Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the bigots themselves. Brigitte Gabriel runs ACT for America, which has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “the largest grassroots anti-Muslim organization in the country.” Gabriel herself has said a practicing Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America” and believes Arab Muslims are “a natural threat to civilized people of the world.” She has also bragged about the secretary of state being “a steadfast ally of ours since the day he was elected to Congress.” In 2016, ACT bestowed upon Pompeo its “highest honor,” the National Security Eagle Award.
Pompeo, in turn, has been keen to boost Gabriel and ACT. As researchers from Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative on Islamophobia have observed, in 2016, “Pompeo sponsored the room at the U.S. Capitol for ACT’s ‘Legislative Briefing’ in conjunction with its annual national conference,” and he “spoke at these briefings in 2016, 2015 and 2013.”
Then there’s Frank Gaffney, who runs the Center for Security Policy, which the SPLC calls a hate group and a “conspiracy-oriented mouthpiece for the growing anti-Muslim movement.” Gaffney himself has suggested that former President Barack Obama is a secret Muslim and has accused U.S. mosques and Muslim organizations of mounting a “stealth jihad” against the United States. He has also described Pompeo as “one of the most intelligent men I know in public life.”
Again, the feeling seems to be mutual. According to the Bridge researchers, Pompeo appeared on CSP’s “Secure Freedom Radio” 18 times between 2014 and 2016. He also spoke at a CSP event in 2015, alongside the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who has called for the eradication of Islam and a ban on the Quran, and the far-right lawyer David Yerushalmi, who has declared that “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization” and is the driving force behind the anti-sharia movement in the United States.
Pompeo and Yerushalmi share the same conspiratorial obsession with the Muslim Brotherhood and have both promulgated the (false) claim that mainstream Muslim-American organizations are “fronts” for the Brotherhood. Pompeo even co-sponsored congressional legislation in 2014 and 2015 to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization. [Almost comically, Gaffney has also targeted Grover Norquist as an "agent of the Muslim Brotherhood" - Ed.]
As J.M. Berger, a counterterrorism analyst and author of a book on extremism, told BuzzFeed News in 2016 that the GOP’s obsession with banning the Brotherhood is really about “controlling American Muslims, not with any issue pertaining to the Muslim Brotherhood in any practical or realistic sense.”
Should we be surprised? Islamophobia was rampant in the Republican Party even before the election of Trump. Anti-Muslim bigotry, in fact, is what unites far-right parties across the West.