Citizens for National Security (CFNS) is a Florida-based Islamophobic organization. The organization has been less active in recent years, for instance, in mid-2017 the organization’s web page on “Capitol Hill Activity” featured only a single reference to a bill from the previous Congressional session. Despite this, CFNS hosted then Trump advisor and later White House staffer Sebastian Gorka in late 2016.
According to the organization, American classrooms are a “breeding ground for home-grown terrorism” because basic information about Islam is being presented to students. Its report on Islam in Florida classrooms CFNS objects to classroom instruction pertaining to the faith solely because it is not Christian-centric. CFNS identifies Muslims as “Islamics,” an inaccurate term no one uses.
The group organizes taskforces, including one to identify “Islamic businesses” and another to “determine the extent of Islamic influence” on Florida educational programs.
CFNS believes that “fifth column” Muslims control “mainstream Muslim organizations” and are “trying to take over the United States.” To advance this theory, the organization issues wild allegations and ignores facts that undermine the group’s pre-determined conclusions. For example, in a 2013 report it accused a mainstream Muslim organization, which has never been charged with any crime, of having “prior knowledge” of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Citizens for National Security (CFNS) is a Florida-based Islamophobic organization that files its tax returns as Friends of Intelligence Practitioners.
In 2010, the Broward-Palm Beach New Times reported that CFNS chairman William A Saxton asserted his belief, unsupported by facts, “that a Wall Street computer glitch that sent the Dow plummeting 1,000 points was ‘a test’ by terrorist organizations.”
In a video published in early 2016, CFNS presenter Dr. Gary Newman asserts that “American classrooms” with “American teachers” using “American text books” are a “breeding ground for home-grown terrorism.” Newman goes on to falsefully claim that the Boston Marathon bombers were radicalized and indoctrinated by textbooks used in their Cambridge, Mass. high school.
The group believes that informing students about what Muslims believe “de-legitimizes Christianity and Judaism.” Its 2012 report, “Corrections to Islam-Biased Content in Florida’s K-12 Textbooks,” criticizes the textbook People, Places, and Change (2005) for the line, “During the era of Roman control, a Jewish man named Jesus…taught that faith and love were more important than Judaism’s many laws.” CFN’s objection to this passage is, “The quote suggest [sic] that Jesus is a mere teacher when [sic] the Bible says He is Divine.”
In an announcement of a separate textbook review, “Corrections” report co-author Bill Korach wrote, “One passage actually blasphemes the Bible: ‘…Sarah’s fortunes changed, and she bore a son, Isaac.’” According to Korach, “The phrase blasphemes Biblical teaching and faith. In Genesis 18: 10-14, the first book of the Bible, God promises that Sarah, then 90 years old, would bear a son and his name would be Isaac. Sarah at first did not believe that she could bear a child at that age, but God assured her that with Him anything was possible. The textbook statement reduces this event to chance. It was God’s promise, not fortune.”
In its 2012 report the group also calls Muslims “Islamics,” an inaccurate term no one uses. One passage states, “agenda-based advocates in Florida, including Islamics, [have] opportunities at two levels – and in school libraries – to influence decisions that lead to getting their favored textbooks in front of K-12 public school students.” At another place the report states, “Islamics have spread their faith mostly by the sword through conquest. Muslims felt that infidels would be subject to Muslim law or that infidels would simply be killed.”
CFNS is divided into six taskforces. Of these, taskforce 4 is charged with identifying “‘Islamic’ businesses, social and religious organizations, schools, etc. throughout North America.” Taskforce 6 examines “Florida K-12 public school programs to determine the extent of Islamic influence on curricula, student clubs, joint school/community projects, etc.” This process includes identifying “names and backgrounds of administrators and teachers responsible for initiating, promoting or influencing Islamic student groups.”
In 2011, former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) hosted CFNS on Capitol Hill where it offered a conspiracy-theory laden presentation to “warn Americans about ‘fifth column’ Muslims who it said are pulling the strings of mainstream Muslim organizations and trying to take over the United States.”
The group’s report Council on American-Islamic Relations: its use of Lawfare and Intimidation is full of wild allegations and a convenient disregard of the facts.
For instance, CFNS alleges that CAIR may have had “prior knowledge” of the 9/11 attacks due to “an as yet unexplained anomalous gap in visitors to [the organization’s Capitol Hill headquarters] for two weeks prior to and immediately after the 2001 Muslim terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC.” Any objective observer will recognize that, if true, such information would have resulted in massive media coverage and prosecution.
Another example of the report’s convenient disregard for facts is found in its heavy citation of false allegations against CAIR from a lawsuit filed by the family of former FBI agent John O’Neil. The report fails to mention that the allegations contained in the lawsuit did not possesses any substance, and that the O’Neil’s family agreed not to appeal the trial court’s rejection of their claim against CAIR in 2012. Given that the report is copyrighted 2013, an unbiased author would have included such significant information discrediting a key source
Another example of the report’s convenient disregard for facts is found in its heavy citation of false allegations against CAIR from a lawsuit filed by the family of former FBI agent John O’Neil. The report fails to mention that the allegations contained in the lawsuit did not possesses any substance, and that the O’Neil’s family agreed not to appeal the trial court’s rejection of their claim against CAIR in 2012. Given that the report is copyrighted 2013, an unbiased author would have included such significant information discrediting a key source.