On September 19, former FBI agent and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist John Guandolo will speak at a luncheon in Odessa, Texas, sponsored by the Ector County Republican Women’s Group.
Guandolo heads the hate group Understanding the Threat and is notorious for peddling anti-Muslim rhetoric during his seminars.
Guandolo traveled to San Angelo, Texas, in early May to host a training at the invitation of the media outlet Christian Reporter News. The event was open to local law enforcement, who originally had the potential to receive credit for attending.
However on May 16, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) withdrew accreditation for the training after reviewing Guandolo’s presentation and finding it to be of “no training value.”
TCOLE’s executive director Kim Vickers said the training “paints an entire religion with an overly broad brush.”
The seminar featured the regular anti-Muslim rhetoric Guandolo is known for.
“There’s nothing radical, extreme, orthodox or fundamentalist about the Islamic State,” he told the crowd, according to an audio recording obtained by the Texas Observer.
Two months prior to the May 4 training, Guandolo made headlines for religiously profiling an unsuspecting Southwest Airlines employee on social media. The inflammatory post caused such an uproar that the airline was forced to respond, calling the now-deleted tweet “cruel and inappropriate.”
Guandolo has not toned down his rhetoric since. During an August 13 episode of his radio show, he claimed American Muslims should be disqualified for running for office because of their religion.
“Islam itself is utterly incompatible with American law and with our founding principles of liberty, because Sharia is about slavery,” he said. “But we are not in a position to say that a Muslim can’t run for office. Now, the reality is they believe in a belief structure which calls for the overthrow of the government, so they can’t serve — but we’re simply not there yet.”
That same month, Guandolo called on President Donald Trump to execute John Brennan, Jim Comey and other former government officials for treason.
The September 19 event caught the attention of the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights group, that issued a press release denouncing the event.
“Our political parties should not provide a legitimizing platform for an individual who spreads hatred targeting an American religious minority,” CAIR-DFW’s executive director John Janney states in the release.
Janney added the event “send[s] the message that Muslims are not welcome in Ector County.”
Screenshot from YouTube