An affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) paid more than half a million dollars to an anti-Muslim group.
Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, an initiative to thwart the Iran nuclear deal, paid $60,000 dollars to the Center for Security Policy, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports.
AIPAC reportedly confirmed the payment, but maintained it was for an ad. However, they offered no description of the ad or where it was used.
Notorious Islamophobe Frank Gaffney heads the Center for Security Policy and is known for promoting anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, including the infamous lie that former President Barack Obama is Muslim.
Recently, Gaffney was rumored to have been advising President Donald Trump, thus influencing his immigration policies that directly target Muslims. While his role as an adviser was denied by the Trump team, Gaffney does reportedly have a close relationship with Trump’s top strategic adviser Steve Bannon.
Bannon is also a fervid Islamophobe who believes the U.S. is at war with Islam. This indicates that, despite not being an official adviser, Gaffney does have some influence — which is evidenced by the heavily disputed “Muslim Ban” the president is implementing.
AIPAC noted that the $60,000 was merely a fraction of the $20 million budgeted to fight the controversial Iran deal which they opposed, along with the Israeli government, majority of the Republican Party, and (surprise, surprise) the Center for Security Policy.
Regardless of what, specifically, the $60,000 was used for, the willingness of AIPAC to have any dealings with Gaffney’s organization is enough to raise eyebrows.
As LobeLog — a Middle East policy news and analysis site — points out, Gaffney has previously denounced the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which raises concerns about just how dedicated AIPAC is to combating discrimination and Islamophobia.