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Trump again embarrasses America in front of the whole world



The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a United Nations agency whose mission is to work with its 169-member nations to assist migrants and governments with the “humane, cost-effective and orderly management of migration” around the world.

Founded in 1951, its founding purpose was to help with the movement of migrants in “the chaos and displacement of Western Europe following the Second World War.” In this 21st century, IOM has been active in such migrant and refugee crises as Myanmar, Burundi and Sudan and the current situation in North Africa and along the Mediterranean shore of Europe. The U.S. has long been the leading voice on the IOM; in fact, over the last 50 years, all but one of its directors have been Americans.

The post of director recently became open. President Trump, expecting to continue American dominance, had his nominee in mind: Ken Isaacs, whose name he put forward last Feb. 1.

Unfortunately for Isaacs and Trump, the IOM had a different idea. Late last week, the organization snubbed Isaacs and chose instead a former deputy prime minister of Portugal, Antonio Vitorino, effectively handing Trump an international rebuke and forcing Issacs to withdraw his name from consideration.

Before Isaacs was forced to withdraw, he was under fire for anti-Muslim remarks he had made. In February, the Washington Post reported that Isaacs—who then was a vice president of the Christian agency, Samaritan’s Purse, which was founded by none other than one of Trump’s most radical supporters, the evangelist preacher Franklin Graham (who has repeatedly called Islam “wicked” and “evil”)made disparaging remarks about Muslims and denied climate change — a driving force behind migration, according to the agency the State Department has nominated him to lead.”

The newspaper also reported a strange tweet from Isaacs. After a series of terror attacks overseas, CNN had aired footage of a Catholic bishop who said, “This isn’t in the name of God, this isn’t what the Muslim faith asks people to do.” To which Isaacs replied, “Bishop if you read the Quran you will know ‘this’ is exactly what the Muslim faith instructs the faithful to do.”

Isaacs has since taken his Twitter account offline.

In March, CNN reported that Isaacs was putting forward “claims that Muslims were trying to impose Sharia law in the US.” The paper also revealed that Isaacs had retweeted a tweet from a man, Robert Spencer, who runs one of the country’s most virulently anti-Muslim blogs, Jihad Watch. In his tweet, Spencer claimed that the term “Islamophobia” is a “smear…designed to intimidate people into fearing to oppose jihad terror.” Jihad Watch gets most of its funding from the notorious conservative, David Horowitz.

After all the merde hit the fan, Isaacs attempted to explain his way out of the hole he had dug for himself. He flew to Geneva in March “to rally support for his candidacy.” After meeting with Muslim delegates to IOM, Isaacs claimed “They feel satisfied” with his explanation. “After talking to me for a minute or two and hearing who I am,” questions about his prejudice “vanish.”

Apparently not. Isaacs’ nomination never had a chance of being approved by the IOM’s membership. The Trump administration, and his then Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, in their hubris didn’t understand that the appointment of a radical Christian Muslim hater like Isaacs, who is so closely affiliated with an arch Islamophobe like Graham, would result in defeat and increase the worldwide perception that America under Trump is an intolerant, belligerent Christian theocracy. It’s clear that Isaacs comes from that dark, pernicious underbelly of American culture in which rightwing intolerance and religious hatred flourish.

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