Senators Must Hold Mike Pompeo Accountable For His Religious Prejudice

Following his campaign where he declared that “Islam hates us” and vowed to ban Muslims from entering the country, President Trump was quick to bring people who shared his hostility toward Muslims into his administration. Current and former officials like Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Mike Flynn, Ben Carson, Frank Wuco, Jon Cordova, and Carl Higbie have all expressed anti-Muslim views, something Trump likely considers to be an asset.

Another appointee with a long and troubling record of animosity toward Muslims, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, is now receiving a promotion to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, as Trump announced earlier this month.

Before leading the CIA, Pompeo was a member of Congress, where he used his position to smear Muslims as a threat not only to security but also to Christianity -- promoting the idea that religions are at war with each other and undermining our nation’s values of religious freedom and pluralism.

In one speech, he read a prayer that lamented that America “worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism and endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle,” appearing to show disdain for the country’s religious diversity.

He also lashed out at Muslim leaders by falsely claiming that they refuse to denounce violence, warning that they could be considered “potentially complicit” in attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing. While running for his seat, Pompeo even promoted an article ridiculing his Indian-American campaign rival as a “turban-topper,” for which he eventually apologized.

Then-congressman Pompeo partnered with groups well known for their religious bigotry and discriminatory policies like ACT for America and the Center for Security Policy. In 2015, Pompeo was interviewed by Frank Gaffney, the president of CSP and an activist who promotes conspiracy theories that there are secret Muslim plots to take power over everything from the Missile Defense Agency to the internet. Pompeo agreed with Gaffney’s baseless statement that President Obama has “kind of an affinity for, if not the violent beheading and crucifixions and slaying of Christians and all that, but at least for the cause for which these guys are engaged in such activities, the raising up of the Muslim Ummah.” Pompeo said, “Frank, every place you stare at the president’s policies and statements, you see what you just described.”

With the State Department involved in refugee determinations, it is extremely troubling that Pompeo co-sponsored a bill to effectively ban all refugees from resettling in the U.S. and praised Trump’s xenophobic presidential campaign.

While the ACLU does not take a position on nominees, we believe nominees to the highest offices of government must uphold the law — which includes upholding religious freedom and preventing discrimination. Senators must hold Pompeo accountable for his hostility toward Muslims in America and around the world, and ensure that such religious bigotry has no place in shaping State Department policies.

The Senate will have to decide whether someone who has repeatedly attacked a whole religious community both at home and abroad — including some of the closest and most important allies of the United States — is fit to serve as the chief diplomat of the United States. The State Department was rocked by Tillerson’s yearlong purge of senior career diplomats and his pulling back from human rights advocacy. The Senate must weigh the extent of damage to human rights that could be caused by confirming a person with a long record of falsely demonizing a religion and its adherents.

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Dr. Timothy Leary

"I slam? I slam? I slam the door, but I don't make a religion out of it.": Richard Nixon circa 1971.

Retired Military

What a short memory. 9/11 was caused by hate of the US. The religious persecution of anything not Islam will not go away. This is more than a thousand years persecution of Christian/Jewish people in the Middle East. Just because you want to hide you head in the sand, doesn't change the reality. Every US military installation there has to put barriers to prevent another barracks car bomb. Please understand that history is not on your side. I have seen nothing to prove your point. Please don't open door without proper screening. We don't need another 9/11 because you don't wish to screen or enforce immigration policies.

Jack Calcott

Retired Military is so spot on. Islam is not compatible with the pure free air of USA. Islam is at war with Christianity and Judaism. Any interfaith dialogue is just a pretense for strategic reasons or to "buy for time".

Anonymous

god help your poor soul and the soul of any unfortunate young person you may influence until the time you leave this world briefly and come back again to try again. Strike one but not to worry G-d planned for the possibility some of us would waste their life so G-d make it possible to allow you to come back and hopefully develop into a soul worthy of moving forward. good luck in finally realizing how your comment makes you anything but ignorant....this is not my opinion but a fact that logic, reason and criticial thinking provides to anyone interested in real truth. in other words, you are what makes the truely bad in this world so easily accomplished.

Anonymous

Why do many people conveniently forget is there is a big difference between radical Islamic terrorists and the entirety of the Muslim brotherhood. We have Muslims serving in our military alongside Christians, Jews, and Catholics; living peacefully in our neighborhoods while participating in charity programs. USA has always been diverse but lately we are starting to become like Germany in WWII; with closed borders and immigration jails that are becoming more like concentration camps for non-Americans. This trend towards fascism that we have seen since Trumps election is frightening.

Tigerstatic39

Hey, ACLU, it is NOT religious prejudice to point out that Muslims are singling out and killing Christians all over the world, not to mention Jews! The U.S. government has the responsibility of protecting it's citizens! I would think being killed because of being Christian would be the ultimate violation Civil Liberty!!! As in ACLU!!! You guys need to decide whose side you're on, Americans or foreigners trying to kill Americans!!!

Huskerlabrat

Spoken like someone afraid of an idea.

Common Sense an...

Trump and his supporters are our greatest embarrassment since we needed a civil war to convince rich white 1%'ers in the south that states rights doesn't mean the state has the right to allow rich people to own poor people - as per decency and common sense - no laws or explanation required if you have a soul. Oh, and the declaration of independence we are all so proud of that states that all men are created equal; that might be something to consider while debating why you think whipping, raping and enslaving someone is perfectly fine as long as they are of color. America today is an embarrassment to every U.S. Veteran of the world wars - if anybody cares the least bit about a vet, existing and future soldiers they would not support either party or condone almost every bit of our foreign, monetary or banking policy - pathetic is what we are and it didn't happen overnight, it was easily predicted at the time of each piece of legislation hitting the books - if you couldn't see how the deregulation and freedom granted to pharma in the 80's was going to lead to a prescription pill and health care cost problem you were not paying attention for the past 40 years or just not a very intelligent and/or street smart individual. Same goes for Foreign policy - if you can't understand why the world hates american gov't and thinks that it's from jealousy you are again either not intelligent, truly educated in any real way or you know about allende, mossadegh, teriejo, etc and you just morally bankrupt. you want to end terrorism - stop participating in it - you want to fix the health care and opioid problem don't allow pharma to write our legislation and give 450k to everyone of the 535 congressmen and senators that work for these corporation - they surely don't work for the people and for whatever reason and despite a 6% approval rating America does not fire them. Everyone of our problems are systemic and if a few very key principles are addressed and then continually maintained going forward all of our major health care, drug, economic, educational, class warfare and the rest of our many problems will begin to disappear until the point in which they exist as the exception and not the rule which in turn we can then manage more efficiently. The human race is just not that impressive despite all it's advancements it still doesn't know enough to care to prevent a situation where an unfeeling and singularly purposed corporation should be allowed to dictate and control our gov't at the expense of the people who live, fight and die for the country....what the fuck? how can anyone be surprised by the outcome we see? it's almost perfectly executed and planned and all right out in front of us all as the last 100 years has played out - anyone who still thinks A - a secret or conspiracy or whatever you want to call it is impossible to execute and impossible to for authorities/votes to hold the correct people accountable for these large grifts that happen every generation is not paying attention or very sophisticated - just like you don't need the surgeon general to tell you smoking is bad for you - you need to take one puff of a cigarette and after that any sickness or issue you have is your fault - no one elses - the problem is not the corporations or politicians - it's the people who make up this apathetic collectivism that in turn makes it so easy for people/groups of means to socially engineer anything they want - the country is what it is by design not by some random occurence of events or because of anything to do with religion.

B - if the TV has you believing that 25% of the world's population is bad maybe time to turn that 'programing' off and leave it off and take back your mind and means to engage in critical thinkin. If you are learning about the world from cable news then I can't feel sorry for you and you are just an unsophisticated serf who gets what he is given all while thinking he or she is free and lives in a demcratic society where the people dictate our direction - grow up and fix your soul before you leave this world - you are free game who gets what they deserve if you don't see how evil supporting our corporate governmental pursuit of a trans-caspian pipeline , cheap opium and rich corp contracts that are now laundered socially by describing them as new opportunities in emerging markets that came out of the spread of democray throughout the world then you are an idiot and/or in denial. It's quite simply murder and robbery - typical thug shit that no one should need to have it explained that this is not a good thing or something to wave a flag at - the only thing our latest wars and economic hit squads have done in the pursuit of freedom is the freedom to allow evil to be so socially acceptable and in fact acceptable enough to allow a game show host who wears too much make up and a comb over to be the leader of the world.

Anonymous

Those rich white slave owners were Democrats. And once again they're wrong.

Anonymous

The US isn't a Muslim country. Stop trying to push their nonsense on America.

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