On Tuesday, March 13th, 2018, Trump fired his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, announcing that he would replace him with the current CIA director Mike Pompeo. But, before assuming his new job, Pompeo has to be confirmed by the Senate. Senators, please do not confirm Mike Pompeo!
Before becoming CIA director, Pompeo represented Kansa in Congress, so we have had time to find most of his views. During his career, he has made several negative comments about Muslims. But, while disparaging remarks about Muslims would not make him unique (remember Trump said he saw Muslims cheering after 9/11 and more), it is the conspiracy nature of these comments that are problematic.
According to the Washington Post, he has suggested that Muslims were “potentially complicit” in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and their silence “casts doubt on the commitment to peace by adherents of the Muslim faith.” Even though they were in fact not silent. Also, Pompeo co-sponsored a bill in Congress that would have banned the Muslims Brotherhood. These comments are dangerous because they suggest that Muslims are un-American.
Yet, Pompeo doesn’t only implicitly suggest this. He allies himself with anti-Muslim who explicitly indicate this. According to the Atlantic, Brigitte Gabriel, who has called Pompeo a “steadfast ally,” said that a “practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.” She runs ACT for America which is attempting to remove all comparisons of Islam to Christianity and Judaism in textbooks and has suggested protesting the sale of Halal food. Also, in 2016, her organization gave Pompeo their highest honour.
Furthermore, according to the same article, “Pompeo is also a steadfast ally of Frank Gaffney.” This is problematic because Gaffney has suggested that following Muslim law should be judged “an impermissible act of sedition, which has to be prosecuted.” Pompeo has also appeared on Gaffney’s radio show at least 20 times where he suggested that Obama was disloyal to Christianity and to the US in favour of Islam. Finally, Pompeo said “there are organizations 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.” Thus, Pompeo allies himself not only with conspiracy theorists but also with people who believe Muslims should be prosecuted.
Now all of this should already disqualify someone from being any nations top diplomat because they need to interact with Muslim countries. However, I have a sad feeling that it is not enough in the current American climate. But it is crucial that someone who holds views (or allies himself with people who hold views) that Muslims should be prosecuted have no power in the United States government.
It would not be the first time that someone was in power believed that people who he deemed un-American should be prosecuted. Let us look back at the Second Red Scare and McCarthyism.
The Second Red Scare lasted from around 1947 to 1956, and it involved hundreds of Americans being accused of being communist or sympathizers. Senator McCarthy conducted such hearings and investigation which is where the name came from. The accused lost jobs, some of their careers were ruined, and some went to prison. It is true that McCarthy alone would not have been able to ignite the red scare, but Americans were in the right mindset to allow their fear to get the better of them.
So, if Pompeo would have been the only one with these views, then he would have less to worry about. But, Trump has had many conspiracy theories of his own as mentioned above. Also, according to Pew Research Center, 25 percent of American Adults believe that half or more of Muslims in America are un-American and 50 percent think that Islam does not have a place in mainstream American society. Thus the public is closer to the beliefs of POMPEO AND trump that we would like to think. So they might be convinced to follow them. Pompeo might not be the second coming of McCarthy, but if he is, he will have all the tools to begin McCarthyism 2.0.
So, Senators have the power to stop Pompeo. The question is whether they will be on the right side or the wrong side of history?