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Permeating Islamophobia after 9/11

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By Sreyashi Mazumdar

Despite traversing through a prolonged period of 14 years after the draconian 9/11 attack, Islamophobia continues to haunt America. The smitten cries of the episodic barbarity still reverberates the fright and hatred dwelling in the minds of a millions of Americans. One might ponder that the anti-Muslim feeling might have lost its grounds; however, reality refutes the aforesaid plausible denudation. With ISIS resorting to barbaric means and Boko Haram attacks consolidating its foot, the anti-Muslim attitude has taken a more concrete shape.

9_11_soldiers
According to an ABC poll in October 2001, the percentage of Americans bearing a pro-Muslim attitude was around 47℅ that had plummeted by 2011 to 37%. The percentage had further hit a downward trend in 2013; statistical records said only a meagre 27 ℅ of the population bore a pro-Muslim perspective.

A report in the Huffington Post states that the growing Muslim antagonism was owing to the brutality fleshed out by Muslim fanaticism in the form of Boko Haram killings or rising ISIS terror in Iraq and Syria. Further, media portrayal of the Muslims in a way add on to the seething anti-Muslim fervor. Hollywood considered as the powerhouse of entertainment in the world doesn’t portray a hunky dory picture of Muslims. For instance movies like The Wind And The Lion, Under Siege, Wanted: Dead or Alive, True Lies, and American Sniper are some of the movies that have overtly vilified Muslims and Arabs; such movies in a way add on to the anti-Muslim fervor.

I am going to go out and shoot some towel heads. These were the words of a patriot or rather a rabid indoctrinated with anti-Muslim emotions residing in the world’s oldest democratic nation. The patriot mistook a Sikh man for a Muslim and murdered him, giving into his hatred for Muslims. This might be one of the million episodes essaying anti-Muslim outlook borne by Americans.

Moreover, the Republicans’ overt criticism of the Muslim community sanctions Muslim hatred or Islamophobia. Trailing through the pages of past, one might still remember the Oklahoma state representative’s post John Bennett who wrote on his official Facebook page and it read: Christians should be wary of Muslim Americans because they are planning to kill Christians; such brazenness explicated by a political leader renders a sanction to the pervading Muslim antagonism.

Though the epiphany projected by 9/11 has lost its grounds, Islamophobia seem to have strengthened over a period of time owing to popular culture projected by movies and terror attacks by groups like Boko Haram and ISIS. It’s high time when the intellectuals should give up their plush couches and undertake the responsibility of nullifying the growing anti-Muslim feeling by educating the citizenry on ground reality.

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China, US Set To Take Action Against Each Other

US business executives are now bracing for further retaliation from China due to Meng's arrest

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USA, China,
President Donald Trump with China's President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. VOA

China and the US are set to take action against each other as tensions escalate over trade, cyber hacking and espionage as senior American law enforcement officials identified Beijing as the most serious threat to Washington’s national security, officials said.

China’s methods of non-traditional espionage, including their use of ordinary Chinese expatriates instead of spies at universities and businesses, and intellectual property theft, were explained by the officials from the FBI and Departments of Justice and Homeland Security who briefed US lawmakers on Wednesday, CNN reported.

“As the US proceeds a whole of society response to this threat, we must address the vulnerabilities within our system while preserving our values and the open, free and fair principles that have made us thrive,” E.W. Priestap, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Assistant Director of Counter-intelligence told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“What hangs in the balance is not just the future of the US, but the future of the world.”

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) top national security official told lawmakers on Wednesday the administration was reacting to China’s “steadily increasing” economic espionage activity, which costs the US an estimated $225 billion a year.

From 2011 to 2018, more than 90 per cent of the DOJ’s cases alleging economic espionage by a state have involved China, and more than two-thirds of trade secret thefts have a nexus to China, Assistant Attorney General John Demers said.

Donald Trump, democrats, government,, pakistan
U.S. President Donald Trump. VOA

“From underwater drones and autonomous vehicles to critical chemical compounds and inbred corn seeds, China has targeted advanced technology across sectors that align with China’s publicly announced strategic goals,” Demers said. “The play book is simple: rob, replicate and replace.”

Priestap and his colleagues testified hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed in an interview with Fox News that the US believes Beijing was behind the massive cyber-attack on the Marriott hotel chain, CNN reported.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the assault was part of a broader Chinese operation that also targeted health insurers and the security clearance files of millions of Americans.

Also Read- Bug Spotted in Microsoft Office 365, Outlook

Those disclosures came a day after President Donald Trump said that he would be willing to use Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou who was arrested in Canada for violating US sanctions on Iran as a bargaining chip in his trade war with Beijing, which for now is in a 90-day pause.

A Canadian judge on Tuesday night granted Meng a $7.5 million bail, while she awaits extradition to the US.

US business executives are now bracing for further retaliation from China due to Meng’s arrest. (IANS)