International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

January 28, 2003

January 28, 2003





**  Muslim outlets reacted with outrage, sadness to "scary" INS registration requirements.

**  Many said the U.S. ignores their countries' contributions to the war against terrorism.

**  They shared the view that "targeting" Muslims will create more enemies for the U.S.




'Racist and discriminatory measures' provoke anger, pain--  Muslims feel "resentment and despair" that nationals of 25 countries--most Arab or Muslim--must register under the INS' National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS).  Dailies throughout the Muslim world agreed that the measures are "antagonistic" and "racist."  They charged that in a U.S. gripped by a "fear psychosis" abetted by the "jingoists in the Bush administration," Muslims are "treated like criminals and terrorists" and "kept under surveillance."  Jordan's center-left, independent Al-Dustur called the U.S. "a police state haunted by security...and racism against the Arabs."  Thanks to an "over-zealous" INS, Pakistan's Karachi-based independent Dawn claimed, "hundreds if not thousands" of Muslims and Arabs "continue to be incarcerated" when they appear to register, something a moderate Saudi daily stated left Muslim immigrants in the U.S. "living in a nightmare of arrests and deportation."


Many ask, if the U.S. is our friend, who needs enemies?--  Many outlets despaired at the "collective punishment" of registration even though most of the countries involved "have close relations with the U.S. and...supported the measures to fight terrorism."  Jordan's influential, pro-government Al-Ray asked why Jordanians felt they had a "privileged position in Washington's eyes," terming the belief "pure illusion."  Indonesia's leading independent Kompas similarly complained that "the U.S. does not seem to appreciate the important steps Indonesia has taken" in the fight against terrorism.  Papers in Bangladesh and Pakistan saw lasting damage to bilateral relations with the U.S.:  "Blind cooperation with the U.S. won't pay."


U.S. actions are 'planting the seeds of hatred'--  A Saudi observer wrote that he has "lost every hope in U.S. policy" and recommended opening "channels of dialogue" with Europe and Asia.  A daily in Bangladesh opined that "the time has come" for Muslims "to become alert" to the U.S.'s " annihilate the Muslim [world] as a whole."  Pakistani papers said the NSEERS created "alienation" and that U.S. policies "are increasing the number of terrorists, not reducing or eliminating them."  Saudi Arabia's moderate Al-Watan made a rare case for maintaining a personal dialogue with Americans.  The paper said it was "vitally important" that Saudis continue to study in the U.S., calling the present "a time [in which] our country needs every voice that is capable of delivering a positive, humanitarian message, in an environment dominated by the language of fear, war, extremism and terrorism."

EDITOR:  Steven Wangsness

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This analysis is based on 38 reports from 12 countries, 12/25/2002 - 1/27/2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




EGYPT:  "Antagonistic Measures"


Leading pro-government Al Ahram senior columnist Salama Ahmed Salama wrote (1/21):  "Egypt and four Islamic countries...were added to the list of countries whose citizens should...suffer questioning and fingerprinting at arriving in the U.S.  This scary, exceptional measures...are applied on twenty countries, which are Arab or Islamic states. The American authorities did not explain the reasons for such racist discriminatory measures...which violate international human rights pacts.  It is known that these racist policies are motivated by a belief that the citizens of those countries plotted September 11 attacks.  However, even though a year and a half passed, the U.S. has kept the results of the investigations confidential.  Which means the American authorities have no right to resort to such antagonistic measures against those Arab and Islamic countries.  [Meanwhile,] those countries did not express any concern or dissatisfaction with American racist measures, nor responded by the same treatment or submitted a diplomatic protest, although most of them have close relations with the U.S., and they even supported the measures to fight terrorism....  America, which opposes Libya’s chairmanship of the UN Human Rights commission, has no right to speak about human rights....  It is planting reasons of hatred in the hearts of the Arab and Islamic nations while no other country in the world have taken such measures.  They will be reasons to defeat American policy purposes and its relationship with Arabs and Moslems.”




Leading pro-government Al Ahram Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim Nafie opined (1/18):  "The attack on Arabs and Muslims [in the U.S.] has increased and they are now targets of persecution and racism.  The law of registering with the INS is nothing but one image of the plots targeting Arabs."


JORDAN:  "What Is Really Frightening And Humiliating"


Tariq Masarwah commented in pro-government, influential Al-Ray (1/20):  "Our Embassy in Washington was disturbed.  It said that our government is deeply worried over the addition of Jordan's name to the list of 20 Islamic countries whose nationals...must have their names registered with the Department of Immigration.  For the first time, we hear such a an official Jordanian tone in addressing the U.S. administration, describing its decision as discriminatory, and as a collective punishment for undermining U.S. diplomatic efforts in the region....  We ask the Jordanian Embassy in Washington and the government which is very worried, why this unusual onslaught?...  Why should we imagine that we have a privileged position in Washington's eyes and are different from Egypt, Kuwait, or Saudi Arabia?...  We do not understand why our embassy and government should believe that Jordan's relations with the United States are privileged relations and differ from Washington's relations with the other Arab and Muslim countries. Such a belief is pure illusion and is the figment of our imagination."


"They Do Not Want Us, So Why Do We Go To Them?"


Batir Ali Muhammad Wardam writing in center-left, independent Al-Dustur, took this view (1/20):  "The recent U.S. decision to add Jordan to the blacklist of the countries ...confirms that Washington has actually started treating all Arabs and Muslims on a racist and discriminatory basis.  Jordan is one of the closest friends of the United States, and Jordanians visiting the United States have never been involved in terrorist operations....  It goes without saying that our government should object to this decision through all channels....  But on the personal level, I am very pleased with this U.S. decision.  I wish it would be applied to all the Arab and Islamic countries so that those who do not want to understand would finally realize that the United States under the new administration that is guided by Zionism and oil interests is not a civilized or pluralistic country.  It is a police state that is haunted by security considerations and racism against the Arabs, implying that they do not deserve to live or work there."


MOROCCO:  "Dangerous Change in U.S. Policy"


A front-page commentary in Government coalition Arabic-language daily Bayane Al Youm commented (12/25):  "Though the U.S. is a country of immigration by excellence, after September 11, Washington has continued to tighten its security measures against foreign citizens.  The U.S. Justice Department has announced last Friday that citizens from 13 countries including Morocco will be subject of questioning by immigration services....  These new security measures mean that all those countries mentioned by the new list could become 'an axis of evil' sponsoring terrorism....  These measures are inappropriate with U.S. values of equality, human rights and democracy and might have boomerang effects which could destabilize the U.S."


SAUDI ARABIA:  "No To Discrimination And Oppression"

Jeddah’s moderate Okaz editorialized (1/13):  “It is the right of the U.S. to take any measures it deems appropriate to maintain its security.  It is also her right not to exclude anybody in implementing those measures, no matter how repressive they are....  But it is not her right to misuse this right of sovereignty or to exercise discrimination, which all norms and international laws disallow including even her own rules and regulations.  If the Saudi citizens took the initiative and registered their information and were being fingerprinted...this eagerness to respect operative regulations must be met with fair treatment and not with discrimination against them....  Furthermore, it is no longer the right of the U.S. to claim that it is an oasis of democracy, likewise it is not her right to impose its democratic model on anyone else.  The U.S. claims that it attempts to liberate the world from dictatorship (regimes) and backwardness, especially if those regimes are selective and unfair, even when Americans are the ones acting unfairly.”

"The U.S. Law And Others’ Rights"

Abha’s moderate Al-Watan opined (1/13):  “The registration process at the U.S. Department of Immigration, which is imposed only upon certain nationalities of Muslim and Middle Eastern immigrants, is no more than pure racial discrimination....  The current phase of the U.S. Department of Immigration and Naturalization’s campaign will now include the Saudis.  Its first campaign was aimed at the Iranians.  The Saudis are afraid that they might be subjected to the same insults as their (Iranian) colleagues.  Discrimination against immigrants by the U.S. authorities might force them to violate regulations and to keep them away from official circles; a matter that will leave them living in a nightmare of arrests and deportation....  The one who wants to implement laws should implement them on all without exception.”


"The Other Friend"


Riyadh’s conservative, Al-Riyadh ran a commentary by columnist Mohammed Al-Quaiz (1/9):  "Although I believe there are American citizens and intellectuals whose minds are still open to understand and have the desire to establish contacts with others...and although I believe in the necessity of establishing contacts with them and to increase their number in the American society, I have lost every hope in U.S. policy, which is contaminated by Zionist absurdity, which has removed any humanitarian aspect from it.  The U.S. views our region as an oil barrel, the promised land, and Arab insects deserve to be eliminated with depleted uranium or occasionally by pure uranium in the field of military experimentation. Gentlemen, we need to open channels of dialogue with the Europeans, the Asians and the Africans.  Will we see that realized?  I hope so.”

"Delayed Student Visas"

Abha’s moderate Al-Watan ran a commentary by Saudi writer Suleiman Al-Hattlan (1/2):  “I asked the U.S. ambassador...about delays in granting Saudi students entry visas to the U.S. and if there was an indirect message from Washington that Saudi students are no longer wanted in the U.S.  The ambassador...confirm(ed) that the issue is related to reorganizing the process in order to ensure against misuse of U.S. educational opportunities by terrorists, like those who carried out 9/11, who had entered the U.S. as students....  It is important to highlight the importance of the role played by (our) graduates from western highlight developments witnessed by the country over the past four decades.  It confirms the importance of the continuation of the presence of our students in Western universities, not only to gain professional training but also to establish continuous channels of contacts with others.  It is vitally important to our universities now, to continue sending large numbers of our professors to the U.S. to spend a sabbatical year at U.S. universities.  This is a time that our country needs every voice that is capable of delivering a positive humanitarian message, in an environment dominated by the language of fear, war, extremism and terrorism.”

"Shedding Of Muslim And Arab Blood"

Abha’s moderate Al-Watan editorialized (12/28):  “Every day Arab blood is shed and everyday the Arab and Muslim’s image is insulted all over the world on the grounds that they have become silly and foolish even to those who made it synonymous with terrorism.  Under this pretext the U.S. has enlisted its troops and alerted its partners in the world and is leading its armies in a war still ongoing against terrorism....  Every Muslim or Arab wherever he is found in Washington, Rome, London, and Paris or even in a remote third world capital has become the target.  Muslims in Florida, who are mainly Iranians and who opposed the Islamic revolution and deserted its rule, a majority of them were arrested or subjected to investigations because they respected measures placed by the (U.S.) department of immigration."


BANGLADESH:  "Unfortunate U.S. Decision"


Pro-Islamic daily Dhaka Dainik Inqilab in Bengali held (1/19):  "The Dainik Inqilab has already protested against the promulgation of this piece of legislation [requiring INS registration of  Bangladeshi nationals] and deplores the fact that Bangladeshi nationals will fall within its purview.  The daily fears that the bilateral relations between the two countries will also be affected.  We also believe that the latent meaning inherent within the restrictions is much more significant.  It should be highlighted that 24 of the 25 countries that fall under these restrictions are either Muslim countries or predominantly Muslim majority countries.  This therefore means that the United States has blatantly and without any reservations declared that these countries are involved in acts of terrorism.  In other words, the Bush administration has not hesitated to identify these countries as lands infested with terrorists.  From this very restrictive piece of legislation, the anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim policy of the USA has been exposed.  In a real sense, the U.S. administration is bullying the Muslim countries.  Had it been merely an anti-terrorist restriction, surely the names of the pro-U.S. Saudi Arabia or the anti-Taliban Pakistan would have been excluded from the list of the pariah countries....  Had the real intention behind the application of this legislation been to restrict terrorism, then Bangladesh would under no circumstances have been brought under its jurisdiction.


"The Dainik Inqilab believes that the time has come for the Muslim world to become alert against the real intentions of the USA, which hides behind its so-called commitment to the international war against terrorism.  Countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan will have to understand that the USA has been proceeding with a long-term anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim scheme.  The USA will eventually carry out the scheme to annihilate the Muslim [world] as a whole.  The daily therefore calls upon the leaders of the Muslim countries to unite as one.  We would like to appeal to the leaders of all the Muslim countries to stand by the side of Iraq and take part in the struggle against the imperialists."


"America Toughens Stand On Immigrants"


The English-language Dhaka The Independent published this article by Mahbub Husain Khan (1/20):  "The events of September 11th have now strengthened the negative reactions to race and religious issues of the migrants, with the added and terrifying perspective of the undermining of the established social and community environment through terrorism and violence.  Though among the industrially advanced countries the United States has been the most socially tolerant of immigrants in the past--an example of the benign and affirmative nature of the melting pot--towards current arrivals there is a strongly negative attitude reinforced by September 11 events....  In recent months the print and the electronic media abroad have been focusing intermittently on Bangladesh as a country which may be harbouring terrorists and religious extremists, beyond the knowledge of the government....  Even India the closest friend and ally of Bangladesh has been propagating stories about AI Qaeda and Pakistani infiltrators in its media and official commentary.... The projection of Bangladesh as a tolerant, liberal and secular, and a functioning democracy needed to be stepped up." 


IRAN:  "Farah Pahlavi Fingerprinted In U.S."


English-language daily Tehran Times reported (1/26):  "It has been reported that shah's wife, Farah Pavlavi, who is residing in Paris was kept in quarantine for seven hours and fingerprinted by U.S. immigration officers once she arrived in the country on a recent visit there.  The reports also say that the Pahlavi family, who have so far had good relations with the U.S. government, have been shocked by the behaviour of U.S. airport officials toward Farah."


PAKISTAN:  "The Forgotten Detainees"


An editorial in the Karachi-based independent national daily Dawn held (1/27):  "Hundreds, if not thousands, of mostly Muslim and Arab immigrants to the U.S. continue to be incarcerated thanks to the over-zealousness of that country's Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). According to reports, the vast majority of these people, who were arrested after the events of September 11, do not even show up on official records maintained by the U.S. Justice Department....  It is time Washington realized that some of its policies blatantly discriminate against people from specific ethnic backgrounds. The kind of alienation such policies create only adds to the mistrust between the government and those communities which already feel singled out for harsh treatment."


"Open Robbery and Silence"


Abbas Athar wrote in the second-largest Urdu daily, Nawa-e-Waqt (1/23):  "Even the New York Times screamed over the way Muslims have been treated under new, inhuman [U.S.] laws.  The newspaper has reported that U.S. authorities are treating Muslims as if they are really terrorists....  On one hand Pakistanis are being devastated in America, and on the other hand our Prime Minister Zafar Ullah Jamali presented a carpet to U.S. Ambassador Nancy Powell in Quetta to welcome her to Balochistan."


"Reward Of American Friendship,"


The Taliban mouthpiece Urdu daily, Islam editorialized (1/23):  "In her recent visit to Quetta, the American ambassador declared that America will continue its efforts to make Pakistani borders strong, and it is proud of its friendship with Pakistan.  In response, our Inspector General said that we are a front-line partner in the war against terrorism, and we will not allow any terrorist or smuggler to enter into Pakistan.  On the other hand, Collin Powell declared that registration for Pakistanis is a must for the security of America, and he is thankful to Pakistan for the cooperation after September 11.  It all shows that except lip service and thanks, Pakistan will not get anything.  In fact...Pakistan must not expect any rewards from Americans."             


"Difficult Times"


Center-right national daily The Nation editorialized (1/20):  "The Pakistani government has offered all possible assistance to the USA since 9/11, including difficult decisions like changing its Afghan policy and providing substantial leverage for collecting information and directing operations inside Pakistan.  The INS policy of including Pakistan in the list of suspect countries is thus out of sync with the underlying objectives of the partnership and the direction Pakistan wishes to take in the international arena....  The USA is a multicultural society that prides itself on the diversity of its people and the spirit of tolerance, which supports a strong economic engine.  Pakistanis are symbolic in this context, being hardworking, family-oriented and mostly unblemished by records of violence or crime.  Apart from the requirements of a sound foreign policy, it is in the U.S. interest, for its internal stability and long-term security, that actions smacking of racial profiling be suspended." 


"Of NSEERS And Anti-Americanism In Pakistan"


The Lahore-based daily Daily Times observed (1/20):  "The procedures involved in the policy and the inability of INS officials to either cope with the pressure or have the capacity to make good judgments has added to the woes of those required to register.  That is why most observers within the U.S. and outside agree that genuine security concerns could have been met more effectively if the policy had been conceived differently and applied more efficiently.  In the meantime, Pakistan and Pakistanis should get real. Those who think Pakistan can get Washington to change the policy in regard to its nationals betray a lack of understanding of how the U.S. system works as well as an inability to calculate accurately where Pakistan stands vis-à-vis Washington.  The U.S. perceives the world as revolving around it.  Its obsessions and fears make it tick.  Right now it is obsessed with and fearful of radical Islam.  Not without reason does it see many of its potential troubles emanating from a group of Muslim countries, among which Pakistan is one.  So why should Pakistan be struck off the list, especially since Pakistanis are so avowedly anti-American these days and one of its leading political alliances (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal) is spilling over with hatred for America?"


"With Calmness, Not Hysteria"


Omar Kureishi judged in the Karachi-based independent national daily Dawn (1/21):  "What is happening to Pakistanis in the Unites States is an outrage, but there is nothing that we can do about it.  Any protest we make will be of no avail.  The United States has once again been gripped by a fear psychosis....  In the McCarthy years, one did not feel any personal danger.  Not so, this time round.  There have been reports of harassment of Pakistani families, attacks on their shops and so on.  A climate of fear and a season of paranoia.  The Pakistani communities in the United States and in other countries have never been associated with violence and crime or anything remotely illegal.  They have been peace loving and hard working.  If some of them have entered the United States with forged documents, there are thousands of illegal immigrants from Mexico in California and in Texas.  There are Cuban refugees....  The United States should be told that we in Pakistan are also threatened by terrorism and its policies are increasing the number of terrorists, not reducing or eliminating them."


"INS Issue"


Center-right national daily The Nation commented (1/21):  "The Pakistani Ambassador's initiative to get the senior diplomats of 25 Muslim countries to put in a collective effort to help their compatriots residing in the U.S. is clearly too little too late.  However we must not abandon this path, which could prove highly useful in countering similar policies toward Muslim immigrants and visitors being adopted by European countries....  However, the government also needs to alert its mission in Washington to take concrete steps to help Pakistani immigrants and students in the U.S. whose residential status is ambiguous or under process, to ensure that they do not fall victim to the highly discriminatory INS requirements."


"Pak-U.S. Relations"


Ishaq Khakwani, a member of the National Assembly, opined in the center-right national daily The Nation (1/19):  "The mutually-exclusive standards applied by the U.S. towards Israel and other Muslim countries does not endear the U.S. to the Pakistani population in particular and the Muslim world in general.  No government in Pakistan can remain insensitive to popular sentiment....  Fanaticism and extremism in politics has always flourished in an environment where free interaction of views is restricted by the establishment....  The U.S. public should not be brainwashed into believing that the Pakistani population consists of firebrand mullahs committed to wage war and terror on all and sundry....  Pakistan appreciates the security concerns of the US.  Similarly, Pakistan expects reciprocity from the U.S. in comprehending Pakistan's own security concerns.  Certain circles in the U.S. are inclined to believe that Pakistan is paranoid about its own security and obsessed with the Kashmir issue.  The tragic events of 9/11 and the current Iraqi crisis would perhaps convince the U.S. that genuine security concerns are the same for the inhabitants of Manhattan as they are for the people living in Lahore.  Pakistan-U.S. relations have passed the test of history.  We believe that with responsible leadership and objectivity, future relations between our two countries would be able to withstand the challenges of posterity."


"Issue No 1?"


Muddassir Rizvi wrote in the centrist national daily, The News (1/19):  "The plight of Pakistanis living in the United States arising out of what are commonly being dubbed as discriminatory American immigration laws appear to have taken the center place in the matrix of government priorities....  Why do we have to worry so much about people who are not even Pakistani citizens or for people who are living in another country illegally?  Apparently, it is all about respect and dignity that we as a nation think we deserve.  If this is so, then there is other more pressing reasons for the nation to feel disrespected and disgraced.  The ever-increasing American influence in the country's domestic policy...  The American sleuths are romping the streets, arresting their choicest targets without much evidence....  The American forces are stationed at several bases in the country, enjoying continued hospitality though there may have been some fringe benefits for the country, too small to be noticed....  While there are myriad issues that await official attention for decades, the Issue No. 1 at present for the civilian government is to regain the nation's sovereignty that has been eroding as a result of Pakistan's ambiguously vague cooperation agreements with the U.S. that were dictated, not negotiated.  The suffering of people at home and of Pakistani origin around the world stems from the spinelessness of our leadership that has given in more often than standing up.  Cooperation doesn't mean subjugation and co-option.  It means working together towards the same end."


"Rising Resentment Over INS Regulations"


Writing in the centrist national daily The News, Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema in judged (1/19):  "The Pakistanis reactions over the new INS regulation have been a mixture of resentment and despair.  Many questions are being raised regarding the Pakistan-U.S. partnership, especially Pakistan's cooperation against terrorism.  Many Pakistanis feel humiliated and are reacting very strongly suggesting to severe links with the U.S.  This development is being viewed as the latest American letdown.  Why are the Pakistanis punished and included in this list despite the fact that none of the hijackers was a Pakistani?...  Currently many Pakistanis are of the view that Pakistan is being punished for five reasons; it is a nuclear state, it is an Islamic country, it listens to the Chinese rather carefully, it is engaged in a continuous effort to reveal the ugly faces of India and Israel, and finally it is no longer all that useful to America's Afghan entanglements.  Indeed there is a lot of truth in such utterances....  The suspicion cast by the new regulations have not only dismayed pro-American elements in Pakistan and strengthened the anti-American sentiments but it has created a wide wedge between the two countries.  Whether or not the Americans have played right into the traps laid by the Indians and the Israelis is a little difficult to ascertain at this stage."


"Discrimination Against Pakistanis And Appreciation Of Musharaf"


Ejazul Haq Siddiqi opined in the Taliban mouthpiece Urdu daily Islam (1/21):  "In return for becoming a part of crusade after September 11, Pakistan is among those 20 countries whose registration is required in America.  All those who are affected by this law are coming back (to Pakistan) before February 21.  Our foreign minister Kasuri reminded America that since we have been the frontline partners in the war of terrorism that is why Pakistanis must be exempted from registration.  He also requested that America must not take such steps by which it seems that these laws are against Islamic countries.  By this law Pakistanis who previously had a soft spot for America have turned against it.  If America wants the cooperation of Pakistan it should change its attitude towards Pakistan."


"Who Is A Friend?"


The center-right national daily The Nation editorialized (1/17):  "There is desperation to believe that the U.S. is our friend....  It is a nation that does not want us.  Pakistanis in the U.S. are under immense pressure right now.  Pakistanis narrate completely bizarre stories of how they are being monitored and harassed by the U.S. state agencies....  Even Pakistanis who now have U.S. nationality are taken off planes, stopped for police checks, picked up from universities on doubts of any connections to terrorist elements....  It does not take too much intelligence to see how U.S. sees Pakistan.  It is supporting General Musharraf but not Pakistan....  We are not friends now, neither will we be in future....   Blind cooperation with the U.S. won't pay any long term dividends for Pakistan."


"INS And The Winter Of Our Discontent"


Aqil Shah held in the Lahore-based English language independent weekly, The Friday Times (1/17):  "Under the new National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (read System for Racial and Ethnic Profiling) some 500 Muslims have been detained on immigration charges.  More are likely to follow....  The men are reportedly questioned about their religious affiliations, mosque attendance and sympathies with Muslim extremist groups. They may be detained for hours, sometimes even days, until a National Security Check is conducted....  Qaeda members with British, Australian and American passports have also been arrested.  So why presume that nationals from mostly Muslim countries pose the single greatest threat?  Ashcroft's belief that targeting Muslim countries will increase U.S. national security has few takers outside America....  Heartbreaking as it may seem, we have never been indispensable to the United States."  


INDIA:  "Alien Intelligence" 


The centrist Mumbai-based Telegraph editorialized (1/20):  "The U.S. Justice Department's national security entry-exit registration system, redesigned to protect American citizens from possible terrorist threats with greater rigor...will enable the U.S. government to track the activities and whereabouts of eventually 'all' the...foreign tourists, students and workers who visit the country every year....  This evolution reflects the changing perception of international terrorism in America, and the transformation in the nature of what the U.S. continues to call a 'war' against terrorism....  The criteria for judging such potential are also intelligence based.  What is clear from these trends in the patterns of evolving intelligence is the emergence of a system that must be founded on the blurring of definitions and criteria, on the rhetorically skillful withholding of specific information.  An 'evolving intelligence' implies, more than anything else, a strategic open-endedness about principles and procedures, in which traditional notions of evidence and transparency must be redefined constantly."


"Bangla Visitors On U.S. Watchlist"


A frontpage dispatch by diplomatic editor K.P. Nayar in the Mumbai-based centrist Telegraph read (1/18):  "India's recent charges that Dhaka had become a haven for terrorists found an indirect echo here this week with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) adding Bangladesh to its list of countries whose nationals visiting or temporarily staying in America must be fingerprinted, photographed and registered with the authorities.  The decision was greeted with anger from Dhaka, which has been loudly protesting its innocence on the terrorist charge, detaining foreign journalists for fear of reports on the issue and cracking down on everybody but the terrorists themselves....  Bangladesh was added to the 25-nation list this week along with Indonesia and three countries closely allied to the US militarily and politically....  It is estimated that there are about 100,000 Bangladeshis in the U.S.  A large number of them are waiting for their green cards and would, therefore, fall in a grey area regarding their ability to stay on in this country.  The U.S. is the biggest overseas market for Bangladeshi garments and there are fears that the new rule will affect business as exporters face hassles not only on arrival but also in getting visas to America."


"Why Does The United States Considers The Entire World Its Enemy?"


Hyderabad Kawish, largest circulation Sindhi daily, commented (1/18):  "Despite protests, the U.S. government has included five Muslim countries in the list of countries that are considered as a threat to the United States....  The number of countries that is considered a threat to the United States has increased to 25....  The entire world is criticizing this U.S. step and declaring it a violation of basic human rights....  It seems that according to the U.S. plan, by the year least 50 to 60 countries would be [added to the list]....  Why are the people of the Muslim countries against the United States?...  The United States has created such an environment where a Muslim is now considered a terrorist.  The reason for this U.S. attitude... is that these countries have huge oil, gas, and mineral resources.  The United States has to deliberate on why half of the world is opposing it and why the United States is considering those countries a threat.  The United States needs to analyze all these ground realities and has to change its attitude and strategies.  It has to compensate the countries and the people who have been subjected to injustices and excesses by the United States.  This would provide the United States security and the policy of aggression against these countries would never be able to provide security or stability to the United States."


"The U.S. Prejudice Against Pakistanis In The U.S."


Sindhi daily Hyderabad Kawish opined (1/12):  "The U.S. constitution regards freedom for individuals as a basic right.  [After 9/11] the freedom of citizens has been reduced in the United States itself and many new laws have been introduced which negate the US value for freedom....  Because of the propaganda by the jingoists in the Bush administration, a situation has arrived in which the Americans regard Muslims and the terrorists as one and the same.  In this way, all Muslims living in the U.S. are suspected and being kept under surveillance....   Pakistan has been a close U.S. ally in the war against terrorism and all the Pakistani citizens in the U.S. behavior in a way that they cannot be terrorists.  This accusation seems baseless and unjust.  This is not the concern of only Pakistanis but Muslims all over the world, that a Muslim is not being judged as a person but judged by his religion and nationality.  This is prejudice against them.  This is not justice....  In this way, the U.S. has set a double standard, which is against peace, freedom, human rights and democracy."




INDONESIA:  "The Paranoid Policy Behind Obligation To Register"


President of the Indonesian Muslim Workers’ Union (PPMI), Eggy Sudjana, commented in Islamic-oriented Pelita  (1/23):  “Merely being obliged to register may be an easy thing to do, but, based on experiences, in the actual implementation Indonesians have often been treated like criminals and terrorists at U.S. immigration offices.  This certainly makes the Indonesians in the U.S. feel scared and not feel free to travel.”   


"No Need To Retaliate"


Muslim-intellectual Republika judged (1/22):  “There is no need to retaliate against the new U.S. immigration policy....  We don’t need to retaliate against such a childish policy stemming from George Bush administration’s over-sensitiveness for failing to capture Osama Bin Laden....  Perhaps, it is now time for us to think about other places to visit or stay outside the U.S.  Moreover, many businessmen have moved to Europe or other places to invest.  In other words, we should shift our orientation from the U.S. to many other issues.  If the government is not yet able to rid of its influence, the Indonesian people and businessmen can make their own choices....  Let the Americans here see for themselves that we are not hostile to them and that we don’t oblige them to report.”


"Indonesia Obviously Hurt By U.S. Policy"


Leading independent Kompas commented (1/20):  “The U.S. does not seem to appreciate the important steps Indonesia has taken.  The requirement that Indonesian citizens in the U.S. have to register will only cause tension, which in turn will disturb the consolidation of cooperation in dealing with global terrorism....  [However], the Indonesian people have to be cautious, have to show their dignity as a free and sovereign nation.  An emotional response would only harm the nation, which has always regarded cooperation and understanding with other nations as important.”


"Being An Indonesian Is Increasingly Difficult"


Independent Media Indonesia declared (1/19):  “We could also require the Americans in this country to register if necessary....  We cannot prevent the U.S. government from making any regulation for the safety and comfort of their country.  We can do likewise against any country that we suspect.  With this in mind, why should we have to visit the U.S. if we don’t feel comfortable there?  We have to build pride as Indonesians.”




RUSSIA:  "America May Lose Its Superpower Role"


Nikolai Zlobin, an official from the U.S. Defense Information Center, commented in the reformist daily Izvestia (1/10):  "One has to admit that the nature of international terrorism produces lopsided measures of response.  Although terrorists do pose a threat to the whole world, they attack individual countries. The states subjected to such an attack as a rule immediately adopt a much tougher posture in regard to terrorists.  For their part, the countries not hit by terrorists, prefer a softer, partly philosophical-contemplative, even academic role....  The war on terrorism it ignored for so long, took the U.S. elite by surprise....  Today the U.S. is just beginning to awaken from its sleep and is essentially facing a choice: to behave from now on in the world as a superpower with all the attendant difficulties and expenses or to build an ABM system, reduce the issue of visas to the minimum and seal itself tightly within its boundaries."




BRAZIL:  "A Matter Of Rights"


Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (1/20):  "Obviously, one cannot compare U.S. human rights violations against illegal foreigners and prisoners of the Afghanistan war with the systematic repression that occurs in nations such as China, Saudi Arabia and Israel....  According to the group Human Rights Watch, Washington has, on behalf of the fight against terrorism, been an accomplice to opportunistic violations carried out by its allies....  Under normal circumstances--that is, if Sept. 11 had never happened--the White House would have protested against such violations.  The damage in terms of human rights caused by President Bush's strategy is not limited to nations involved in the so-called war against terrorism....  What is transpiring is a policy of double standards, which renders the humanitarian discourse valid only for certain nations.  It is impossible not to notice that terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and Hamas commit the most serious human rights violations.  The point is that the U.S. and other civilized nations must be capable of fighting these groups without perpetrating or tolerating similar crimes."


"Danger In Sight"


Liberal Folha de S. Paulo took this view (1/2):  "Anxious to fight terrorism, the U.S. may become a police state comparable to the former USSR and East Germany....  The Total Information Awareness (TIA) program being developed by the Department of Defense has already aroused the wrath of civil rights organizations....  It is questionable whether such a system is really capable of preventing terrorist attacks....  There is no doubt, however, that a system like TIA would represent a severe blow to individual liberties....  History is full of examples of states that, due to excessive police controls, deteriorated into some of the worst tyrannies the world has ever known.  One of the warnings against this kind of situation was given by Benjamin Franklin: 'They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.'"


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:  "Forbidden To Be Named Khalil"


Juan Ducoudray, a journalist and regular contributor to independent, conservative El Caribe wrote in an op-ed piece (1/8):  "The woman arrived at the airport...and with her infant in her arms, headed toward Immigration....  She handed over her passport to the official....  Two Immigration officials began to ask her questions and checked her answers with her passport information.  Then, they said in an agitated tone, 'Your son's name, Khalil, is Arabic.'  The woman only had time to say that she and her son were U.S. citizens....  They removed little Khalil's diapers, just in case, next to his small intimate parts, there should be stored a powerful weapon of mass destruction....  Not even during the worst years of McCarthyism, during the fifties, when political persecutions were the norm, did such events take place....  And there's more still:  the U.S. government authorized the CIA to assassinate twenty people accused to be leaders of terrorist organizations, which was published in the international press....  Dominicans of Syrian or Lebanese descent should be aware that if they've named their children Yasser, Gamal, Youssef or other Arabic names and they're going to travel to the U.S., they should change these names so as not to have problems with the immigration authorities."


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