Anti-Muslim Activist Katharine Gorka Named to Homeland Security Transition Team

Gorka has complained that the Department of Homeland Security trains its agents — falsely, in her opinion — that Islam is a “religion of peace.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seal stands at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Katharine Gorka, a controversial national security analyst who specializes in discussing the threat posed by Muslims to the United States, has complained bitterly that the Department of Homeland Security trains its agents — falsely, in her opinion — that Islam is a “religion of peace.”

Now, Gorka will have a chance to help Donald Trump remake the department. On Tuesday, she was selected by Trump to be part of the DHS “landing team” that will meet with Obama’s DHS officials to manage the handoff to new leadership.

Gorka, the president of a think tank called the Council on Global Security and the president of Threat Knowledge Group, a consulting firm, is a well-known figure among anti-Muslim campaigners.

Gorka argues that defeating terrorism depends “upon our being able to call the enemy by its proper name: Global Jihadism.” She has pushed legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group and impose sanctions on its “affiliates, associated groups, or agents.”

The affiliated groups mentioned in the legislation include mainstream civil rights organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America.

Gorka also writes about Islam for Breitbart News, a website described by its former executive chairman Steve Bannon as a “platform” for the white supremacist “alt-right” movement. Bannon is one of Trump’s top advisers. In one 2014 column, Gorka wrote that when “Presidents Bush and Obama both publicly declared Islam to be a religion of peace,” it “struck a sour chord for many,” and that “American and Western leaders have preemptively shut down any debate within Islam by declaring that Islam is the religion of peace.”

In another column, she defended five members of Congress, including then-presidential candidate Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., who were widely denounced by their own party leaders for spreading conspiracy theories in 2012 after they accused a top Clinton aide of ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and called on President Obama to investigate.

Gorka claimed that the New York Times had “provided proof of Muslim Brotherhood influence” after it published an exposé on how Gulf-state monarchies were funding U.S. think tanks.

Katharine Gorka is married to Sebastian Gorka, another Breitbart contributor and former policy consultant to the Trump campaign. Sebastian Gorka has accused mainstream Muslim civil rights organizations like the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Council on American-Islamic Relations of using “subversive tactics” and having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Speaking to the Family Research Council in June, Sebastian Gorka called the religious profiling of Muslims “a synonym for common sense.” When asked by The Intercept about Trump, Sebastian said Trump “is no fan of political correctness, he knows we are at war, and he wants to win. And my golly gosh isn’t that a refreshing attitude!”

Top photo: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seal stands at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Correction: Nov. 30, 2016
An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the state Michelle Bachmann represented. She represented Minnesota.

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