Yesterday the GMBDW reported on the seeming madness of the Democratic Party who may be poised to select a US Congressman with extensive ties to the US Muslim Brotherhood to post of Democratic National Chair (DNC). Today, it is the Republican Party’s turn as US media is reporting that the Trump administration is considering the appointment of rightwing ideologue Clare Lopez to the position of Deputy National Security Advisor. According to a Huffington Post report:
Donald Trump is reportedly considering appointing Clare Lopez, an anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist, to serve as his deputy national security adviser.
Lopez is the vice president of the Center for Security Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that focuses on the threat of Islamic jihad. She was on a short list of names that the Daily Caller reported as coming directly from the Trump transition team.
According to Lopez’s biography, she spent 20 years working for the Central Intelligence Agency before she became a popular writer for conservative websites like Breitbart News and World Net Daily. She served as an adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and while she didn’t hold an official post within Trump’s campaign, the president-elect regularly cited her work to support his anti-Muslim positions.
Lopez and Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy, have both promoted the idea that the executive branch is teeming with Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters. Their conspiracies became popular during the age of Trump, with members of the alt-right spreading the discredited theories in order to justify their support of the president-elect.
In 2014, Lopez declared that President Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden shared the same vision for the Middle East. ‘The Obama administration very clearly has switched sides in the war on terror, what used to be called the war on terror,’ Lopez said in an interview with the conservative site TruNews. ‘And we have provided arms and intelligence and funding and assistance and NATO warplanes to help al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood”
Lopez regularly promotes the conspiracy that the Muslim Brotherhood has taken root within the United States government. “The infiltration is obviously very deep and very broad within the bureaucracy, not just the top level, but throughout the federal system, including the intelligence community,” Lopez said in a 2012 speech.
Read the rest here.
The GMBDW has long been on record as taking issue with the “infiltration” hypothesis which was the subject of our August 2014 post titled “Once More Into The Breach; Has The Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrated The US Government?” As we noted in that post, although the GMBDW was the original source for information on most of the individuals in question, this information was later employed for less than savory ends:
More recently, an additional challenge has emerged, namely the use of GMBDW research to spin unsubstantiated and fanciful stories about the same networks we have so carefully tried to document. The most egregious example is the claim, since gone viral, that the Muslim Brotherhood has “infiltrated” the Obama administration. Stories based on this alleged infiltration typically feature rogues galleries of “Muslim Brotherhood operatives” said to be whispering in the ear of the Obama administration and aimed at causing the downfall of the United States. In most cases, the stories include high-profile individuals first identified by the GMBDW as tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood using criteria we have long since publicly explained.
We refer readers to that post where we extensively debunk the notion of such infiltration and provide an alternative explanation for the presence of these individuals in the US government. As we have written, while the issue of Islamist influence on the US government is legitimate, the accusation of infiltration is a distraction from the real issue which is the deliberate choice by the Obama administration, a mistake with a long historical precedent, to somehow use the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamist groups as a bulwark against forces deemed more threatening such as Al Qaeda.
Clare Lopez, Frank Gaffney, and the Center for Security Policy are also perhaps the foremost proponents of what might be called the “Shariah Hypothesis” that we described in a 2013 post as follows:
It is a popular and widespread notion in some quarters that everything that needs to be known about Islamists and Islamism can be understood through reading classical Islamic texts. Such texts are said to represent an unchanging “Islamic Doctrine” that is at the core of not only Islamism but of Islam itself and therefore, it is argued, there is no essential difference between Islamism and Islam. Nowhere is this notion more prevalent than when it come to the issue of antisemitism in the Islamic world which is said in these same quarters to stem directly from Koranic and Islamic classic teachings about Jews. The conclusion is drawn that since these texts contain derogatory references to Jews, that Islam itself is unalterably and forever antisemitic and that Islamists simply derive their views straight from the Koran. This “It’s all in the Koran hypothesis” is central to the writings of an assorted collection of ideologues, religious zealots, pundits, and outright extremists who are either unfamiliar with anything resembling genuine scholarship on these issues or choose simply to ignore it for reasons of their own.
The GMBDW position on the Shariah Hypothesis was once grossly mischaracterized by one pundit as follows:
Clare Lopez, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy, writes of a member of the anti-Muslim Brotherhood community who nevertheless regards “Islamist ideology as a mere ‘Sharia Hypothesis’…that has no demonstrable connection to classical Islam” (personal communication). For this conflicted individual, as for so many of his likeminded counterparts, Islamic doctrine does not form the basis for Islamic terrorism. Frequently we are told that Islam does not constitute a solid bloc of theological conviction and practice but is many different things, a protean religion subject to myriad interpretations.
What we actually wrote in the relevant and private communication was:
[We] can find no reputable scholarship claiming that that Islamist thought is essentially a natural continuation of classical Islamic thought. To the contrary, it seems … there is universal agreement among scholars that Islamism is a 20th century ideology that drew upon classical Islamic thought and, in [Sayyid] Qutb’s case fused it with elements of Western thought, to create something new and unprecedented in the Islamic world.
We have posted extensively on the subject of Islam v. Islamism and as we wrote in the 2013 post, to argue that there is no real difference between Islamism and Islam is to confirm the Islamist claim to be the authentic voice of Islam, something that analyst Patrick Sookhdeo warned against in 2006:
Western governments have made the mistake of dealing with Islamist movements as though they are the authentic representatives of Muslim communities and of Islam in general, thus further empowering them. A better strategy would be to marginalize these groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Jama’at-i-Islami, Deoband, and the Salafis/Wahhabis, as these are the movements that take the jihad passages of the Koran most seriously. Instead, groups that follow progressive interpretations that would limit the applicability of the violent passages to the early period of Islam, and that prioritize the peaceful ones as being the universal and eternal principles of Islam, should be encouraged and supported until they become the dominant forces in the Muslim world.
Beyond strengthening the Islamist claim to authenticity, claiming that there is no difference between Islamism and Islam also confirms the Islamist assertion that the West is actually conducting a War on Islam, yet another pillar of contemporary Islamism and which appears to be the logical conclusion of the “It’s all in the Koran” hypothesis. The GMBDW believes it is the height of folly to end up aiding the Islamist cause as a direct consequence of the arguments made by those who say they are engaged in a defense of the West.
The GMBDW posted yesterday that the Democratic Party is reportedly considering Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) for the post of Democratic Party National Chairman (DNC). As we wrote, Congressman Ellison’s extensive history of ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in the US risk handing the Republican Party an enormous propaganda victory by reinforcing the narrative that the Democratic Party is in the grips of Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood. Today, we are forced to turn around and plead with the Trump Administration not to appoint Clare Lopez to such a top position in the national security apparatus. Her positions, and those of the CSP as detailed above, represent gross populist distortions of the real and complicated truths regarding the Global Muslim Brotherhood and we believe they have played a major role in casting aspersions and suspicions on all Muslims as opposed to the Islamist leaders and groups that we have been monitoring for over 15 years. (Additionally, we note that in 2009, Lopez’s colleague Frank Gaffney was one of the early proponents of the preposterous notion that President Obama might be a “secret Muslim.”)
The potential appointment of Keith Ellison as DNC is heavily predicated on the notion that the Republican party is engulfed in Islamophobia and as we wrote earlier this year:
With their virulently Islamophobic rhetoric, the front-running Republican candidates are handing the US Muslim Brotherhood arguably their greatest public relations victory since we began the GMBDW in 2007.
The GMBDW has no political affiliations and we consider our remit to be limited to the monitoring of the daily activities of the Global Muslim Brotherhood as we have been doing since 2007. That said, however, we do share the vital interests of all Americans in a healthy democracy with two viable political parties and this latest potential appointment would appear to do nothing but contribute to the downward spiral of the political system in the US, not to mention the wisdom of appointing a clear ideologue as one of the top national security analysts in the new administration. Beyond even that, the GMBDW does not look forward to four years of trying to navigate between a Democratic Party that willfully refuses to even address the topic of Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood in the US and a Republican Party that distorts what we do know about these forces in the service of an inflammatory ideological agenda that threatens to do further damage to the social fabric. In order to cope with the real, as opposed to the fanciful, threat of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, what is needed is calm and sober analysis that is based on actual evidence and not wild and preposterous conspiracy theorizing. As always, the GMBDW stands ready to do do whatever we can in the service of that end.