National Security

Cruz adviser claims ‘Islamic supremacism’ being pushed in Congress

Officials within Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) office refused to meet with Muslim advocates on Monday, they claimed, after a controversial adviser for Cruz’s presidential campaign accused the advocates of pushing “the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

In a contributor’s op-ed published on The Hill’s website, Frank Gaffney warned that “organizations associated with Islamic supremacism” are seeking to “dominate” an advocacy day on Monday on Capitol Hill.

{mosads}“[L]egislators should have nothing to do with either its participants or its programs,” wrote Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy.

On Monday, hundreds of representatives from the U.S. Council on Muslim Organizations — a 21-organization coalition — headed to Congress for the group’s second annual Muslim Advocacy Day.

But Cruz’s office “refused” to meet with constituents from Texas, according to Oussama Jammal, the secretary general of the U.S. Council on Muslim Organizations.

“Someone who’s running to be president of all Americans and [the fact that] his office refused to meet with Muslim constituents from Texas sends a message that the American people deserve to know who this candidate is and what he plans to treat Americans under his presidency,” Jammal added.

The organization promises to “cooperate in mobilizing the Muslim populations of our local communities and that of our fellow Americans for the good of all.” Monday’s event, it claimed, is designed to make “democracy work by connecting Congress with the Muslim communities they serve.”

Gaffney, however, accused the coalition of representing a slew of “Muslim Brotherhood fronts,” based on a 1991 document purporting to come from a member of the Brotherhood that has been widely used by skeptics of Muslim organizations in the United States.

Federal prosecutors introduced the memo as evidence in the 2007 trial of a group convicted of sending money to Hamas, but skeptics have questioned whether it is truly authoritative or instead a mere suggestion by a lower-level figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, a political Islamist group.

“Representatives and associates of such fronts will be among the Islamists in congressional offices on Monday,” Gaffney wrote in his op-ed.

Jammal condemned Gaffney’s comments on Monday.

“It is unfortunate that this kind of Islamophobic rhetoric continues to run,” he told The Hill in a phone interview. “We are as American as anybody else, and this is our country, and we advocate for issues that are important for us.”

The 1991 memo, Gaffney said, advocates for a method of “jihad” that “involves employing stealthy, subversive means like influence operations to penetrate and subvert our government and civil society institutions.”

In the op-ed, Gaffney also repeated accusations that Reps. André Carson (D-Ind.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) — the only two Muslim members of Congress — have “longstanding ties to assorted Muslim Brotherhood fronts.”

Gaffney, who has staunchly criticized many Muslim civil society organizations, has repeatedly come under fire from civil rights advocates, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which have labeled him a “notorious Islamophobe.” Supporters of Gaffney claim his critics are slanted against conservatives.

He has also suggested, falsely, that Obama was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii.

Cruz’s decision to appoint Gaffney to his national security team last month was met with outrage from some corners and head scratches from others. Gaffney is placed alongside more mainstream Republican Party thinkers such as Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.).

Cruz has defended the selection, calling Gaffney “a serious thinker who has been focused on fighting jihadism.”

— This story was updated at 4:11 p.m. 

Tags Islam Muslims Ted Cruz

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