Muslim Nominee For US Federal Court Faces Islamophobic Queries By Republican Senators

Adeel Mangi is the first Muslim-American nominee for the federal appellate court.

Muslim Nominee For US Federal Court Faces Islamophobic Queries By Republican Senators

Several organizations and lawmakers have blasted three Republican senators for asking harsh questions during President Joe Biden's recent confirmation hearing of historic judicial nominee Adeel Mangi.

He is the first Muslim-American candidate for the federal appellate court.

During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Senators Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley rudely questioned Adeel Mangi about the 9/11 World Trade Center Towers attack and the October 7 attack in Israel, as well as Tel Aviv's position on the Palestine issue, according to HuffPost.

He would be the first Muslim American appeals court judge and the third federal judge if approved. Mangi was nominated by the US president to the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.

Deputy Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Edward Ahmed Mitchell, slammed the senators for "subjecting Mangi to irrelevant, hostile questions about Israel and Palestine."

"Isolating a Muslim judicial nominee and forcing him to answer 'gotcha questions' about the Middle East simply because of faith or tangential connections to Muslims who comment on the Middle East is Islamophobic and un-American," he added. Raising the nasty cliché that Muslims are antisemitic is also a bad idea."

The deputy director of CAIR urged all senators to "reject this nonsense and begin assessing Muslim American judicial nominees on their expertise and qualifications, as they do all other nominees."

"Any act of antisemitism or bigotry, including anti-Muslim bigotry on college campuses, is abhorred," Adeel Mangi responded to a question. My children will be attending university. I want them to feel comfortable, as well as the children of my Jewish friends and coworkers."

Cruz frequently pressed Mangi on whether he saw any legitimacy for Hamas' attack on Israel, to which the latter consistently denounced terrorism.

"I have no patience for any attempts to justify or defend those events," Mangi stated of the October 7 attacks.

The senator's grilling grew so heated at one point that committee head Senator Dick Durbin had to step in.

Hawley questioned the Muslim candidate about whether he thought Israel was a colonial state. Mangi stated that the inquiry was irrelevant to his confirmation for the post and that he was not an expert on the subject. "I have no basis as a judicial nominee to cast a view on the Middle East," Mangi said in a statement.

The committee chair, Dick Durbin, apologized to Mangi for the senators' treatment of him and emphasized that his candidature was backed by the National Council of Jewish Women.

Senator Cory Booker, who is also on the committee, called the three senators' actions "horrible." He proposed to the White House the nomination of a Muslim American.

"I do know that Muslim Americans who have strong views on condemning antisemitism and terrorism are often forced to answer questions like that over and over again," he remarked. "That, in itself, for so many Muslim Americans, is insulting and unfortunate."

Maya Wiley, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, on the other hand, chimed in on the significance of diversity in the court and hailed Mangi's likely confirmation as a watershed moment.

He said, "Mangi is an excellent choice for this position, and we strongly urge the Senate to confirm him to the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit."