How Trump stirred controversy in Nigeria

Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari became the first president from sub-Saharan Africa to visit Donald Trump’s White House on Monday. But even after they neatly avoided Mr Trump’s alleged comments about “shithole” African countries, the US president managed to stir controversy in Nigeria, writes the BBC’s Stephanie Hegarty from Lagos.

_101115295_beb3e7c1-df0f-4f9a-9f4b-c307cc84940dPerhaps warning bells rang when Mr Trump started off asking Mr Buhari how he was getting on with “that Boca Haram”, a reference to militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

But then again, maybe that slip of the tongue was predictable.

Less so was what he said next, as the former reality television star weighed in on the conflict between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria’s Middle Belt – or the way in which he would frame it.

“We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria,” Mr Trump said. “We are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen.”

‘Genocide’?

The US president showed little understanding of a very complicated and intensely politicised crisis – one which has a battle between nomadic cattle herders and settled farmer over access to land and grazing rights at its centre.

But perhaps it should not come as any surprise. Mr Trump has always been quick to jump to the defence of Christians in conflicts such as Syria and Iraq and comments like this play well to his base among Evangelical Christians in the US.

But his point of view also plays into popular feeling among some Nigerian Christian groups.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE BBC 

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The blue Muslim wave: American Muslims launch political campaigns, hope to deliver ‘sweet justice’ to Trump

Fayaz Nawabi has never met President Trump. But he credits the president with convincing him to run for office.

Nawabi, a 31-year-old candidate for San Diego City Council, supports almost everything that Trump opposes: He is pro-affordable housing, pro-environment, pro-immigrant and pro-refugee. That makes him part of the blue wave of new liberal candidates spurred to run by Trump’s election and policies.

But Nawabi is also part of a notable subset: the blue Muslim wave.

Although their number seems small, the candidacies mark an unprecedented rise for the nation’s diverse Muslim community that typically has been underrepresented in American politics.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST 

So you’re scared of Islam? By that logic, you should be scared of Christianity as well

muslimSince the 45th President of the United States took office last January, the social, economic, and cultural landscape of the U.S. has shifted. For the average American, these changes are not terribly pronounced. Sure, their taxes may go up or down a little, and they may not be able to afford health care, but for the stereotypical white, red-blooded American, there is no worry of physical safety nor cultural belonging. This is not the case for many Muslims living in the United States under reign of President Trump.

Islam is the most feared and misunderstood religion in America. Despite notions of American diversity, Americans are grossly intolerant of Islam.

For many years after 9/11 the villain in action movies were Islamic terrorists. The film and television industry capitalizes on popular opinion when selecting the archetypal “bad guy” for the silver screen. These days the villains tend to be Russian or vaguely North Korean, again reflecting the zeitgeist of American mob mentality. Perhaps the term “American” here is disingenuous and I should be more specific. A Pew Research Center survey found, in 2017, that Republicans, white evangelicals, and those with less education are much more likely to express reservations about Muslims and Islam than any other group of Americans. On their “feeling thermometer” from zero to one-hundred where absolute zero indicates the most negative possible rating and one hundred the highest possible favor rating. The average Democrats rated Islam at 56 while Republicans and those leaning towards the Republican party came in at a cool 39. 63 percent of Republican respondents believe that Islam incites violence while only 26 percent of Democrats agreed with that statement. Additionally, Republicans also are more likely than Democrats to say that Islam is not part of mainstream American society (68 percent vs. 37 percent) and that there is a natural conflict between Islam and democracy (65 percent vs. 30 percent) according to Pew Research Center.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE SPECTATOR

Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump

pence_0US President Donald Trump received another setback last week when the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Richmond, Virginia, ruled against the latest version of his Muslim ban. In its ruling, the court stated that the ban is “unconstitutionally tainted with animus towards Islam” and that its central purpose is “to exclude Muslims from the United States.” Despite the ruling, “Muslim Ban 3.0” will remain in effect while the Supreme Court considers the case. 

The decision by the Fourth Circuit has been cautiously welcomed by Muslims, many of whom have endured prolonged separation from their loved ones as a result of the ban.The Muslim ban has always been a reactionary gimmick aimed at shoring up the most backward elements of Trump’s political base and whipping up anti-Muslim hysteria in the country.  It was clearly designed to reinforce the bogus notion that Muslim-Americans and Muslim immigrants constitute a unique threat to “national security.”

The consistent, calculated attempt by Trump and his supporters to portray ordinary Muslims as potential security threats has had a devastating impact on Muslim-Americans, contributing to an increase in hate crimes against Muslims and fostering a general climate of fear and uncertainty within the community.  There are also indications that the government is planning a further crackdown on the democratic rights of Muslims, with increased surveillance of Muslim communities in the works. Indeed, reports from around the country this month demonstrate how the US is increasingly becoming hostile territory for Muslims.

FULL ARTICLE FROM GLOBAL RESEARCH

US court says Trump travel ban unlawfully discriminates against Muslims

Trump Travel Ban

Muslim and civil rights groups and their supporters gather at a rally against what they call a “Muslim ban” in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries violates the U.S. Constitution by discriminating on the basis of religion, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday in another legal setback for the policy.

The Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on a 9-4 vote, became the second federal appeals court to rule against the ban, finding that the Republican president’s own words demonstrated that bias against Muslims was the basis of the policy.

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the ban, put in place by Trump with a presidential proclamation in September, to go into effect while litigation challenging it continues.

The 4th Circuit ruling went further than the earlier decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found the ban violated federal immigration law but did not address the question of whether it also violated the Constitution. The Supreme Court already has said it will consider both issues in deciding the legality of the ban in the coming months.

The justices are due in April to hear arguments over the ban and issue a ruling by the end of June.

FULL ARTICLE FROM REUTERS

Trump’s Travel Ban Attacks The Very Idea Of America, But Muslims Are Fighting Back

5a6b46e32d00004900942e29As a newly arrived immigrant from Syria in the late ’80s, I took English as a Second Language classes in middle school. One of our teachers, Mrs. Wolf, would often tell us that America is a melting pot of people, where everyone has the same right to live in peace and pursue prosperity and happiness.

In graduate school, where I studied U.S. foreign policy, a professor stressed that what made the United States more powerful than a rising China was not military or economic might, but its character as a nation. It was, he lectured, the shared commitment to values and ideals that led to our clout.

Then I became a U.S. diplomat, a job in which reverence for and defense of these values were a necessary part of my day-to-day work. In negotiations with foreign counterparts, often representatives of authoritarian regimes, it was clear to all that I was representing not only the American people, but the principles of democracy and liberties that we cherish.

From awestruck child arriving in this great country to adult who had the privilege of representing it abroad, it was drilled into me, in both words and deeds: America is as much an idea as it is a place.

On the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s travel ban ― and the tumultuousracistxenophobic leadership we’ve seen since ― it’s clear that this idea, a pluralistic society driven by equality, is under considerable threat.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST 

One year after the travel ban, I am not your American Muslim

Imam Omar Suleiman is the founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and an adjunct professor of Islamic studies in the graduate liberal studies program at Southern Methodist University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.

633056120.0.jpgDallas (CNN)The last detainee at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was Jesus. Not the one that Christians and Muslims revere, but a 33-year-old man named Issa (“Jesus,” in Arabic), who once was a military contractor for the US Army in his native Iraq.

I know, because I was there at the airport that day — January 29 — nearly a year ago.
Of all the detainees held over those few tumultuous days, this one evoked the most sympathy and shame. How could a handicapped man named after possibly the most famous refugee in history, who served this country in war, now be turned away from that same country in the name of “security”?