As you've surely heard, President Donald Trump's national security advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned under pressure late last night (February 13). In his exit letter, the former general admitted that he had "inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information" about phone conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Flynn and the diplomat, Sergey Kislyak, reportedly discussed sanctions that outgoing president Barack Obama had leveled against Russia for election-tampering then lied about it. Compounding the scandal are reports that Sally Yates, the acting attorney general whom Trump fired for not enforcing his Muslim ban, and two other Obama officials warned Trump's camp last month that Flynn's potentially illegal actions made him vulnerable to blackmail.
Flynn, a former Democrat and three-star general who worked for the Obama administration until he was fired for insubordination, infamously led anti-Clinton "lock her up" chants at Trump rallies. But the race story here is a remarkable (since deleted) tweet that the Flynn wrote in February 2016:
Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth fears no questions... https://t.co/NLIfKFD9lU
— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) February 27, 2016
The wording of Flynn's tweet comes directly from the title of a conservative propaganda video called "Fear of Muslims is Rational." The dramatic clip purports to lay out the "Basics of Islam." Then, with the rhythm and repetition of an incantation, a narrator lists dozens of Islamist attacks throughout history while graphic photos of carnage flash across the screen. The nearly six-minute video goes on to wholly malign a faith that an estimated 1.6 billion people worldwide practice:
Think of it:
Hindus living with Jews = No Problem
Baha'is living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Atheists = No Problem
Sikhs living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Baha'is = No Problem
Christians living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Buddhists = No Problem
Shintos living with Atheists = No Problem
Buddhists living with Sikhs = No Problem
Baha'is living with Christians = No Problem
Buddhists living with Shintos = No Problem
Buddhists living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Christians = Only a rare problem.
Atheists living with Buddhists = No Problem
-- living with Hindus = No Problem
Atheists living with Confucians = No Problem
Muslims living with Jews = Problem
Muslims living with Sikhs = Problem
Muslims living with Hindus = Problem
Muslims living with Baha'is = Problem
Muslims living with Shintos = Problem
Muslims living with Atheists = Problem
Muslims living with Buddhists = Problem
Muslims living with Christians = Problem
MUSLIMS LIVING WITH MUSLIMS = VERY BIG PROBLEM
This video might be laughable if a powerful Trump operative hadn't encouraged the American public to forward it the way your grandmom does discount codes and "Pay it Forward!" e-cards.
But the influence of Flynn—who wrote a bestselling book about Islam's supposed "world war" against freedom—is no laughing matter. The former national security adviser is like a cartoon villain, but one who had very real power to wreak havoc on billions of people of all faiths. all based his myopic view of the second biggest religion in the world.