A group of the state’s Muslim elected officials are calling on U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin to state his position on President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.
Hugin has been silent on the issue, and when made aware of demand made by Passaic County Freeholder Assad Akhter, Teaneck Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin, Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah, East Orange Mayor Ted Green and five others, Hugin press secretary Nick Iacovella said the campaign had no comment on the matter.
In the joint statement, made Friday, officials said New Jersey voters deserved to know where Hugin stands on the nominee, who the officials say has a long record of Islamophobic statements.
“As our country’s chief diplomat, Mr. Pompeo would be required to work with Muslim leaders and communities abroad,” the officials said in the statement. “However, his long record of anti-Muslim statements and close alliances with anti-Muslim organizations is of grave concern and renders him unfit for the position.”
The statement cites remarks Pompeo made on the House floor while serving as a Kansas congressman, suggesting that the Muslim community was complicit in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
“It’s been just under two months since the attacks in Boston, and, in those intervening weeks, the silence of Muslim leaders has been deafening,” Pompeo said then. “That is sad, but, perhaps most importantly, it’s dangerous.”
Hugin’s opponent, incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez announced earlier this week that he would vote not to confirm Pompeo, partly due to past statements the nominee made about Muslims.
Haledon Council President Mounir Almaita, Councilwoman Tahsina Ahmed, Prospect Park Councilman Adnan Zakaria, Prospect Park school board member Mohammed Hussain and Passaic school board member Salim Patel also signed on to the letter.