‘I’m very afraid’: Muslim shock as Trump heads for victory

Khizr Khan, and his wife Ghazala (L), whose son, Humayun S. M. Khan was one of 14 American Muslims who died serving in the U.S. Army. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)
Updated 09 November 2016

‘I’m very afraid’: Muslim shock as Trump heads for victory

Jakarta: “I’m very afraid, will there be more wars? Will America attack Muslim countries again?” asked Indonesian activist Alijah Diete as Donald Trump edged closer to a shock victory in the US election.
Muslims across Asia were struggling Wednesday to accept the news that the populist politician who has made fiery anti-Islamic rhetoric a key part of his campaign was likely to become president of the world’s greatest power.
He made his most controversial remarks about Islam in December last year, sparking anger among the world’s 1.5 billion followers of Islam when he called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States after a mass shooting in California.
“Americans have just screwed the world yet again,” said Syed Tashfin Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi who has several close friends in the US. Thousands in the country watched in shock as the results rolled in and Facebook lit up with horrified reactions.
A senior Pakistani government official, speaking anonymously, called the news “absolutely atrocious and horrifying” while others in the country also lamented the results.
“I am disappointed to see Donald Trump winning because Hillary Clinton is a good woman, she is good for Pakistan and Muslims all over the world,” said Ishaq Khan, 32, speaking at an Islamabad market.
“She was talking about world peace — but Trump was talking about fighting against Muslims.”
In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, there was growing nervousness about how the relationship with traditional ally the United States would shape up, and how a Trump presidency would affect relations between America and the Muslim world.
“I am very concerned that the relationship between the US and Muslim countries will become tense again,” said the female Muslim activist Diete, 47.
Nikken Suardini, who works for a law firm in the capital Jakarta, was concerned about the proposed Muslim ban. “If he is elected president he will block Muslims from entering the US — well, that’s just not fair.”
There was also concern that tough anti-Islamic policies under Trump could fan Muslim extremism globally at a time when the world is struggling with a growing threat of Islamic militancy.
“When the United States uses hard power, extremists gain a momentum,” said Zuhairi Misrawi, an Islamic scholar from moderate Indonesian Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama.
“Those who will be the happiest when Trump wins are ISIS,” he said, referring by another name to the Daesh group, which is struggling to hold onto its territory in Iraq and Syria in the face of a fierce military onslaught.
Some observers were more sanguine as the 70-year-old maverick appeared heading for the White House, hoping that his populist rhetoric was aimed at winning votes and would not be translated into tough xenophobic policies if he enters the White House.
“We hope that Trump’s remarks against Muslims were only to boost his campaign and he will realize that Muslims are a large population in the US,” said Tahir Ashrafi, a senior Pakistani government cleric.
Others echoed the concerns that his policies would likely discriminate against American Muslims.
“His policies against Muslims will be discriminative,” said Munarman, a spokesman for Indonesian hard-line group the Islamic Defenders’ Front. “Muslims are foreigners to him.”


Six killed as avalanche buries Indian patrol on disputed glacier

Updated 18 November 2019

Six killed as avalanche buries Indian patrol on disputed glacier

  • The disaster was the latest on the Siachen Glacier at more than 5,000 meters
  • Hundreds of troops from both sides have died in avalanches and from the fierce climate

SRINAGAR: An avalanche on Monday hit an Indian patrol in the world’s highest militarised zone in the Himalayas, killing four soldiers and two porters, an army spokesman said.
The disaster was the latest on the Siachen Glacier at more than 5,000 meters (16,500 feet) that is claimed by India and rival Pakistan.
Hundreds of troops from both sides have died in avalanches and from the fierce climate in the region over the past three decades.
An Indian military spokesman told AFP that the avalanche engulfed eight people in the patrol at the northern end of the glacier in the Karakoram mountain range.
Rescue teams managed to dig the patrol members out of the snow, and they were taken by helicopter to hospital.
“Despite best efforts, six casualties which includes four soldiers and two civilian porters succumbed to extreme hypothermia,” said the spokesman, Col. Rajesh Kalia.
Avalanches are common on the 700-square-kilometer (270-square-mile) glacier, where temperatures regularly fall to minus 60 degrees Celsius (-76 Fahrenheit).
In 2016, 10 Indian soldiers were buried and killed.
About 900 Indian soldiers alone have died on the glacier since 1984, when Indian forces took complete control of Siachen.
The glacier is located at the northern end of the Line of Control that divides Kashmir, which India and Pakistan have fought over since 1947.

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