What with all the time Michele Bachmann has spent spreading fear and loathing of Muslims in the past couple weeks, you wouldn’t think the ubiquitous congresswoman would’ve been able to cram anything else into her schedule.
Wrong! She totally had time to do other stuff! (Lesson: Never underestimate the multitasking ability of a woman who claims [dubiously] to have raised 23 foster children.)
In between accusing fellow Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, ignoring condemnation from GOP bigwigs who finally acknowledged that their crazy-eyed superstar had gone way too far with her anti-Muslim fearmongering, and chitchatting with the ever-credulous Glenn Beck, Bachmann last week also served as keynote speaker at the annual summit of Christians United for Israel (CUFI).
Christians United for Israel is a Christian Zionist outfit run by John Hagee, an evangelical minister whose endorsement John McCain rejected in 2008 after Talk2Action’s Bruce Wilson made it public that in the mid-2000’s, Hagee had given a sermon claiming that Hitler was a “hunter of the Jews,” sent by God to shoo the Chosen People back to Israel where God said they’re supposed to live.
Speaking before a wildly excited crowd, Bachmann proclaimed that Jerusalem is “the eternal capital of Israel” and called on the U.S. to move its embassy there, then suggested (again) that the Obama administration is in cahoots with the Muslim Brotherhood and maybe even (gasp!) Iran.
Railing against Obama’s willingness, at the beginning of his presidency, to sit down for talks with Iran (and totally ignoring the sanctions the U.S. and other U.N. powers have imposed since then), Bachmann said, “If the president thinks Iran can be trusted, then we have to ask quite seriously, then who does he think is our enemy?”
She continued, “Let me tell you what this administration is doing. After a letter was sent to the White House and signed by 50 Muslims organizations, this administration embarked on a purge of our security agencies regarding the teaching of the ideology of radical Islam.”
The “purge” Bachmann is referring to here is the removal from FBI training material of various lessons alleging that mainstream Islam teaches violent jihad. The training materials were originally brought to light by Danger Room’s Spencer Ackerman, who obtained them from FBI whistleblowers who feared that lumping together all Muslims as potential terrorists would cause law enforcement to miss actual signs of danger. (Chip Berlet also blew the whistle on these training sessions.)
Like most of her anti-Muslim talking point, Bachmann’s outrage about the so-called “purge” is borrowed from more experienced paranoiacs than she, including Reagan-era Pentagon official Frank Gaffney, the source of much of the “information” fueling Bachmann’s recent freakout over the Muslim Brotherhood’s supposed infiltration of the U.S. government.
Gaffney, who in 2011 (as I reported for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog) called for a renewed House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) to ferret out potentially traitorous Muslims, also spoke at the CUFI summit. So did David Barton, the pseudo-historian who has claimed that Jesus opposed unions and the minimum wage, and that God is blocking scientists from finding a cure for AIDS as a message to gays that, “hey, you're going to bear in your body the consequences of this homosexual behavior.”