A top national security adviser in the White House is using Wednesday’s attack in London to justify the Muslim ban in the United States. There’s just one problem: the attacker was born in the United Kingdom.
Sebastian Gorka, who is known for his hard line views on Islam, went on Fox News’ Hannity to discuss the attack on Wednesday.
“How many more of these do we need to see? How many people need to die before it is understood that what we are trying to do in the Trump administration is to stop events like this happening on U.S. soil?” asked Gorka. “The war is real, and that’s why executive orders like President Trump’s travel moratorium are so important.”
Three people were killed and about 40 were injured in an attack near the British Parliament on Wednesday. The attacker sped across Westminster Bridge, plowing through pedestrians, and then stabbed a police officer at the gates of parliament.
The attacker was identified on Thursday as 52-year-old Khalid Masood, who was born in Kent and recently lived in the West Midlands. On Thursday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack — something the militant group does quite often — but UK Prime Minister Theresa May also confirmed in a statement to Parliament that the attacker “was British-born and that some years ago he was once investigated by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism.”
Using an attack in London to justify Trump’s ban doesn’t make any sense.
The newest version of Trump’s ban — which has been temporarily blocked by federal judges — suspends refugee resettlement and temporarily bans nationals of six Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen. The attacker in London wouldn’t have been affected by this ban.
National security experts have refuted the argument that Trump’s ban will keep the United States safe. A Department of Homeland Security report last month found that citizenship is an “unlikely indicator” of terrorism threats. Another DHS report found that government actions that are viewed as Islamophobic — like an immigration ban focused only on Muslim-majority countries, for example — help radicalize both native- and foreign-born extremists.
Gorka was recently found to be a member of a Nazi-linked group, a report that he wouldn’t deny when asked by ThinkProgress. He is known for his links to Hungarian anti-Semites and support for racial profiling of Muslims. He previously worked as a national security editor at Breitbart, an outlet that embraces white supremacy. It’s thus not surprising that he is a proponent of Trump’s Muslim ban.
During the interview on Wednesday, host Sean Hannity also lied about how London is “home to over 80 sharia courts operating independently and without authority from the English government.” This widely spread lie is similar to the myth of Muslims creating “no-go zones” in Europe, which other non-Muslims are not allowed to enter. Pro-Trump media often spreads this lie, and Fox News itself was forced to apologize after hosting a guest who made the claim on television in 2015.
Gorka did not dispute Hannity’s claims, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joined the show shortly afterward and said sharia courts and no-go zones will not be allowed in the United States.