Posted by Dr. Yassin El-Ayouty, Esq: Launched By Trump, A War of Cultures Has Begun!!
One has to be blind not to see in the utterances of Trump and his coterie the launching of a war of cultures!! A war against Islam, Blacks, Jews, and all non-whites. Words have consequences, and appointments by Trump underline the gravity of those consequences.
Trump began his campaign for the presidency by calling for "a Muslim ban on entering the U.S.," thus converting Islamophobia into one of the fronts in his war of cultures. From fear of Islam into a declared aggression in the form of singling out Muslims as enemies of America.
The Trump movement did not stop there. His appointee to the post of national security advisor, General Michael Flynn publicly declared that "Islam is not a religion, but an ideology." Elaborating on his Nazi-like pronouncements against the faith of 1.7 billion Muslims, Flynn called Islam "a malignant cancer."
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell described Flynn as a "right-wing nutty." Flynn?circulated a video declaring: "Fearing Islam, which wants 80 percent of humanity enslaved or exterminated, is totally rational and hence cannot possibly be called phobia."
As a national security advisor, Flynn is charged with guiding the president on all foreign policy matters. Furthermore, that extreme anti-Islam propagandist is the coordinator of all foreign policy across all agencies.
Soon the cavalry of hate, spearheaded by cultural warriors was given formal recognition through another appointment. That of Steven Bannon to the White House post of chief strategist for the President. Bannon has worked for 11 years as the editor of Breitbart News, a medium for the Alt-Right -a fascist entity advocating that?"America is for the whites only." In addition, Bannon is well known for his unalterable anti-Islamic views and prejudices.
So now you have two of the most senior staff positions in the Trump White House qualifying for top aides in the new war of cultures.
Logically, behind the forward leadership of the shock troops come the foot soldiers. People like Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute. To his audience who raised their arms in the Nazi salute on November 20, Spencer declared as follows: "White identity is at the core of both the alt-right movement and the Trump movement, even if most voters for Mr. Trump aren't willing to articulate it as such."
Spencer's audience full throatedly screamed: "Heil the people. Heil victory." It was the perfect environment for hysteria befitting the harangues of Goebbels. In a cultural war, you need first to attack the credibility of the media outlets of your opponent. Thus Spencer pivoted to attacking the American mainstream media which Trump has systematically attacked as "the media is crooked."
The response of the Spencer rally was not disappointing. For he, with the swagger of a winning boxer, demanded an unequivocal endorsement of his racism. Said he: "Perhaps we should refer to them (the media) in the original German." "Lugen presse." To this stimulation, they roared back mimicking the Nazi-era term for "lying press."
Of course, in Trump's newly-launched cultural war, fact-checking is a poisonous tool, as the big lie technique should stand unchallenged. How enraging it must have been for Trump and his cohorts to be challenged by both Fact Check and Buzz Feed. These two organizations have determined that more than 50% of Trump's pronouncements were blatant lies. Including his assertion that he saw "Thousands upon thousands of Muslims dancing in New Jersey at the collapse of the World Trade Center."?It never happened.
No exit from the scrutiny of a free investigative press of the stream of lies is overlooked. There are the Trump surrogates to explain that Trump was misquoted or misinterpreted. Or "It was never said." Or, frequently in the case of Trump: "I don't recall," or "I was told," or "why are we focused on this issue" (as in the case of 12 women complaining of Trump groping them). And if all else fails "I shall sue," and "I shall never settle."
Well, Trump was forced to settle the Trump University scandal for $25 million. Refunds were arranged for the thousands who were fraudulently enticed to pay tuition in return for the illusive quest for getting rich quickly through learning Trump's Art of the Deal.
Note that for Trump, the law is a construct of loopholes to be exploited in order to evade paying taxes. For that tax evasion, Trump was described by one of his hired guns, Rudolph Giuliani,?"a genius."?
Well, if Trump who claims to be a billionaire, is applauded by a former Mayor of New York City, what do you think of the impact of that spin on the average citizen who is obliged by law to pay taxes in accordance with his/her level of income? Undoubtedly, non-observance of the law would become a national practice!!
Speaking of the law, as Trump thrusts this great country in a war of cultures, let us examine his appointment for the post of Attorney General. It is none other than Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. An avid anti-black racist who, as attorney general of Alabama had this to say about a defense attorney. "He is a shame to his race!!" That attorney was white, his clients were black. Later, Sessions who later sat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called a black attorney "boy" -a term reserved in the south for black men.
In no way could Sessions, if confirmed by the Senate, in his capacity as head of the Department of Justice, divest himself from his anti-black past. Jeff Sessions, in 1986, had the dubious distinction of being rejected by that Committee as a nominee for a federal judgeship "due to his racist comments and behavior."
The would-be chief enforcer of the law in America has associated with FAIR (the Federation for American Immigration Reform) which is hostile to immigration and is committed to racial selectivity. Its founder, John Tanton has repeatedly expressed the wish that America remain a majority-white population.
The anti-Islamic, Mike Pompeo of Kansas, is now Trump's nominee for Director of the CIA. He believes that "most Islamic leaders across America were complicit in terrorism."
The election of Obama to the presidency had the effect of baring the racial and religious divides in America. Racism, in particular, has now bubbled in the open, pointing to a sad fact: The South,at least at the local levels, is still fighting the American Civil War by other means.
And Trump, sensing that tilt at the local and State levels, found a wave which he could surf to the top. The Democrats failed, as they focused on the elite, the urban, and the college-degree holders. The blue collar workers, left behind by globalism, and hungry for change, any change, were lured by Trump's "Make America Great Again."
Through Trump's victory, this mantra has become "Make America White Again." A catch-all phrase for a battle cry in the rush toward a war of cultures. A war in which the perceived enemies are local: From Jews, to Muslims. From Blacks to Latinos. From the Brown to the hyphenated names and foreign accents. The early skirmishes incidental to the larger battle are on:
31% increase in hate crimes; 701 incidents have already been recorded;
Swastikas have been scrawled on synagogues;
"You could kiss your visas good-bye" is now frequently hurled at Muslim taxi drivers;
False claims by General Flynn and others that Sharia is spreading in America. It is not. In fact, 38 states have either legislated, or on their way to legislating that the word "Sharia" cannot be mentioned in their courts. They, ignorantly regard it as antithetical to American values and the Constitution;
Now there is Trumpian conversations about registering Muslims in America, and even applying the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Korematsu case to Muslims. That is the Supreme Court's infamous 1944 Japanese internment decision. Approving the herding of hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans into detention camps following the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
That decision has not been repealed, thus potentially allowing it to apply to Muslim Americans. Such threats are legally considered an assault, especially when accompanied by "the apparent present ability to give effect to that attempt if not prevented."?
Those fears had, on Friday, November 18 brought together Muslim, Jewish and Christian clergy members and lay leaders to gather in front of a mosque in Washington in a demonstration of mutual support. Sensing the dangers of the Trumpian threatened measures, they formed an inter-faith group called "Shoulder to Shoulder."?
Their call on Trump is clear and simple: "Keep your promise that you shall serve as the president of all Americans."
The question here should be centered on the cultural war. Analyzing Trump from this perspective is challenging. Not because his racial and ethnic preferences are not already clear. But because Trump is showing the face of a normalized Trump in contacts with some of the foreign powers.
Trump who manifests friendship to Egypt, the Emirates, and Japan, is a different face. For the appeasement of the Republican party, the protection of his 110 businesses in 22 countries, including the far-flung Muslim world, and the need to give priority to jobs in America, all combine to give diplomacy a seat at the Trump's table.
As a deal-maker, Trump by core beliefs, practices, appointments to his administration, and to his populist base, is possessed of two personas: the one inside America,?divisiveness on the basis of ethnicity and religion is to become the norm. And one for the outside, provided it does not project weakness.
The issue here is beyond diplomacy where negotiations or force may be employed. The issue is that a war of cultures inside America shall undoubtedly have grave repercussions, especially in the world of Islam. His top lieutenants have already withdrawn their recognition of Islam as a religion. Thus enabling ISIS which is now splintering into poisonous units all over the world. But through Trumpian hallucinations are provided fresh oxygen for recruiting, funding, and operating.
In this connection, Trump and his team are reading?"The Islamic State" backward. To them, it is "The State of Islam." For the Trumpists, being hostage to social media, the very tool of ISIS franchises, have become brainwashed by the narrative of terrorism.
As such, the Trumpian narrative about Islam, nurtured by the ISIS narrative, is blind to the present?New Religious Revolution waged, primarily, by Al-Azhar in Cairo, and its Rector, Dr. Ahmed El-Taiyeb. The tenets of this counter-jihadism are centered on:
Islamic law is supplemented by legislation;
Equality among all faiths is built on Islamic jurisprudence;
"Allahu Akbar" means that all humans are equal in the eyes of the Creator;
Justice and knowledge are essential to Islamic practices;
Regardless of variety of practices in the geographic expanse of Islam, gender equality is guaranteed;
No "holy war" in Islam; only self-defense within your boundaries;
Removing a dictator is a religious duty, providing that such action would not result in Fitna (self-help without the benefit of law);
Cooperation within a community and inter-communally must be premised on the public good; and
Respect for local laws is incumbent upon a Muslim residing in non-Muslim countries.
Just read about that Religious Revolution set forth in four statements recently made by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in Nigeria, Germany, France and Russia (Chechnya).
How very alien are these tenets from the false advocacy of the likes of Bin Laden or Al-Baghdadi of ISIS!! And how ignorant is Trump's war of cultures of these principles!!
No wonder that a writer for the Op Ed page of the New York Times, Charles Blow commented in the issue of November 21 on the orange color of Trump's face: "That orange glow emanating from the man is the sun setting on America's progress, however slow and halting, on race and gender inclusion and equity."
Responding petulantly to such assessments, Trump, the king of tweeting, responded angrily: "The New York Times is a failing newspaper."?He even chided CNN for only showing bad angles of his face. How pitiful and silly for an American president-elect to be enamored with his facial looks more than with his threatening substance!!?
The foregoing is not a hateful analysis. It is the analysis of hate.?Mr. Trump: Your enmity towards "the other" can be seen through the naked eye. Your first salvo in your war of cultures was the declaration of a Muslim ban.
While Bush junior, even in the heat of 9/11, declared that "we are not at war with Islam." But Donald declared, 15 years after 9/11, that the problem with US Security was Islam.?His National Security Advisor, General Flynn, declared that "Islam is not a religion, it is an ideology."
So here is a mini-lesson for those who wish to read about the history of the global Muslim reaction to terrorism from which the Muslim World had suffered the most:
In 1997, the first head of State to call for a global effort against terrorism was Egypt's former President, Hosni Mubarak. That call came from the rostrum of the US General Assembly.
Before that 1997 global call from Egypt, which now, under President El-Sisi, is in the throes of combating terrorism on its own territory, was a Mubarak presidential decree of 1996. It was to the effect that all terror incidents should be brought, not before civil law courts, but before military courts. That was Egypt's response to the Saber Farahat terrorist attacks on the Semiramis Hotel (Cairo) in 1993, and later on the visitors of the Cairo Egyptian Museum in 1996.
Farahat was apprehended, brought before a military tribunal and executed. I was the attorney for the US attorneys who were claiming, for the foreign victims at Semiramis, monetary compensation from Egypt. The Egyptian Court of Cassation offered the maximum under Egyptian law; I counselled acceptance; the US attorneys on the case demurred; an a federal court in New York City gave them zero. Saying: "The case has already been decided by the Egyptian judiciary -a competent judiciary."
And in 1998, the League of Arab States adopted the first international regional convention on terrorism; followed in 1999, by a similar convention adopted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (57 States), based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
All the while, the U.S., governmental and non-governmental entities were howling "foul" at these timely anti-jihadi efforts. Reason: the wrong reason. They were placing due process for the individual ahead of due process for the community.
When 9/11 happened, a major crime against humanity, and in which hundreds of Muslims perished as a segment of the 3000 victims, Saudi Prince Walid Bin Talal offered Mayor Rudolph Giuliani $10 million to aid the first responders.
Giuliani rejected that humanitarian effort for a flimsy reason. Prince Walid, in a TV interview had been asked: "Do you think that 9/11 happened because of US policies favoring Israel?" Bin Talal replied: "I can't exclude it."
A few years later, Giuliani, now chosen by Trump for a top security post in his administration, went to the Muslim region to make millions of dollars through consultancies and speeches. General Flynn was not too far behind in making lots of money through counselling Turkey -a Muslim majority country.
Thousands of Muslims are now serving in various American police departments and in the US armed forces. Millions of US Muslim civilians are daily contributing to US advancement. Steve Jobs, the father of the digital age, was a Syrian.
Mr. Trump: Before you open your mouth with assaults on Muslims and other American minorities, know that you yourself seem to have little regard for US laws: Not only on tax laws; on contract law; on due process law; on entitlements law; on anti-discrimination law; on religious liberty laws.
Even in regard to conflict of interest laws, you, at present, are refusing to separate between your personal wealth and America's commonwealth. Your family, which is your primary source of counselling, cannot run your business as of the moment you take the oath of office on January 20, 2017.
Mr. Trump: Your ignorance of the law is documented by your lack of knowledge of your own presidential powers. Were you to stop for a couple of hours in order to read the U.S. Constitution, you shall find that you have only ONE POWER. The power of pardon. (It is a well known fact that you do not read.)?The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution does not mean you, Mr. Trump. It means the States where powers which are not allocated to the federal government become automatically State powers.
Now the cities and mayors are rising up to defy your plans for mass deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. The United States is fast becoming "The United States of the City States." The States have the exclusive powers on their police forces.
And if you can spare more time for a modicum of studenthood in international trade law, you will find that your bluster against international trade agreements is nothing but ignorant Trumpese.
Rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership by you is a hollow threat. China has already cordoned off America through her proposal for a "Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific." Both Peru and Chile are anxious to join it.
Your empty rhetorical nonsense about China, whose steel built your gambling casinos, has been ridiculed by experts who dismiss your bombast. The Peterson Institute for International Economics has concluded that "a full-blown trade with China and Mexico would push unemployment in the United States to nearly 9 percent, in 2020, from 4.9 percent today." What would the millions of working-class Americans who voted for you say to that, Donald? "Defrauded Again!!"
And Mexico has now undervalued its currency. Thus making its products more competitive, and its territory more inviting to American manufacture. The Ford Motor Company is planning to have its small cars assembled, not in America, but in Mexico. Labor in Mexico is paid only 15% per hour as compared to labor pay in the U.S. It is Mexico that has already built its wall, an economic wall, not the Trump wall, at the southern border.
In the New Yorker of November 25, Ali Fitzgerald posted this headline: "Post-Election Nihilist Horoscope." Then predicted: "The new orange-tinted moon of November 8th will usher in an age of extreme darkness -lighting only the houses of racism, misogyny, and gross red hats."
Donald: You often repeated "I love wars!!" Regardless of any Trumpist spin which you and your team might employ, wars shall not "Make American Great Again."?
Because of the holiday season, these blog postings shall be suspended until late December.