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CAIR Opposes Nominations of ‘Islamophobe’ Pompeo for Secretary of State, ‘Torturer’ Haspel for CIA Director

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(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/13/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged opposition to the nominations of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state and of Gina Haspel as CIA director. Both were named to those posts today by President Trump and must now be confirmed by the Senate.

“Those, like Mr. Pompeo, who have expressed Islamophobic views and have been associated with an anti-Muslim hate group, or like Ms. Haspel, who personally oversaw the torture of detainees, should have no role in our nation’s government, let alone at the highest levels of policy-making,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “These appointments have the potential to harm our nation’s image and our relations with key players in the international community.”

Backgrounders on Haspel and Pompeo:

Of Gina Haspel, the New York Times noted: “As a clandestine officer at the Central Intelligence Agency in 2002, Gina Haspel oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects and later took part in an order to destroy videotapes documenting their brutal interrogations at a secret prison in Thailand.”

SEE: Gina Haspel Had Leading Role in Torture

In 2016, then-congressman Mike Pompeo spoke at a “Legislative Briefing” for the notorious anti-Muslim hate group ACT for America. At that time, the hate group’s website noted that “the next CIA Director Rep. Mike Pompeo has been a steadfast ally of ours since the day he was elected to Congress.”

SEE: ACT for America Post

Pompeo, who received the ACT for America “National Security Eagle Award for 2016,” also reserved the auditorium for its event and previously addressed the hate group’s national conferences in 2013 and 2015.

SEE: Following Trump Appointments, Anti-Muslim ACT for America May See Growing Influence

CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: The Hate that ACT for America Wrought

CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: ACT for America

In 2010, Pompeo defended one of his campaign staffers who posted a link to a blog that used the racial slur “turban topper” in reference to his opponent, who was of South Asian ancestry, and called President Obama an “evil muslim [sic] communist USURPER.”

SEE: Kansas GOP Candidate Links to Racist Blog

In 2013, following the Boston Marathon attacks, Pompeo falsely alleged that American Muslim leaders were “potentially complicit” 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 on Pompeo to correct his “false and irresponsible” 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.

SEE: CAIR Asks Kansas Rep. Pompeo to Correct ‘False and Irresponsible’ Attack on Muslims

Following the 2016 election, CAIR expressed concern about a “troubling Islamophobic trend” in then President-elect Donald Trump’s recent appointments and nominations, including the appointment of Pompeo as CIA director.

SEE: CAIR Concerned About ”˜Troubling Islamophobic Trend’ Following Trump’s Nomination of Sessions, Pompeo

CAIR is monitoring a troubling spike in Islamophobic and racist incidents targeting American Muslims and other minority groups that has coincided with the rise of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate and with his election as president.

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:

CAIR launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here:

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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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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