November 17, 2017
Issue: Fighting Bigotry
Muslim Advocates: Recent Administration Resignations of Tim Kelly and Jamie Johnson Show that Bigotry Has a Cost
Washington, DC – Today, Muslim Advocates responded to the recent resignations of two anti-Muslim federal appointees: Rev. Jamie Johnson, head of community outreach for the Department of Homeland Security, and Tim Kelly, nominee for Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical and Adult Education at the Department of Education. While there are still many other administration officials with extremist views, these announcements follow White House resignations of known bigots Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka and the recent withdrawal of Mark Green’s nomination for army secretary.
According to Scott Simpson, public advocacy director of Muslim Advocates, “These resignations are an important reminder that naked bigotry is not the new normal for America. The nation has taken the Trump administration to task over and over again for its support of white supremacy, sexism, anti-Semitism, nativism, and bigotry against Muslims, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. There are consequences to embracing this extreme rhetoric, and we applaud the country for rejecting officials like Johnson and Kelly. We still have a long way to go but the message is clear: bigotry has no place in our federal government.”
This week, Rev. Johnson resigned, following a CNN report exposing racist and bigoted remarks about the black community, Jews, and Muslims. According to the CNN report:
A harsh critic of Islam, Johnson argued in his radio appearances that Muslim terrorist groups were representative of the true meaning of Islam.
“I never call it radical Islam, if anything, it is obedient Islam. It is faithful Islam.” Johnson said, in another appearance filling in as host on the Iowa radio program “Mickelson in the Morning.”
He continued, “Just in the same way that we talk about nominal Christians — and we never say that as a compliment — you’re either a faithful and committed Christian, committed to the teachings and the writings of the laws and profits and our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, or you’re just kind of wishy-washy. And what the media, and sadly too many people in our camp, the Republican Party, want to refer to as militant or radical Islam, they’re simply being obedient, aren’t they?”
Johnson later stated that “Islam is not our friend” adding, “I agree with (conservative political commentator) Dinesh D’Souza, your friend and mine, who says all that Islam has ever given us is oil and dead bodies over the last millennia and a half.”
“It is not a religion of peace,” he said.
This resignation followed Trump’s rescinded nomination of Michigan state Rep. Tim Kelly for a position at Department of Education for anti-Muslim remarks and policy proposals made on his blog, “Citizen Leader,” between 2009 and 2012. Politico reports:
On the blog, a December 2009 post by Kelly called “A Modern Proposal” suggests that all Muslims should have to clear their names off no-fly lists. Kelly’s post came days after a Nigerian man attempted to blow up a flight with a bomb concealed in his underwear.
An excerpt from Kelly’s blog reads: “Since 9/11, we continue to live the ridiculous myth that bombings in the name of Islam, can, have, and will be perpetrated by anyone other than Muslims so we must therefore screen everyone. … Instead of assuming that all people are interested in, let alone capable of, blowing up Western, Christian, or Jewish things, let’s assume that all Muslims are. Then it remains their problem in clearing their individual names off of any no-fly or border crossing lists.”
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.