File this one under: “of course”: Steve Bannon planned to make a three-part faux documentary about Muslim radicals taking over the US.
The outline shows how Bannon — years before he became a strategist for President Trump and helped draft last week’s order restricting travel from seven mostly Muslim countries — sought to issue a warning about the threat posed by radical Muslims and their “enablers among us.” Although driven by the “best intentions,” the outline says, institutions such as the media, the Jewish community and government agencies were appeasing jihadists aiming to create an Islamic republic.
The eight-page draft, written in 2007 during Bannon’s stint as a Hollywood filmmaker, proposes a three-part movie that would trace “the culture of intolerance” behind sharia law, examine the “Fifth Column” made up of “Islamic front groups” and identify the American enablers paving “the road to this unique hell on earth.”
The proposal is full of worn anti-Muslim tropes including suspiciously wealthy oil barons, a dangerous fifth column of crypto-Americans, and an array of allusions to Nazism:
The outline uses stark language to spell out the dangers posed by Islamist jihadists.
“The ideology is scary, and its ideologues will frighten small children as we bring to light an unbroken chain of ‘thinkers’ who epitomize the culture of hate,” the outline reads.
Part of the film would detail “the rise of a global holy war — financed by the cash flow of oil — to attack and destroy western civilization,” according to the outline.
The outline warns about “front groups and disingenuous Muslim Americans who preach reconciliation and dialogue in the open but, behind the scenes, advocate hatred and contempt for the West.”
It names the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America as examples of such “cultural jihadists.” After The Post’s revelation of the 2007 script, CAIR officials on Friday urged Republicans to call for Bannon’s dismissal, saying that he promoted “virulently anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.”
The proposal also lists other “enablers,” including The Post, the New York Times, NPR, “Universities and the Left,” the “American Jewish Community,” the ACLU, the CIA, the FBI, the State Department and the White House.
“The road to the establishment of an Islamic Republic in the United States starts slowly and subtly with the loss of the will to win,” the outline reads. “The road to this unique hell on earth is paved with the best intentions from our major institutions. This political/accommodation/appeasement approach is not simply a function of any one individual’s actions but lies at the heart of our most important cultural and political institutions.”
Inventing a dystopian “Islamic States of America” is hardly a fresh idea. Plenty of similar alarmist fantasies have circulated in Europe over the centuries, the most notable in recent years being Houellebecq’s Submission.
It’s also not like we needed additional evidence to be convinced of Bannon’s white nationalism.
But it certainly provides more context for the administration’s essential misreading of the Quebec mosque attack. The shooting of six Muslim men by a white supremacist was quickly spun into a justification for the Muslim ban:
“We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday afternoon. “It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be pro-active, rather re-active, when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.”
That vigilance clearly does not extend to protecting Muslims in our own communities. Trump’s quick response to the Louvre attack that boosts his own clash-of-civilizations narrative is a stark contrast to the continued lack of comment on the need to address Islamophobia and other rising racist attitudes which culminate in violence and terror.