"Happily the Government of the United States which gives to bigotry no sanction."—George Washington, _Letter to the Jewish congregation of Newport Rhode Island (1790)
If he was envious it didn’t show. Envy would have been unseemly given the joyfulness of the occasion. It happened when the trump took advantage of a 36-hour gap in his busy White House schedule to hurry off to India to celebrate his presidency in the presence of, the trump had said before leaving, 10 million Indians at the world’s largest cricket stadium. (According to reporters present at the event, it turned out nine million of the attendees the trump said would be in attendance were otherwise occupied, so they had to miss the event. The remaining million loved it, although many of them left before the trump had finished bloviating.)
The Trumpian envy that he did not allude to during his visit, was inspired by events that had taken place in India eight months and two months before the Trumpian visit of which even the oblivious Trump should have been aware.
The first of the events took place on August 5, 2019. That was when the Indian government rushed through a presidential decree from President Modi that revoked Article 370 and 35A of the India Constitution. Those articles pertained to Jammu and Kashmir, a region governed by India and inhabited by 7 million Muslims.
Article 370 was designed to insure that Jammu and Kashmir would always be a Muslim majority state and that Hindus from elsewhere in India would not be permitted to go there and enjoy the same rights guaranteed the Muslim majority. Among the rights guaranteed the Muslim-majority were the right to their own constitution, the right to own property, and the autonomy to make laws on all matters except defense, communications and foreign affairs. Article 35A permitted the local legislature in Kashmir to define permanent residents of the region.
Modi’s assault on Muslims did not end in August. In December 2019, two months before the Trump visit, India’s parliament passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019. It extends Indian citizenship to all immigrants from neighboring countries unless they are Muslim.
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Although he pretended not to notice, the Trump is almost certainly envious. His dislike of Muslims is well known.
Prior to his election, in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, he said: “I think Islam hates us. We have to get to the bottom of it. There is an unbelievable hatred of us-anybody.” On December 7, 2015 his campaign said: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” On March 9, 2016, the trump said: “I think Islam hates us. . .We can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States and of people that are not Muslim.”
As soon as he was sworn in as president, the trump issued the first of many bans that were to be stricken down by the courts because of their anti-Muslim effect. It was entitled: “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” Later he said everyone knew its meaning and said it’s a “TRAVEL BAN.”. . .Great surveillance and vigilance must be adhered to. We want to be very fair but too many bad things are happening, and the percentage of true hatred is too great.” On May 20, 2017, the Washington Post published a timeline of Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric beginning in 2011 and continuing through the date of the publication. The list is exhaustive.
On November 1, 2019, former Majority leader of the House, Harry Reid wrote an op-ed lamenting the damage Trump’s anti-Islam rhetoric and actions have done to the United States. In addition to the trump repeatedly saying that Muslims hate us, Mr. Reid observes that: “He pushed for the surveillance of Muslim houses of worship and the creation of a database of Muslims in the United State.”
The foregoing is perforce a limited description of trump’s repeated expressions of hatred for Muslims. It does, however, help explain his lack of concern for Modi’s treatment of Muslims. At the conclusion of his visit, the trump said of Modi: “The prime minister was incredible in what he told me. He wants people to have religious freedom and very strongly. . .He said that, in India, they have worked very hard to have great and open religious freedom. And if you look back and you look at what’s going on, relative to other places especially, but they have really worked hard on religious freedom.”
Perhaps the Trump was unaware of the protests that were going on all over India because of the repeal of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 giving citizenship to certain refugees if they are not Muslim. If he was not aware of what was going on, he is, as in most things, dismally uninformed. If aware but unconcerned, we can only fear what this country will become should he reign another four years.