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Muslim Advocates Condemns Trump’s Anti-Civil Rights, Anti-Muslim Judicial Nominee Steven Menashi

‘Pig Fat’ Nominee Shows Clear Hostility to Muslims While Religious Freedom is Under Attack in the Courts 

WASHINGTON, DC — The following is a statement issued today from Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera on Steven Menashi, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Menashi has a documented hostility to civil rights protections for women, people of color and LGBTQ people and has harbored deeply troubling anti-Muslim views. Muslim Advocates is also asking all Americans to tell their senator to oppose the Menashi nomination.

“In an era when federal judges are ruling that American Muslims are not entitled to the same religious freedom protections enjoyed by other faith communities, the Menashi nomination stands out for his open hostility to Muslims. 

The First Amendment guarantees religious freedom for all, yet federal courts have begun to show a clear double-standard at play when it comes to the rights of American Muslims. There is an effort among hate groups and those in the Trump administration to redefine Islam not as a religion but as a political ideology—thus allowing the government to sidestep the First Amendment and deny Muslims their basic rights under the law.

Menashi has dehumanized Muslims and cast us as either cartoonish villains from horror movies or as adversaries in civilizational warfare. He once endorsed the wholly fabricated fable that General John Pershing executed Muslims ‘with bullets dipped in pig fat’ and ‘wrapped their bodies in pigskin before burial’ as a laudable national security tactic. Additionally, Menashi said then-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi ‘did nothing other than state the obvious’ when he declared that western civilization was superior ‘in contrast with Islamic countries.’

He has also shown a shocking disregard for the rights and dignity of women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. 

Menashi’s outmoded and bigoted views are disqualifying for a lifetime judicial appointment. His confirmation would be a disaster for religious freedom and equal protection for American Muslims.”

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Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.