Trump stirs Islamist terror pot

Trump trains guns at Iran, terrorism and completely ignores Pakistan

Trump trains guns at Iran, terrorism and completely ignores Pakistan
Trump trains guns at Iran, terrorism and completely ignores Pakistan

Trump Speech completely ignores Pakistan

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he sensational events of 11 September 2001 for the first time awakened the United States and the West to India’s lonely decades-long fight against Islamist terror, whose menace has only grown since. India, however, found only a mention among victims of Islamist terror in US President Donald Trump’s 33:58 minute speech in Riyadh. Addressing a virtual summit of 50-plus Sunni leaders (mainly from the Gulf and Africa), Trump explained his vision of US-Muslim equations and demanded de-radicalisation of (Wahhabi) Islam, and continuing the policy of predecessor regimes, identified Shia Iran as Washington’s main enemy.

The unchecked Saudi export of Wahhabi ideology all over the Muslim world (currently to Bangladesh) has created offshoots in response to local politics;

As Shia Iran and Sunni Afghanistan share India’s vexation with jihadi groups nurtured by Pakistan, de-radicalisation of India’s neighbourhood seems a remote possibility. On the flip side, Pakistan, which is changing western masters for Chinese overlords, was cold shouldered at the summit; Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not invited to speak and Pakistani victims of terror not acknowledged.

Although extreme versions of Islam threaten even Muslim regimes, it is difficult to see how these can be tackled without striking at the root of the Wahhabi ideology from which the Saudi monarchy derives legitimacy. The unchecked Saudi export of Wahhabi ideology all over the Muslim world (currently to Bangladesh) has created offshoots in response to local politics; the plethora of terrorist organisations (Al Qaeda, Taliban, Islamic State) all have had links with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]G[/dropcap]ulf potentates want to de-radicalise their domestic populations, but without investing in democracy it is impossible. The intolerance to bloggers demanding freedom of speech (Raif Badawi) reduces the effort to a non-starter. Although President Trump urged his audience to stand up against the “murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians”, he ignored the issue of human rights. He also took no notice of India’s Saudi-backed preacher, Zakir Naik, who has radicalised Muslims in India, Bangladesh and Malaysia.

He(Trump) lauded the Saudi kingdom for pledging $400 billion of investments in both countries, which would create thousands of jobs in both America and Saudi Arabia.

By equating Hezbollah with Islamic State and Al Qaeda, President Trump sent a pointed message to Iran which sees itself as guardian of the Shia world (Syria, Lebanon, Yemen). The $110 billion arms deal with Riyadh underwrites US commitment to Sunni dictatorships; this will trigger a reaction from Iran, which recently held the region’s freest election.

Extolling his first foreign visit “to the heart of the Muslim world, to the nation that serves as custodian of the two holiest sites in the Islamic Faith”, Trump vowed, “America will not seek to impose our way of life on others, but to outstretch our hands in the spirit of cooperation and trust”. He lauded the Saudi kingdom for pledging $400 billion of investments in both countries, which would create thousands of jobs in both America and Saudi Arabia. In short, Washington, like London, finds security with Muslim despotisms.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]rump appreciated King Salman’s new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology as an important initiative to combat radicalisation in Muslim-majority countries. He dodged the issues of democracy, human rights and tolerance for different faiths and sects (Shia), asserting, “We are not here to lecture – we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership – based on shared interests and values – to pursue a better future for us all”. The common goal “that transcends every other consideration”, he insisted, is “to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism”.

He(Trump) studiously ignored Pakistan.

But can Wahhabism enable young Muslim boys and girls to grow up “innocent of hatred”? What kind of “peace” can the Middle East have if Iran is designated enemy number one?

Recalling the terror attacks suffered by the United States, countries of Europe, Africa, South America, India, Russia, China and Australia, as also the deathly tolls inflicted on innocent Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations, President Trump piously noted that perhaps 95 per cent of the victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim. He studiously ignored Pakistan.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Middle East with its natural beauty, vibrant cultures, and historic treasures should be a global centre of commerce and opportunity, a place where people flock, not flee. He mentioned Egypt as a thriving centre of learning thousands of years ago, as attested by the wonders of Giza, Luxor and Alexandria; extolled the beauty of Petra (Jordan) and Iraq, and the modern rise of the United Arab Emirates. Lying at the centre of the world’s key shipping lanes – the Suez Canal, Red Sea, and Straits of Hormuz – the region has a rich demography with 65 percent population under the age of 30. The battle, he said, is not between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations, but between barbaric criminals and decent people, between Good and Evil.

The unexpected victim of the summit, however, was Islamabad. Pakistan’s role (whatever that might be, seen from India) in the ‘war against terror’ was totally eclipsed…

Getting down to nuts and bolts, Trump said the first task for Muslim countries is “to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil…. ensure that terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil”, and also deny access to funds (ISIS sells oil, jihadi fighters are paid, and reinforcements are smuggled into jihadi theatres). For this purpose, Washington set up the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, to be co-chaired by the US and Saudi Arabia, and joined by all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The GCC and Saudi Arabia have designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation and placed sanctions on one of its senior leaders.

Trump’s tour encompasses Riyadh, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Vatican, the holiest sites of the three Abrahamic Faiths (Mecca-Median ruled out to non-Muslims); he professed hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. But his core concerns exclude large swathes of the world, from non-monotheistic societies such as China, India, Japan and Buddhist Asian nations, Orthodox nations like Russia, and the Shia world.

In fact, he blamed Iran for much of Muslim terrorism, which is simply untrue, though Tehran is protecting Shias in the region. Nor is the crisis in Syria the handiwork of Iran or even Russia. It is clear that all talk of ISIS notwithstanding, Washington and Riyadh are gunning for Iran.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he unexpected victim of the summit, however, was Islamabad. Pakistan’s role (whatever that might be, seen from India) in the ‘war against terror’ was totally eclipsed; apparently Washington realises that Pakistan has no interest in helping it in Afghanistan. Yet, Pakistan’s former army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, is heading the Saudi Arabia-led 34-nation military alliance ‘against terrorism’. Worse, the targetting of Iran has the potential to plunge Pakistan in sectarian Shia-Sunni conflicts as 20 per cent of its population is Shia and it shares a 900-mile border with Iran. Its new godfather, China, is unlikely to be of use in this fight.

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3. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

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Sandhya Jain is a writer of political and contemporary affairs. A post graduate in Political Science from the University of Delhi, she is a student of the myriad facets of Indian civilisation. Her published works include Adi Deo Arya Devata. A Panoramic View of Tribal-Hindu Cultural Interface, Rupa, 2004; and Evangelical Intrusions. Tripura: A Case Study, Rupa, 2009. She has contributed to other publications, including a chapter on Jain Dharma in “Why I am a Believer: Personal Reflections on Nine World Religions,” ed. Arvind Sharma, Penguin India, 2009.
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  1. I would rate the Trump’s current visit abroad as quite a successful one. The anti-Trump lobbies working tirelessly back home have been administered a shock that they will take some time to recover from. Firstly, his choice of the first overseas visit itinerary was a master stroke, covering the vital hot spots of inter and intra religious fault-lines clashing across the region that spreads from the Indian to the Arctic Oceans. That, as many as 50 Islamic Potentates assembled to attend on him at one place and similarly a fairly good number of opinion makers were preset at other two places is an ample proof of the taste of the pudding. Secondly, his messages were contextual and relevant. While speaking at Riyadh, he only made a contextual reference to India while totally ignoring Pakistan although the PM shri Nawaz Sharif and General Rahil Sharif both were in attendance. Thirdly, his body language reflected strength and passion and not diplomatic jugglery of cliche’s & cocktail of rhetoric. Fourthly, he made no mistake in projecting his mission of America First even to the audience beyond the venue, the First Lady looked what an American lady would prefer to. Kudos.

  2. Let us see.US armament industry controls US foreign policy but the saudi with their money power control US politicians ,US media and US armament industry,,US is friends with Saudi and Israel but against Iran ,Russia,Syria , similar to Israel friendly with saudi but against Iran,Syria.saudi thro’ wahabi propagate terror but then US/Israel/western Europe think Iran is a terrorist nation but not saudi,,but then Iran is a terrorist state because they have armed hizbollas against Israel and have even proclaimed that Israel is annihilated,,pakis were a long time flavour of US but then pakis citizens brainwashed by wahabi want to bomb the hell out of US and Europe but then pakis are friends to fight terror with,it is only the talibans who are the terrorists but then evidence points to talibans as poodles of ISI aided/funded by them..Trump to fight terror goes to saudi first and exhorts saudis to suport US action against Iranians who are the terrorists,similarly our 56″ talks about terrorists/islam but then prostrates before saudis and invites the head to head our republic day celebrations,,,World has just gone crazy

  3. IMHO Headline should be:
    Trump stirs Islamist terror plot
    Just a new stick to stir the pot and the plot. A brew to keep things going till the blast.
    The Saudi’s are cryptos controlling and orchestrating the action on behalf of their real masters.

  4. Crystal clear writing. American business interest is paramount. Turning blind eye to Wahabbism, Saudi Arabia’s weapon of mass destruction. Targeting Iran, offering weapons to Saudi, thus fuelling more Shia annihilation. Not offering lip service to Pakistan is just a lip service to India.


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