3. Religious groups and others accuse Pompeo of maligning Muslims.
Muslim, Jewish, human rights and other groups have questioned Pompeo’s nomination based on what they say is a record of hostility toward Muslims.
During Pompeo’s confirmation hearing on April 12, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., grilledhim about comments he made on the House floor in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, when he said that the “silence of Muslims leaders” about the bombings was “deafening.” Pompeo noted that many Muslims promote peace but said that “silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts” and they have a “special obligation” to condemn terrorism.
American Muslim leaders did, in fact, denounce the bombing at the time, such as when the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement condemning terrorism “in all its forms.”
Pompeo responded to Booker that he has “worked closely” with Muslim leaders the world over and said his record is “exquisite with treating people of every faith with the dignity they deserve, to protect their right to practice their religion or no religion.”
While Pompeo has noted that terrorists who invoke Islam are a minority within the faith, he has described the United States’ fight with terrorists as one that pits Christians against Muslims. He said in a 2014 speech to a Wichita church group that militants claiming Islam will “continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight, and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world.”
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