Throughout Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he used Muslims to mobilize racist Islamophobes in order to boost his platform, but has never had a clear policy. However, he has consistently referenced the words and work of Clare Lopez, a former CIA agent, who is a vehement Islamophobe and right-wing policy adviser. She perpetuates the myth that the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating the government, with the help of President Barack Obama.
On Tuesday, The Huffington Post reported that Trump may appoint Lopez as his deputy national security adviser. She currently works as vice president of a Washington, D.C. think tank, Center for Security Policy, which focuses on threats of Islamic extremism from a far right perspective.
In March, when Lopez was serving as national security adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) presidential campaign, she suggested that Muslims are trying to take over the American government, according to Talking Points Memo. She referenced Joe McCarthy, the notorious communist-hunter of the 1950s, as being “spot on” and said that Muslim extremists in “the top levels of national security in our government” should be removed.
Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, has been specifically called out by Lopez as a possible peddler of Islamic law, or sharia. Lopez said there is a “deep penetration by the Muslim Brotherhood of the Obama administration in many different positions of appointees and advisers, including Huma Abedin.” Trump has followed suit, pointing out that Abedin’s role in the Obama administration raises flags considering her mother is an editor of a Muslim journal.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit which monitors discrimination, has referred to Lopez’s think tank as “an anti-Muslim hate group.” The director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project reportedly said that if Lopez were to be appointed to the national security role it would “mean nothing good for the Muslim American community.”
The report of Lopez’s possible appointment initially came from The Daily Caller, which gave a short list of candidates whom Trump is considering for senior roles in the White House. Others allegedly being considering for the same role of deputy national security adviser are Walid Phares and Andy Keiser.
However, if Trump selects Lopez as one of his close advisers, then it is more than likely that the perpetuation of targeting Muslims as enemies to national security will only worsen. Up until this point, there has been much waffling regarding his Muslim ban and plans for extreme vetting of people from countries with links to terrorism such as Syria and Pakistan. Since the Muslim American community is such a small minority representing only one percent of the national population, it would make for an easy target of government harassment.
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