Following Trump Appointments, Anti-Muslim ACT for America May See Growing Influence
Brigitte Gabriel, leader of ACT for America, the largest grassroots anti-Muslim hate group in the county, was in a mood to celebrate last week. Not only had Donald Trump won the election, but his nominees for national security advisor and CIA director were close allies.
Understandably, she hailed Trump tapping Gen. Mike Flynn (Ret.) and Rep. Mike Pompeo, (R-KS) as a victory. “We are ecstatic to share with you some very exciting news for both our organization, and our country” Gabriel wrote in an email to ACT supporters.
It’s not hard to see the genesis of Gabriel’s glee.
Flynn, who joined ACT as an advisor to the board of directors, characterized Islam as “a cancer” during a tour promoting his book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies. A number of stops on his speaking tour were organized by local ACT chapters. But the relationship goes much deeper.
In September, Flynn was also the keynote speaker at ACT’s national conference in Washington, D.C. Pompeo also spoke at a “Legislative Briefing,” which takes place in the belly of the Capitol where a number of elected officials address ACT members from around the county. To hold an event in a room at the Capitol requires the sponsor of an elected official. This year, Pompeo reserved the auditorium for ACT’s event. He previously addressed ACT’s national conference in 2013 and 2015.
Gabriel’s anti-Muslim views are as plain as day. Last year, as tensions escalated amid an influx of Syrian refugees, she told Breitbart News, “Europe will no longer be Europe by 2050. Europe has already become Eurabia. Europe is Eurabia right now.”
In 2007 she stated, “Practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah … who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day — this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen of the United States.”
Pompeo and Flynn have similar views about a religion of 1.7 billion people.
“Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL” Flynn tweeted last Feb. In a July message to leaders in the Muslim world, he tweeted, “In next 24 hours, I dare Arab & Persian world "leaders" to step up to the plate and declare their Islamic ideology sick and must B healed.” Then, at the Dallas-Forth Worth Area ACT chapter event in August, Flynn stated,
Islam is a political ideology. It is a political ideology. It definitely hides behind this notion of it being a religion, and I have a very, very tough time because I don’t see a lot of people screaming Jesus Christ with hatchets or machetes or rifles shooting up clubs or hatcheting, you know literally axing families on a train. Or like they just killed a couple of police officers with a machete. I mean, it’s unbelievable. So we have a problem. Its like cancer, ok, I’ve gone through cancer in my own life. So it’s like cancer and it’s like a malignant cancer though in this case, that has metastasized.
Pompeo also has a long history of vilifying anti-Muslim rhetoric.
In 2013, he lambasted American Muslims for not condemning the Boston Marathon bombing from in a House floor speech, choosing to ignore the plethora of groups and individuals who did. He claimed that American Muslims who do not condemn terrorism are "potentially complicit in these acts, and more importantly still, in those that may well follow."
Two years later, Pompeo decried the Islamic Society of Witcha for inviting what he called a “Hamas-connected sheik to speak at its mosque.” Pompeo stated, “[O]ne of the most holy days on the Christian calendar, and only days after radical Islamic extremists murdered dozens of innocents of many faiths in Brussels, Belgium, they chose to bring a Hamas-connected sheik to their community center here in Wichita.”
In a press release he stated , “I can find not a mention of the Brussels murders on ISW’s website, facebook page or twitter account. This is unconscionable. ISW and its leaders should use this time to condemn this attack instead of celebrating Sheik Talib.” The speech was cancelled after threats of an armed protest were relayed from police to the ISW.
His extremism has frequently gone beyond simply attacking Muslims into promoting hard-line hate groups.
Pompeo spoke at “Defeat Jihad Summit” organized by the anti-Muslim hate group Center for Security Policy (CSP). Frank Gaffney, its leader, has claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. government, called for the reestablishment of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and claimed that Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin was part of a “Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy,” a charge condemned by Sen. John McCain and then-House speaker John Boehner.
Pompeo was joined at the summit by a cast of anti-Muslim extremists including Dutch Politician Geert Wilders, and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin, who has said Islam should not be protected by the First Amendment. His final remarks at the summit were ominous. “A commander-in-chief, a president of a nation that is unprepared to defend itself against the threat of the magnitude that the global jihidis present to us today is disturbing and dangerous and I am so glad you held this conference, Frank, so we can talk about it and identify and begin to develop the solutions which will ultimately defeat them.”
Brigitte Gabriel likes to call her organization the “NRA of national security.” With such close connections to Flynn and Pompeo, the prospect of an anti-Muslim group having such a direct line of influence to the White House and the Central Intelligence Agency is very worrisome.