Bernie Sanders has just announced his new campaign director, current ACLU director Faiz Shakir. Shakir has a long pedigree in Democratic politics, having served as a senior advisor to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi; prior to that, he worked for the Center for American Progress.
Although Shakir described himself in 2011 as an "Abrahamic Jew" (apparently a joke to explain his use of the traditional Jewish New-Year greeting the previous day), he is in fact being celebrated as the first Muslim to head up a presidential campaign. His appointment has been praised, however, by several Islamist voices, including Al Jazeera and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
While Shakir certainly seems to be friendly to prominent Islamists such as Keith Ellison and Linda Sarsour, there is no evidence that Shakir himself is an Islamist, which is refreshing. On the other hand, Shakir was one of the key contributors to the Center for American Progress's 2011 report "Fear, Inc."
This report deliberately conflated the work of the Middle East Forum, and other research organizations that oppose Islamism specifically, with some of the more overheated critics of Islam in general—and claimed that they are all part of the same "Islamophobia network," partly responsible for the atrocities of Anders Brevik and other anti-Muslim violence. This is obviously nonsense.
Additionally, Shakir and the ACLU campaigned against anti-BDS ("Boycott, Divest, and Sanction" Israel) bills, purportedly on free speech grounds. (There is little legal precedent for this position, and a great deal of demagoguery.)
Nevertheless, we wish Shakir well in his new position—but we also hope that he takes the opportunity to learn about the differences between Islam and Islamism, and why opposing Islamism should not be tarred as bigotry.