Thursday, 29 September 2016

False alarm terror attacks and Islamophobia

New York City more specifically, Manhattan from the perspective of the Empire State Building. The new World Trade Center building also known as the Freedom tower is in the background and is located near lower Manhattan not far from Wall Street. Manhattan is the largest of the 5 boroughs and the main hub of NYC. It is the borough that is featured alongside Brooklyn and occasionally Queens in various films, media and imagery of New York.

New York City as with many large metropolises receives a lot of calls for false alarm shootings, explosions, suspicious packages, train derailments caused by mechanical and human errors and nervous people. The city witnesses more explosions from gas leaks that often level whole buildings and occasionally kill residents and a top ranking fire chief than terrorist attacks. The NYPD and FDNY are more likely to deal with gas explosions throughout the year. Most are accidental but a few are caused by arsonists. The recent false alarm pressure cooker explosions in New Jersey and New York have again revived the mainstream media's fear of an ISIS style attack and enemy within. Ordinary New Yorkers and New Jersey residents are not as perplex. False alarm attacks are often reported following a large terror attacks. It is well known that multiple people can give different versions of the same story in a tense and frightening environment. When the pressure cooker bomb exploded injuring 29 in Chelsea that resembled the pressure cooker used in the Boston Marathon bombing, less than half of Chelsea neighbourhood's residents were panicking. The majority of Chelsea residents went about their business. Given that house fires and gas explosions are more common in Manhattan and in the wider city (NYC is an archipelago) and New Jersey, local residents are not quick to have cardiac arrest when an explosion is heard. When the makeshift or amateurish bombs were discovered on the Marine Corps half marathon route in Seaside Park and later Elizabeth, NJ, residents and reporters were more confused initially and wanted to know why rather than connecting the found bombs to terrorism. The pressure cooker bombs were linked back to Ahmad Khan Rahman, a resident of Elizabeth, NJ. He was discovered sleeping in a hoodie in front of a local grocery store. It interesting that as soon as Rahami was captured and dubbed the "home grown ISIS sympathizer" of the breaking news of the mainstream news network faded away by the following morning. Oddly enough, Rahami still has yet to speak while he reminds hospitalized and in custody. In the meantime, two mysterious men considered to be Egyptian airline pilots who the media tried to link to Chelsea explosions were said to have deactivate a second bomb that was planted in Chelsea and left NYC for Egypt. It is also worth noting that ISIS didn;t take responsibility for any of the discovered bombs despite a few ISIS supporters sending tweets about the explosions. Neither has any other terrorist groups claimed responsibility nor even reared their heads.

Terrorism fears increases Islamophobia

Nameriq al Hinai, a Scottish Muslim tourist had her sleeves of her blouse and nearly clothes lit on fire on Saturday September 17th as news of a dumpster explosion literally rocked Chelsea neighbourhood in New York. Al Hinai survived the attempted burning but was shocked that in an attack like that by a stranger would occur in such a posh area of Manhattan, where she was window shopping outside of Valentino's on 5th Ave. She like many other international visitors to New York City, expect the city to be opening and welcoming to all visitors regardless of religion and origins. After all, NEw York has always prided itself as being a global city, financial hub and a magnet for international tourism and businesses for more than a century. The suspect who attacked al Hinai also attacked two other women in the past. He has yet to be identified.

Islamophobia isn't just happening in the United States but also across Europe. Even in European countries that have not received refugees and migrants.

Just before this latest attack on Al Hinai, another NYC resident Emirjeta Xhelili insulted and assaulted two Muslim women in front of each woman's child in a Brooklyn Park. She cursed the women out and attempted to topple the strollers. She even tried to pull off one of the woman's hijabs. The NYPD managed to arrive on the scene and arrest Xhelili even as she screamed that Islam had no right to be in the U.S. and that the two women shouldn't be different if they are in the U.S.

Trump's fascism isn't just clownish it is real

 It is not a coincidence that Xhelili also happens to be a Trump supporter. The Republic Presidential candidate has been retching up his rowdy, self proclaimed red blood, educated yet racist and far right nationalist supporters at nearly every rally, press conference and spare of the moment media sound bite. The "Don't say it just do it " mentality of his supporters and the few allied politicians (Trump is popular among Europe's Far Right) to Trump's campaign has worried ordinary Americans and even the pundits. Some wonder how Mike Pence would manage with Trump if they do reach the White House. How would Trump's cabinet staff deal with him? Even the more conservative Republicans and media are distancing themselves away from him including former President George HW Bush. Even the warmongering President George W. Bush looks far more reasonable when placed against the Donald. Trump feeds off his own controversies, scandals and unapologetically says what's on his mind and unscripted. Nationalist sentiments among ordinary Americans gives him more material and ideas to push his platform (or lack there of) to the wider American public especially to the still undecided voters who are not leaning towards Trump or Hillary Clinton. There will not be a day where Trump doesn't stop to consider the coincidence of pushing his supporters to call for the head of certain politicians or saying that certain Americans and visitors should be barred from entering the country based on religion or deported for their origins. Now, Trump denies he ever said to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. The non political correctness of Trump is what appeals to many of his supporters and admirers. The mainstream media, the pundits, the tabloids, the social media gurus and self reporters have all jumped on Trump's predictable phrases of the day and speeches. He has not let an opportunity to receive free publicity  from a slow news day pass. Trump is a textbook case of a narcissistic socio path. Tony Schwartz, his own co author of his book the Art of the Deal confirmed that Trump has no remorse of any sort when it comes to other people. He is perhaps the first presidential candidate to insult and be alienated by everyone including military personnel. Yet even his supporters have refused to abandon his campaign en mass. Many people have compared Trump to Hitler. However, the comparison falls a little flat. Trump shares more in common with the often overlooked fascist leader Benito Mussolini than with the notorious Adolf Hitler. Some of Trump's mannerisms and speeches mirror Mussolini's speeches and charisma in disturbing ways. He actually twitted a quote by Mussolini only to realize it's consequences much later. Although the word hasn't been thrown around Trump does lean towards fascism where his ideas and platform is concerned. His populism shares some characteristics with Mussolini's fascism. Trump's son Donald Trump Jr doesn't fall far from the tree in comparing Syrian refugees to skittles. Many Americans wonder how anyone can support someone like Donald Trump. Than again, America did vote (although the vote was decided through nepotism and shady judgement) for George W. Bush.

A comparison of Benito Mussolini and Donald Trump. The hand gestures and stances are interesting.

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