WASHINGTON, March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to drop designated hate group leader Frank Gaffney Jr., retired Lieutenant General William G. "Jerry" Boykin and other Islamophobes as foreign policy advisers.
SEE: Cruz Takes Fire for Controversial Adviser Appointment
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
"Who a candidate picks for his or her advisers says volumes about that candidate's worldview. By choosing infamous Islamophobes as foreign policy advisers, Senator Cruz indicates that he subscribes to their conspiratorial worldview and to the anti-Muslim bigotry that would inevitably shape their policy recommendations. We ask Senator Cruz to drop any adviser who has a past history of promoting conspiracy theories or religious bigotry."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews has referred to Gaffney as "one of the country's leading anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists."
Gaffney's organization, the Center for Security Policy (CSP), has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Cruz's list of foreign policy advisers reportedly also includes two people who work for Gaffney's organization - Fred Fleitz and Clare Lopez.
SPLC Profile: Frank Gaffney Jr.
SPLC Designated Hate Groups: Center for Security Policy
CAIR Islamophobia Watch: Clare Lopez
CAIR details Gaffney's and the Center for Security Policy's role in America's Islamophobia network in its report, "Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States," and on its website, Islamophobia.org.
SEE: Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States
CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: Frank Gaffney (Center for Security Policy, founder and president)
Gaffney is a key promoter of the bizarre conspiracy theory that Muslims in public service are infiltrating the government on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.
He has questioned "whether Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States," claimed the Missile Defense Agency logo is part of a "worrying pattern of official U.S. submission to Islam," claimed an aide to Hillary Clinton was a secret Muslim Brotherhood operative, was a key witness for the plaintiffs in a controversial lawsuit seeking to block construction of a Tennessee mosque, promoted the debunked claim that Dearborn, Mich., is a "ghetto enclave in which it's Muslim-only," and hosted "white supremacist" Jared Taylor on his "Secure Freedom" radio program.
Gaffney's staff attorney, David Yerushalmi, has advocated outlawing the practice of Islam in America and is the key promoter of anti-Islam bills in state legislatures nationwide, including one being voted on today by the Idaho legislature.
Idaho's Foreign Law Ban: Solution in Search of Problem?
When leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, he quoted from a sham survey commissioned by Gaffney's organization.
Also on Cruz's list is Andrew McCarthy, who has echoed Gaffney's view that Muslims are seeking to impose Islamic law in America, and retired Lieutenant General William G. "Jerry" Boykin, who has stated that "[Islam] should not be protected under the First Amendment," that there should be "no mosques in America" and that there can be no interfaith dialogue or cooperation between Muslims and Christians.
CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: William Boykin
In 2012, CAIR welcomed Boykin's withdrawal from a prayer breakfast at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point following a controversy over his bigoted views.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)