Wanting to end his first week in office with a doozy, The Donald, had his go-to guy, Stephen Miller, write up an Executive Order freezing travel to and from seven majority-Muslim countries.
Miller just turned thirty-one, but despite his youth, this is far from his first rodeo.
Immediately after graduating Duke University in 2007, he spent the next two years building a David Horowitz-funded group called the "Terrorism Awareness Project," and served as the National Director. (While at Duke, he also headed the local chapter of Horowitz's rightwing group, Students for Academic Freedom, and was credited for bringing Horowitz to speak at the campus on several occasions.)
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Horowitz, "has become the premier financier of anti-Muslim voices and radical ideologies, as well as acting as an exporter of misinformation that seeks to increase popular appeal for Horowitz’s fears and phobias." This is also the same Horowitz who famously said, referring to the approximately a quarter of world's population that adhere to the religion of Islam, “The problem is when you have a religion which preaches war and violence and hate, rationality is never gonna take over."
Although, the Terrorism Awareness Project's website has been deleted, using our friend the WayBack Machine, we can go back in time to see the material Miller was writing and posting in 2007 and 2008. It's a gut punch.
Since 9/11 there have been nearly twice as many fatal attacks in the United States from homegrown, white terrorists driven by a rightwing agenda. But on his website the only thing Miller brings "awareness" to is the threat of terrorism from those with depraved interpretations of Islam. Worse, Miller doesn't qualify these terrorists as a microscopic and misguided fraction of the Islamic community. In fact, just the opposite: Nearly everything on this page has a clear goal of lumping all Muslims in with the terrorists.
The front page sports a section promoting a movie popular in the Islamophobia circles at the time called, "Islam: What the West Needs to Know.” According to Chicago Tribune reviewer, Michael Phillips, the movie was a "censure-worthy," "anti-Islam propaganda piece" that "has one point to make: Islam is a bad religion, and it's a miracle you're even alive and reading this, so intent most Muslims are on your destruction."
A giant button called "Ammunition" takes you to a page where you can buy anti-Islam books, including two by Robert Spencer: "The Truth About Muhammad" and "Islam Unveiled." Karen Armstrong, who has written numerous books on comparative religion, condemned Spencer in a lengthy piece in the Financial Times, saying the books were "written in hatred" and that he "ignores the Koranic emphasis on the primacy of forgiveness and peaceful negotiation." Armstrong worries that "widespread ignorance about Islam in the West makes many vulnerable to Spencer’s polemic; he is telling them what they are predisposed to hear."
In another front page section of Miller’s website, "What You Should Know About Jihad," he posted that universal Islamic practice of "jihad" is "not, as some Western apologists claim, simply striving for individual perfection." No, MIller says, in fact "jihad" is just as scary as you think it sounds:
"The long term goal of jihad is world domination—a global Islamic state under Islamic law.
"There is nowhere in the world where one can escape the jihad,” he states elsewhere. “Wherever Muslims are found, which is in almost every country on the planet, there are adherents of the ideology of jihad." In other words, if all Muslims are jihadists and all jihadists are evil . . . well, do the math.
Miller made national news in 2007 with his "jihad" dog and pony show, when he tried to place an ad making the same points in campus newspapers across the country. The newspapers refused to run the ads because of its ham-handed racism.
In a post "Naming the Enemy," Miller complains that there simply are not enough anti-Islam movies. During WWII there were all kinds of anti-German movies, he argues, obviously not hesitating to lump terrorists with an Islamic background with the entire 1.7 billion population of Muslims:
"In this bizarre era it is acceptable to depict virtually any group as the enemy but the actual enemy we are fighting. And if someone does, they are accused of fomenting Islamophobia, an intimidation tactic which has been all too successful. The actual fear that seems to grip America is violating the P.C. orthodoxy. And if this absurd fear means keeping our eyes shut about the Islamist threat, and in turn putting up a weak defense, then we will soon find ourselves face to face with something very real to fear."
"The actual fear that seems to grip America is violating the P.C. orthodoxy. And if this absurd fear means keeping our eyes shut about the Islamist threat, and in turn putting up a weak defense, then we will soon find ourselves face to face with something very real to fear."
In late 2008, Miller left his post at the Terrorist Action Network and went to work as a wordsmith for U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann, and then for Senator Jeff Sessions—two leaders in the advancement of Islamophobia.
And of course now, after being the chief architect of Trump's successful racist campaign, Miller is once again in the news for writing the so-called "Muslim Ban," an Executive Order that bans travel from people coming to the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries.
Curiously, of those seven, none of them produced the 9/11 hijackers. Even more curiously, left off the list are the four countries in which Trump has significant business interests.
Strange, huh? Especially considering all the venom spewed by Miller at these countries in general and Saudi Arabia in particular, during his days at the Terrorism Awareness Project. Miller even had a special section called "Lest We Forget" where there are dozens of graphic pictures of the horrific aftermath of 9/11.
I guess in the end, Miller learned a valuable less he won't forget: Money always trumps bigotry.