I Was a Muslim in the Trump White House—and I Lasted Eight Days – The Atlantic

The evening before I left, bidding farewell to some of my colleagues, many of whom have also since left, I notified Trump’s senior NSC communications adviser, Michael Anton, of my departure, since we shared an office. His initial surprise, asking whether I was leaving government entirely, was followed by silence––almost in caution, not asking why. I told him anyway.I told him I had to leave because it was an insult walking into this country’s most historic building every day under an administration that is working against and vilifying everything I stand for as an American and as a Muslim. I told him that the administration was attacking the basic tenets of democracy. I told him that I hoped that they and those in Congress were prepared to take responsibility for all the consequences that would attend their decisions.He looked at me and said nothing.It was only later that I learned he authored an essay under a pseudonym, extolling the virtues of authoritarianism and attacking diversity as a “weakness,” and Islam as “incompatible with the modern West.”My whole life and everything I have learned proves that facile statement wrong.My parents immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh in 1978 and strove to create opportunities for their children born in the states. My mother worked as a cashier, later starting her own daycare business. My father spent late nights working at Bank of America, and was eventually promoted to assistant vice president at one of its headquarters. Living the American dream, we’d have family barbecues, trips to Disney World, impromptu soccer or football games, and community service projects. My father began pursuing his Ph.D., but in 1995 he was killed in a car accident.I was 12 when I started wearing a hijab. It was encouraged in my family, but it was always my choice. It was a matter of faith, identity, and resilience for me. After 9/11, everything would change. On top of my shock, horror, and heartbreak, I had to deal with the fear some kids suddenly felt towards me. I was glared at, cursed at, and spat at in public and in school. People called me a “terrorist” and told me, “go back to your country.”My father taught me a Bengali proverb inspired by Islamic scripture: “When a man kicks you down, get back up, extend your hand, and call him brother.” Peace, patience, persistence, respect, forgiveness, and dignity. These were the values I’ve carried through my life and my career.I never intended to work in government. I was among those who assumed the government was inherently corrupt and ineffective. Working in the Obama White House proved me wrong. You can’t know or understand what you haven’t been a part of.Still, inspired by President Obama, I joined the White House in 2011, after graduating from the George Washington University. I had interned there during my junior year, reading letters and taking calls from constituents at the Office of Presidential Correspondence. It felt surreal––here I was, a 22-year-old American Muslim woman from Maryland who had been mocked and called names for covering my hair, working for the president of the United States.

Source: I Was a Muslim in the Trump White House—and I Lasted Eight Days – The Atlantic

American anti-Semitism rises, and the Israeli Right remains silent | +972 Magazine

If you have ever wondered just how much the occupation and the settlements have corrupted Israeli society and have held the Right and the political leadership hostage, look no further than the shameful silence of just about every Israeli official vis-a-vis American anti-Semitism. Notice that the absolute majority of figures condemning them come from the Left. This is because the Israeli Right has become a single-issue movement: it is willing to sell out the State of Israel for the entire Land of Israel, not to mention worldwide Jewry in exchange for a vague, unreliable statement by an unstable American president.

Source: American anti-Semitism rises, and the Israeli Right remains silent | +972 Magazine

Off-Duty LAPD Officer Discharges Weapon During Dispute with 13-year-old


Protests erupted Wednesday night in Anaheim, resulting in 24 arrests, after two videos emerged showing an off-duty Los Angeles police officer pulling his gun and firing during an altercation in a residential Anaheim neighborhood on Tuesday, February 21, with a 13-year-old Latino boy after the boy and his friends walked across the officer’s front lawn.

Source: Inoreader – Of-Duty LAPD Officer Discharges Weapon During Dispute with 13-year-old

Lizard conspiracist David Icke not wanted in Berlin | Germany | DW.COM | 23.02.2017

Icke, a well-known soccer goalkeeper and sports broadcaster in the UK in the 1980s before he announced that he was the “son of the Godhead” on a TV chat show in 1991, now regularly holds live speaking events that run for several hours promoting a theory that the world is run by a reptilian elite known as the “Brotherhood.”Slipping into the physical world from another dimension, Icke says the Brotherhood has genetically manipulated humanity and sought to divide people along racial and gender lines as a means to subjugate them.He has identified dozens of leaders as shape-shifting lizards, including ancient Egyptian pharaohs, the majority of US presidents, and the British Royal Family, and argues that the Brotherhood runs the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the Bilderberg Group, as well as several other international organizations, and encourages genocide, war, and the mass slaughter of animals. He also says the reptilians use human anxiety as a source of energy.Lizards and dog-whistlesMany critics have noted that Icke uses anti-Semitic arguments and imagery. Like many racist conspiracy theorists, he identifies investor George Soros as an enemy of humanity, and has endorsed “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a long-since-debunked Russian anti-Semitic book published in 1903 that purports to detail a global Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. The book influenced Adolf Hitler and was used by the Nazis to agitate against Jewish people in the 1930s – though Icke himself denies being anti-Semitic and says the book is not evidence of a Jewish conspiracy, but a reptilian one.

Source: Lizard conspiracist David Icke not wanted in Berlin | Germany | DW.COM | 23.02.2017

Philippines senator who branded President Duterte ‘serial killer’ arrested | World news | The Guardian

The 57-year-old lawyer, who has spent nearly a decade trying to link Duterte to death squads that have allegedly killed thousands of people, could be jailed for life if she is found guilty of the charges.“I have no plans of fleeing and I have no plans to go in hiding. I will face all these charges,” a tearful De Lima told reporters at the Senate on Thursday evening after a Manila court issued the arrest warrant.De Lima then went to her home in another part of the capital after believing she had secured an agreement with authorities to surrender on Friday morning.But, after police were seen on national television driving to her home to arrest her, De Lima quickly left and returned to the perceived safety of the Senate building.De Lima appealed late on Thursday night for police not to arrest her overnight, and committed to surrendering on Friday.“If they respect the Senate as an institution, they should not force an arrest tonight,” she told reporters at the Senate.Police followed her to the Senate. But, signalling an apparent pause to a night of intense drama, the head of security at the Senate and De Lima’s aides said police had committed to waiting until Friday morning to arrest her.When morning came reporters had gathered in their dozens and watched as De Lima was escorted from her office into a waiting police minibus.As she left she was quoted saying: “It is my honour that I will be imprisoned for the things I am fighting for.”De Lima is accused of orchestrating a drug trafficking ring when she was justice secretary in the previous administration of Benigno Aquino.

Source: Philippines senator who branded President Duterte ‘serial killer’ arrested | World news | The Guardian

‘Demonic activity was palpable’ at Trump’s rally, pastor says – The Washington Post

I heard two ladies off to my left chanting, not yelling or screaming but chanting, “T-R … U-M-P; that’s how you spell — bigotry!” They repeated the rhyme over and over. Two ladies in front of them began seething and screaming in their face while shaking their Trump signs at them. Another couple standing behind them started screaming at them as well. One of the chanting ladies had her eight-year-old daughter on her back; the other had a severely disabled child in a wheelchair in front of her. As they continued chanting, the people around them became violently enraged. One angry man grabbed the lady’s arm — that’s when I went into action. I barged through the crowd and yelled at them to back off. My heart wasn’t racing; I just instinctively became a protector. I didn’t actually want a Trump sign, but one of the volunteers had shoved it into my hands as I walked through the door earlier; “Make America Great Again!” That sign probably saved someone from getting hurt. I held the sign close to my chest as I positioned myself between the chanting protesters and the angry mob. My 11-year-old daughter was clinging to my arm, sobbing in fear. The two angry, screaming ladies looked at me, both of them raised their middle finger at me in my face and repeatedly yelled, “F*#% YOU!” Repeatedly. I calmly responded, “No thank you, I’m happily married.” Their faces and their voices were filled with demonic anger. I have been in places and experiences before where demonic activity was palpable. The power of the Holy Spirit of God was protecting me in those moments and was once again protecting me and my daughter in this moment. I raised my voice and calmly said, “These ladies have the right to do what they are doing and they are harming no one; this is America and they a right to express themselves in this way. They are harming no one.” A couple of other people around me stepped in and supported me in protecting them as a barrier, as well. My daughter was shaking in fear as she clung to me. The one man behind the protesters shoved himself forward, grabbed the lady by the arm and screamed with multiple expletives, “I’m going to take you out! This is my president and nobody has the right to disrespect him and nobody has the right to keep me from hearing him!”“I’m trying to separate how I actually feel about this man and his campaignisms,” Tooley wrote. “I know why people voted for him; I know why people voted against his opponent. But, at the end of the day, what I felt from his leadership in this experience was actually horrifying. There was palpable fear in the room. There was thick anger and vengeance. He was counting on it. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that it would not have taken very much for him to have called this group of people into some kind of riotous reaction.”

Source: ‘Demonic activity was palpable’ at Trump’s rally, pastor says – The Washington Post