CPAC is the year’s preeminent conservative conference, bringing together the right and the far-right, but one very prominent neo-conservative voice had vowed to boycott the event this year because, he claimed, the Muslim Bortherhood had “infiltrated” its ranks. Center for Security Policy head Frank Gaffney has made a career of spinning theories about Islamic extremists infiltrating the federal government, but could radical Reaganites really be abetting radical Islamists?
ThinkProgress asked him the question Friday afternoon when we spotted him breaking his self-imposed exile to “do some interviews” at CPAC (we saw him again Saturday morning as well). In a lengthy interview with ThinkProgress, Gaffney warned that Grover Norquist, the anti-tax activist and influential Republican strategist, was spearheading “active measure” campaigns within the conservative establishment on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. “I believe the conservative movement is being subjected to a concerted Muslim Brotherhood infiltration effort,” Gaffney told us, adding that Norquist began his insidious effort in the 1980s. Norquist’s wife is Muslim.
Asked for evidence of infiltration at CPAC, Gaffney pointed to the presence of Norquist — indeed, they passed within 20 feet of each other at one point — and of former Bush Muslim outreach director Suhail Kahn, whom Gaffney also accused of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood. Asked for further evidence, Gaffney came up empty, saying, “I have not been here long enough.” The presence of Norquist and Kahn was “sufficient” evidence “to be of concern,” Gaffney explained. Watch ThinkProgress’ full ten-minute interview with Gaffney:
Showing he was deadly serious, Gaffney warned that the Mulslim Brotherhood “will kill homosexuals, they will kill feminists, they will kill Jews.” And saying the left “has the most to lose,” Gaffney complained that the progressives has “enabled” the insidious Muslim infiltrators by promoting equality and fighting Islamaphobia.
Gaffney took a shot at Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, calling him “ill-informed” for criticizing Fox News host Glenn Beck’s conspiracy theory about Egypt. Beck has been propagating a theory that Communists and radical Muslims are teaming up in the chaos of Egypt to start a Muslim caliphate that will one day taker over the world, but Kristol slammed the theory in a rare public rebuke of a fellow conservative, calling Beck “hyster[ical].” Gaffney dismissed Kristol and suggested that Beck is knowledgeable about the Middle East and Islam.
Gaffney also dismissed the concerns of law enforcement officials who have criticized Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) upcoming hearings on Muslim radicalization. Law enforcement officials have warned the hearings could alienate Muslims living in America, who have been invaluable sources in capturing terrorists in the past, but for Gaffney the real “problem” is that law enforcement witnesses are in danger from the Muslim Brotherhood.
Salon’s Justin Elliott notes that anti-Muslim blogger and activist Pam Geller also fears Muslim Brotherhood infiltration at CPAC.