Nearly two months after the Boston Marathon bombing, Mike Pompeo, then a congressman from Kansas, took to the floor of the House to denounce American Muslim leaders for what he called their “silence” in response to the heinous terrorist attack.
“Silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts,” Mr. Pompeo said, reading from prepared remarks.
In fact, more than half a dozen American Muslim organizations had issued statements condemning the bombing within hours of the attack. In the days following, Muslim groups organized news conferences, blood drives and prayer vigils. Mr. Pompeo was immediately informed that he was wrong, but did not apologize or respond to Muslim groups stung by his remarks.
Mr. Pompeo, now the C.I.A. director, has been chosen by President Trump to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. He faces what is expected to be a relatively smooth confirmation hearing in the Senate. But an array of voices are raising alarm over what they say is Mr. Pompeo’s record of anti-Muslim remarks and ties to anti-Islam groups. American Muslims, Jews, civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and former State Department officials are among those pushing senators on the Foreign Relations Committee to take a closer look.