On MSNBC, Rep. Keith Ellison Calls Out Ted Cruz's Reliance On Anti-Muslim Hate Group Leader Frank Gaffney
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Frank Gaffney, the head of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), is reportedly a member of GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) national security advisory team. The Southern Poverty Law Center has termed CSP an anti-Muslim hate group, and Gaffney has a history of pushing bigoted anti-Muslim smears and conspiracy theories.
As President Obama reportedly prepares to announce Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, media should be prepared to hear from several right-wing groups dedicated to opposing the nominee, no matter who it is. These advocacy groups and right-wing media outlets have a history of pushing misleading information and alarmist rhetoric to launch smear campaigns against Obama's highly qualified Supreme Court nominees, using tactics including, but not limited to, spreading offensive rumors about a nominee's personal life, deploying bogus legal arguments or conspiracy theories, and launching wild distortions of every aspect of a nominee's legal career.
Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson are scheduled to attend the National Religious Broadcasters' "Proclaim 16" Convention, which will run from February 23 to 26 in Nashville, TN. The annual convention has a history of anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim content, and this year convention will feature three anti-LGBT hate groups, a panel sponsored by the Islamophobic extremist organization behind Trump's proposed Muslim ban, and multiple notoriously anti-gay extremist speakers.
Fox News has repeatedly hosted representatives from ACT! for America and the Center for Security Policy, organizations designated as anti-Muslim hate groups in 2015 for the first time by the Southern Poverty Law Center in its annual census of hate groups and other extremist organizations.
The NRA Is Investigating Grover Norquist's Alleged Ties To Islamists But Not Ted Nugent's Anti-Semitism
Apparently at the National Rifle Association (NRA), being the target of a conspiratorial, religiously-motivated smear is a good way to get yourself investigated and possibly kicked out of the organization. Putting forward conspiratorial, religiously-motivated smears is not.
As the NRA continues to avoid addressing an anti-Semitism controversy that has embroiled organization board member Ted Nugent, a recall campaign against another board member -- conservative activist Grover Norquist -- is moving forward, even though the campaign's basis is a conspiratorial and anti-Muslim smear.
Following a decades-long campaign by anti-Muslim think tank head Frank Gaffney, which in the past year has been amplified by conservative radio host Glenn Beck, ballots to officially recall Norquist from the NRA board will appear in the March editions of the NRA's magazines, according to a report by Right Wing Watch.
For at least 15 years, Norquist, a well-known tax activist who founded Americans for Tax Reform, has been targeted by Gaffney, head of the anti-Muslim think tank Center for Security Policy, with the claim that he is a surreptitious agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. Critics of Gaffney have alleged that his smear campaign is largely motivated by the fact that Norquist is married to a Muslim woman and has Muslim in-laws. One high-profile conservative group investigated Gaffney's claims in 2012 and found them to be meritless.
Norquist has called Gaffney his "stalker" and has accused Gaffney of also spreading rumors that he is gay and a member of "the Jewish-Russian mafia."
Gaffney's smear campaign against Norquist made headlines again in March 2015 after it was repeatedly promoted by Beck on his nationally-syndicated radio show. Beck, a longtime supporter of the NRA, is a frequent keynote speaker at the gun group's annual meeting.
Following Beck's endorsement of Gaffney's conspiracy theory, the NRA, at the request of executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, agreed to open an investigation into Norquist's alleged ties "to Islamist groups that have ill intent towards the United States and its allies." The findings of the investigation have yet to be released to the public.
During the NRA's annual meeting in April 2015, Norquist was reelected to the board, but he also issued a statement saying he had "voluntarily suspended his Board activities pending the outcome of the investigation."
The NRA has handled controversy surrounding Nugent, who posted an anti-Semitic image to his Facebook page and then subsequently made inflammatory posts and statements about the Holocaust, in a much different manner. Nugent's image suggested that laws regulating guns were the result of a Jewish conspiracy and included descriptions of alleged conspirators such as "Jew York city mayor Mikey Bloomberg," and deceased former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) who "Gave Russian Jew immigrants your tax money."
After declining to comment on Nugent to several media outlets, the NRA released its only statement to date on the controversy: "Individual board members do not speak for the NRA."
The NRA's refusal to seriously address Nugent's anti-Semitic post comes as the controversy has begun to become enmeshed with Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, which continues to tout Nugent's praise. (Cruz has also lavishly praised Gaffney, calling him "a patriot" who is "clear eyed about radical Islamic terrorism.")
Unlike the controversy surrounding Norquist, the NRA has given no indication that it intends to investigate Nugent.
Trump's Candidacy And Plans Have Been Hailed By Right-Wing And White Nationalist Media Figures
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust survivors warned about the demagoguery and rhetoric espoused by Donald Trump that they say echoes back to Nazi Germany -- the same rhetoric which has been sanctioned by right-wing media and praised by white nationalist media as "wonderful."
Several Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to participate in an event hosted by anti-Muslim extremist Frank Gaffney.
Gaffney's Center For Security Policy will host a December 14 summit in Nevada covering topics including "Border Insecurity and Illegal Immigration" and "The Threat from Iran, Shariah and The Global Jihad Movement." The group states that Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum are confirmed to be participating in the event.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has called Gaffney, who is also a radio host and Washington Times columnist, "one of America's most notorious Islamophobes" because he is gripped "by paranoid fantasies about Muslims," including that Muslim Brotherhood agents have infiltrated the upper echelons of the federal government. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently cited a misleading poll from the Center for Security Policy in attempting to justify his proposal "for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." (Trump is listed as having been invited to the conference, but is not a confirmed attendee.)
Despite Gaffney's disreputable background, Republican members of Congress regularly appear on his radio program. Republican presidential candidates like Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Trump have addressed previous Gaffney-sponsored events in person or through video.
The Huffington Post reported that "Fiorina's campaign attempted to distance her from the conference. 'Carly isn't a speaker at this event,' said Anna Epstein, a spokeswoman for Fiorina. 'We're submitting a video and we submit videos to lots of groups that request them.'"
The Southern Poverty Law Center noted that the conference will feature other anti-immigration activists:
Other anti-Muslim activists slated for CSP's event next week include Ann Corcoran, the face of the anti-refugee movement in America. In 2007, she founded the blog Refugee Resettlement Watch (RRW) in response to what she saw as a "grievous error" by the government in taking in Muslim refugees. In the years since, racist groups have increasingly adopted her as one of their own. In 2014, Corcoran promoted an article on Taylor's American Renaissance website calling it a "good commentary" on immigration to Australia. In April, CSP published her "Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America." The 78-page screed calls for Americans to oppose the opening of mosques in their neighborhoods and also calls for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S. Corcoran spoke at Gaffney's Iowa and South Carolina summits earlier this year.
Another speaker will be Rosemary Jenks, a staffer with NumbersUSA, the largest grassroots anti-immigrant group in the U.S. NumbersUSA and its founder Roy Beck have a long track record of working white nationalists to advance their anti-immigrant agenda. On Gaffney's Secure Freedom Radio show in February, Jenks stated, "We know that they are placing terrorists into the refugee camps and we don't have the means to vet them...The FBI says they're very concerned about this, the potential dangers of resettling these folks in the United States because we have no idea who they are." At a Gaffney event in 2014 she equated gun violence and bank robbery to immigration violations, stating, "If you rob a bank, you're going to jail. Break into a house, you're going to jail. Shoot someone, you're going to jail, and everybody's guns will be taken away." She added, "But if you break an immigration law, we're going to let you stay, give you a work permit, and we're going to call it a day."
The summit will also feature former presidential candidate Herman Cain and Fox News contributor John Bolton.
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Multiple media outlets documented the Islamophobic and conspiratorial views of Frank Gaffney, the president and founder of the right-wing Center for Security Policy (CSP), after Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump cited a CSP poll to justify his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump called for a moratorium on Muslims entering the United States on December 7. Trump's statement followed widespread calls from conservative media not to allow Muslim refugees from Syria to resettle in the United States.
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump cited a misleading poll from Washington Times columnist Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy to justify a call he issued "for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Gaffney has been described as "one of America's most notorious Islamophobes" and experts dismiss the poll's methodology as questionable.