Meet Frank Gaffney, the anti-Muslim gadfly reportedly advising Donald Trump’s transition team

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that amid the Trump transition team shuffle, Frank Gaffney had been brought in to help advise on security issues. (On Wednesday, the Trump team denied Gaffney was advising the transition, but would not confirm or deny whether he’d spoken with Trump this week.) Last year, we took a closer look at the former Reagan official’s controversial career:

In June 2009, shortly after President Obama wrapped up his visits to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the Washington Times ran an opinion piece suggesting that the newly inaugurated president might be the first to be a Muslim.

It starts slowly, saying that Obama might be the “first Muslim president” in the same sense that Bill Clinton was once dubbed the “first black president” — which is to say that he’s not Muslim, he’s just sympathetic to the community. But a few paragraphs later, that conceit evaporates.

“With Mr. Obama’s unbelievably ballyhooed address in Cairo Thursday to what he calls ‘the Muslim world’,” columnist Frank Gaffney wrote, “there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.” That evidence? Obama referred to the “Holy Koran.” He said he knew about Islam. And he used the phrase “peace be upon them” when mentioning Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Obama, Gaffney wrote, was engaged in “the most consequential bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler duped Neville Chamberlain over Czechoslovakia at Munich.”

CNN’s Chris Cuomo, confronting Trump about the proposal on Tuesday, told Trump that CNN “wouldn’t even put that poll on the air. It’s a hack organization with a guy who was dismissed from the conservative circles for conspiracy theories. You know that.” (Trump disagreed.)

Muslim and Christian make new Quran translation to show the two religions’ similarities

A Muslim and a Christian have made a new translation of the Quran to underline the similarities between their two religions.

The authors, who are also friends, said they hoped the text would provide “a tool of reconciliation” between Christians and Muslims.

Some 3,000 parallels between the Bible and Quran are demonstrated in the book, which has a split-page format.

Safi Kaskas, the Muslim co-author of the new book, said in a statement: “Most of the tension that exists in the West in the post-9/11 era is because Christians fear Muslims and their book, the Quran.

“This new translation was designed to be a tool of reconciliation between Muslims and the followers of other Abrahamic religions [Christianity and Judaism].

“In an environment of tension, working for reconciliation and peace is long overdue. If we are to prevent a much larger disaster from happening, we must work for a better understanding.”

He said some translations had wrongly given the impression Islam was intolerant of other faiths, saying this was not an accurate interpretation of the holy text.

Mr Kaskas started the project with Dr David Hungerford, a Christian, 10 years ago. The book is part of a project by Bridges to Common Ground, an organisation that aims to reduce Islamophobic attitudes among Christians.

Dr Hungerford said: “We hope this translation will lead people to understand that while there are differences between Islam and Christianity, there is also a tremendous bridge between Muslims and Christians.”

There are more than 100 mentions of Jesus in the text – who is known as Esa in the Quran.

“In today’s society, no one talks about this common ground among the Abrahamic faiths, much of which is centered around the person of Jesus of Nazareth,” Dr Hungerford added.