News of President-elect Donald Trump's national security picks set off fresh tremors across the Islamic world on Friday as Middle Eastern allies and Muslim American groups prepared to face advisers and potential Cabinet members noted for harshly anti-Muslim rhetoric.
The naming of Trump's picks for attorney general, CIA director and national security adviser drew public condemnations from Muslim civil rights groups as well as private expressions of concern from several Arab states that cooperate closely with the United States in the fight against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups. Some current and former government officials worried that the appointments could reinforce perceptions among the world's Muslims that the United States is at war against Islam itself.
American civil rights organizations and faith leaders said Friday they were disturbed by Trump's appointment of retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn to be his top national security adviser. Flynn, a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has repeatedly referred to Islam as "a cancer," claimed that a "fear of Muslims is rational" and warned — despite a lack of evidence — that Sharia or Islamic law is spreading throughout the United States.