Massive Show of Support for Muslims in Silicon Valley & All across Country
By Riaz Haq
San Francisco: Thousands of protesters and dozens of civil rights lawyers from ACLU and CAIR flocked to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in support of Muslim travelers detained by the US Customs and Immigration Service after President Donald Trump's Muslim Ban executive order over the weekend.
While the protest scene was witnessed at all major international airports across the United States, what was special about San Francisco was the presence of Silicon Valley tech elite, including Google cofounder Sergey Brin and Y Combinator president Sam Altman, among the protesters. The Who's Who of America's technology world work with tens of thousands of Muslim technologists every day. They have all spoken out against Trump's Muslim ban. Meanwhile, several Silicon Valley venture capitalists have committed to match donations to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the biggest organization of civil rights lawyers in the United States. ACLU says it has already raised over $10 million so far to fight Trump's Muslim Ban in the US Court system.
Silicon Valley Muslims: Silicon Valley companies rely on technology talent from many Muslim nations around the world. They also do significant business in the Islamic world. It is in Silicon Valley's best self-interest for the United States to have friendly ties with the world's 1.5 billion Muslims. Among the most famous sons of Muslim immigrants was the legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs.
The US-born Muslims make up the largest percentage at 34% of all Muslims in San Francisco Bay Area, followed by 14% born in Pakistan, 11% in Afghanistan, 10% in India, 3% in Egypt and 2% each in Iran, Jordan, Palestine and Yemen.
There are 35,000 Pakistani-born Muslims in San Francisco Bay Area, or 14% of the 250,000 Muslims who call the Bay Area home, according to a study. Bay Area Muslim community constitutes 3.5 percent of the area’s total population and is one of the highest concentrations of Muslims in the country.
As of 2013, South Asian Muslims, including Pakistanis, have the highest income levels, with nearly half (49%) of them having a household income above $100,000. In comparison, those groups with the lowest proportion of household incomes above $100,000 were Hispanic Muslims (15%), Afghans (10%), and African American Muslims (10%).
The Bay Area Muslim community is very diverse in terms of race and ethnicity:
South Asians (30%)
African Americans (9%)
Asian/Pacific Islanders (7%)
Silicon Valley Tech Elite Protest: While Sergey Brin (Google) and Sam Altman (Y Combinator) physically joined the protest at San Francisco International Airport, there are many more among the Who's Who of the tech world who have voiced their opposition to the Ban: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla founder Elon Musk, Netflix founder Reed Hastings, Apple CEO Tim Cook, PayPal cofounder Max Levchin, AirBnB founder Brian Chesky, DropBox founder Drew Houston, and many, many more. They all know how critical the Muslim immigrant talent is to the success of their companies.
Many of the tech elite cite the fact that legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian Muslim immigrant father Abdul Fattah Jandali.