An Anti-LGBTQ Birther Who Leads An Anti-Muslim Hate Group Reportedly Advising Trump's Transition
Center For Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney Reportedly Advising Trump’s Transition Team On National Security Issues
Research ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT
Anti-Muslim hate group leader Frank Gaffney is reportedly giving President-elect Donald Trump national security advice for his transition to the White House. Gaffney has a long history of vile statements about Muslims, has embraced white nationalists, flirted with birtherism, and has stridently opposed allowing LGBTQ Americans to openly serve in the military.
Frank Gaffney Reportedly Advising Donald Trump’s Transition Team On Security Issues
NY Times: Trump’s Transition Team Has Been Relying On Frank Gaffney For Advice On Building National Security Team. The New York TImes reported in a November 15 article on how firings and other shake-ups had left President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team in disarray that Gaffney is one of three advisers to Trump’s national security team:
For advice on building Mr. Trump’s national security team, his inner circle has been relying on three hawkish current and former American officials: Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California, who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; Peter Hoekstra, a former Republican congressman and former chairman of the Intelligence Committee; and Frank Gaffney, a Pentagon official during the Reagan administration and a founder of the Center for Security Policy.
Mr. Gaffney has long advanced baseless conspiracy theories, including that President Obama might be a closet Muslim. The Southern Poverty Law Center described him as “one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes.” [The New York Times, 11/15/16]
SPLC Included Gaffney's Center For Security Policy On Its List Of Hate Groups Active In 2015. On February 17, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) published its list of active hate groups in the United States in 2015 and announced that the "Center for Security Policy is one of two anti-Muslim groups listed as hate groups for the first time in this year's report. The other is ACT! for America." [Southern Poverty Law Center, 2/17/16]
SPLC: "CSP's Main Focus Has Been On Demonizing Islam And Muslims Under The Guise Of National Security." From SPLC's profile of the Center for Security Policy (CSP):
For the past decade, CSP’s main focus has been on demonizing Islam and Muslims under the guise of national security. Statements from Frank Gaffney and other CSP staffers, along with claims made in CSP publications, have become increasingly conspiratorial in nature, making such claims as Muslims are attempting to overthrow the US government from within, and that Shariah law is trumping the constitution in American courts.
In the late 2000’s the anti-Muslim movement in America became more organized, and CSP quickly established itself as one of the movement’s premier think tanks. Many of the other organizations making up this movement, such as the grassroots group ACT! for America, were young, but CSP enjoyed extensive contacts in Washington after almost 20 years working in the capital. Gaffney and CSP thus became a key player in the anti-Muslim movement almost overnight. [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 11/16/16]
Center For American Progress: CSP Is "A Central Hub Of The Anti-Muslim Network And An Active Promoter Of ... Anti-Muslim Rhetoric." The Center for American Progress (CAP) wrote in a 2011 report that Gaffney is a "misinformation expert" who "generate[s] the false facts and materials used by political leaders, grassroots groups, and the media" to spread anti-Muslim sentiment. CAP called the Center for Security Policy part of the "Islamophobia infrastructure" and "a central hub of the anti-Muslim network and an active promoter of anti-Sharia messaging and anti-Muslim rhetoric." The report further noted that "the baseless accusations peddled by Gaffney and his think tank echo the tactics of Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s":
Gaffney and CSP use this money to promote an increasingly paranoid misrepresentation of the threats posed by Islam in America. The baseless accusations peddled by Gaffney and his think tank echo the tactics of Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, who claimed that communists had thoroughly infiltrated the federal government of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. But Gaffney's tactics take a page from the radical religious right as well, conflating all of the followers of a non-Christian religion as enemies of the state and society and then providing talking points that marry the two nonexistent threats. Anders Breivik, the confessed Norway terrorist, cited Gaffney and CSP seven times in his manifesto.
Several examples of how Gaffney and the Center for Security Policy develop and deploy their incorrect academic research using the foundation's money to spread an increasingly shrill message of hate and fear prove these points.
[H]e is one of the lead engineers of the "anti-Sharia" movement sweeping the nation. His think tank released the 2010 report "Shariah: The Threat to America," which reframed Sharia, or Islamic religious law followed by any practicing Muslim, as a "totalitarian ideology" and "legal-political-military doctrine."
The American Civil Liberties Union summed up this nonexistent threat best in its concise, six-page report, "Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical 'Sharia Threat' to Our Judicial System," in which it states that these claims of a Sharia infiltration are "wrong" and "based both on misinformation and a misunderstanding of how our judicial system works." The report adds, "There is no evidence that Islamic law is encroaching on our courts. On the contrary, the court cases cited by anti-Muslim groups as purportedly illustrative of this problem actually show the opposite: Courts treat lawsuits that are brought by Muslims or that address the Islamic faith in the same way that they deal with similar claims brought by people of other faiths or that involve no religion at all." The ACLU report points to the insidious purpose behind the crusade to ban Sharia: "Prohibiting [U.S.] courts from considering Islamic law serves only one purpose: to bar Muslims from having the same rights and access to the courts as any other religious individuals."
Gaffney's Sharia report also erroneously suggests that every practicing Muslim engages in "taqiyya," which CSP incorrectly defines as religiously mandated lying. This assertion suggests all practicing Muslims as unreliable and potential threats to America. In fact, taqiyya is an Arabic word that means concealing one's faith out of fear of death and is practiced by only a minority of Muslims. This practice equips Muslims past and present with a faithful "precautionary denial of religious belief in the face of potential persecution." [Center for American Progress, Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, [August 2011]
Gaffney To White Nationalist Leader Jared Taylor: “I Appreciate Tremendously The Work You’re Doing.” On September 29, 2015, Gaffney hosted white nationalist leader Jared Taylor on his radio show. Gaffney introduced Taylor by saying, "I'm very pleased to have him with us.” During the interview, Gaffney and Taylor attacked the "invasion" of Muslim refugees worldwide. Gaffney warned about the alleged dangers of Muslim refugees regarding violence and Sharia law, and later suggested such problems could come to the United States "if President Obama has his way.” Gaffney concluded by telling Taylor: "I appreciate tremendously the work you're doing at American Renaissance and The New Century Foundation. Keep it up and get back to us again very soon."
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which first noted Taylor’s appearance on Gaffney’s show, wrote that Taylor is one of the country's "most outspoken and prominent white nationalists." The non-profit group explained that Taylor hosts a conference "where racist intellectuals rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists" and "founded the New Century Foundation, a pseudo-intellectual think tank that promotes 'research' arguing for white superiority." The Anti-Defamation League wrote that Taylor "upholds racial homogeneity as the key to fostering peaceful coexistence." [Media Matters, 11/16/16]
Gaffney Called Taylor’s White Nationalist American Renaissance “A Wonderful Online Publication.” In his introduction of Taylor to his radio program, Gaffney said Taylor “is the editor of a wonderful online publication, American Renaissance ... and the author of six books, including White Identity." SPLC wrote that American Renaissance "has been one of the vilest white nationalist publications, often promoting eugenics and blatant anti-black and anti-Latino racists. In 2005 for example, after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Taylor wrote, 'When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western Civilization -- any kind of civilization -- disappears.'" And the ADL called American Renaissance a “white supremacist journal.” [Media Matters, 11/16/16]
Center For American Progress: Gaffney Sees Mosques In America As "Trojan Horses." According to the Center for American Progress' (CAP) 2011 report "Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America," Gaffney views mosques as "Trojan Horses" that are "used by Muslims to promote 'sedition.'" From the report:
Mosques, like churches, synagogues, temples, and other places of worship, are constitutionally protected houses of worship in America, but Gaffney sees them as "Trojan horses" used by Muslims to promote "sedition." He then conflates mosques with the Park51 community center in New York City, declaring on Fox News that it is a "mosque that is used to promote a seditious program, which is what Sharia is... that is not a protected religious practice, that is in fact sedition." And then CSP almost simultaneously created and fundedstop911mosque.com--the official website of the Coalition to Honor Ground Zero and a who's who of radical right-wing leaders, organizations, and notable anti-Muslim advocates.
These allies working through stop911mosque.com were responsible for manufacturing the 2010 hysteria around the construction of the Park51 community center. The website repeats many of Gaffney's unsubstantiated claims about "stealth jihad," the "imposition of Sharia law," and the proliferation of "radical mosques."
In 2010, Gaffney also carried his anti-mosque campaign to Tennessee, where he testified against the construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro. "I'm here to warn this community of seditious acts of Sharia Law," Gaffney told a local court. "I have not determined this is happening here, but that it is present in mosques like this." He further testified that 80 percent of mosques in America are financed by allies of the Muslim Brotherhood, a claim that has been readily debunked by academic experts. [Center for American Progress, Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, 8/11/15]
Gaffney: “It Kind Of Creeps Me Out” That Somali Immigrants Are Working In Food Processing Plants. As documented in a media guide to anti-Muslim extremists, recently released by SPLC, Media Matters, Center for New Community, and ReThink Media: “When asked at the 2015 Western Conservative Summit about Somali refugees, most of whom are Muslim, working at meat processing plants in the U.S., Gaffney responded: “I don’t know about you, but it kind of creeps me out that they are getting jobs in the food supply of the United States.” [Southern Policy Law Center, “A Journalist’s Manual: Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists”, 10/25/16]
Gaffney: "The Preferred Way Of Achieving [Sharia] Is, As Muhammad Taught, Through Violence." In a January 23, 2012, Washington Times column, Gaffney wrote that for Muslims "the preferred way of achieving [Sharia] is, as Muhammad taught, through violence." Gaffney also called the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) a "Muslim Brotherhood front group" that is "squealing like, well, stuck haram (or impure) pigs." [The Washington Times, 1/23/12, via Media Matters]
Gaffney Equated Advocacy For Planned NYC Park51 Community Center With Advocacy For Sharia Law. In an August 26, 2010, Washington Times column, Frank Gaffney wrote that protesters at a rally against a planned Islamic community center in Manhattan -- Park 51 -- "had come together ... in informed opposition to the impetus behind that mosque: Shariah." Gaffney added: "In fact, throughout the crowd could be seen signs with just the word 'Shariah' lettered in dripping, blood-red ink." [The Washington Times, 8/26/10 via Media Matters]
Gaffney Feamongered About “Civilizational Jihad” Throughout Europe And America. As documented in the media guide to anti-Muslim extremists, Gaffney said in an Octoctober 24, 2011, article in Newsmax, “We’re witnessing not just the violent kind of jihad that these Islamists believe God compels them to engage in, but also, where they must for tactical reasons, a more stealthy kind, or civilizational jihad as the Muslim Brotherhood calls it” He added, “We’re witnessing that playing out, not only in places in the Middle East but also in Europe, in Australia, in Canada and here in the United States as well.” [Southern Policy Law Center, “A Journalist’s Manual: Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,” 10/25/16]
BBC News: CSP's Gaffney Has "Called For Muslims To Be Investigated By A 'New And Improved' House Un-American Activities Committee." In a December 2015 article, BBC News reported that the Center for Security Policy is "not very highly respected" and that its founder, Gaffney, has been called "one of America's most notorious Islamophobes" by the SPLC." BBC News noted that Gaffney has called for a "'new and improved' House Un-American Activities Committee" to investigate Muslims and "has repeatedly accused parts of America's Muslim population of what he calls 'civilisational jihad'":
Mr Gaffney Jr served in the Reagan administration during the 1980s but left in 1988 to form the CSP, after his nomination as assistant secretary of defence was rejected by the Senate.
"Once a respectable Washington insider," according to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which monitors US hate groups and extremists, Mr Gaffney Jr became "one of America's most notorious Islamophobes", the SPLC said.
Mr Gaffney Jr has repeatedly accused parts of America's Muslim population of what he calls "civilisational jihad". He has also called for Muslims to be investigated by a "new and improved" House Un-American Activities Committee - a highly controversial Cold War-era body which questioned and blacklisted US citizens accused of being communists. [BBC News, 12/8/15]
Gaffney: Bachmann Provided "Fearless And Visionary Leadership" In Pushing Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy Theory In Congress. Gaffney lauded former Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for the "fearless and visionary leadership she is providing in opposing Shariah's most formidable champions, The Muslim Brotherhood," for asking for a federal investigation into Muslims in the federal government. Gaffney went on to defend Bachmann over her Muslim Brotherhood allegations, claiming she was the subject of a "character assassination." [The Washington Times, 7/23/12]
Gaffney: Muslims Practicing Sharia In America Should Be Prosecuted For Sedition. In March 2011, Gaffney claimed that Sharia is "absolutely antithetical" to the U.S. Constitution and any American Muslims pursuing it are guilty of sedition:
FRANK GAFFNEY: It is the law of the land in Saudi Arabia and Iran, and anyone who thinks that life is like in either of those two countries is the same as life in America obviously doesn't nothing about Saudi Arabia or Iran. In fact, it is absolutely antithetical, Sharia is, to our Constitution, and the pursuit of it you said in your comment is incompatible with the Constitution's Article VI, and therefore being a protected religious practice, it is an impermissible act of sedition, which has to be prosecuted under our Constitution. [Right Wing Watch, 3/14/11]
Gaffney Pushed Conspiracy Theories That Obama Is Muslim And That Prominent Democrats And Republicans Support Muslim Brotherhood And Sharia
Gaffney: “There Is Mounting Evidence That The President Not Only Identified With Muslims, But Actually May Still Be One Himself.” As documented in the media guide to anti-Muslim extremists: “In a June 9, 2009, column in The Washington Times, Gaffney said: “With Mr. Obama’s unbelievably ballyhooed address in Cairo … there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.” His “evidence” included the fact that Obama mentioned the “‘Holy Koran,’ knew some things about Islam, and used the phrase ‘peace be upon them” when mentioning Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.’” [Southern Policy Law Center, “A Journalist’s Manual: Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,” 10/25/16]
Gaffney: Obama Has "Exhibited A Sympathy" For Muslim Brotherhood Agenda. On the August 23, 2010, edition of Glenn Beck's former Fox News show, Gaffney told the host: "I think this administration has exhibited a sympathy, and the president particularly, a sympathy for the agenda of folks who are, in fact, under one front organization or another of the Muslim Brotherhood, seeking to promote Sharia in America." [Media Matters, 1/31/11]
Gaffney: President Obama Is “Engaged In Basically Trying To Enforce Shariah Blasphemy Laws.” As documented in the media guide to anti-Muslim extremists: “On the Jan. 12, 2015, edition of Fox News’ ‘Justice with Judge Jeanine,’ Gaffney claimed that President Obama is ‘engaged in basically trying to enforce Shariah blasphemy laws’ and added that ‘most of those who are being brought here’ — a reference to Muslims — are bringing ‘no-go zones’ as their ‘preferred practice.’ No responsible authority believes that there are no-go zones, or places non-Muslims supposedly fear to venture, in America.” [Southern Policy Law Center, “A Journalist’s Manual: Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,” 10/25/16]
Gaffney Claimed “Hillary Clinton And Her Entourage Are Associated” With Sharia. During an interview with recently named Trump senior counselor Stephen Bannon on a radio show Bannon previously hosted, Gaffney claimed, “Hillary Clinton and her entourage are associated with this toxic, brutally oppressive, totalitarian, women hating program -- Sharia.” From the August 10 edition of SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Daily:
FRANK GAFFNEY: Richard Pollock reports that there is a company in Dubai, GEMS Education, G.E.M.S. Education, with which the former first lady, former secretary of state, and so on, her family, her foundation, her husband has been intimately involved with for years. And the GEMS education outfit has, as its mission, teaching Sharia around the world. Notably, 51 schools in the Middle East including the only foreign firm allowed to teach Sharia in Saudi Arabia. That tells you something about the quality of their purity on Sharia, that they can teach it to Wahhabis. Also in parts of North Africa, Asia, and even two schools in Chicago, Richard reports. And the Clintons have made millions and millions and millions of dollars out of their association with this firm and its owner, a fellow by the name of Sunny Varkey. Steve, the concern that I have is this is just one more reminder of the extent to which Hillary Clinton and her entourage are associated with this toxic, brutally oppressive, totalitarian, women hating program -- Sharia.
STEPHEN BANNON (HOST): Is it more than an association with Huma Abedin and the World Muslim League and the Muslim Brotherhood and now GEMS, with the Sharia law? Are they complicit in a fifth column in this country of people that are taking money and making money and cashing in on our sworn enemies, on the sworn enemies of just not the United States of America but the entire Judeo-Christian West? Are they in business in monetizing in partnerships with people that are looking for the destruction of our entire civilization?
GAFFNEY: I don’t know how else to characterize it. You look at folks who believe that this Sharia program is something God or Allah is directing them to impose on everybody else. And that’s what Sharia law is all about. [SiriusXM Patriot, Breitbart News Daily, 8/10/16]
Gaffney: Huma Abedin’s Connections To Muslim Brotherhood Are “Well-Documented.” In a Breitbart News article outlining the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's alleged “Muslim Brotherhood problem,” Gaffney theorized that U.S. national interests have been betrayed because of Clinton’s relationship with longtime aide Huma Abedin, who Gaffney claimed has her own “well-documented, personal … ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.” [Breitbart News, 3/29/16]
Gaffney Has Accused Prominent Republicans Of Being Muslim Brotherhood Operatives, Which Got Him Banned From Large Annual Gathering Of Conservatives. Gaffney has accused prominent conservatives Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan of secretly acting on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. These accusations resulted in Gaffney being banned from the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC). From SPLC's profile of the Center for Security Policy:
A year after CSP published the Team B II report, Gaffney’s anti-Muslim conspiracy theories began to draw the ire of not only the left, but also the right. In January 2011, Gaffney penned a piece for the conspiracy-orientated website World Net Daily where he claimed that two board members of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) were secretly aiding the Muslim Brotherhood. Gaffney’s evidence for such an accusation was that board member and anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist’s wife is Palestinian-American, while board member Suhail Khan is Muslim. Both were political appointees in the George W. Bush administration with long experience in conservative Republican Party affairs.
CPAC chairman David Keene responded to these claims by banning Gaffney and CSP from participating at the event, noting that Gaffney "has become personally and tiresomely obsessed with his weird belief that anyone who doesn't agree with him on everything all the time or treat him with the respect and deference he believes is his due, must be either ignorant of the dangers we face or, in extreme case, dupes of the nation's enemies." [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 11/16/16]
Gaffney Baselessly Claimed "Muslim Brotherhood Front Organizations" Have "Intensive Influence" On U.S. Government's View Of Muslims. During the January 31, 2011, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson discussed protests in Egypt with Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy. After talking about the possible extent of the Muslim Brotherhood's role in the Egyptian protests, Gaffney went on to suggest that "councils of the United States government ... have been subjected to intensive influence operations by known Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in this country to believe that these guys are somehow nonviolent." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/31/11]
Gaffney Pushed Crackpot Claim That Federal Agency Logo Is Based Off Islamic Crescent And Star. In a February 24, 2010, Breitbart.com article, Gaffney proclaimed that the "New Obama Missile Defense Logo Includes A Crescent[!]" Gaffney called the "symbolic action" "nefarious," stated that "the new MDA shield appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo," and claimed that "Team Obama is behaving in a way that -- as the new MDA logo suggests -- is all about accommodating that ‘Islamic Republic’ and its ever-more aggressive stance." A few days later, Gaffney issued a correction to his post. [Breitbart.com, 2/24/10, 2/27/10, via Media Matters]
Gaffney In October 2008: A “Question Yet To Be Resolved Is Whether Mr. Obama Is A Natural Born Citizen.” In an October 14, 2008, Washington Times column, Gaffney falsely claimed that a "question yet to be resolved is whether Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States ... Obama has, to date, failed to provide an authentic birth certificate which could clear up the matter." [Media Matters, 10/14/08]
Gaffney Falsely Claimed The American People Overwhelmingly Opposed Openly LGBTQ Military Personnel. In a February 2, 2010, Washington Times column, Gaffney claimed that “the American people and their elected representatives” overwhelmingly “oppose conferring on homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender individuals and hermaphrodites a nonexistent ‘right’ to serve openly in the military.” Polling in the previous two years showed between 56 and 81 percent of Americans favored the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and allowing LGBTQ Americans to openly serve in the military. [Media Matters, 2/2/10]
Gaffney: Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Would "Impose The Radical Homosexual Agenda On The U.S. Military." In a June 15, 2010, Washington Times column, Gaffney claimed that an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would "impose the radical homosexual agenda on the U.S. military," [The Washington Times, 6/15/10, via Media Matters]
Gaffney Fearmongered That DADT Repeal Could Lead To Reinstatement Of Military Draft. In a November 23, 2010, Washington Times column, Gaffney wrote that “a vote for repeal of the 1993 law barring homosexuals from the military amounts to a vote for reinstating the draft” because many current military personnel would resign. [The Washington Times, 11/23/10, via Media Matters]
Gaffney Claimed DADT Repeal Would Harm Combat Readiness Of Military. In a June 13, 2011, Washington Times column, Gaffney wrote that there is "much evidence that the military is not ready for the adverse effects that would flow from" repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and that "[o]f principal concern is the intractable nature of many of the problems with accommodating not just homosexuals, but the radical Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) agenda in an institution like the U.S. military, in which mutual trust, unit cohesion and the effects of protracted forced intimacy may determine esprit de corps and combat readiness." [The Washington Times, 6/13/11, via Media Matters]
Trump Campaign Press Release Cited Poll From Center For Security Policy In His Call For "Total And Complete Shutdown Of Muslims Entering The United States." On December 7, Donald Trump's campaign issued a press release demanding an end to Muslims entering America, citing a poll from Gaffney's Center for Security Policy:
Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing "25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad" and 51% of those polled, "agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah." [The Daily Caller, 12/7/15]
Experts On Anti-Muslim Sentiment Explained Why Gaffney's Poll, Cited By Trump, "Should Not Be Taken Seriously." On July 7, 2015, Nathan Lean and Jordan Denari, both experts on anti-Muslim sentiment, explained the questionable nature of the Center for Security Policy's poll on Muslims that Donald Trump cited in his demand to bar entry for Muslims into America (emphasis original):
The Center for Security Policy (CSP), a Washington, D.C. think tank run by former Reagan official Frank Gaffney, just released a survey of 600 Muslims living in the United States. Its takeaway, captured in a headline on the CSP website, is this: "Poll of U.S. Muslims Reveals Ominous Levels of Support For Islamic Supremacists' Doctrine of Shariah, Jihad."
But this survey should not be taken seriously. It comes from an organization with a history of producing dubious claims and "studies" about the threat of shariah, and was administered using an unreliable methodology. Its proponents seize upon its shoddy findings, exaggerating and misrepresenting them to American audiences, and falsely claim that the survey data represents the views of Muslims nationwide.
Both Gaffney and O'Reilly claim that the poll's findings are representative of nationwide Muslim public opinion. But this assertion is untrue.
CSP's survey was a non-probability based, opt-in online survey, administered by the conservative group the Polling Company/Woman Trend, a small Washington-based agency that has collaborated with CSP on other occasions to produce surveys about Islam and Muslims. (We learned this after reaching out to the Polling Company to get more details about their methodology, which wasn't released to the public when Gaffney began promoting the survey's findings.)
According to the body that sets ethical standards for polling, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), opt-in surveys cannot be considered representative of the intended population, in this case Muslims. The AAPOR says that in these cases, "the pollster has no idea who is responding to the question" and that these kind of "polls do not have such a 'grounded statistical tie' to the population."
So when O'Reilly and guest Zuhdi Jasser pointed to this survey and made claims about what "25% of three million, which is hundreds of thousands of Muslims" believe, it's not only a misleading statement -- it's outright false.
This survey does not represent the views of American Muslims. It only represents the views of the 600 Muslims that it polled. [The Huffington Post, 7/7/15]