On Monday evening, presidential candidate Donald Trump announced that Muslims, including US citizens, should be banned from entering the United States. In his statement he linked to a poll conducted by the Center for Security Policy (CSP), an organization founded by the notorious anti-Muslim extremist Frank Gaffney.
Gaffney has a long history of demonizing Muslims and using CSP to publish misleading reports about alleged "creeping Shariah" in the United States. Read the full profile on Gaffney's career, which we've updated to include his most recent activity and that of the CSP:
With an eye on the 2016 election, Gaffney organized three National Security Action Summit’s in 2015 to date in early Caucus states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. A number of the GOP candidates joined the cast of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant characters at these Summit’s, including Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Gaffney again teamed up with Cruz and Trump following the announcement of the Iran nuclear deal. Trump and Cruz held an anti-Iran rally in Washington, D.C., on September 9, 2015, which was co-sponsored by CSP. Brigitte Gabriel, head of the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in the country, also spoke at the rally.
The bulk of Gaffney’s efforts in 2015 were devoted to creating a climate a fear around Syrian refugees entering the United States. CSP put out a survey asking to “collect contact and geographical data from those who wish to stay engaged” in “refugee resettlement action” – meaning working to prevent the relocation of refuges to a certain locale. Gaffney has also taken Ann Corcoran, the face of the anti-refugee movement in America, under his wing. Corcoran also promotes “refugee resettlement action” which she calls “pockets of resistance.” In April of this year, Corcoran released a pamphlet published by Gaffney's Center for Security Policy “Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America," 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 National Security Action Summit in South Carolina and Iowa this year. Center for Security Policy is also working on creating model legislation at the county level that would ban all Syrian refugee relocation to that particular county if passed.
Gaffney’s campaign against Syrian refugees has prompted him to seek out more radical allies. In September, Gaffney invited white nationalist Jared Taylor on his radio show to discuss the Syrian refugee crisis. Taylor is one of the most outspoken white nationalists in America today. Following the murder of nine African Americans in Charleston this summer, Taylor was appointed spokesperson by the white nationalist group Council of Conservative Citizens, the group alleged perpetrator Dylann Roof cited as his gateway into white nationalism. 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.” During the interview, Gaffney called Taylor's vile American Renaissance website "wonderful," and asked, “Is it the death of Europe what we’re seeing at the moment in terms of this migration, this invasion?” After a number of watchdog groups including the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote about Taylor’s appearance on Secure Freedom Radio, Gaffney backtracked, and attempted to bury the evidence by scrubbing the Taylor interview from his site and claimed he was “unfamiliar” with Taylor’s views before inviting him on.
Trump image: Gage Skidmore