Frank Gaffney: The Islamophobic conspiracy theorist who provides ‘data’ for Donald Trump

Eli Clifton writes: Gaffney’s extremist statements led the Anti-Defamation League to describe the Center for Security Policy as “a neo-conservative think tank that has pioneered the anti-Shariah hysteria by publishing materials regarding the threat of an Islamic takeover of the U.S.”

“Once a respectable Washington insider, Frank Gaffney Jr. is now one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes. Gripped by paranoid fantasies about Muslims destroying the West from within, Gaffney believes that ‘creeping Shariah,’ or Islamic religious law, is a dire threat to American democracy,” the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote of Gaffney. Indeed, Gaffney’s anti-Muslim campaign has even put him at odds with mainstream conservatives. In 2011, he was banned from participating in the Conservative Political Action Conference after accusing two of the event’s organizers — former George W. Bush administration official Suhail Khan and stalwart anti-tax activist Grover Norquist — of being Muslim Brotherhood infiltrators.

And his accusations against Huma Abedin led Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to condemn Gaffney’s smears.

Until Trump’s announcement yesterday, Gaffney may have been suffering from a lack of mainstream acceptance, but that hasn’t slowed his ability to raise considerable sums of money. CSP raised $3.55 million in 2013 and $2.04 million in 2014.

The list of Gaffney’s group’s most reliable funders features a few surprises. According to donor rolls I acquired and published last year, Gaffney received funding in 2013 from well-known conservative foundations, including $50,000 from the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation and $175,000 from the Sarah Scaife Foundation. Both have histories of supporting Islamophobia. Gaffney’s funders also include Boeing ($25,000); General Dynamics ($15,000); Lockheed Martin ($15,000); Northrup Grumman ($5,000); Raytheon ($20,000); and General Electric ($5,000). [Continue reading…]

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