Appearing on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos", Evangelist Pat Robertson weighed in on the very controversial topic of judicial nominations. Rather than offer comments on the political efficacy of the "nuclear option" or the judicial philosophy of the current nominees, Robertson suggested that Muslims should not be considered for judicial posts. Robertson noted:
They have said in the Koran there's a war against all the infidels.... Do you want somebody like that sitting as a judge? I wouldn't.Sure, not many Americans would want someone who openly declares war on infidels, if that is to mean Americans, to serve as an impartial arbiter of legal disputes in this country. The trouble of course is equating those who have made such a declaration specifically against the United States with all Muslims.
Robertson also quipped that:
the gradual erosion of the consensus that's held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildingsLeaving aside who is responsible for this erosion, the phrase regarding "beareded terrorists" is not only factually wrong, but surely offensive to many. The suggestion that terrorists wear beards only perpetuates a negative physical stereotype against certain men, especially Sikhs, who happen to wear beards -- the same type of noxious stereotype that arguably facilitates acts of hate and violence against Arab, Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh communities in the United States.
In any case, there are many fine Muslim lawyers and public servants in the United States, including Shaarik Zafar, Special Counsel on Post-9/11 National Origin Discrimination, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice.
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