Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) added the amendment Thursday to a Defense Department spending bill that would instruct the Pentagon to identify “violent Islamic doctrine” for the purpose of combating Muslim extremism. Franks’ proposal also would have directed the Pentagon to identify Islamic thought leaders associated with doctrines that support extremism.
PhoenixNewTimes No Democrats supported the measure, and 27 Republicans broke ranks to defeat the amendment, 217-208. Even though the amendment failed, critics say its underlying rationale invites discrimination against Muslim communities, at home and abroad. Check to see how your Representative voted. There is a list of all the AYES and NAYS votes here but it doesn’t give party affiliation: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll372.xml
The amendment would have required Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to “conduct two concurrent strategic assessments of the use of violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine to support extremist or terrorist messaging and justification” within a year.
Robert McCaw, the government affairs director for the designated terrorist group CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), applauded the amendment’s defeat. MUSLIM convert Congressman Keith Ellison, a Hamas-supporting Minnesota Democrat, sworn into Congress on an un-Constitutional quran, who opposed the amendment, was overjoyed.
Franks’ assumption that Islam and terrorism are inextricably linked is literally everywhere in conservative circles. And now, under the Trump administration, these ideas have the president’s ear.
We can see shades of Islamophobia everywhere: President Trump’s endless, semantic refrain that the U.S. must use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism;” the call to shut down immigration from Muslim-majority countries; and the appointment of noxious White House advisers like Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, whose anti-Islam ideas are barely hidden.
In 2009, Franks and three other House Republicans warned of spies masquerading as Muslim interns in Congressional offices and committees. Their theory was based on a book called Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that’s Conspiring to Islamize America. Just two years ago, the Center for Security Policy, founded by prominent Islam expert Frank Gaffney, honored Franks at its annual awards ceremony.