Muslim Civil Rights Group Responds to Appointment of Jon Kyl to Senate Seat

Washington, DC – Today, Muslim Advocates’ public advocacy director, Scott Simpson, released the following statement in response to reports that Arizona’s governor Doug Ducey will appoint former Senator Jon Kyl, who has a long record of hostility to Muslims, to fill the Senate vacancy created by the passing of John McCain:

“American Muslims and people who care about religious freedom and civil rights for all people should be disturbed  about today’s appointment of Jon Kyl.

Over the past few weeks, there have been many tributes to Senator McCain’s principled stands against  naked displays of bigotry. This was particularly true during moments when anti-Muslim hostility reared its head; in his defense of Khizr, Ghazala, and Humayan Khan and in his rejection of an anti-Muslim conspiracy theories about Barack Obama and Huma Abedin.

Kyl’s past Senate record does not indicate that this is a part of McCain’s legacy that he is likely to continue.  The bigoted activists, ideas, and conspiracy theories that McCain was applauded for rejecting are the same people and ideas that Kyl has fully embraced and championed in the past. For example, Kyl has:

Kyl has helped to bring troubling, bigoted, reckless and baseless anti-Muslim conspiracy theories into the mainstream and was a forerunner to the most extreme anti-Muslim figures in public life today. For those who hoped for an appointment that would bring a renewed sense of civility to our political discourse, the appointment of Senator Kyl is a serious disappointment.”

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.