Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:17AM
Republican US Representative from Kansas Mike Pompeo (Photo by AFP)
Republican US Representative from Kansas Mike Pompeo (Photo by AFP)

US Representative Mike Pompeo, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), believes the terrorism threat facing the US comes from Muslims who “abhor Christians.”

In a speech at a Church in Wichita, Wisconsin, two years ago, the Republican lawmaker said Muslims who think Islam is “the only way” posed a great danger to Christians and needed to be dealt with.

“This threat to America is from people who deeply believe that Islam is the way and the light and the only answer,” Pompeo told the church-goers.

“These folks believe that it is religiously driven for them to wipe Christians from the face of the earth,” he added.

“They abhor Christians,” he said of a small minority among Muslims, advising people to “pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world.”

He said in a separate speech last year that the so-called war on terror is in fact a confrontation between the “Christian west and the Islamic east.”

Also in 2015, Pompeo said at an evangelical church that “radical Islam” poses “the kind of struggle this country has not faced since its great wars.”

Warning that “evil is all around us,” Pompeo cautioned the gathering about reports of terror plots and told audience to not to be deterred by those who might call them “Islamophobes or bigots.”

Pompeo, who will replace current CIA Director John Brennan, is considered as a serious and hawkish member of the national security establishment.

He has also been a strong critic of President Barack Obama over the Iran nuclear agreement and has backed Trump in opposing the deal.

The cabinet appointments of Trump have signaled his intention to deliver on his hard-line campaign promises and deepened concerns among Muslim Americans about an anti-Islamic White House. 

American civil rights organizations and Muslim leaders say they were disturbed by Trump’s national security picks noted for harshly anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Some current and former US government officials are also concerned that Trump’s appointments could reinforce perceptions among Muslims that Washington is at war against the Islamic religion.