Well Paid Islamophobe Frank Gaffney and the Center for Security Policy’s Crusade Against American Muslims
by Jacob Hausner
Frank Gaffney and the Center for Security Policy were in the news recently due to the widely condemned slanders that he fed to politicians such as Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann about so-called “Muslim Brotherhood infiltration” into our government.
The “Muslim Brotherhood infiltration conspiracy theory” is an old talking point amongst the most prominent agitators within the Islamophobia Industry. Islamophobia-Today has in the past chronicled the development of this conspiracy theory, as well as its occasional usage by politicians associated with the lunatic fringe of the Right-Wing. So, it was not surprising to me when Rep. Michele Bachmann made a very public endorsement of Gaffney’s slanderous claims about Hilary Clinton’s deputy chief-of-staff Huma Abedin, going so far as to call for an “investigation” into this phantom “threat.”
Bachmann’s attempt at appealing to popular anti-Muslim sentiment amongst her base of support backfired. First it was Rep. Keith Ellison who eloquently and forcefully challenged Bachmann to provide “evidence” for her claims, while also simultaneously condemning her disgraceful, populist approach. A chorus of varying voices in the mainstream media condemned Bachmann and the spurious “sources” (Gaffney) she used to claim MB infiltration into our government. Furthermore, senior Republican leaders condemned Bachmann, epitomized by Sen. John McCain’s disavowal of Bachmann‘s attack on Huma Abedin, American Muslims and Constitutional values. A rare instance in which Republicans were so taken aback by the brazen bigotry of their lunatic fringe that they disciplined and condemned one of their own.
Better Late than Never
What is surprising is that after years of gaining a foothold in the imagination of a significant percentage of the GOP, it was only after the recent public attack on Huma Abedin that such slanders were censured. Before this recent foray into the abyss of Islamophobia, Gaffney and his Center for Security Policy have for years been smearing not just individuals such as Huma Abedin but also many other prominent Muslims and American Muslim organizations.
Gaffney no longer has access to mainstream media outlets and is relegated to writing or appearing in the laughable venues of the far-Right, such as the Washington Times. In one of the articles written by Gaffney in the Times during the Bachmann-Abedin debacle, Gaffney took specific aim at not just Huma Abedin but also Imam Mohamed Magid, ISNA and CAIR.
These organizations are one of the biggest bugaboos of Islamophobes, they regularly attempt to tarnish them, claiming they are fronts for either Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood. If this were the case surely it would be easy to provide documentation instead of tendentious guilt-by-association smears?
Indeed, there have been several Congressional hearings at the urging of Islamophobes into supposed “Muslim Brotherhood infiltration,” where much time was spent on the question of whether ISNA or CAIR were affiliated with terrorists. In fact, Rep. Peter King‘s widely condemned witch-hunt hearings on “American Muslim radicalization” focused largely on CAIR. The result of all these hearings has been to prove exactly squat, because these groups and individuals are not “Muslim Brotherhood” front groups, nor are they linked to terrorists.
The tarnishing of individual Muslims such as Huma Abedin or Imam Mohamed Magid and organizations such as ISNA and CAIR serve not only to obfuscate the truth and further marginalize American Muslims but also covers up the tremendous work and contribution these individuals and groups have, and are, making to our nation.
Imam Magid has been commended by government officials and advised senior officials, even Gaffney recognizes this, though only after dubbing (without any evidence) Imam Magid as a “senior Muslim Brotherhood operative,”
Imam Mohamed Magid…has been an adviser to President Obama, feted at the White House and the State and Treasury departments, embraced by the Justice Department and used…by the Pentagon.
In Gaffney’s mind these are reasons for censure, when in fact it speaks highly of the esteem in which Imam Magid is held, and the clear and extensive background check he would have to undergo to “advise President Obama, the White House, the State and Treasury departments.”
ISNA is one of the oldest American Muslim organizations, in which time they have become pillars in the interfaith movement, social justice campaigns, and attempts to promote freedom of religion in Muslim majority countries.
CAIR is one of the most unfairly maligned Muslim organizations today, they were the first Muslim civil rights organization in the USA, and have consistently condemned terrorism as well as abuses against the US Constitution. They have been vocal in highlighting the severe issue of Islamophobia and partner with organizations such as the ACLU to ensure that Constitutional Rights are protected.
It is clear why bigots such as Gaffney and his team are so vested in stirring up hatred against American Muslims, they get paid well for their bigoted enterprises, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is hoped that with every embarrassing failure, like the recent Bachmann episode, the wellspring of Islamophobic cash will dry up, and we can all live in a less bigoted America.