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UPDATED: Mark Krikorian’s Crying Pays Off: Anti-Immigrant Leader to Speak at CPAC 2013

Imagine 2050 Staff • Mar 12, 2013

Mark Krikorian (l) & Frank Gaffney (r)

UPDATE: CPAC’s organizers have scrubbed the panel featuring Mark Krikorian from the event’s agenda, but questions remain as to whether it’s still going forward or not.

Over at his blog-column on the decidedly paleo-Conservative National Review Online, Mark Krikorian once, as the saying goes, tarred all Muslims with one brush:

“I’m afraid that in the Islamic world democracy faces the problem of a vicious people, one where the desire for freedom is indeed written in every human heart, but the freedom to do evil.”

That’s right, in Krikorian’s own words, all Muslims have evil in their hearts, and also notice he wrote, “Islamic world,” singling out no specific country or region, terrorist organization or regime, etc.

This is relevant for 1,000 reasons, not the least of which being that-as many sources Left and Right frame it-Krikorian is the head of what is commonly referred to as “the most mainstream” of anti-immigration groups in the United States, the decidedly nativist Center for Immigration Studies.

Another reason is that much has been made-again by the Right and the Left-about the leaders of the ever-emerging anti-Muslim/-Islam movement being shut out of this year’s CPAC 2013 conference, the most prominent and visible annual blow-out within the contemporary Conservative movement. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, two such leaders, have been deemed simply too extreme by the group that organizes the event, which is a project of the powerful American Conservatives Union, and Conservative leaders generally associated with it, like Grover Norquist.

Norquist along with a stout coalition of powerful Conservatives that includes prominent Congresspersons have recently took a strong stand against Krikorian and his organization’s sister groups within the established anti-immigrant movement, like the Federation for American Immigration Reform and NumbersUSA. It seems these folks have grown quite tired of the influence that these groups and their leaders have been allowed to cultivate within the GOP via the House Immigration Reform Caucus and long-standing relationships with elected Representatives like Lamer Smith, Ted Poe and Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve King of Iowa, Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, and others.

Such a stand led to the banishment of the anti-immigration movement at-large from CPAC until this past week, when Krikorian was added to a panel sponsored by the far-Right voter suppression group Judicial Watch.

So, if CPAC is taking such a hard stand against those who spout bigoted vitriol against Muslims, why is Krikorian being offered a microphone? Consider this statement that Krikorian also offered from his stage over at National Review Online (emphasis author’s own):

“Specifically, freedom of religion is, ahem, not a Muslim value [….Religious] conversion is a capital offense under Islamic law and it’s not at all inconceivable that Muslim mobs will riot when they learn that former Muslims are holding a convention in the United States (there was just such a conference in Texas in April and in Pennsylvania earlier this month, and no doubt many others). Will the Obama administration demand that such a conference, if it attracts the Eye of Sauron Islam, be shut down?”

Following this line of thought, much was made in the coverage-again, Left and Right-of the barring of anti-Muslim fountainhead Frank Gaffney, founder of the Center for Security Policy, from CPAC 2012. Gaffney was barred because of his loose-cannon nature, which has led him to openly and harshly criticize leaders of and associated with the American Conservative Union and CPAC. Those leaders took decisive action last year.

That said, Krikorian and Gaffney are close colleagues, even friends it would seem. Recently, Kirkorian himself paid to host Gaffney for a lecture at the National Republican Club-where both men expressed their mutual respect for one another and their shared willingness to collaborate.

Also, consider that back in 2005 CIS hosted Gaffney for a panel discussion moderated by Krikorian with its own Stephen Steinlight, who also has a history of speaking to anti-Muslim groups. And certainly consider Gaffney’s illuminating opening remarks, which directly followed Krikorian’s glowing introduction at the National Republican Club:

“In truth I’m sure you’re here for the Center for Immigration Studies, at least I hope you are, because I’m here for the Center for Immigration Studies because I have had a chance to work with Mark and his team a lot. And actually, one of the things I hope we might talk about in the course of the conversation is what we might do much more of because I see a nexus developing between the work that Mark really does uniquely in this country and the work that we do, and it would be terrific if we could collaborate more intensively.”

Also consider that Krikorian has appeared on Gaffney’s radio show seven times, where he recently took his Conservative critics to task for simply discussing the hard-facts of CIS and its sister groups’ controversial history—a singular history they share.

And on March 1, Krikorian similarly took CPAC’s organizers to task regarding the fact that he and the anti-immigration movement at-large were being kept out of the conference for legitimate reasons. Writing again over at National Review Online in a piece titled, “CPAC’s Tent Gets Smaller by the Day,” Krikorian couldn’t help but go racial, connotatively speaking, appearing to compare CPAC’s organizers to the “ethnic chauvinists” he’s known to rail against in his past blog-columns:

“In the spirit of Marcus Garvey’s nickname for the NAACP, maybe we should just rename CPAC Certain People’s Action Conference.”

Geller, Spencer, and Gaffney are still out, but Gaffney’s close-colleague in Krikorian is now in. The question is-why?

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