Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller launched anti-Muslim project while in college

Stephen Miller, White House senior adviser for policy, arrives to a county sheriff listening session with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Feb. 7, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
Source: Pool/Getty Images
Stephen Miller, White House senior adviser for policy, arrives to a county sheriff listening session with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Feb. 7, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
Source: Pool/Getty Images

Apparently, President Donald Trump's senior adviser Stephen Miller has been spewing anti-Muslim rhetoric since college.

Miller, who is one of the architects of Trump's Muslim ban, co-launched the controversial "Terrorism Awareness Project" in the spring semester of 2007 during his senior year at Duke University, CNN reported on Wednesday. Miller served as co-founder, president and national campus coordinator of the project. The initiative's mission was to inform students about the dangers of "Islamofascism," which is a term coined in 1933 to draw a comparison between Islamist movements and European fascism.

The group was created with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center deemed as an anti-Muslim extremist group. The right-wing group's mission is to fight "the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values and disarm this country as it attempts to defend itself in a time of terror."

According to the Terrorism Awareness Project blog, Miller wrote that left-wing college campuses failed to educate and warn students about the global threat of "Islamofascism" infiltrating academic and higher education institutions.

"Gripped by complacency and the omnipresent force of political correctness, our nation has failed to educate our youth about the holy war being waged against us and what needs to be done to defeat the Jihadists that are waging this war," Miller wrote, according to CNN. "American kids attend school in an educational system corrupted by the hard left. In this upside-down world, America is the villain and Jihadists the victims of our foreign policy. Instead of opening eyes, we are fastening blindfolds."

Miller's Terrorism Awareness Project hosted anti-Muslim film screenings and discussions, ran Islamophobic ads, as well as provided posters with the intention to bring awareness to "the Islamic jihad and the terrorist threat, and to mobilize support for the defense of America and the civilization of the West." Miller also collaborated with Robert Spencer, whom SPLC designated as an anti-Muslim extremist, to run an ad for college newspapers across the country without much success. Newspapers refused to run the ad.

One of the project's more popular events was "Islamofascism Awareness Week," which was held on college campuses across the country. According to CNN, one of the posters promoting the initiative featured a photo of the Taliban executing a woman.

David Horowitz, the founder of the right-wing group that launched the project, told CNN he doesn't remember Miller's involvement in the initiative — despite that he authored several posts for the blog. Horowitz also said he's known Miller since high school and recommended him to former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) where Miller served as press secretary.

"I know that he admires my work," Horowitz told CNN when asked if Miller's views on Islam have transformed. "As many normal people do."

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Sarah A. Harvard

Sarah is a staff writer covering religion, race and politics. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, Slate, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, and VICE. Send tips and feedback: sharvard@mic.com

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