(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/30/2020) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a letter by House Democrats Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) calling for the removal of newly-appointed Religious Freedom Advisor Mark Kevin Lloyd because of his long history of espousing anti-Muslim hate.
In the letter to USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa, the Democratic lawmakers called Lloyd’s appointment “antithetical to the USAID mission of global development and religious freedom” and asserted that his “discriminatory posture disqualifies him for the position.” The letter was also signed by Rep. André Carson (D-IN), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Rep. David Trone (D-MD), and Rep. Al Green (D-TX).
“We applaud the House Democrats for taking action on this unjust appointment and again urge Acting Administrator Barsa to immediately fire Mr. Lloyd,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw. “It is not surprising that under President Trump’s Islamophobic administration an individual with a history of spewing anti-Muslim vitriol would be chosen to oversee religious freedom at USAID.”
Three weeks ago, CAIR called for Lloyd’s termination, citing his bigoted remarks on social media.
In 2016, while working as the Virginia Field Director for then-candidate Trump, Lloyd came under fire for sharing several anti-Muslim posts, including one which referred to Islam as “a barbaric cult” and another characterizing Islam as an inherently violent religion. Following the Orlando nightclub shooting in June 2016, Lloyd also shared a Facebook meme suggesting potential gun buyers eat bacon before being allowed to purchase a firearm.
Acting Administrator Barsa had previously dismissed concerns about Lloyd’s record in a June 8th press release, calling them “unwarranted and malicious” and expressing faith in Lloyd’s commitment to “enacting the policies of President Donald J. Trump.”
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, 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.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw, 202-999-8292, email@example.com