(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/18/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed concern about a â€œtroubling Islamophobic trendâ€ in President-elect Donald Trumpâ€™s recent appointments and nominations.
Today, President-elect Trump nominated Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for the post of attorney general and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo to head the CIA.
In 2010, Pompeo defended one of his campaign staffers who posted a link to a blog that used the racial slur â€œturban topperâ€ in reference to his opponent, who was of South Asian ancestry, and called President Obama an “evil muslim [sic] communist USURPER.”
In 2013, following the Boston Marathon attacks, Pompeo falsely alleged that American Muslim leaders were â€œpotentially complicitâ€ in terrorists acts for failing to speak out, despite the fact that the American Muslim community and its leaders have regularly and consistently condemned terror and religious extremism.
At that time, CAIR called Pompeo to correct his â€œfalse and irresponsibleâ€ attack on Muslim leaders and sent him a letter containing dozens of anti-terror statements of the type he incorrectly claimed Muslims had failed to make.
Sen. Sessions has supported then presidential candidate Donald Trumpâ€™s call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. In 1986, Sessions was accused of making racist comments while serving as a U.S. attorney in Alabama, including calling an African-American assistant U.S. attorney “boy.â€ Sessions has called the NAACP and the ACLU â€œun-Americanâ€ and â€œcommunist-inspired.â€
â€œPresident-elect Trumpâ€™s first appointments and nominations display a troubling Islamophobic trend that is of concern to American Muslims and should be of concern to all Americans,â€ said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. â€œWe urge President-elect Trump to staff his administration with those who will serve to unite, not divide the nation. Personnel is policy.â€
Yesterday, CAIR called on President-elect Trump not to appoint retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security adviser because of his history of anti-Muslim comments and associations. Flynn was later appointed to that position, despite having in the past called Islam a â€œcancer,â€ saying fear of Muslims is â€œrationalâ€ and being a current member of the board of advisers for the nationâ€™s most virulent anti-Muslim hate group, ACT for America.
CAIR also decried the appointment of anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist and White nationalist â€œalt-rightâ€ extremist Stephen Bannon as Trumpâ€™s chief strategist and senior counselor.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is monitoring a troubling spike in anti-Muslim and racist incidents since the November 8 election.
Muslim community members who believe their rights have been violated are being asked to contact local police and CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: www.cair.com/report
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org