Archive for January 30th, 2017

Who Hasn’t Trump Banned? People From Places Where He’s Done Business

New York Times
JAN. 29, 2017

President Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries is being rightly challenged in the courts for, among other things, its unconstitutional interference with free exercise of religion and denial of due process. Overlooked in the furor is another troubling aspect of the situation: President Trump omitted from his ban a number of other predominantly Muslim nations where his company has done business. This adds further illegitimacy to one of the most arbitrary executive actions in our recent history, and raises significant constitutional questions.

The seven countries whose citizens are subject to the ban are relatively poor. Some, such as Syria, are torn by civil war; others are only now emerging from war. One thing these countries have in common is that they are places where the Trump organization does little to no business. Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. Travel Restrictions Put Saudi Arabia in a Bind

By MARGHERITA STANCATI in Dubai and AHMED AL OMRAN in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Wall Street Journal
Jan. 30, 2017

Monarchy’s desire to cultivate good relations with Trump administration run counter to outcry in Muslim world over ban

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home to the religion’s two holiest sites, has long used its religious clout to project its role as a regional leader. Now that same clout has caught the kingdom in a prickly dilemma.

The monarchy’s desire to cultivate a better relationship with the Trump administration than it had with the U.S. under Barack Obama is exposing Saudi Arabia to criticism that it is unwilling to stand up for its Muslim allies, particularly those caught in an executive order that restricts entry to the U.S. for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.

“The ban puts Saudi Arabia in an awkward position,” said Ibrahim Fraihat, a professor of conflict resolution at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. “Saudi Arabia will be expected to take a position against it because some of the countries included in the ban like Sudan and Yemen are key allies and because it projects itself as leader of the Muslim world.” Read the rest of this entry »

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There must be no Islamophobia or non-Islamophobia if Malaysia is to succeed as a nation to achieve her full potentials benefiting from her diversity and confluence of the world’s great religions, cultures and civilisations in Malaysia

It is the right of the PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to talk about his aim for PAS to win at least 40 Parliamentary seats in the next general election, but it is the height of irresponsibility in a plural society for any political leader to pander to either Islamophobia or non-Islamophobia.

This is because there must be no Islamophobia or non-Islamophobia if Malaysia is to succeed as a nation to achieve her full potentials benefitting from the diversity and confluence of the world’s great religions, cultures and civilisations in Malaysia.

Hadi has the right to talk of his expectation that PAS will win 40 parliamentary seats, just as it is the right of others who prognosticate that PAS may even lose the Kelantan state government which PAS had ruled for five consecutive general elections since 1990 under the late Tok Guru Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, who was both Kelantan Mentri Besar in all the five general election battles and PAS Mursidul Am.

Not only that, there is also the forecast that PAS would possibly face the worst electoral defeat in the next general elections in the 14GE under Hadi’s leadership.

It is regrettable that Hadi seems to be promoting a form of non-Islamophobia when he said in a special address in Kedah that the PAS’ previous political consensus with Pakatan Rakyat allies PKR and DAP had achieved the best result so far for the Opposition, but had resulted in a political imbalance.

He said: “Do you realise how the situation was with the seats? Unknowing, the 89 Opposition seats were 21 seats for PAS, 30 for PKR, and 38 for DAP.”

He asked: “Is it fair for this country, the government is governed by Muslims in 39 seats, with non-Muslims having a larger share? This is not right.” Read the rest of this entry »


Najib is consigning his initiative of a Global Movement of Moderates to the grave if he is not prepared to be part of the global outrage at US President Trump’s cruel and inhumane executive order against refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries

It is now more than 58 hours since US President Trump, at 4.42 pm Friday Washington time, with a stroke of a pen signed the cruel and inhumane Executive Order against refugees and immigrants, creating world-wide turmoil and reverberations, with chaos and confusion in US airports and capital cities all over the world.

What is disturbing is that the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his government are not part of this global outrage at the inhumanity and insensitivity of Trump’s executive order.

It cannot be that Najib and the Malaysian Foreign Ministry had been overtaken by complete surprise by such an executive order, as Trump had in fact been talking about such an inhumane measure since the GOP primary campaign last year, and Trump’s executive order against refugees and immigrants had in fact been leaked to the media several days before Trump signed the executive order.

Najib cannot blame anyone for asking why he acted with such alacrity when he lashed out at Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi on the Rohingya issue but is so tame and tardy when the Muslim world is revolted and outraged by Trump’s executive order against refugees and the 130 million people from seven Muslim-majority countries, viz: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.

As a sign of growing political intimacy and collaboration between Najib and the PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, there is also conspicuous silence from the PAS leadership on Trump’s cruel and inhumane executive, completely out of character of PAS leadership which would have been the first to denounce Trump’s executive order.

Is this a sign of growing maturity and responsibility of the Hadi PAS leadership or just of closer political collaboration with Najib’s UMNO leadership? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Most (And Least) Corrupt Countries In The Middle East

Dominic Dudley
JAN 26, 2017

Transparency International has released its latest rankings of corruption around the world and, as ever, there is little to cheer about in the Middle East, with five of the world’s ten most corrupt countries coming from the region.

The worst performer is Syria, which is ranked 173rd out of 176 countries, followed by Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Iraq. It is no coincidence that all of these countries are poor and war-ravaged, but even in the wealthier and more peaceful corners of the region the problem of corruption is generally getting worse rather than better. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stand Firm Against PAS Under Hadi

Koon Yew Yin
29th Jan 2017

Long before the setting up of Amanah, the progressive Islamic party, in 2015, I had called on Malaysians to reject PAS under its hardline leader, Abdul Hadi Awang. Today with the drums of an early election beating louder, I am directing this call again to the opposition parties to stand firm and to reject PAS if it insists on the hard line condition of support for RUU 355 before any kind of opposition electoral understanding is arrived at.

I do not understand why the BN and Pakatan are courting PAS which under its present leadership is in such a hurry to promote the establishment of an Islamic state.

Most Malaysians can understand it – the promotion of an Islamic state – if the advocate is a fundamentalist or opportunist such as those from UMNO. But does anyone that is sensible and practical and who is not power hungry see this as a desirable vision?

How the establishment of an Islamic state can resolve the problems of our complex economy and society has never been spelled out by PAS since the beginning of its existence in 1951. Read the rest of this entry »