June 7, 2017
We write to express our deep concerns about the nomination of Russell Vought to the position of Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Mr. Vought has denigrated American Muslims and the Muslim faith. His writings demonstrate a clear hostility to religious pluralism and freedom that disqualify him for any appointment, including that of deputy director of the OMB.
Earlier this year, Mr. Vought supported the termination of Dr. Larycia Hawkins from Wheaton College because she said that Muslims worship the same God as Christians (a view supported by many religious scholars and leaders of both faiths, including the Pope).
In his argument supporting this termination, Mr. Vought called Islam a “deficient ideology” and claimed that, “Muslims...do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.” This logic also extends to all people who do not concur with Mr. Vought’s personal religious views.
Naming any individual who has seriously denigrated and shown bigotry toward a community, like Mr. Vought has, erodes the nation’s core trust in our institutions and in that appointee’s ability to serve the interests of all Americans. For that reason, Mr. Vought has no business in any federal appointment.
The Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget oversees a detailed management agenda integrating the administration’s goals throughout the entire government, from housing finance to the collection of demographic data, including the decennial census. It is improper for the Trump Administration to appoint a person who expresses such views to a position that is so consequential to these communities.
For these reasons, we urge that the nomination of Mr. Vought be rejected.
For questions or concerns you may contact Ryan Suto at AAI (email@example.com), Arielle Gingold at Bend the Arc (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Naheed Qureshi at Muslim Advocates (email@example.com).
Arab American Institute
Bend the Arc Jewish Action