Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: World

Donald Trump on Muslims

Donald John Trump is making news all over the world for his comments about Muslims. He said visas should not be issued to Muslims till a system is in place. He said some mosques should be under surveillance and there should be detention centres for Muslims. In London and Paris there are areas inhabited by Muslims where policemen fear to go. His statements were in the context of San Bernardino shooting on 2/12/2015 by married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
Scotland said Trump will not be its business ambassador. Trump products were taken off shelves in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE. One university withdrew his doctorate. I did not know that university existed. Time nominated Angela Merkel as Person of the Year. Trump said he knew Time will not nominate him and they nominated someone for ruining Germany. Boris Johnson contradicted Trump. There was a petition in UK not to grant visa to Trump. UKIP supported Trump. David Cameron and French PM Dominic Valls opposed Trump.
Trump’s Republican rivals and many others condemned his statements. Some of them have just 1% votes in polls. There was wide publicity for such statements. Some people said something in support of Trump. Those statements did not get much publicity.
After the San Bernardino attack where a couple of Pakistani origin killed 14 persons and wounded many more, many welcome Trump’s statements. Trump is not politically correct. He says political correctness has gone too far. He wants to say things as they are. His supporters are glad. He leads in the polls.
Trump has justified his proposals by pointing such things have been done by former presidents. Franklin Roosevelt had put Japanese, German and Italian residents in USA in detention camps. Dwight Eisenhower had deported officially a million Mexicans. People said “I like Ike.” Ike was Eisenhower’s pet name. James Carter stopped issuing visas to Iranians.
Ever since Trump announced his candidature for Republican Presidential nominee he has dominated news except when there were terrorist attacks or some great events. At first his candidature was seen with amusement. Soon he ranked second in numbers. After that he has been first most time. Three of his rivals left the race: Rick Perry, Scott Walker, and Bobby Jindal. Other candidates have moved up and down. For long Ben Carson was close in numbers. Now Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio are close to him.
Trump said San Bernardino terrorists were animals. He was wrong. Comparing terrorists to animals is an insult to animals.
Someone said Trump rides on fear of Muslims and also adds to it. A survey conducted about Muslims showed most Americans agree with Trump. Trump knows the mind of the majority.
India has been a victim of cross-border terrorism of Pakistan. Occasionally USA is a target or victim of Pakistani terrorism. Times Square bomber was a Pakistani. Pakistanis were involved in World Trade Center attack that took place some years before 9/11. The attack mostly failed.
Boston bombers were Muslims who came from Dagestan. Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan was a son of Palestinian immigrants and psychiatrist in US army.
Some Muslims have a grouse that mass shootings by white male Christians are not referred to as terrorist acts but such acts by Muslims are referred to as terrorist acts. They have a point. They also resent calling San Bernardino shooting as the greatest act after 9/11 as there were many acts where more than 14 people had died.
Trump has supported Binyamin Netanyahu in Israel’s elections. He was to visit Israel on 28 December and meet Netanyahu. Netanyahu said “The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of its citizens. At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.” He said he meets all presidential candidates who come to Israel and meeting does not meet endorsement. Israel does not fight ISIS. It assists ISIS against Syria. Trump said he will visit Israel at a later date after he became president of USA. Trump should be careful about Netanyahu’s bitch Kaiya which bit Sharren Haskel and Or Alon at Hanukka dinner.
India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was in Washington to Meet American Defence Secretary Ashton Carter. He was asked about Trump’s comments. He said “I will not comment on what has been talked about in the US, but as far as India is concerned, we have the second largest Muslim population in the world and we gel well.” Not long ago intolerance was a topic in India and many had returned their awards.
Sikhs in USA suffer collateral damage when there are hate crimes against Muslims. Many Americans cannot distinguish between Sikhs and Muslims. Sikh men wear turbans and keep beard. They resemble Arab Muslims who wear turbans and keep beard and have carried out terrorist acts. Gurudwaras are mistaken for mosques. Sikhs come under attack for what they are not.

Fight against ISIS

Ever since ISIS terrorists stuck Paris, France’s President Francois Hollande is on a mission to form a coalition against ISIS. He has met UK’s PM David Cameron, USA’s President Barack Obama, Italy’s PM Matteo Renzi, Germany‘s Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. France wants to withdraw its soldiers from Mali and other African countries. Germany has agreed to send 650 soldiers to Mali.
Many countries claim to fight against ISIS but their fight is token. USA’s fight against ISIS is a farce and meant to hoodwink American people. USA and allies wanted to get rid of Bashar Al Assad and they encouraged all types of terrorist against Syria. When many in USA questioned arming Islamic terrorists hostile to USA, USA stopped openly supporting them. USA claims it is against terrorism but abets, finances, sponsors and trains terrorists against Syria and calls them freedom fighters. It claims to have spent 500 million dollars to trains fighters but says most of them were captured or killed by Al Nusra or ISIS. Turkey buys oil from ISIS. USA did not prevent it. They did not bomb oil tankers. Their excuse is that they don’t want to kill drivers and send them messages. Kurds have Peshmerga which fights ISIS but USA does not give them sufficient weapons to fight ISIS. It tells Iraq not to use Shias in fight against ISIS but Sunnis. It did not bomb ISIS training centre for 15 months. France bombed it. Israel is on the side of ISIS. Gulf countries pretend to fight ISIS.
ISIS has used internet to recruit terrorists and use them to carry out terror attacks in their countries. They don’t have to travel to ISIS territory.
Hacktivists of Anonymous have come forward to disable web sites of ISIS. How far they are successful is not known.
Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian plane and subsequent death of a Russian pilot and a Russian marine has complicated matters. Putin called the act a stab in the back and warned of serious consequences. Turkey claims the plane violated Turkish air space. Russia claims the plane was in Syrian air space. The plane crashed in Syria. Turkey is a NATO member. Iran claims it saved another Russian pilot.
Till a few days back France was against Russian intervention in Syria. Now it wants Russia’s help.
Schools and Metro were closed in Brussels for three days. Football matches were cancelled in Germany and Spain. There is talk of doing away with passport-free travel in Schengen Area and having border controls.
If France wants to win against ISIS it cannot be ambivalent and ambiguous about its allies. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius first talked about Syrian Army as an ally against ISIS. Later he backtracked and said Syrian Army after the removal of Bashar Al Assad.
To confront the problem of Islamic terrorism people have to accept the problem exists. The terrorists claim they are Muslims and carry out terrorist acts in the name of Islam. They quote certain passages of Quran in their defence. To say these people are not Muslims and their acts are betrayal of Islam is to deny the problem.
Two of the terrorists had come from Syria and that had created a backlash against refugees from Syria and other countries. Even before the terror attacks there was hostility towards refugees and Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia had begun fencing and border controls.
USA’s invasion and occupation of Iraq led to the rise of ISIS. Actions of USA and allies in Libya and other countries led to the spread of ISIS. France and UK bombed Libya and removed Gaddafi and after that it has been anarchy in Libya. Many African refugees came to Europe through Libya.
In 2011 there was talk of Arab Spring and Obama told some friendly leaders to quit. Hosni Mubarak quit in Egypt. Elections followed. Mohammed Morsi’s government was toppled by army. In Yemen it was civil war and foreign invasion. In Bahrain the government refused to introduce democracy and USA forgot about it. Bashar Al Assad is not an ally of USA. He refused to quit. Russia and China vetoed NATO attempts to bring Syria under no-fly zone.
ISIS burst into international prominence in June 2014 when it captured Mosul. The victory was not due to any bravery of ISIS soldiers but corruption of Iraqi army’s officers. They did not fight. They took money and left. Iraqi soldiers surrendered uniforms and weapons. Bank robbery, abductions and oil wells got much income for ISIS.
Ground troops are needed to defeat ISIS. Ground troops of Peshmerga, Russia, France, Syria, Iraq and Iran can defeat ISIS and win back the territory.

Coalition of the killing

On 10/9/2014 on Al Jazeera there was a discussion on ISIS also known as ISIL, IS or Caliphate.  Phyllis Bennis referred to John Kerry’s plan to put together a coalition of the willing as a coalition of the killing.  She said in American media the beheadings of two American journalists have been portrayed as danger to all Americans instead of American journalists who go to Iraq and Syria.  The beheading of six ISIS fighters including one American by so-called moderate Free Syrian Army has not been reported except by New York Times in an article in an inside page.  USA by air strikes in Iraq took part in a civil war on the side of Kurdish Peshmerga and Shias against Sunni ISIS.

Later Barack Obama said “We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.  America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.”

Calling ISIS a terrorist threat is ignoring the reality that it is a state.  It fulfils four conditions needed for a state: population, territory, government, sovereignty.

The condemnation of ISIS by Arab League sounds hollow.  Many of these countries had supported ISIS.  They supplied it with money and arms and trained them.  Some Americans had warned against arming rebel forces in Syria as they were full of people who hated America. Those warning were ignored by American government.

The coalition seems doomed.  A Turkish official said “Turkey will not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operation.”  Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman do not want ISIS to fail.  They do not want to offend USA.  They are likely to play on both sides as Pakistan did in America’s War on Terror in Afghanistan.

ISIS had driven out Christians, Yazidis, and Shias from the territories they had conquered.  But US air strikes were ostensibly to protect Americans in Erbil, also known as Arbil or Irbil.  There were 40 consular staff and 100 American soldiers in Erbil.  If any other country had done such a thing there would have been condemnation.

USA’s involvement in Afghanistan has been a disaster.  Soldiers trained by Americans have killed American soldiers.  The attacks are known as green on blue attacks.  If Taliban continues to thrive in Afghanistan it is partly because of Pakistan and partly because of protection money given to Taliban by suppliers who supply goods to Americans.  Money given for projects for development in Afghanistan went to private accounts of Afghan officials in UAE.  Similar situation is likely to arise in Iraq and Syria.

Afghanistan is in a mess.  Presidential election dispute is not resolved.  Afghan Constitution does not grant freedom of religion.  Any Muslim who changes religion can be sentenced to death.

Libya is in a mess.  Most embassies are closed and foreigners have left.  Different factions control different parts of Libya.

ISIS operated in Syria for a long time.  When it marched into Iraq and captured Mosul it grabbed worldwide attention.  For USA and allies they were freedom fighters in Syria.  In Iraq they became terrorists.

Many EU countries have recession.  Sanctions against Russia have resulted in counter-sanctions.  Russia stopped buying fruits, vegetables and meat from EU countries.  ISIS is not a threat to them.

UK is a willing and killing partner in USA’s invasion.  There is referendum in Scotland on independence on 18/9/2014.  Opinion polls show 51% Yes vote.  Many British politicians are worried.  Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberal Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and Labour Party leader David Milliband had gone to Scotland to campaign for No vote.  Some British Muslims are in ISIS.  UK has a problem if they return.

ISIS would not have executed American journalists if they had got ransom.  Many Europeans journalists were released after ISIS received millions of euros in ransom.  For James Foley’s release ISIS is said to have demanded 100 million euros as ransom.  USA had a commando operation to rescue him which did not succeed.

There are attempts to win over Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq by USA.  It is done by offering money for switching sides.  In the past USA had been successful.  However when the money stops tribal leaders switch sides again.

With the rise of ISIS, Al Qaeda has faded into insignificance.  Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s statement of jihad in Indian sub-continent is an attempt to show Al-Qaeda still matters.

Vladimir Putin has warned against air strikes on ISIS in Syria without Syrian government’s permission has violation of Syria’s sovereignty.  If USA goes ahead with air strikes without permission Russia can counter USA in Syria or attack Ukraine.

In Nigeria also there is a caliphate, established by Boko Haram which had kidnapped more than 200 girls.  Not much is known about the whereabouts of the girls.

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