In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, a host of anti-Muslim activists are slated to join Republican Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz at a rally protesting President Obama’s Iran deal in Washington, D.C. today.
It’s a change of scenery for Trump, who has up until now preferred to keep most of his nasty demagoguery directed at the nation’s Latinos and Mexican immigrants (meanwhile, Cruz just tags along behind Trump like a lost puppy).
Imagine 2050 notes one of the event’s cosponsors, the Center for Security Policy, is headed by conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, and the group’s anti-Muslim rhetoric — mainly bogus claims that Muslims have infiltrated the United States government — has already gotten it ostracized from more mainstream Republican circles:
Gaffney is one of the most prominent figureheads within the organized Islamophobia movement in America.
After working in the Defense Department during the Reagan Administration, Gaffney has since turned to a career as a full-time anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist. In this role, he foments fear of Muslims, casting them as the greatest threat facing the nation.
One of his regular theories is that Muslims are using a tactic he calls “stealth jihad” to infiltrate the U.S. government in hopes of overthrowing it from within and replacing it with a Shariah-adherent one.
Gaffney once asked, “What if it turns out that some of the people the Obama administration has been embracing are actually promoting the same totalitarian ideology and seditious agenda as al Qaeda, only they’re doing it from White House Iftar dinners?”
Gaffney was responsible for spurring on former Rep. Michele Bachmann’s McCarthy-esque, anti-Muslim witch hunt in Congress against Huma Abedin, a longtime aide of Hillary Clinton.
Cruz and Gaffney already have a bit of a cozy relationship — the candidate appeared at Gaffney’s “Defeat Jihad Summit” earlier this year, and he recently released a gushing press release thanking Gaffney for his “hard work” setting up today’s hate-fest, er, “rally” — but it doesn’t come close to Gaffney’s adoration for Trump.
As Imagine 2050 notes, Gaffney rushed to Trump’s defense after the leading Republican candidate released his deeply-flawed and radical immigration “plan,” saying he was “struck by the wild, over the top attacks to which [Trump is] being subjected.”
Gaffney, of course, gave Trump’s “plan” glowing reviews, saying he was impressed by how “basically sensible” his plan to round up and deport the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants seemed to be. “Robust immigration stances have fueled Donald Trump’s meteoric rise in the polls,” Gaffney also wrote on his group’s website. “If they wish to catch him, his many rivals must do no less.”
As for some other groups that join Gaffney in supporting Trump’s plan to deport entire communities, and, among many other things, revoke citizenship for the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants? Former Grand Wizard of the KKK David Duke and a host of other white supremacist groups.
The Daily Beast notes the other two groups co-sponsoring today’s rally, the Zionist of America and Tea Party Patriots, have equally-troubling pasts:
As the SPLC notes, the TPP’s membership “includes militia members and racists.” The TPP has hosted the anti-Muslim leader Pam Geller at their events. And disturbingly some of its chapters have worked with anti-Semites and anti-immigrant hate groups. In fact, TPP’s Arizona chapter has “promoted tours of the Arizona/Mexico border by nativist and anti-Semite Glenn Spencer, who runs the hate group American Border Patrol.”
And the ZOA has decried the term “lslamophobia,” writing on its website that the fear of Muslims is not an “irrational fear of an imaginary threat, which is what the word ‘phobia’ denotes.” Rather, ZOA argues it’s justifiable given the acts of terror carried out by Muslims.
Today’s rally is in fact just one of two anti-Muslim events in D.C. today, the second being a convening of the anti-Muslim grassroots group ACT! for America. That group’s founder and President, Brigitte Gabriel, is also slated to appear alongside Trump and Cruz, and as Imagine 2050 also notes, “Gabriel’s anti-Muslim animus is unequivocal”:
She has previously claimed that “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim” and that any Muslim “who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.”
Some of ACT! for America’s fans include the who’s-who of anti-immigrant leaders in Congress, including Rep. Steve “Cantaloupe Calves” King and Rep. Louie “Terror Babies” Gohmert, both of whom are also slated to speak at that group’s convening, too.
Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for President, is already in the tank when it comes to Latino and African-American voters (with more than 80% of each group viewing him unfavorably). Don’t expect today’s to do him any more favor when it comes to winning support from minority voters.