US Senate confirms Zahid Quraishi as the first Muslim-American federal judge in US history

Zahid Quraishi

The US Senate voted 83-16 on Thursday to confirm Zahid Quraishi’s nomination as the US District Judge for the District of New Jersey, making him the first Muslim-American in U.S. history to serve as a federal judge.

The most recent of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees received considerable bipartisan support during the vote, with 34 Republicans voting to confirm Qursaishi.

Quraishi is currently serving as a magistrate judge for the District of New Jersey.

On the Senate floor, New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said that Quraishi, “is a man of integrity, a consummate public servant, and a trailblazer for Asian Americans and Muslim Americans across this country who dream of one day presiding over a court of their own.”

Quraishi is the son of Pakistani immigrants, and previously was a captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, as well as a military prosecutor. He was deployed to Iraq in 2004, as well as in 2006.

When Quraishi became a magistrate judge in New Jersey, he became the first Asian-American in the state’s history to assume that position.

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Nearly 1,000 Apple employees sign letter calling on Tim Cook to issue statement supporting Palestinians

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

  • Apple employees called on Tim Cook to issue a statement supporting Palestinians, The Verge reported.
  • Employees said they were frustrated Apple has kept silent amid recent violence.
  • This is the second time in a week that large numbers of Apple employees have criticized the company.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Nearly 1,000 Apple employees have signed an internal letter to CEO Tim Cook urging the company to issue a public statement in support of the Palestinian people, The Verge reported Thursday.

“We are frustrated and disappointed because once more, many of those in positions of power and influence – who boldly stand for human rights in so many other just causes – either choose to remain silent or release ineffectually neutral ‘both sides’ statements with regards to the Palestinian situation,” wrote the letter’s authors, who are members of the Apple Muslim Association, according to The Verge.

Apple taking a “both sides” approach, they wrote, “would feel to us as the equivalent of ‘all lives matter’ – a minimization of the disproportionately larger pain and suffering of the Palestinian people.”

Apple did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

The letter follows a wave of violence in Gaza, where Israeli military forces have killed at least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, and the militant group Hamas has killed around a dozen Israelis.

On Thursday, Israel and Hamas announced a ceasefire.

International human rights organizations have condemned Israel’s attacks as possible war crimes, and have denounced its treatment of Palestinians as a form of apartheid. More recently, Israel’s effort to push Palestinians out of East Jerusalem, and an Israeli police raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites, have escalated tensions.

The letter to Cook is the second high-profile instance of a large number of Apple employees criticizing the company over ethical concerns in the past week alone – a rare occurrence at Apple.

Last week, The Verge reported more than 2,000 employees signed a letter slamming Apple for hiring Antonio García Martínez, citing “misogynistic” and racist past comments. Hours later, Apple said García Martínez had left the company (García Martínez claimed Apple fired him).

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