US Secretary of State pick opposed by Muslims & Jews

US Secretary of State pick opposed by Muslims & Jews April 13, 2018

Mike Pompeo, above, nominated by President Trump to replace Rex Tillerson for the top diplomatic post, faces stiff opposition from Muslim and Jewish groups who have united to condemn his ‘Islamophobia’.
According to this report, as members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee begin hearings on whether to confirm Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, they will consider dozens of objections from Muslims and Jews who accuse him of maligning Muslims.
Gay Americans are not happy either as he is also bitterly opposed to same-sex marriage.
Pompeo, the outgoing CIA Director, has a record of anti-Muslim remarks and has been associated with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. His confirmation hearings began yesterday (April 12).
Among those expressing deep concerns about Pompeo’s confirmation are the American Jewish World Service, the Anti-Defamation League and the National Council of Jewish Women.
The ADL issued senators a series of questions it would like them to ask Pompeo. For example:

• Will you affirm that Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of American Muslims, is fundamentally compatible with democracy and commit to not calling this affirmation into question in the future?

• Will you disavow your repeated insinuation that non-Muslims should fear the intentions of their Muslim neighbors, and will you commit to not spreading that calumny again?

Other Jewish groups, such as the American Jewish World Service, went on the record opposing his confirmation.
Said Robert Bank, President and CEO of American Jewish World Service, a human rights organisation:

As Jews, we clearly have been victims of sanction, prejudice and coercion ourselves. We identify with other marginalized groups and oppose the nomination of anyone who would pursue policies of prejudice and intolerance.

Pompeo falsely accused US Muslim leaders of remaining silent after the Boston Marathon bombing five years ago, and suggested that they were “potentially complicit” in the bombing.
The thrust of Pompeo’s remarks about Muslims that have drawn the most ire revolve around the idea that Islam is an inherently violent religion and that most US Muslim organisations want to replace American law with Islamic law, known as Shariah.
Pompeo said in a 2015 interview on a radio programme hosted by Frank Gaffney Jr, an anti-Muslim conspiracist:

There are organisations and networks here in the United States tied to radical Islam in deep and fundamental ways. They’re not just in places like Libya and Syria and Iraq, but in places like Coldwater, Kansas, and small towns all throughout America.

Scores of Muslim groups have objected to Pompeo’s confirmation. Muslim Advocates, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Arab American Institute, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and others have sent letters to the members of the Foreign Relations Committee pointing out Pompeo’s record of anti-Muslim statements.
Many Muslims, Jews and Christians have also challenged Pompeo’s opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, his past support for waterboarding and other forms of torture, and his opposition to gay marriage.
This is not the first time in recent years that Muslims and Jews have joined together to advance a shared public policy aim or come to one another’s aid when either has been the victim of a hate crime. In addition to opposing some of the Trump administration’s appointments, they have also united around the travel ban policy as well as the administration’s crackdown on undocumented residents.
Said Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry at Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy and educational organisation that opposes Pompeo’s nomination:

It’s been really heartening to see that there have been so many different groups coming forward, whether it’s religious groups or civil rights organisations and all sorts of advocacy groups.

While tensions persist between American Jews and Muslims, Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, said there’s been growing recognition that the two faiths can work together.
“On the local level, we’re hearing about on-the-ground cooperation that’s happening between Jews and Muslims,” whether it’s a Jewish congregation supporting Muslims after an attack on a mosque or Muslims supporting Jewish victims of hate crimes, Jacobs said.

After grilling Pompeo yesterday, US. Senator Cory Booker, above, said he was not satisfied with answers provided by Pompeo:

So I will conclude by saying, sir, you’re going to be Secretary [of State] of the United States in a time where we have an increase in hate speech, hate action against Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, Indian-Americans.

Hate acts are on the increase in our nation. You’re gonna be representing this country and their values abroad in nations where gay individuals are under untold persecution, untold violence. Your views do matter.
You’re going to be dealing with Muslim states on Muslim issues. I do not necessarily concur that you are putting forth the values of our nation when you can’t even, when you believe that there are people in our country that are perverse and where you think that you create different categories of Americans and their obligations when it comes to condemning violence.

Republicans have a narrow 11-10 majority on the committee. Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky, a member of the committee, has come out against Pompeo.

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  • L.Long

    Well (insert religious BS of choice) at their core are evil!
    So looking at history and around the world NO religion is compatible with secular democracy and individual freedom. So Yes I do not trust any religious groups either!

  • John the Drunkard

    There’s no winning here. ANY honest reporting on Islam WILL be seized upon by anti-immigrant racists. And any concern for refugees and apostates WILL be smeared as ‘Islamophobia.’

  • AgentCormac

    @ John the Drunkard
    Agreed. But while the whole raison d’être of coming to blogs such as this is to draw attention to the unwarranted privilege which religion enjoys, challenge, call out and ridicule the nonsense at the heart of religious dogma, and confront the sectarianism which those who espouse religious bollocks deliberately create, for me personally it really is hard not to dislike the odious, divisive and hate-fuelled politics of Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and, of course, their leader in chief more. Maybe it’s because they’re just more dishonest about their real intent.Or in the case of Trump, just downright dishonest about absolutely everything.

  • Broga

    I often forget that there are so many other people as well as myself who detest the snivelling, grotesque, posturing Trump and the Americans who sustain him. Rather comforting to be reminded.

  • barriejohn

    Just when you thought that things couldn’t get any worse, Trump brings back John Bolton! Now the servile May has joined the US in bombing Syria (without a parliamentary debate) with no idea what the consequences might be. Not only does Bolton still harbour the fantasy that the Iraq Invasion was A Good Thing, but he is all in favour of military intervention in Syria and Iran!!

  • barriejohn
  • tonye

    Sorry to be, slightly, off topic.
    Just to remind everyone how ruthless Trump could be, before becoming the most powerful man in the world, here is a good documentary.

  • Broga

    In any informed public, interested in playing a part in an effective democracy, May would be long gone. However we have been conditioned into a nation of passive, accepting couch potatoes much more interested in examining in the greatest detail whether a football manager is adequate. There is more enthusiasm in voting for the outcome of a dancing competition or who cooks the best meal than at an election.
    Noam Chomsky was spot on when he said sport was the perfect enthusiasm for deflecting the voters to something irrelevant i.e. sport and away from something very serious i.e. who is controlling our lives.
    This won’t change. The vast voterocracy can’t be bothered to read about something as dull as politics or the environment. The semi literate potential voters are not alone as many (most) of the highly educated think they are doing all they can by reading the Guardian and The New Statesman.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: Spot on. Even current affairs is finished on TV today, replaced by endless “reality” programmes following the police, bailiffs, housing inspectors, etc. (who, of course, don’t modify their behaviour one iota due to the presence of the television crew!). I tuned in to BBC News this morning at 7:45 to listen to Newswatch, to be met by the statement that the programme had been cancelled so that they could cover the bombing in Syria…”but first let’s go to Australia for news of the Commonwealth Games”. I’m not making it up!

  • tony e

    @Broga, barriejohn,
    The shocking fact is that voter apathy in the country is at an all time high.
    Politicians know, and rely on the fact, that the average voter is happy just to go home and watch endless crap tv rather than read decent tabloids/books/web sites that point out their (the politicians) multiple failures.
    This country, and I blame the MSM for a lot of this, has became politically dumbed down. The days of decent reporters like John Pilger are numbered as newspapers seem only to be interested in celebrity culture.

  • barriejohn

    @tony e: The newspaper (and I use that term with some reserve) with the highest circulation in this country is the Sun, very closely followed by the Daily Mail. Paul Dacre’s (“sensation sells papers”) first act upon taking over from Sir David English at the Mail was to cancel the paper’s World News coverage. But which tabloids ever report regularly on foreign news today, anyway? They have changed beyond recognition from what they were when I was young, and I believe that much of the American press has gone the same way.

  • Gaurav Tyagi

    @Broga, barriejohn & tonye this apathy of the general masses towards the political leadership is a universal problem.
    In China, where I live most of the English speaking Chinese are least bothered by the fact that their President has hijacked the Communist Party of China Constitution and became a dictator for life. They remain contend in their ‘shells of cosy existence’. Some of them are even afraid to discuss politics and think they would ‘disappear’ if they criticize the govt.
    Talking about India, the country, where I had the ‘misfortune’ to be born and spend almost 3 decades of my life. It’s the same, people waste time watching fixed cricket tournaments like the shitty IPL and crappy shows where they put some morons in a house together and viewers get to vote them out.
    The poor class in India would attend any political rally for INR. 500, free meals and transport plus a bottle of alcohol. The middle class is largely apathetic towards politics and the super rich class is happy with the screwed up ‘status quo’ since they know how to milk the system and mint their Billions.

  • Brian Jordan

    There is more enthusiasm in voting for the outcome of a dancing competition or who cooks the best meal than at an election.
    Noam Chomsky was spot on when he said sport was the perfect enthusiasm for deflecting the voters to something irrelevant

    Thanks for the Chosmsky quote.
    Or, as Juvenal put it, “bread and circuses”.
    Things don’t change.

  • barriejohn
  • andym

    Please take some time to listen to this. The world as a whole is not getting worse,quite the contrary.It’s more that we evolved to perceive immediate danger over longer-term trends.
    This and Steven Pinker’s “Enlightenment Now” are making me more optimistic about the future.
    Just one “I can’t believe that” fact. The most dramatic drop ever in births per woman is happening now…in Iran.

  • Broga

    The celebrity thing is so manufactured. Some nonentity is announced as “a celebrity” and the audience goes bonkers with whoops and applause. You see the same performance in the USA when “our next President” is announced. The audience go into an ecstasy spasm seemingly overcome at the prospect of President Trump making America great again.
    We live our lives vicariously. The Radio Times often carries letters from viewers desperate to know what has happened to an actor when a series ends. The royals put on pantomimes – weddings, marriages, births – paid for by the public. I see that the Queen, with a family whose favourite entertainment is slaughtering wild creatures, is on the front page of the Radio Times with David Attenborough to demonstrate her commitment to the environment.

  • Gaurav Tyagi

    @barriejohn, nice article which you forwarded about Chomsky on sport.
    The last sentence is spot on;
    People who are independent minded and cannot be trusted to be obedient don’t make it, by and large. They’re often filtered out along the way.

  • Dave Godfrey

    If Pompeo is the right man for Trump, he’s automatically the wrong man for the job.