UCSF, told employees at a staff meeting earlier this year, according to a video of the meeting. “Outsourcing is not a silver bullet and we don’t treat it as such, but it’s probably the most difficult thing we’ve done.”

The cuts amount to almost 20 percent of the university’s IT staff and fall heavily on back-office operations, according to a presentation made to employees.

The school has also contracted with cybersecurity firm FireEye and Dell for other IT functions.

In a statement, the university said the new contracts “will not only increase savings but also strengthen cyber security and enhance IT quality and consistency.”

---
The move is similar to layoffs at Disney and Southern California Edison last year, where employees were forced to train their lower-paid replacements. Disney laid off about 250 IT workers, although some were brought back in different roles. Southern California Edison planned to pare about 500 workers through layoffs and attrition to outsource its operations.

More than a decade ago, the UCSF Medical Center contracted out its medical transcription. In 2003, a Pakastani transcriber threatened to post confidential patient records unless she received more money. The threat was eventually withdrawn.

Tambi Dude said...

"After pink slips, #UCSF tech workers train their foreign replacements from #India. #Trump #Jobs http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/03/after-pink-slips-ucsf-tech-workers-train-their-foreign-replacements/ … via @mercnews
"

I hope Trump stops this. It is one thing for Oracle/Intel/Microsoft to start a new project in India. It is another to shut down an existing dept in USA and move those jobs overseas.

Tambi Dude said...

And I also hope Trump creates incentives for american manufacturer to manufacturer in USA, as they did until 1980s.

As a resident of USA, my loyalty is first with USA.

NBRX said...

What about APPLE having most of the manufacturing outsourced like Samsung? If Apple is forced to do it here then it won't stand a chance against the competition.

Public universities like UCSF face budget cuts in California every year and wages are increasing and tuition is already high.

It will be difficult for Trump to do anything here

Riaz Haq said...

Traumatized by the election results, many Americans are asking: What now? Here are steps that any of us can take that can make a difference at the margins. Onward! by Nick Kristoff NY Times

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/opinion/a-12-step-program-for-responding-to-president-elect-trump.html


1. I WILL accept that my side lost, but I won’t acquiesce in injustice and I will gird for battle on issues I care about. I will call or write my member of Congress and express my opposition to mass deportation, to cutting 22 million people off health insurance, to nominations of people who are unqualified or bigoted, to reduced access to contraception and cancer screenings. Better yet, I’ll attend my representative’s town meeting and put him or her on the spot.

2. I WILL try to do small things in my own life, recognizing that they are inadequate but at least a start: I will sign up on the Council on American-Islamic Relations website, volunteering to fight Islamophobia. I’ll call a local mosque to offer support, or join an interfaith event. I will sign up for an “accompany my neighbor” list if one exists for my area, to be an escort for anyone who is now in fear.

3. I WILL avoid demonizing people who don’t agree with me about this election, recognizing that it’s as wrong to stereotype Trump supporters as anybody else. I will avoid Hitler metaphors, recognizing that they stop conversations and rarely persuade. I’ll remind myself that no side has a monopoly on truth and that many Trump supporters are good people who want the best for the country. The left already has gotten into trouble for condescending to working-class people, and insulting all Trump supporters as racists simply magnifies that problem.

4. I’LL DO my part to support the society I’d like to see. I’ll eat Chobani yogurt because its owner has been subjected to racist attacks for his willingness to hire and promote refugees. Likewise, I will give blood and register for organ donation — for at least they’ll make me feel better. As will a tub of Chobani.

5. I WILL support groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center that fight hate groups, and back the center’s petition calling on Donald Trump to disavow bigotry. Depending on my interests, I’ll support an immigration rights group, the A.C.L.U. or Planned Parenthood. And I’ll subscribe to a newspaper as one way of resisting efforts to squelch the news media or preside over a post-fact landscape — and also to encourage journalists to be watchdogs, not lap dogs.

6. I WILL support refugees, one of the most demonized groups in the world. The International Rescue Committee’s work for refugees can for the first time be supported through donations to The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund. In many cities in America and abroad, volunteer can help refugees through this I.R.C. portal. More refugee resettlement agencies are here.

7. I WON’T let it slide if a friend makes degrading comments about a minority or women. Even if it’s over Thanksgiving dinner, I’ll push back and say something like: “Come on! You really think that?!” Similarly, I may not be able to prevent a sexual predator from reaching the White House, but at events I attend, I may be able to prevent a sexual predator from assaulting a drunken partygoer.

8. I WILL resist dwelling in an echo chamber. I will follow smart people on Twitter or Facebook with whom I disagree. I will also try to enlarge my social circle to include people with different views, recognizing that diversity is a wonderful thing — and that if I know only Clinton supporters, then I don’t have a clue about America.

9. I WILL do what I can in my own life to make sure that the needy aren’t forgotten in the next four years amid paroxysms of tax cuts for the wealthy. I can support Reach Out and Read, an outstanding program that helps at-risk kids learn to read: A $20 donation covers one child for a year, or one can serve as a reader. Or I can be a Big Brother or Big Sister or help through iMentor.

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump and children meet their #Indian partners to talk private business in the midst of transition.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-conflict-of-interest_us_58309ad8e4b058ce7aab78fe

Exactly a week after winning the presidential election, Donald Trump took time out to meet with Indian business partners and his three eldest children at Trump Tower in Manhattan. The meeting came despite the president-elect’s assurances that he was handing off his business to his children in a “blind trust” to avoid potential conflicts of interest while serving in the nation’s highest office.

Trump held the talks with business partners Sagar Chordia, Atul Chordia and Kalpesh Mehta on Tuesday, the Indian newspaper The Economic Times first reported. Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, who attended the meeting, are supposed to be heading the trust, managing their father’s assets and business portfolio. They also sit on the executive committee of the presidential transition team.

Two days later, the president-elect met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in New York City, his first visit from a foreign leader. Ivanka Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions for the Trump Organization, was also in attendance. She is supposed to be running the Trump Organization separate from her father’s administration to avoid any potential conflicts of interest or their appearance. The Trump family appears to be struggling mightily to avoid these conflicts.

“It looks to us that he’s clearly not able to maintain a blind trust and still keep the company under his ownership and, frankly, control,” said Jordan Libowitz, communications director for the ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “We really think that the best thing he can do is sell the company outside of the family and place the money from the sale into an actual blind trust.”

The Trump Organization is currently involved in five different projects in India, at least two of which are with the Chordias’ Panchshil Realty. Mehta is Trump’s personal representative to India through the company Tribeca Developers and works with other companies. Luxury condos built by Panchshil already bear Trump’s name in the Indian cities of Mumbai and Pune. Meanwhile, the Lodha Group is building a different Trump-branded condo in Mumbai. In the New Delhi suburb of Gurgaon, Trump is partnering with Ireo, another Indian developer, to build an office complex and M3M Group to build another residential condo tower.

Riaz Haq said...

#Islamophobic US Rep Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, being considered for job in #Trump admin. #BJP #Modi @alternet

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/curious-islamophobic-politics-dem-congressmember-tulsi-gabbard

To Gabbard, the fact that Syria and Iraq have been through years of brutal civil war, wrecked economies and massive displacement is irrelevant; the only reason they have an extremism problem is because of Islamic theology.

But the case of Tulsi Gabbard becomes less curious and more expected once you look at her links to a different set of ethnic and religious hardliners: the Hindu nationalist Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Since her election to Congress, Gabbard has tied herself closely to this party, which has a history of condoning hatred and violence against India's Muslim minority. Many of her stateside donors and supporters are also big supporters of this movement, which disdains secularism and promotes religious sectarianism.

Meet the Islamophobic BJP

In May 2014, the BJP swept the Indian election, and the man it made prime minister was then-governor of the state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. To say Modi is a controversial figure would be a considerable understatement. In 2002, huge riots broke out in his state, with primarily Hindu mobs attacking Muslim residents. Over 2,000 men, women, and children were killed, with many more injured; mass rape was also documented. Almost all of the victims were Muslim.

Investigations raised a single prominent question: why didn't Gujarat police intervene sooner to prevent the rapes and killings? Although Modi was never indicted, many including a senior police officer who testified before India's Supreme Court said Modi believed his region's Hindus should be allowed to “vent their anger,” and deliberately allowed the rioting to happen for some time before intervening.

Indeed, Modi's original response was unapologetic. “We have 18,600 villages," he told the New York Times. "Ninety-eight percent of Gujarat was peaceful. Is it not a credit for the administration, the government?" India's National Human Rights Commission listed several BJP figures who were accused of spurring on the violence, and noted they had yet to be arrested.

While he escaped repercussions at home, Modi faced them abroad. In 2005, the Bush administration issued a decision to deny Modi a visa to travel to Madison Square Garden to address a rally of supporters, citing a 1998 law that bars foreign officials guilty of “severe violations of religious freedom” from possessing visas. Modi was the first and only person ever denied a visa under this law.

Yet with all of this in the background, Modi was able to rally enough voters to sweep India's national elections. During his electoral campaign, he played down the events in Gujarat and embarked on outreach to the country's Muslim minority. Yet he failed to distance himself from his party's roots in Hindu nationalism and its opposition to measures such as quotas that are designed to combat India's rampant discrimination against Muslims. A recent New York Times article looks at how the party's ideological wing, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has made conversions of Indian Muslims and others to Hinduism a top priority. “We will bring back those who have lost their way,” said Mohan Bhagway, its leader. “They did not go on their own.” Many who have been part of these mass conversion ceremonies have reported being tricked by BJP offers of economic benefits.

Human rights advocates, including some in the United States, remain concerned about the BJP's governing role in India. Many believe the BJP will discontinue what few programs India has to protect its religious minorities while undermining its secular laws to promote Hindu nationalism. Yet at the same time, there has been a vigorous push-back from BJP allies in the U.S. who want to see such oversight gutted.

Riaz Haq said...

Anti-#Muslim assaults in #US reach 9/11-era levels in 2015, #FBI data show. #Trump #Islamophobia

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/21/anti-muslim-assaults-reach-911-era-levels-fbi-data-show/

The number of physical assaults against Muslims in the United States reached 9/11-era levels last year, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new hate crimes statistics from the FBI. There were 91 reported aggravated or simple assaults motivated by anti-Muslim bias in 2015, just two shy of the 93 reported in 2001.

Separately, the number of anti-Muslim intimidation crimes – defined as threatening bodily harm — also rose in 2015, with 120 reported to the FBI. Again, this was the most anti-Muslim intimidation crimes reported in any year since 2001, when there were 296.

Overall, the FBI reported 257 incidents of anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2015, a 67% increase from the previous year. These incidents included 301 individual crimes, 71% of which were crimes against people, as opposed to property. (Incidents can encompass more than one crime.) By contrast, crimes perpetrated against other religious groups more often involved property offenses, such as vandalism or theft. For example, 64% of anti-Jewish and 51% of anti-Catholic offenses in 2015 involved vandalism, compared with just 23% of anti-Muslim offenses.

Most Americans say there is “a lot” of discrimination against Muslims in the United States today – roughly six-in-ten U.S. adults (59%) said this in a January 2016 Pew Research Center survey. About three-quarters of Americans (76%) also said discrimination against Muslims in the U.S. was increasing.

The same survey found that almost half of American adults (49%) think at least “some” Muslims in the U.S. are anti-American, including 11% who think “most” or “almost all” are anti-American. Another survey from about the same time (December 2015) found that 46% of Americans thought Islam was more likely than other religions to encourage violence.

FBI data for 2016 will not be released until next year, but there have been anecdotal reports of a continued rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes this year. While not all incidents can be confirmed, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights advocacy group that tracks hate crimes, reported more than 30 cases of anti-Muslim incidents in the five days following the presidential election alone.

The FBI collects hate crime data from about 15,000 law enforcement agencies that voluntarily participate, which means the annual statistics likely undercount the number of hate crimes in a given year. Still, the report is a useful tool for comparing hate crimes over time and tracking the minimum number of these crimes that occurred in a given year.

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump to #Pakistan PM: "You're a terrific guy" "#Pakistanis are amazing, most intelligent and exceptional people” http://time.com/4586503/donald-trump-pakistan-prime-minister-readout-nawaz-sharif/

The full readout of the call, according to the Pakistani government, is below. Trump’s transition team has not released a readout.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif called President-elect USA Donald Trump and felicitated him on his victory. President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honor and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January that is before I assume my office.
On being invited to visit Pakistan by the Prime Minister, Mr. Trump said that he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people. Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people, said Mr. Donald Trump.

Riaz Haq said...

#Kashmir: Can #Trump solve one of the world’s most intractable conflicts? VP-Elect Pence says YES. http://qz.com/852853 via @qzindia

On NBC News’ Meet The Press on Dec. 04, Pence was pressed by journalist Chuck Todd on the incoming Trump administration’s stance on Pakistan. Here’s a transcript of the conversation:
Chuck Todd: So let me jump to Pakistan. The Pakistan prime minister on Thursday, here is the headline in the front page of the international news in Karachi, “Trump says ready to play role in resolution of issues.” So let me ask you, is he offering to mediate border disputes? The pri– I guess Pakistan wanted to imply that, that he was offering to mediate border disputes between Pakistan and India. Is that what he was trying to say?
Mike Pence: Well, clearly there’s been great tension between India and Pakistan in recent days. It’s resulted in violence along the Kashmir region. And I think what the president-elect expressed in conversations with leaders on both countries was a desire for continued US engagement on building the relationship with both of those countries. These are two nuclear powers–
Todd: Right.
Pence: –the president-elect recognises that. And making sure that, that they know that when this administration takes office, that we intend to be fully engaged in the region and fully engaged with both nations to advance peace and security.
Todd: To be a mediator in deciding Kashmir?
Pence: Well, I think, I think, I think in president-elect Donald Trump you’ve got someone who, who is prepared to advance America’s interests here at home, to rebuild this economy, to fight for American jobs. But I think you’re also going to see an energetic leadership in the world, prepared to engage and to look for ways that he can bring those extraordinary deal-making skills to bear on lessening tensions and solving problems in the world.

http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-12-04-16-n691726