In Trump’s terror-tinted eyes all Muslims are equal, but some are more equal. No American president has been able to escape the toxic seduction of Islamist Pakistan and the ISI. Neither Iran nor Iraq has carried out a terror attack inside America. A number crunching exercise by the Cato Institute, an US policy analysis outfit, calculates that just one American in 3.6 million is likely to be killed by an immigrant-turned-terrorist; this count includes the 9/11 deaths. — Ravi Shankar
Donald Trump’s theme song of xenophobia is full of cantos of contradictions. The Donald won on a rising tide of hate against immigrants and Muslims, naming and shaming them as economic and security threats. Banning their entry into the US was one of his major campaign promises. Keeping it, he has signed an executive order banning immigrants from seven countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—from entering America. The blacklist, however, doesn’t include four countries, which are founts of terror—Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
Osama bin Laden, the author of the 9/11 attacks that killed around 3,000 Americans, was found living in Abbottabad, Pakistan, as a guest of the ISI and the Pak government. Fifteen of the 19 attackers on the Twin Towers were Saudis; the rest were from the UAE, Egypt and Lebanon. None of these countries find mention in the order. Hafeez Saeed, who the US has designated as a global terrorist, enjoys safe haven in Pakistan. [He is now under house arrest for fear of Trump.] The Americans call Pakistan their ally in the War on Terror, but haven’t been able to capture the dreaded Haqqanis.
Trump got rave reviews from the Bible belt and the Christian right. However, Christians are the most persecuted minority in Pakistan, second only to Hindus. Rapes, riots, forcible conversions are their lot; suicide bombers target their festivals. San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, who attacked a Christmas party, was a Pakistani who had lived in Saudi Arabia before immigrating—he was operating inside America. Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber, was a Pakistani, too. Saudi money funds terrorism even today, and its main target is America. American intelligence—which Trump distrusts—has warned that the Saudi National Guard has been compromised by al-Qaeda.
Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the Chattanooga gunman who shot dead four Marines, was from Kuwait. Bangladesh is the new terror capital in South Asia, where the ISIS is flourishing. Al-Qaeda has set up its headquarters in southern Afghanistan from where it is planning lethal attacks against the West. Thousands of American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan. But citizens from these countries are welcome to Trump’s America.
In Trump’s terror-tinted eyes all Muslims are equal, but some are more equal. No American president has been able to escape the toxic seduction of Islamist Pakistan and the ISI. Neither Iran nor Iraq has carried out a terror attack inside America. A number crunching exercise by the Cato Institute, an US policy analysis outfit, calculates that just one American in 3.6 million is likely to be killed by an immigrant-turned-terrorist; this count includes the 9/11 deaths.
There were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015 (the last gun fatality census), which killed 475. Trump is an idol of the gun lobby; there were 13,286 firearm-related deaths in the US in 2015. More people have been killed by extreme right wing organisations in America than terrorists; this fatal number includes Hindus and Sikhs. America, which is on a xenophobic binge, needs to look within. They also have to look more closely at the one country, which has dedicated itself to its destruction, using the dollars it gets from a generous, insecure Washington—Pakistan. – The New Indian Express, 29 January 2017
» Ravi Shankar is an author and columnist for The New Indian Express in New Delhi.