Trump’s victory: MURIC advises Nigerian Muslims to suspend US trips

AGAINST the background of the emergence of the Republican Party candidate, Donald Trump, as the president-elect of the United States, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has appealed to Nigerian Muslims to suspend planned trips to the US until they know which way the cat will jump.

It also advised immigrant Muslims residing in the US to return to their countries or be prepared for harsh treatments, including increased Islamophobic attacks.

Trump had defeated the Democratic Party candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the presidential election held on Tuesday.

In a statement, on Friday, by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC said considering Trump’s “Americanisation of virtually everything” and “tortuous isolationism and a pathological obsession with Islamophobia,” his emergence as the next president of the United States had serious implications for Muslims in that country and elsewhere around the world.

“The contemptuous treatment of Muslims travelling in or out of America has long been a matter of serious concern to advocates of free movement and Allah-given fundamental human rights.

“Coupled with this is the horrendous policy of rendition whereby Muslims are kidnapped en route other destinations and forcefully taken to the dreaded Guatemala to face America’s notorious waterboarding and other forms of inhuman treatment.

“The advent of Donald Trump is the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The American president-elect has divided America along racial and religious lines. He threatened to close mosques. He also swore to give Muslims a special data base in order to control terrorism.

“Trump may be an iconoclast but the Americans who voted for him were not deaf. They heard him loud and clear. They heard all his threats. The victory of Trump, particularly coming hot on the heels of Brexit, means that Western democracies are jettisoning globalization for nationalism.

“MURIC respects the wish of Americans to stand by their national interest. We call on Muslims around the world to also respect the wish of the American people to be left alone.

“Nonetheless, we reiterate our avowed rejection of racist and hate speeches. We disown violent groups like Al-Qaidah and ISIS who instigate Muslims to kill Americans and attack American and Western interests.

“We urge Muslims around the world to nurse no malice against Americans over Trump’s victory and the likely fallout. It should be noted that a few Americans support Trump’s weird policies. He won the election via the Electoral College but received fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. The victory of Trump reveals the paradoxical underbelly of the world’s greatest democracy. American minority has had its way”, MURIC’s statement said.


Russia says it was in touch with Trump’s campaign during election

The Russian government was in touch with members of president-elect, Donald Trump’s political team during the US election campaign and knows most of his entourage, one of Russia’s most senior diplomats told the Interfax news agency on Thursday.

Accused by defeated Democratic contender, Hillary Clinton, of being a puppet of President Vladimir Putin after praising the Russian leader, Trump has dismissed suggestions he had anything to do with the Russian government during the campaign.

But in comments that could prove politically awkward for the president-elect, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said there had, indeed, been some communications, Reuters reported on Friday.

“There were contacts,” Interfax cited Ryabkov as saying. “We are doing this and have been doing this during the election campaign.”

Such contacts would continue, he added, saying the Russian government knew and had been in touch with many of Trump’s closest allies. He did not name names.

“Obviously, we know most of the people from his (Trump’s) entourage. Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions,” he said.

“I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.”

Moscow was just beginning to consider how to go about setting up more formal channels to communicate with the future Trump administration, said Ryabkov.

A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


FBI inquiry

The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a preliminary inquiry in recent months into allegations that Trump or his associates might have had questionable dealings with Russian people or businesses, but found no evidence to warrant opening a full investigation, according to sources familiar with the matter. The agency has not publicly discussed the probe.

The US government has blamed Russia for cyber attacks on Democratic Party organisations.

Trump, who has spoken of his desire to improve tattered US-Russia ties, has said he might meet Putin before his inauguration, but Putin’s spokesman has said there are currently no plans for such a meeting.

Interfax reported on Wednesday that Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, would be in New York this week for a chess tournament, a few blocks from Trump Tower, where the president-elect has his office.

But it cited Peskov as saying he did not plan to pass any message to Trump from Putin.

The Russian parliament erupted in applause on Wednesday when it heard that Trump had been elected and Putin told foreign ambassadors he was ready to fully restore ties with Washington.

Ryabkov was more circumspect though, saying the Russian Foreign Ministry felt no euphoria about the Republican’s win despite wanting to normalise relations with Washington.

Moscow and Washington are at odds over Syria, Ukraine and NATO.

Ryabkov said Trump’s allies had made some tough statements about Russia during the campaign and that his ministry was therefore not harbouring any “rose-tinted” hopes.

“We are not expecting anything in particular from the new US administration,” Interfax cited Ryabkov as saying.