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Thursday, February 25, 2021

CPAC speaker called out for anti-Muslim sentiments, and that's only scratching the surface of this year's spectacle

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 12:42 PM

  • Photo curtesy ThePersistance/Twitter
  • Scott Presler
Another speaker on the lineup for the conservative mega-gathering CPAC is getting some unwelcome spotlight for anti-Muslim statements and activity, and this is only scratching the surface of the extreme ideologies being trotted out at this week's event in Orlando.

On Tuesday, civil rights organization the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on CPAC organizers to remove Scott Presler from their conference lineup.

CAIR points out that Presler had been involved with "ACT for America" from 2017-2018 as an organizer. The Southern Poverty Law Center has characterized that organization as "an anti-Muslim hate group because it pushes wild anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, denigrates American Muslims and deliberately conflates mainstream and radical Islam."

More recently, Presler was in Washington, D.C., for the Stop the Steal rally and even called the Jan. 6 insurrection the “largest civil rights protest in American history.”

Preslar is scheduled to participate in a group session on Saturday afternoon titled, ironically, "Front Porch Politics: How to Talk About Issues Without Starting a Back Alley Brawl."

“CPAC organizers should immediately drop anti-Muslim activist Scott Presler, who has actively worked to promote conspiracy theories about American Muslims and Islam,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw. “Presler’s reported role in supporting the January 6 insurrection is enough to disqualify him from being offered a credible speaking platform.”

CAIR's condemnation of Presler follows on the heels of CPAC itself canceling an appearance by online commentator Young Pharaoh at their "America Uncanceled"-themed conference after Media Matters unearthed multitudes of anti-Semitic comments and tweets.

Presler and Young Pharaoh aren't in the least outliers on the CPAC 2021 roster. Putting aside the speakers who are elected members of congress who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election — like Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Josh Hawley, Rep. Matt Gaetz and Rep. Jim Jordan — or are QAnon enthusiasts like Rep. Lauren Boebert or anti-maskers like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, the lineup is a rogues gallery of conspiracy theorists, COVID-deniers and enthusiastic proponents of Trump's election lies.

A random sampling of the featured guests at this year's event include Wayne Dupree, who claimed that Sandy Hook was a false flag operation and a "hoax"; Trump campaign advisor David Bossie, who for a short time led Trump's failed post-election legal efforts to contest the 2020 election results (and immediately tested positive for COIVD-19); Shelley Luther, who was briefly jailed after loudly ignoring a court order to close her Salon À la Mode during lockdown in Texas (and gave Ted Cruz a haircut, naturally); and former acting attorney general and "masculine toilet" scammer Matthew Whitaker. (Not to mention James O'Keefe!)

The Orlando Sentinel's editorial board on Wednesday summed up CPAC as a "political clown car" careening down I-Drive. Beep beep.

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