Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul wants to run Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security, but he has little understanding of Islam’s jihad threat, says an array of anti-jihad experts.
“McCaul would be a disastrous selection,” said Pamela Geller, the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. “He represents all the failed policies of the Republican establishment—the idea that Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by terrorists, the idea that immigration to the US is some natural right that supersedes national security concerns, and more,” said Geller, who survived an attack by two jihadis in Garland, Texas, in May 2015.
“McCaul shows no sign of acknowledging, confronting, or dealing with the fact that jihadis make recruits among peaceful Muslims by invoking Islamic texts and teachings and portraying themselves as the most authentic and rigorous exponents of Islamic teachings,” said Robert Spencer, the author and director of Jihad Watch. “Nor does he show any sign of realizing that the problem is much larger than simply one of jihad violence, and that Islamic law contains numerous elements that are incompatible with constitutional freedoms.”
“I think an appointment of Michael McCaul to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security would be a disaster,” said Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy.
McCaul, who serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, called President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration in the wake of ongoing Islamic terror attacks “unconstitutional.”
In 2013, McCaul met and was photographed with a representative from the jihad-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). “To Mustafa and the Council on American Islamic Relations, the moderate Muslim is our most effective weapon—Michael McCaul, TX-10,” McCaul wrote on a photograph for Mustafa Carroll, who was executive director of CAIR’s Houston branch.
Mustafa, an Islamic moderate, proclaimed Muslims in the United States are “above the law of the land” in Austin, Texas, according to a 2015 article in the Texas Tribune.“Following the law of the land is part of Sharia … And we follow the law of the land. In fact, Muslims, if we’re practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land. The law doesn’t affect us at all,” Carroll said.
CAIR was officially labeled a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.
The CAIR group is so closely entwined with Islamists and with jihadis that court documents and news reports show that at least five of its people — either board members, employees or former employees — have been jailed or repatriated for various financial and terror-related offenses. Evidence highlighted by critics shows that CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Texas-based criminal effort to deliver $12 million to the Jew-hating HAMAS jihad group, that CAIR was founded with $490,000 from HAMAS, and that the FBI bans top-level meetings with CAIR officials. In 2009, a federal judge concluded that “the government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR… with Hamas.”
The Texas Republican’s positions have some anti-jihad activists and Islam critics shaking their heads.
McCaul is “on the record as supporting the Council on American Islamic Relations, whom he considers to be ‘moderate Muslims’ and “our most important weapon.’… [But] CAIR is Hamas, immoderate in the extreme and a weapon for our enemies,” Gaffney said, pointing to a recent Center for Security Policy publication on a federal court case involving CAIR in 2007 and 2008.
“It would mean more willful blindness about the threat posed by Islamic supremacists since McCaul has enabled and legitimated the Islamist-dictated ‘Countering Violent Extremism‘ program, when it should have been jettisoned,” Gaffney said. In June 2016, McCaul pushed a bill that requires the FBI and other police groups to let radical Islamic political and religious groups become intermediaries and shields between counter-terror forces and the nation’s growing number of jihad-supporting Imams and Muslim immigrants.
Any McCaul appointment would result in “incessant undermining” of a Trump agenda, Gaffney said: “McCaul seems committed to supporting a bureaucracy that is likely to be substantially hostile to the incoming administration.”
McCaul’s appointment “would mean continuity in an agency desperately needing an overhaul, since McCaul has been a supporter of the malfeasance evident in DHS under the incumbent Secretary, Jeh Johnson—hence what amounted to Johnson’s endorsement of McCaul’s candidacy,” Gaffney said. In December, Johnson told the Washington Times “I don’t know anybody who is stronger on border security in Congress that I have dealt with,” referring to McCaul.
Picking McCaul would not put a stop to migration to the U.S. from Muslim countries, said Geller. “If Trump plans to remain true to the principles that got him elected, he will resolutely reject McCaul,” she added.
Spencer warned McCaul “is an embodiment of the half-measures taken on the basis of half-truths” that have blunted the U.S. response to Islamic imperialism and terrorism since the September 11 terror attacks.
“McCaul has said: ‘Islamist terrorists have perverted a major religion into a hateful worldview, and while most Muslims do not share their beliefs, their influence is spreading like wildfire.’ While this is a major improvement over the total denial and willful ignorance of the Obama administration, it still represents its own variety of willful ignorance, which could lead to continuing and serious policy missteps,” Spencer said.
Other pro-American immigration reformers have raised questions about McCaul’s record, with one reformer calling Johnson’s endorsement of his possible appointment to the DHS a “kiss of death,” and other remarking it would be extremely difficult for Trump to get his America-first agenda running under a McCaul-led DHS.