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CAIR Welcomes Cancellation of Senate Confirmation Hearing for Pentagon Nominee Anthony Tata, a Longtime Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theorist

(WASHINGTON, DC, 7/30/20) –The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcome the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee canceling the confirmation hearing for anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Retired Army Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata to the position of undersecretary of defense for policy.     

The hearing was scheduled to take place at 9:30 AM but was canceled just an hour before it began. According to the Washington Post, Tata’s “confirmation hearing was canceled just before it was scheduled to begin amid signs that he did not have enough Republican votes, according to three congressional officials and an internal email” obtained by the newspaper.  

Yesterday, CAIR submitted a statement for record urging members of the committee to vote “NO” during the confirmation hearing on Tata’s nomination. 

“CAIR welcomes the cancellation of today’s Pentagon confirmation hearing for anti-Muslim bigot and conspiracy theorist Anthony Tata,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert S. McCaw. “If Mr. Tata truly does not have enough votes to proceed, his defeat will represent a victory over anti-Muslim bigotry, and for the principle that hatred has no place in our government.” 

CAIR’s opposition to Tata’s nomination is based on his long history of espousing Islamophobic and anti-Muslim views, in addition to his promotion on social media of bizarre and unhinged political conspiracy theories targeting members of the Obama administration.   

Prior to the hearing, ten Democratic committee members — led by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — vowed to oppose the nomination and recently urged Tata to withdraw based on his record of “offensive and inflammatory comments.”  

Ranking Democratic committee member Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed has also said he will oppose the nomination prior to the hearing.  

BACKGROUND 

In April, CAIR called on members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services to reject President Trump’s then reported nomination of anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Anthony J. Tata to the position of undersecretary of defense for policy.     

On social media, in a series of since deleted tweets Tata has called former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader,” sharing an article that claimed Obama was “seditious” and a “Manchurian candidate” working on behalf of foreign powers, and referred to Islam as “the most oppressive violent religion I know of.” 

In May 2018, Tata also promoted on Twitter a conspiracy theory of his own claiming that former CIA Director John Brennan used a coded tweet to order the assassination of Trump. 

In his 2019 novel “Double Crossfire,” Tata promotes the right-wing, white supremacist, and anti-Muslim conspiracy theory that Muslims in Europe engage in sex crimes that are covered up by the media and politicians. In his book “Double Crossfire,” Tata writes:     

Islamic ‘grooming’” is “a rite of passage for young Muslim men in Great Britain” in which “young men were gang-raping British women as part of their transition to manhood.”    

The rising tide of Islam in Europe had seeped into the historically secular governments, and their collective media now forbade any speech against Islamic crimes.”  

CAIR notes, these far-right conspiracy theories are used as a recruiting tool by white supremacist groups in the U.K and Europe.     

In 2018, following a terrorist attack in Strasbourg, France, Tata told FOX News there is intent to harm Western society by Islam” and “it’s a truism that has to be built into policy so we can strengthen our borders.”     

During that same interview, Tata claimed Muslim immigration has disrupted European society: “this immigration policy of France and all of Europe with all the [Muslim] refugees that they have allowed in, millions that they allowed in have disrupted societies all throughout Europe and it’s not a good thing and they got to get control of it.”       

Two weeks ago, CAIR renewed its call on members of the committee to oppose Tata’s nomination following reports in the media that Trump has ordered the Department of Defense to hire disgraced anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists and fired National Security Council aide Richard Higgins as chief of staff to the undersecretary of defense for policy – in anticipation of serving under Tata.        

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.     

END     

CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com  

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