February 8, 2018
Emgage Action Strongly OPPOSES NOMINATION OF KEN ISAACS TO LEAD IOM
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump made a controversial decision to nominate Ken Isaacs, an individual who has openly mocked Islam, as Director General of the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Mr. Isaacs has written extensively on various public forums denigrating Islam and using religion and race to classify immigrants and refugees. These actions should not be rewarded with the high office of the Director General whose responsibility is to oversee the global welfare of migrants irrespective of their religion or race. This includes protecting the rights and dignity of migrants while combating xenophobia and racism towards all.
Most recently, in June 2017, Mr. Isaacs commented on a CNN article where a Bishop was quoted following the Paris terrorist attacks stating, “This isn’t in the name of God, this isn’t what the Muslim faith asks people to do.” To which Mr. Isaacs responded “CNN, Bishop, if you read the Quran you will know ‘this’ is exactly what the Muslim faith instructs the faithful to do.” Aside from being untrue, these comments perpetuate the mischaracterization of Islam and embolden far-right and neo-Nazi groups who have used these lies to justify violent attacks against minority communities at home and abroad.
In another post, Mr. Isaacs stated that “Refugees are 2 grps. Some may go back and some can’t return. Christians can never return. They must be 1st priority,” and “[i]f Islam is a religion of peace, let’s see 2 million Muslims in National Mall marching against jihad & stand for America! I haven’t seen it!” This kind of rhetoric is disturbing and demonstrates a clear bias against one religion in favor of another when the Director General is supposed to protect the interests of all refugees and migrants.
Emgage Action CEO Wa’el Alzayat said, “Mr. Isaacs has demonstrated outright racism and bias against a major world religion that is followed by millions of Americans. As a representative of our government, he is supposed to represent all of us. His inflammatory and Islamophobic posts exhibit a clear inability to do that.”
These are but a few examples of the hurtful and embarrassing actions by Mr. Isaacs and are clearly not the traits of someone we would want to send to the United Nations to represent us. Mr. Isaacs’ well documented actions constitute a disturbing lack of judgement and outright racism.
The men and women who represent our great nation in New York and abroad should exemplify the best, and not the worst, of America. Mr. Isaacs’ inflammatory and unequivocally false interpretation of Islam disqualify him from this leadership position. Emgage Action strongly opposes the nomination of Ken Isaacs’ for Director General of IOM.
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