Why Mike Coffman spoke to the “nation’s leading anti-Muslim hate group”

Why Mike Coffman spoke to the “nation’s leading anti-Muslim hate group”

Updated October 6, 2015, 4:54

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman spoke in September at the conference of an organization that has been profiled repeatedly as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“ACT For America is perhaps the nation’s leading Anti-Muslim hate group … extremely out there in terms of their bigotry and extremism and hate mongering,” said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The New York Times Magazine described the organization’s president Brigitte Gabriel, who also spoke at the conference, as follows: “She presents a portrait of Islam so thoroughly bent on destruction and domination that it is unrecognizable to those who study or practice the religion.”

Gabriel has described Arabs as “barbarians” and has said, “Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.”

At a Defense Department course on Islam, in 2007, Gabriel said: “If a Muslim who has — who is — a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day — this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.”

Over his years in office, Coffman has been a vocal opponent of what he describes as “radical Islam,” yet does not agree with every aspect of ACT! for America’s platform.

“Like many interest groups, ACT can get carried away with its rhetoric,” said Coffman’s spokesperson Cinamon Watson in an email to The Colorado Independent.

After the Fort Hood shooting, Coffman wrote in the Highlands Ranch Herald that “radical Islam” is “as dangerous as the threat of communism once was during the Cold War” and “so twisted in its beliefs that it values death over life and uses terrorism as its only tactic.”

Attacking so-called “radical Islam” has been in vogue in some Republican and Democrat circles for more than a decade as politicians have capitalized on a rising fear of Muslims in the wake of 9/11 — what critic Ian Haney López refers to as “dog-whistle racism.”

In that context, Coffman’s position does not seem particularly unusual.

But his talk at an ACT! for America conference suggests he may endorse the organization’s bigotry, Hooper said.

“Either he doesn’t know about their hate agenda or he buys into it. We would hope it would be the former and not the latter. Usually we find that whenever there is some kind of public official that associates with this hate group, they usually know what they’re doing.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations sent out warnings to six Congress members slated to speak at the ACT! for America event about the organization’s status as a hate group. Coffman was not among those warned.

Would he speak for this group, which has have given him a 100 percent grade for voting against “radical Islam,” had he been warned?

“With regard to why he spoke to this group (ACT! for America), the Congressman speaks with literally hundreds of groups every year, and very rarely agrees with every aspect of their agenda.  But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a dialogue,” his spokesperson Watson wrote.

Talking about the threat of terrorism and radical Islam is a centerpiece of Coffman’s platform.

“As a Marine, he has seen it up close and personal as part of numerous deployments to the Middle East,” Watson wrote. “That’s why so many groups, including these, invite him to speak.  He brings a viewpoint broader than that of a member of Congress – he’s also a combat veteran and a Marine.”

 

Photo credit: ResoluteSupportMedia, Creative Commons, Flickr.

Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.

Got a tip? Story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.



About the Author

Kyle Harris

Always reading. Always writing. Always looking for stories.
@kyle_a_harris | kyle@coloradoindependent.com

3 Comments

  1. Robert on said:

    Mike Coffman and the republican party is a larger threat to the USofA, than any radical Religious group from across the ocean…it is our very own radical religious groups who have proven they are not fit to govern, and should be swept into the dust bin of history…

  2. Will Morrison on said:

    What is “Because he’s a small minded bigot and an idiot who doesn’t think about his actions”, Alex?

  3. Dennis Chrisinger on said:

    Islam is not a Race it is a governmental system based of the teachings of the Koran and Sharia Law hummmmmm Islam has openly vowed to overthrow the west from within hummmm Openly called for the death of Jews and Christians Hummm Everywhere In the world there is Islamic violence murder rape ok Suicide to get to heaven hummmmm that’s nice Again Islam is not a RACE and what I think is interesting if you are a Muslim and want out THEY WILL MURDER YOU hummmmm and Im a bigot LOL

Leave a Response

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>