Press Releases

CAIR Calls on Interior Secretary Zinke to Drop Spokeswoman Who Claimed a Muslim Can’t Be President

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/26/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), today called for the dismissal of a spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke who once argued that a Muslim “could never serve” as president of the United States.

In a 2015 post online, Faith Vander Voort came to the defense of then-GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, who claimed that Islam is “inconsistent” with the Constitution and that a Muslim should not be elected president.

SEE: CAIR to Call on Ben Carson to Withdraw from Presidential Race Over Anti-Islam Comments

Vander Voort wrote: “A devout Muslim could never serve in the Oval Office of the United States of America, not because of exclusion or discrimination, but because their own religion strictly prohibits them from taking an oath to anything other than Allah.”

She falsely claimed that if any Muslim did become president, that person would “either be a shoddy and inconsistent Muslim or subject to impeachment the moment they took office because Shariah Law and the United States Constitution are not compatible.”

SEE: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Spokeswoman Once Argued Muslims Can’t Be President

“It is hard to keep up with the number of Islamophobes populating the Trump administration, but it the duty of all Americans to call out bigotry when they see it, particularly when it is espoused by someone in a position of authority and influence,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Her views are in direct contradiction to our Constitution, which prohibits religious tests for public office.”

Yesterday, CAIR called for the firing of a top Trump administration U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) appointee who spread conspiracy theories about then-President Barack Obama and made anti-Muslim comments on social media.

Civil Rights Group: Fire Trump VA Staffer for Anti-Muslim, Birther Conspiracy Posts

CAIR has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration policies and appointments.

The Washington-based civil rights organization recently called on Republican Party leaders and elected officials to repudiate Donald Trump’s “aggressively racist and misogynistic” rant at a rally in Montana.

In his speech, Trump repeated his use of the racist slur “Pocahontas” to target Sen. Elizabeth Warren, mocked the #MeToo movement and falsely claimed that an African-American congresswoman has a “low IQ.”

SEE: CAIR Calls on GOP to Repudiate Trump’s ”˜Aggressively Racist and Misogynistic’ Rant in Montana

Last month, CAIR applauded the decision by members of the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) to reject President Trump’s nominee for the position of director general to lead the organization because of his history of Islamophobic statements.

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Rejection of Trump’s Islamophobic Nominee for U.N. Migration Post

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

SEE: CAIR-Georgia Welcomes Two Year Prison Sentence for Pro-Trump White Supremacist Who Phoned Threats to Augusta Mosque

CAIR-Houston Urges Stepped-up Security for Texas Mosques Following Another Arson Attack

Earlier this year, CAIR released its 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” which showed a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against American Muslims from 2016 to 2017, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in that same time period.

CAIR 2018 Civil Rights Report: Targeted

Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by going to:

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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