September 1, 2019

AMEN:

Bernie Sanders talks tough in well-received address to US Muslims (Azad Essa,  1 September 2019, Middle East Eye)

He was particularly scathing about Saudi Arabia and Iran, describing the war in Yemen as "one of their theatres of conflict". 

"As you know, the United States has been backing the brutal government of Saudi Arabia, whose intervention in that civil war has led to this humanitarian crisis where millions are at risk of starvation in what could be the worst famine in modern history," Sanders said.

The senator has repeatedly raised concerns about the US involvement in the war in Yemen, where Washington materially backs a Saudi-led coalition that is fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.

In April 2019, Trump vetoed a Sanders-sponsored resolution that looked to end US support for the Saudi-led war effort.

"I particularly liked that he raised the issue of Yemen. It is something that cuts me deeply," Isa said.

Sanders also said that, as US president, he would hold China to account for its persecution of the Uighurs in Xinjiang province. He also described India's unilateral decision in August to revoke the semi-autonomous status of Kashmir and impose a communication blockade and military siege on the valley as "unacceptable".

He then chastised "political elites in both the Republican and Democratic parties" for pursuing "endless wars and interventions".

Sanders said that, unlike Trump, who has "an affection for authoritarian regimes around the world," he "would make democracy and human rights a priority for the United States of America".
Rhoeda Adewmi, 18, from Houston, indicated doubt over Sanders' ability to deliver on his promises. "I hope he is true to his word," she told MEE.

But honesty is precisely what Huda Khalid, from Houston, is banking on from the Vermont senator.

Khalid told MEE that, though she may not agree with everything Sanders says, she feels he is "consistent and honest".

The 31-year-old was alluding to Sanders' comments during a Q&A session with the audience, in which he reiterated that he was not a supporter of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to pressure Israel into ending its occupation and abuses of Palestinians. 

"He didn't say what I wanted him to say about BDS. But at least he is not against criminalisation of the boycott campaign. Most of all, he was honest in front of a crowd of Muslims who obviously support Palestine. I appreciate that," Khalid said.

Posted by at September 1, 2019 7:53 AM

  

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