POLITICS
12/07/2018 03:48 pm ET Updated Dec 09, 2018

Donald Trump Picks Anti-Muslim Official For U.S. Ambassador To UN

Heather Nauert once claimed that “sharia law is now changing everything” after a Minnesota YMCA announced a private swim class for Muslim girls.

President Donald Trump announced in a tweet Friday morning that State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert will replace Nikki Haley as the newest United States ambassador to the United Nations.

Haley announced in October that she would be resigning at the end of this year. She has served in the post since January 2017. 

Nauert, a former Fox News host with no foreign policy experience, has something in common with many of her peers in the Trump administration: a history of spreading anti-Muslim and Islamophobic comments.

She mocked Muslims in a 2016 tweet that linked to a New York Times story about Muslims’ concerns over then-presidential candidate Trump. “They should meet ISIS,” she wrote. She also tweeted links to jihadwatch.org, an anti-Muslim hate site run by Robert Spencer, a prominent anti-Muslim activist who is banned from the United Kingdom for his Islamophobic and racist rhetoric.  

Nauert’s relationship with Spencer dates back to 2009, when she hosted him and fellow anti-Muslim activists Frank Gaffney, Tarek Fatah and Nonie Darwish to discuss an hour-long segment on “stealth jihad.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled Gaffney “America’s most notorious Islamophobe” and his organization as a hate group. Similarly, the SPLC called Darwish “a staple of the anti-Islam right.” Fatah is a Canada-based columnist and self-proclaimed Muslim reformer who has been criticized for spreading anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and has called for a ban on the face veils.

In 2013, Nauert hysterically claimed that “sharia law is now changing everything” after a Minnesota YMCA announced it would host a private swim class for Muslim girls to accommodate their religious clothing requirement.

If confirmed, Nauret will be expected to work with countless Muslim dignitaries from countries around the world. Yet she isn’t the only high-level U.S. government employee with a history of Islamophobia. Current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has a documented history of spewing Islamophobic comments and has been associated with hate groups. John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, is another high-ranking White House official with ties to anti-Muslim hate groups.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said Haley had served as ambassador for less than a year. She has held the post since January 2017.

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