Sunday, April 15, 2012

Muslim Groups Oppose Senate Republicans' Recent USCIRF Appointee

On Thursday, over 60 Muslim organizations sent a letter (full text) to three key U.S. Senators urging them to rescind the nomination of Dr. Zudhi Jasser as a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Commissioners are appointed separately by the President and by House and Senate leaders of each political party. Jasser was appointed by Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell. (See prior posting.) The groups' letter was addressed to McConnell, to Senate president-pro-tem Daniel Inouye and to Sen. Richard Durbin, Chairman of the Senate Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights Committee. The letter argues that Jasser has demonstrated "consistent support for measures that threaten and diminish religious freedoms within the United States." It cited in particular his positions on the Oklahoma anti-Shariah ballot initiative, the Manhattan Park 51 controversy, and his support of religious profiling by law enforcement. It also pointed out that he accepted an award from an anti-Muslim think tank. The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee issued a press release announcing the letter.