Donald Trump effect: Polling calls to US Muslims raise surveillance fears
Muslims across the United States feared they were being targeted for surveillance this week when they received automated polling calls asking them to press one if they identified as Muslim or two if they did not.
Washington: Muslims across the United States feared they were being targeted for surveillance this week when they received automated polling calls asking them to press one if they identified as Muslim or two if they did not.
Many worried President-elect Donald Trump was making good on his campaign promise to register all Muslims in the country or private citizens were laying the groundwork for a registry.
The calls were in fact sent out as part of a survey by Emerge USA, a non-profit organisation seeking to empower Muslim-Americans.
The group created an algorithm to call Muslims for a poll on their views and experiences after the 8 November national election, Sarah Cochran, director of its Virginia chapter, said on Wednesday.
Cochran said she had to reassure some call recipients that Emerge USA was conducting the poll, and an anti-Islam group was not using the organisation's name as a disguise. "All of our work is affected, where we can’t get people to participate because they’re afraid," said Cochran.
Since Trump's stunning election win, Muslims living in the United States have been on edge. One of his supporters has cited camps where Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II as a precedent for a registry. Trump's choice for national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in a recent video described Islamism as a "vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people on this planet and it has to be excised.
"On Tuesday, the Council of American-Islamic Relations posted on Twitter and Facebook asking about reports American Muslims were receiving robocalls on how they "identify." Meanwhile, others posted to their own social media accounts with questions about the calls.
One call recipient posted on Facebook "Not sure if this is a scam or this is real but I have surely reported and urge you to report as well if you get the same phone call. Welcome to the new world!"
Kim also accused South Korea of hypocrisy because it criticises North Korea’s weapons development as provocations while spending heavily to increase its own military capabilities
With no more than 10,000 Indians eligible for green cards a year, a vast majority of applicants have no choice but to wait for their turn
The State Department has published the data for the first time since President Donald Trump’s blackout