WASHINGTON – Scott Simpson, public advocacy director for Muslim Advocates, issued the following statement on news reports that Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is seriously considering appointing the divisive, reckless, and anti-Muslim Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke to a role at DHS. While Sheriff Clarke has publicly spoken about the appointment, DHS has yet to publicly confirm it.
“A man with this record of irresponsibility and recklessness has no place in the federal government, especially at the agency charged with protecting our country. This is not a time to entrust that job to someone so erratic, so prone to errors of judgment, and so committed to extreme rhetoric and positions.
He has a clear record of hostility against Muslims that disqualifies him for this appointment. He has called for police profiling and patrol of Muslim neighborhoods, has unjustly labelled Islam a terrorist political ideology instead of a religion, and even blamed a rogue shooting in Philadelphia on the religion of Islam.
All in addition to his deeply troubling record of mismanagement and inflammatory rhetoric writ large. Jails were mismanaged under his watch as sheriff, leading to several troubling and preventable deaths; He has equated the Black Lives Matter movement behind policing reform efforts with ISIS and the KKK; He called for ‘pitchforks and torches’ in response to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling; and a court found that he even violated the separation of church and state by holding mandatory meetings where his employees were proselytized to by a group called the Fellowship of Christian Centurions.
The department’s mission is far too important to entrust to someone of this temperament, this record of mismanagement, and this contempt for an entire religion. We urge Secretary Kelly to make the responsible choice and not appoint Sheriff Clarke to any position at DHS.”
Muslim Advocates has also joined with our colleagues at the Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign, The Leadership Conference, National Council of La Raza, and the National Urban League on a letter to the President and Secretary Kelly that “Clarke’s record as Milwaukee County Sheriff and his history of incendiary and hateful statements make him unfit to serve in this role, as does his connection with antigovernment extremist groups.”
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.