Mike Pompeo at State Would Enable Trump’s Worst Instincts

By Peter Beinart

When the President of the United States retweets crude anti-Muslim videos posted by Jayda Fransen, a neo-fascist convicted for harassing Muslims on the street, it’s useful to have a secretary of state with a different point of view. And Rex Tillerson, for all his faults, does. Tillerson has declared that, “there’s a great deal that’s misunderstood about the Muslim world” and that “we need to put a lot more effort into understanding one another better.” He’s even ventured that “the president’s views” about Islam, perhaps with a nudge from him, “are going to continue to evolve.”

But they’re less likely to “evolve”—or be mitigated in any way—if Trump enacts the plan The New York Times describes, in which Tillerson is replaced early next year by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. That’s because Pompeo embraces anti-Muslim bigots, and defames Muslims, with almost as much gusto as Trump himself.

Among Fransen’s closest American analogues are Brigitte Gabriel and Frank Gaffney. Gabriel, who has said a “practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America,” runs ACT for America, an organization that scours textbooks in an effort to eliminate references that equate Islam with Judaism and Christianity, and urges its members to protest the sale of halal food. In 2016, Pompeo won ACT’s “highest honor,” the National Security Eagle Award. Gabriel has called him a “steadfast ally.”

Pompeo is also a steadfast ally of Frank Gaffney, President of the Center for Security Policy, who has argued that adherence to Islamic law—far from being protected by the First Amendment—should be considered “an impermissible act of sedition, which has to be prosecuted.” Pompeo spoke at the Center for Security Policy’s “Defeat Jihad” summit in 2015. …read more

Via:: The Atlantic


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