Congressman Mike Pompeo's call for Islamic religious leaders to redouble their efforts to disavow terrorism met with outrage from reactionary groups including the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Rather than agree that the moderate Islamic community must continue to speak out against radical elements, these groups mischaracterized and attacked the Congressman's statements.
"CAIR and groups like it have yet to effectively use their massive public relations infrastructure to advance the moderate Islamic message of peace over extremism," Pompeo said. "While it is laudable to issue English-language press releases in response to a couple of high-profile terrorist attacks, this is simply not enough. Instead, these groups must lead the charge on eliminating the radical elements in your faith. Statements of sympathy and regret following terrorist attacks are no substitute for a conversation within Islam that confronts extremism."
Speaking Tuesday on the House Floor, Pompeo decried the paucity of imams who have spoken out against radical Islam (video available here). While praising the efforts of those relative few, Pompeo called on Muslims leaders across the world to add their voices in support of greater moderation in Islam.
"I'm not backing down in my call for Islamic partners to do more to combat Islamic extremism. Actions speak louder than words: If religious leaders are serious about wanting to end this violence, they need to help address the cause of it, and that is by calling out fanatics."