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Meet some of the anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists shaping Trump’s immigration ban

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A viral video warning of a Muslim plot to take over the world has drawn nearly 2.7 million views — and it was produced by a group with close ties to the Trump administration.

The video, posted in April 2015, stars Ann Corcoran, who became radicalized against Muslims after learning more than a decade ago that some African refugees would be resettling near her rural Maryland home, reported Vox.

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“This process of Muslim colonization is called the hijra,” Corcoran says in the video, using the Arabic word for migration. “Mohammed told his followers to migrate and spread Islam, in order to dominate all the lands of the world … and that’s exactly what they’re doing now.”

She started a blog, Refugee Resettlement Watch, which she used to promote viciously anti-Muslim and racist viewpoints until linking up with Frank Gaffney and his Center for Security Policy — which has helped shape President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

Gaffney appeared at least 34 times on the Breitbart radio program hosted by Steve Bannon, who is now Trump’s chief strategist and the reported author of his executive order banning travelers from some majority-Muslim nation.

According to the New York Times, Gaffney’s work has been cited in speeches by Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security advisor.

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Kellyanne Conway, an advisor to Trump, did polling work for the Center for Security Policy, which awarded Sen. Jeff Sessions — the attorney general nominee — its annual “Keeper of the Flame” award last year for his efforts against the “totalitarian threat” posed by radical Islam.

Gaffney was banned from the Conservative Political Action Committee in 2011, after accusing two board members of secretly aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, and took part in shadow events hosted outside the conference by Breitbart News.

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But Gaffney, who has been labeled “one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was invited back to CPAC two years ago — when he hosted panels featuring anti-Muslim activists Walid Phares and Clare Lopez.

Last year, Gaffney sponsored a CPAC panel featuring English white nationalist Paul Weston and Lars Hedegaard, a Danish anti-Muslim activist.

Trump has cited a shoddy poll conducted by Gaffney’s group to justify his campaign promise to end Muslim immigration.

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Gaffney and Corcoran boast close relationships with several key members of Trump’s administration, including Bannon and CIA director Mike Pompeo — who was the featured speaker at CSP’s annual conference in 2015 and has appeared at least two dozen times on Gaffney’s own radio program.

They’re also close to a number of congressional Republicans — including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and David Vitter (R-LA) and Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Steve King (R-IA), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Jim Bridenstein (R-OK).

Gaffney and Corcoran — who are part of a broader “counter-jihad” conspiracy movement — have spent years promoting anti-refugee propaganda that has shaped Republican policy and now an executive order that has sparked nationwide protests.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘Go back to Harlem!’: Florida woman has n-word laced meltdown after bumping black woman’s shopping cart

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On Saturday, the Atlanta Black Star reported an incident in Florida, in which a white woman screamed racial slurs at a black woman at a Publix supermarket in Miami after their shopping carts jostled each other.

After the woman allegedly banged into Nicki Johnson's cart, she refused to apologize, saying, "I didn't hit you with my cart, and f**k you,  you f**king n****r."

Johnson whipped out her cell phone camera, and began recording the incident, saying "You, why don't you call me a n****r again?"

"You thinking I'm sorry?" snapped the woman. "Let me tell you something, I don't have to call you anything. Get away from me, I will call security and there are surveillance videos. Get away from me!"

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‘I’m a nurse, what are you?’: Tennessee lawmaker humiliates anti-choice activists in brutal public grilling

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Anti-choice activists in Tennessee were unprepared for the grilling they got from a Democratic Party lawmaker when making the case for a bill that would outlaw abortion before many women knew they were pregnant.

One of the speakers in favor of the fetal heartbeat bill was Baptist Pastor Randy Davis, who was questioned by state Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis).

"How many women executive pastors do you have in your convention?" Robinson asked Davis. "Or senior pastors."

"None," Davis replied.

"So is it the same ideology that restricts access to women being able to lead a congregation that leads you all to support women not being able to make a medical decision about their body?" Robinson asked.

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2020 Election

Trump is doing everything he did in 2016 to get elected — and it’s failing this time: columnist

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On Saturday, Washington Post columnist Dan Balz wrote that President Donald Trump is relying on the same old bag of tricks that let him lurch blindly to a surprise victory in 2016 — but that that playbook is unlikely to get him elected again, let alone deliver sound domestic or foreign policy.

"After a week in which the threat of recession rocked global financial markets, his trade war with China showed no signs of progress and the government of Israel got into a nasty dispute with two members of Congress, President Trump went to bed Thursday night with other weighty issues on his mind. 'Great news,' he tweeted. 'Tonight we broke the all-time attendance record previously held by Elton John at #SNHUArena [Southern New Hampshire University] in Manchester!'" wrote Balz. "This is the frivolous mind-set of the president of the United States. Trump’s flurry of statements over the past few days have brought into focus once again something fundamental about him: He has little understanding of what it means to govern. He would rather tweet from the bleachers."

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