Fear-mongering Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump aren’t coming up with their hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric all on their own. They are each being advised by people who dedicate their efforts to speaking against Muslims.
Some of the most disturbing responses to ISIS threats and international terrorism include Trump’s vow to ban Muslims and refugees from entering the United States and Cruz’s call to law enforcement to patrol “Muslim neighborhoods” to keep them from becoming radicalized.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPL Center) revealed that this strategy to intertwine the anti-Muslim movement and the presidential election has been in motion for quite some time.
All eight advisors to Cruz's and Trump’s campaigns — unsurprisingly — have connections to The Center for Security Policy, an anti-Muslim hate group.
Even the group’s founder, Frank Gaffney, was appointed to Cruz’s National Security Coalition earlier this month.
Gaffney is known for outwardly speaking against Muslims and producing reports calling for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S (Sound familiar?).
Also on Cruz’s National Security Coalition is Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin who, in addition to being anti-Muslim, is also anti-LGBT.
Boykin, an Army veteran, isn’t employed by any anti-Muslim group but has worked closely with the Center for Security Policy founded by Gaffney and has proclaimed that Islam shouldn’t be protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, according to the SPL Center.
Boykin has endorsed Cruz for president, shared the stage with him at anti-Muslim rallies and even spoke at the anti-Iran nuclear deal rally that Cruz and Trump teamed up for last September.
Another Gaffney ally, Claire Lopez, is also affiliated with Cruz’s campaign. According to the SPL Center, Lopez has claimed that Islam has “infiltrated and suborned the U.S. government to actively assist … the mission of its grand jihad.”
She even had the audacity to suggest that, “When people in other bona fide religions follow their doctrines they become better people — Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Jews. When Muslims follow their doctrine, they become jihadists.”
National Review columnist Andy McCarthy — who is also supporting Cruz — doesn’t even believe Islam is a religion. Six years ago, he co-authored a book published by the Center for Security Policy titled, “Shariah: The Threat to America” — enough said.
McCarthy spoke highly of Cruz last December in his column, claiming that he “understands that the most immediate enemy the United States confronts on the world stage is Islamic supremacism, which ignites jihadist violence through its state sponsors, terror networks, and activist organizations.”
Fred Fleitz is a Cruz advisor from the Center for Security Policy camp who has also contributed to reports that detail conspiracy theories about Islam and recommends infringing upon peoples’ rights and stopping immigration.
Let’s not forget about Trump’s anti-Muslim cronies which include the likes of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) who endorsed the bigoted candidate last month.
Sessions has been awarded by various anti-Muslim groups for his work to prevent undocumented youth from receiving temporary status in the U.S.
Sessions has also criticized President Barack Obama’s plan to resettle Syrian refugees in America because, “It has also been reported that 3 in 4 of those seeking relocation from the Middle East are not refugees but economic migrants from many countries.”
Apparently to Sessions, “migrant” translates to “terrorist.”
Whalid Pharles and Joseph E. Schmitz are also two advisors to Trump known for advocating against Muslims.
Phares is actually a former Lebanese Christian Militia member whose past was unveiled by Mother Jones back in 2011, shortly after Mitt Romney announced he would be serving as co-chair for his Middle East advisory group during his presidential run.
Phares is affiliated with Gaffney as well as ACT! For America which is described by the SPL Center as, “the largest grassroots anti-Muslim hate group in America.”
Schmitz is a scoundrel fit for Trump’s staff of brutes and bullies. He served as the Pentagon’s Inspector General for three years before leaving after being accused of misconduct.
The Los Angeles Times reported that, “Schmitz slowed or blocked investigations of senior Bush administration officials, spent taxpayer money on pet projects and accepted gifts that may have violated ethics guidelines.”
He has since become a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy and — along with his aforementioned colleagues — has contributed to the anti-Muslim reports, “Shariah: The Threat to America,” and “The Secure Freedom Strategy: A Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement.”
With these eight anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists on their teams, it’s no wonder Cruz and Trump spew such absurd rhetoric about the Islamic faith.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @zesty_cruz