Islamophobia

How anti-refugee activists are bringing hate to the Hill


Imagine2050 Staff • Aug 30, 2016

This week, Imagine 2050 will be previewing the upcoming anti-Muslim ACT for America national conference and legislative briefing, scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. on September 6 – 7. One of the panels at this year’s conference focuses on Muslim refugee resettlement and the group’s staunch opposition to it.

Activists from the most aggressive grassroots anti-Muslim group in the U.S. are descending on Washington, D.C., and it won’t be pretty.

Since last summer, ACT has focused on efforts to bar people seeking refuge and safety in the United States.

The group, ACT for America, is planning a conference on Capitol Hill to rile up anti-Muslim sentiment and lobby legislators to support its Islamophobic policy goals.

Since last summer, ACT has focused on efforts to bar people seeking refuge and safety in the United States.

So it is no surprise ACT’s conference will feature an anti-refugee session titled “Refugee Vetting: Is Our National Security at Risk?” The group has enlisted Philip Haney, a former DHS staffer, to legitimize the anti-Muslim bias driving this agenda.

Peddling anti-Muslim bias

Haney regularly criticizes the Obama administration for being too politically correct. He claims this interferes with going after alleged Muslim extremists operating in the nation. However, his criticism is part of a larger trend of aligning with anti-Muslim activists and making false and sweeping statements about Muslims and the “Islamic worldview.”

Haney’s participation at ACT’s conference is telling. ACT serves as the largest anti-Muslim grassroots group in the nation, but it is not the only anti-Muslim outfit Haney engages with.

He also regularly associates with Frank Gaffney, a notorious anti-Muslim conspiracist and founder and president of the Center for Security Policy. Haney is a regular guest of Gaffney’s “Secure Freedom Radio.” During one interview, Haney suggested Islam may be “a religion of peace,” however, “just not right now.”

On another occasion, Haney spoke against the concept of self-radicalization, calling it a “surreal” myth. Haney advocates it is “preposterous” for Muslims to be lone wolf terrorists because it is supposedly against the “Islamic worldview.”

“If you know anything about the Islamic worldview, family and community is ultimately central to everything they do,” he told Breitbart News in a June 15 interview. “The concept of operating alone is anathema to the Islamic worldview. They just don’t do it.”

Targeting people seeking refuge

It is no surprise ACT has recruited Haney to speak. Brigitte Gabriel, the founder and president of ACT, has demonstrated repeatedly a bias against Muslims and plans to resettle refugees in the United States.

ACT launched working groups last year to organize its base to oppose humane resettlement policies. The group also remains a proponent of anti-refugee measures like Rep. Brian Babin’s (H.R. 3314), which seeks a moratorium on refugee resettlement.

ACT has similarly promoted policies at the state level obstructing resettlement programs. Its members continue to be active on this front, most notably in Montana and Idaho as of late.

In an interview earlier this year, Gabriel claimed the president is using refugees to change the demographic makeup of the country.

She stated, “He does not believe in American exceptionalism, he believes that America has to be on par with the rest of the world and therefore we are all one, and that’s why he wants to intermingle America, to have a population of every corner of the world, whether or not they are equal to us or not.”

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