by Sheila Musaji
There are numerous articles on The American Muslim (TAM) discussing Gaffney and the CSP. This article will become the “backgrounder” providing the information in an abbreviated format with links to references for more detailed discussions of particular issues.
Frank Gaffney provides “valuable information” to government officials and leaders regularly:
— He is advising Rep. Bachmann on foreign policy. — When Sen. Greg Ball (R-NY), chairman of the Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs Committee held a hearing titled “Reviewing our Preparedness: An Examination of New York’s Public Protection Ten Years After September 11” on April 8th, 2011, Frank Gaffney was called to testify (along with Rep. Peter King, Frank and Nonie Darwish). Eleven democratic senators sent a letter to Senator Ball objecting to the inclusion of such individuals. ** — During the Murfreesboro Mosque controversy in Tennessee, at one court hearing, Frank Gaffney was called to testify. The local paper reported: Plaintiffs called former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan, Frank Gaffney, to the stand and asked the court to enter him as an expert on Sharia Law. “I don’t hold myself out as an expert on Sharia Law,” Gaffney told the court on the witness stand. “But I have talked a lot about that as a threat.” — Frank Gaffney and one of his Center for Security Policy “reports” was the primary source, and Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism a secondary source for Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s witch hunt against American Muslims in government positions. See Michele Bachmann Ups the Ante in the GOP War on American Muslims and Is Congressional Christian Brotherhood Group Behind GOP Islamophobia? for a full discussion.
It is amazing that he, or the other Islamophobes he works with, are given this sort of credence, since their real agenda is well known. Gaffney has been mentioned in just about every legitimate report about Islamophobia and the anti-Sharia movement:
— Gaffney is included in the SPLC Jihad Against Islam report and described as one of a “coterie of core activists”, — and in the SPLC backgrounder on Gaffney, where he is identified as “the anti-Muslim movement’s most paranoid propagandist.” — And in the SPLC report The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle. — Gaffney features prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear, Inc.” report as one of 5 key “misinformation experts”. — He is also prominently featured in the People for the American Way “Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism” which called Gaffney “one of the most vociferous anti-Muslim ideologues” and said that he “cited phony statistic to defend his campaign to prevent the construction of mosques in America”. — He is mentioned in the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack: The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State. — The ADL report on the anti-Sharia movement says about Gaffney “Yerushalmi is General Counsel to the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security Policy, founded by Frank J. Gaffney. Gaffney has been active in opposing mosque construction and has made several statements about Islam that raise concerns. For example, in a 2009 article in the Washington Times, Gaffney claimed that “there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.” In 2010, the Center for Security Policy published the book Shari’ah: The Threat To America, An Exercise in Competitive Analysis, Report of Team ‘B’ II, co-authored by Yerushalmi. The book repeated Yerushalmi’s theories about a vast Shari’a threat to America.”
Not only Gaffney, but the other Islamophobes that he regularly works with are all mentioned in these reports.— The ADL (A Jewish anti-defamation group) has said that Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, and David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”. — The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group. — Many of them are featured in the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security. — The ADL says of David Yerushalmi One of the driving forces behind Shari’a-related conspiracy theories and growing efforts to ban or restrict the use of Shari’a law in American courts is David Yerushalmi, an Arizona attorney with a record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry. — Gaffney and all of those he works with are featured in TAM’s Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry, with backgrounders on each of them.
As the SPLC report Jihad Against Islam says “One doesn’t have to probe very deeply to find the fingerprints of the eight central activists — Spencer, Pipes, Horowitz, Gaffney, Emerson, Gabriel, Geller and Yerushalmi — on almost every aspect of the recent surge in anti-Muslim fervor in America. The conservative media, led by FOX News personalities Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Eric Bolling and including the upstart Pajamas Media online network, evangelist Franklin Graham, and a contingent of sympathetic right-wing bloggers and commentators, have joined in to help construct a “movement” that 9/11 itself didn’t generate.”
BACKGROUND ON FRANK GAFFNEY:
Gaffney has turned up so many “Muslim infiltrators” in government or civic positions that it is difficult to keep track. If a Muslim runs for political office, or even wants to get involved in their local community, or establish any sort of institution, whether they are a Republican or a Democrat, outrageous charges of “creeping Sharia prononent”, “stealth jihadist”, “Muslim Brotherhood plant”, etc. are made by Islamophobes. Here are just a few examples of such attacks (almost all instigated by Frank Gaffney):
— Rep. Keith Ellison has faced numerous assaults. — David Ramadan, a Muslim GOP candidate in a Virginia House of Delegates race. — Sohail Mohammed nominated as a judge on the NJ state Superior Court. — Suhail Khan was accused of being a Muslim Brotherhood operative “infiltrating” CPAC. — Farhana Khera of Muslim Advocates was attacked for giving Muslims common legal advice. — Faisal Gill, a former JAG officer in the Navy and a Bush White House official accused of terrorist connections when he attempted to get involved in local politics. — Parvez Ahmed’s appointment to the Jacksonville, Florida Human Rights Commission was strongly opposed. — Rep. Andre Carson was recently embroiled in a manufactured controversy. — Ahmed Rehab faced bigotry when he was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as part of an advisory committee on immigration issues. — Halim Dhanidina, who spent 14 years as a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, was appointed to a California Superior Court judgeship by Gov. Jerry Brown, he was attacked for having been in the MSA as a student. — Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy is pressuring the Gov. of Tennessee to fire Samar Ali from the position of Director of the Economic and Community Development Dept. — Mohamed Elibiary, a member of DHS’s Combatting Violent Extremism Working Group (CVE). — Imam Mohamed Magid, President of ISNA. — Ingrid Mattson former President of ISNA for being included in Inaugural Prayer Service. — Mazen Asbahi who was forced to resign as Obama’s Muslim Outreach Coordinator. — Dalia Mogahed for her appointment to the White House’s Office of Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships. — Huma Abedin has been facing bigoted accusations for at least the past year. — Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was attacked for wanting to build a community center. Imams Hamza Yusuf and Zaid Shakir for wanting to build a Muslim college, Zaytuna.
You don’t even have to be a Muslim to come under attack by the Gaffney and his fellow Islamophobes.
— Gov. Rick Perry was attacked by Islamophobes simply for his friendship with the Aga Khan and not being anti-Muslim enough. — Gov. Chris Christie was accused of “abetting treason” for appointing a Muslim. — Frank Gaffney claimed that the Center for American Progress was part of ‘red-green axis’ with Muslim Brotherhood. — Elena Kagan was accused of “enabling efforts to insinuate” Shariah law in the United States. — Gen. David Petraeus was accused of of “submission to Sharia law”. — When Herman Cain met with Imam Magid of ISNA and other Muslim leaders to apologize for some anti-Muslim statements, Gaffney objected and accused Cain of meeting with Muslim Brotherhood operatives. — Karen Hughes, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy was attacked for attending an ISNA conference. — Gaffney called President Obama “America’s first Muslim president”, and claimed that President Obama is advancing Sharia Law and the ‘Radical Homosexual Agenda’ in the Military, and said that Obama’s respect for Muslims is a secret code telling “those who adhere to Sharia [Muslims] that we will submit to Sharia.” . — Gaffney called the U.S. Missile Defense Agency Logo “evidence of Obama’s ‘Submission To Shariah’.” — Gaffney claimed that Grover Norquist “is helping the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrate the conservative movement”. — — GOP Presidential Candidates were asked by Frank Gaffney to sign a “pledge” or loyalty oath against Sharia.
Gaffney is one of those who continuously discovers non-existent Muslim jihad plots. Islamophobes see jihad everywhere, but Gaffney specifically has an obsession with Sharia plots. See Islamic Sharia and Jewish Halakha Arbitration Courts for a full discussion of the anti-Sharia movement. For example:
— Gaffney contended in a Washington Times editorial that the efforts to use non-interest measures to do banking transactions was a Muslim conspiracy to impose Islamic law on the United States. — Gaffney published an over the top Islamophobic rant calling the proposed Cordoba House/Park51 center “a durable, symbolic taunt by our enemies about their bloody victory”, which is “designed to be a permanent, in-our-face beachhead for Shariah, a platform for inspiring the triumphalist ambitions of the faithful and eroding resistence to their demands for separate and (for the moment, at least) equal treatment in America.” He also uses all the tired cliches – taqiyya, stealth jihad, etc. — Gaffney regularly suggests that any opposition to his positions is taqiyya which we have dealt with previously. — Gaffney said about the newly opened Zaytuna College “This is stealth jihad in the sense that it is about promoting in the United States incubators for sharia,” the religious law of Islam.” Gaffney thinks Al-Jazeera is a purveyor of Islamic propaganda and part of the “civilizational jihad”, and wrote an article entitled “Take Out Al Jazeera,” offering a rationale for bombing not only Al Jazeera but Al Arabiya as well. — Gaffney also thinks that Anders Breivik’s manifesto might be a false flag operation that “contributes to Sharia’s efforts” – that means the only possible culprits are, of course, Muslims. See Understanding Shariah Law: Conservatives’ Skewed Interpretation Needs Debunking, by Wajahat Ali and Matthew Duss which provides more useful information on this topic. See Islamophobes see Jihad everywhere for refutation of hundreds of such false claims.
Here are just a few ridiculous claims about nonsensical Muslim jihad plots that Gaffney and his fellow Islamophobes have uncovered:
An Eid Celebration for Muslim Special Needs Kids was described as a “stealth jihad”. A children’s page in a newspaper focusing on Eid was described as a toxic propaganda plot. Joel Hinrichs (a Christian) had a beard and had walked through the parking lot of a campus mosque thus proving that his crime was an example of sudden jihad syndrome. The awful April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech by a Korean student was also called Islamic jihad because Cho’s father had once worked in Saudi Arabia (before he was married and before Cho was born). A Muslim doctor had a heart attack and died at the wheel of his car which then crashed into a shopping mall and this was described as “vehicular jihad”. A Muslim cab driver objected to what he considered pornographic ads on the roof of his cab, and that became a stealth-jihad plot to impose Sharia on America. Any Muslim who has sued an employer for violation of their rights under the EEOC is engaged in employment jihad, or litigation jihad. Muslim environmentalists are said to be actually engaged in “civilizational jihad”. A cartoon series “The 99” aimed at young Muslims was described as “cultural jihad”. The victims of the terrorist attack of 9/11 included Muslims, they were accused of dying as martyrs in an act of jihad.
The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking” Muslim jihad plots. They have uncovered: bumper sticker jihad, Thanksgiving turkey jihad, an incredible paisley scarf jihad, marriage to important men jihad, spit jihad, fashion jihad, spelling bee jihad, rape jihad, defacing dollar bills jihad, population jihad, creeping Sharia jihad, mosque building jihad, terror baby jihad, “creeping Sharia” jihad, pedophilia jihad, bus driver prayer jihad, forehead bruise jihad, postage stamp jihad, soup jihad, banning alcohol jihad, fake hate crimes jihad, piggy bank jihad, tv reality series jihad, handshake jihad, prom jihad, interfaith jihad, Arabic language jihad, public school jihad, religious accommodation jihad, Crescent moon jihad, Christmas tree tax jihad, oath of office jihad, immigration jihad, community fundraiser jihad. Christina Abraham (a Muslim) has a name that is not recognizably Muslim enough and so we have stealth name jihad. And, when it seemed they might have run out of plots to warn about, we now have public school/madrassa jihad, and post office jihad, and food jihad.
Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP) has produced or cooperated in the production of a number of “reports”.
— The right-wing “Team B II” report Shariah: The Threat To America” which claims that the “Muslim Brotherhood in insinuating shariah into the very heartland of America through stealthy means.” — CSP also produced Shariah Law and American State Courts which distorted information about court cases and their possible implications. Both are discussed at length in the article Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy Sharia Reports a Threat to American Ideals — David Yerushalmi who was one of the authors of the Team BII report also released a report Mapping Sharia: Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques by Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi which was published in Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Quarterly Summer 2011 issue. I have debunked this one in an article titled Mapping Sharia Project Goes Beyond Islamophobia to Raving, Paranoid, In(SANE)ity!. — The CSP also produced a 10-hour video course The Muslim Brotherhood in America from which Michelle Bachmann got her “facts”. — According to the Center for American Progress Fear, Inc. report, Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP) funded research David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry’s book Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America. See Dave Gaubatz and the “Muslim Mafia” for more detailed background including the fact that Gaubatz is also a former employee of David Yerushalmi’s racist hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE). Dave Gaubatz was at one-time “Director of Intelligence and Counter-terrorism Studies” for Yerushalmi. In 2007, Yerushalmi’s group paid Gaubatz $148,898 for “research.”
Gaffney and the CSP also sponsor and participate in other Islamophobes anti-Muslim activities. This Islamophobic network is very much intertwined. For example:
— One of the anti-mosque rallies was sponsored by a group called The Coalition to Honor Ground Zero. They sponsored one of the most hateful rallies against the Cordoba House/Park51 Center. However, as Glenn Greenwald has reported “The group which sponsored this rally has a website, the repellently named StopThe911Mosque.com, which is registered to The Center for Security Policy, the group of Frank Gaffney.” — Gaffney is one of the regular speakers at David Horowitz’ annual Islamo Fascism Awareness Week on college campuses. — David Yerushalmi is Pamela Geller‘s personal attorney and has represented AFDI/SIOA (Stop the Islamization of America) run by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Yerushalmi incorporated American Freedom Defense Initiative which is the non-profit under which she and Robert Spencer produce their blogs, Atlas Shrugs and Jihad Watch. He is also the legal counsel for Frank Gaffney’s anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy and served in the same role for Stop the Madrassa, the group which got Debbie Almontaser fired as principal of the Khalil Gibran Academy.— Gaffney regularly appears on Brigitte Gabriel’s ACT for America program, on which once said that Muslims practicing Sharia should be prosecuted for sedition. — Gaffney co-sponsored Geert Wilders’s National Press Club event. — Gaffney PNAC was one of the founders of the (Project for a New American Century), the notorious neo-con think. — Loonwatch did a lengthy report on LATMA and Caroline Glick which included this interesting fact: Although Latma operates in Israel, it acts as an initiative of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a 501(c)(3) and DC-based think tank, where Caroline Glick serves as the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs. TAM has a backgrounder on LATMA and Glick titled Caroline Glick and LATMA: Promoting the meme of Muslims as “the other” outlining many of their vicious anti-Muslim propaganda pieces on their weekly television program.
A number of investigations have been done into where the money comes from for Gaffney’s CSP to operate:
The Center for American Progress “Fear, Inc. report of 2011reported: “In 2009, the Center for Security Policy (CSP)’s annual revenue was nearly $4 million, and Frank Gaffney’s annual salary was nearly $300,000 as president of the organization. Over the past decade, the Scaife foundations gave CSP nearly $3 million, the Bradley Foundation more than $800,000, the Becker foundations about $375,000, and the Anchorage and William Rosenwald funds about $437,000, with the Fairbrook Foundation contributing smaller amounts. All told, CSP received about $20 million in revenue between 2002 and 2009.”
Max Blumenthal reported that: The $437,000 in donations Gaffney reaped from the Rosenwald family enabled him to churn out conspiratorial pamphlets like his 2010 “Shariah: The Threat to America,” in which he warned that American Muslims were engaged in a “stealth jihad” to place the country under the control of Sharia, or Islamic law.
According to Alex Seitz-Wald at Think Progress: CSP has big-time right-wing funders like the Bradley Foundation and, presumably, its board of directors. Gaffney’s board includes the vice president of Van Scoyoc Associates, which touts itself as the “largest independent lobbying company in Washington, D.C,” with numerous defense clients and $15.93 million in lobbying revenue over the first six months of 2010. Other members of Gaffney’s board include the former vice president of Boeing’s missile defense division, and the head of the investment firm American Securities Management L.P. The group paid Gaffney $288,300 in 2008, according to its most recently available 990 form.
Bob Smietana reported that Frank Gaffney, head of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Center for Security Policy, earned a $288,300 salary from his charity in 2008. Gaffney was a key witness in recent hearings in the Rutherford County lawsuit filed by mosque opponents. He said he paid his own way.
According to Paul Blumenthal: Irving Moskowitz provided $100,000 to the Center for Security Policy.
The problem is that this sort of Islamophobic rhetoric and activity is coming not just from the professional Islamophobes, but is also coming from GOP elected representatives, and very often they are getting their facts from people like Gaffney. In the article Where is the U.S. Government Getting It’s Information on Islam and Muslims? this unfortunate tendency to go to disreputable sources for information is discussed in detail.