The Values Voter Summit’s (VVS) final day saw a distinct turn toward Islamophobia, as some of the most prominent anti-Muslim activists in America took the podium to target immigrants and refugees.
In fact, VVS concluded with a panel titled, “The Islamic Threat: Women Who Know The Truth.” Moderated by Lt. General Jerry Boykin (Ret.), the vice president of the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council (FRC), the panel could only be described as a 45 minute hate-fest, where panelists claimed mosques are used for the advancement of jihad and that Islam should not be protected under the First Amendment.
Here are some highlights:
• Tony Perkins, head of FRC, interview conservative talk radio host Mark Levin during the morning session. Levin talked about “third-world hell holes” and claimed, “People want to say they’re the equivalent of our culture, well they’re not!”
• A panel on “national security” was moderated by Boykin. Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney told the VVS crowd, "We are continuously allowing ISIS to kill our Christian soldiers." Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon claimed “Male-on-male sexual assault is up three times in the wake of the repeal of ‘Don't Ask Don't Tell's repeal.’"
• The anti-Muslim sentiment went into overdrive when Brigitte Gabriel, head of the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in the country, ACT! for America, took the stage. Gabriel called Islam, “A political movement cloaked in a religion” and gave a slanted view of 1,400 years of history by claiming Islam was aimed at killing Jews. Before walking off the stage, Gabriel compared herself to holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and read a quote from him.
• Sandy Rios, a staffer at the anti-LGBT hate group and VVS sponsor American Family Association told the audience, "The First Amendment cannot be applied to Islam the way it is to other religions!" She also exclaimed that American Muslims need to prove that they are “loyal.”
• Tennessee-based anti-Muslim activist Cathy Hinners told a sparse crowd that the Muslim Brotherhood has taken hold in Tennessee. She lamented the fact that “prestigious” universities have Muslim Student Associations on campus. Hinners claimed, "It's considered a victory every time a mosque is built in the country," and argued that mosques are “taking over Christian churches in our country.”
• Clare Lopez, who works closely with Islamophobe Frank Gaffney and his anti-Muslim “think tank” Center for Security Policy (CSP), claimed that Islamic doctrine can turn any Muslim into a potential terrorist. She said that mosques are "only sometimes used as a place of worship and devotion" but are for "weapons caches" and "expanding jihad."