First Muslim appellate nominee smeared by Islamophobic senators

First Muslim appellate nominee smeared by Islamophobic senators

Judd Legum writes:

Republicans first attempted to sink the nomination of Adeel Mangi, who would be the first Muslim American to serve on a federal appellate court, on allegations that he was an anti-semitic terrorist sympathizer. During Mangi’s December 13, 2023 confirmation hearing, Republican Senators asked Mangi if he “celebrated 9/11” or “condemned the atrocities of Hamas terrorists.”

The pretext for these attacks was Mangi’s role as an advisory board member for the Rutgers Center for Security, Race and Rights, which is part of Rutgers Law School, from 2019 to 2023. The Center held an event on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, which included several controversial speakers, including one, Sami Al-Arian, an activist who pled guilty to providing support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. But Mangi did not attend the event, had no involvement in the planning, and was not even aware that it occurred. His role on the advisory board involved recommending topics for academic research and “did not extend to or include providing advice or approval on the selection of speakers, speaker events, lectures, or workshops.”

This attenuated attack fell flat when major Jewish groups — including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the National Council of Jewish Women — defended Mangi and condemned the Islamophobic smear campaign. Mangi frequently volunteered his time representing cross-faith groups, including Jewish groups, on important legal issues.

So Mangi’s opponents went back to the drawing board. The new line of attack was that Mangi was anti-police, another attempt to vilify Mangi based on an anti-Muslim trope. This was not an issue that Mangi was asked about during his confirmation hearing. [Continue reading…]

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