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| Arizona |

Paul Gosar Defends Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theories as 'Open Discussion'

Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar has a history of supporting far-right, anti-Muslim activists.EXPAND
Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar has a history of supporting far-right, anti-Muslim activists.
Gage Skidmore/Flickr
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Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar is defending a local Republican women's group for hosting anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Carl Goldberg at its monthly meeting in Prescott Monday night.

After Phoenix New Times reported on the event, Gosar, who is from Prescott, called the piece “an attempt to discredit the discussion of GOP women of Yavapai.” He cited an “irrational fear of open discussion.”

In Goldberg's talk, which contained limited “discussion,” he claimed that “[Muslims] want to overtake our country and make this an Islamic country.” He told attendees, “Urge your county and state GOP chairman to take a public stand against the Muslim Brotherhood.”

An announcement promoting the event alleged that “Democrats work hand in hand with the Islamic supremacists.”

Gosar has a history of supporting far-right, anti-Muslim activists and of vilifying Muslims.

In July, he traveled to London for a rally to support Tommy Robinson, the jailed leader of an anti-Muslim group. In his remarks at that event, Gosar blamed a "scourge" of Muslim men for sexual abuse in Britain, calling them "disgusting and depraved."

At the time, the Arizona Republican Party declined to comment on Gosar's trip and comments.

It later emerged that Gosar's trip had been paid for by the far-right think tank Middle East Forum, which spent $9,517.73 on him, including $8,612 in travel expenses.

Local GOP officials, including the president of the local group, Yavapai County Republican Women, declined to comment on the event in Prescott. The Arizona Republican Party did not respond to several requests for comment for New Times' initial coverage of the event.

Dave Gosar, however – the congressman's brother, who, along five of his nine siblings have publicly condemned Paul – had a few thoughts:

"You have the gall to talk about 'irrational fear'?" Dave Gosar tweeted. "That's all you do, Wease, is scare your old voters so they vote against their own interests and help you cash out. All of you mice, there is a 0% chance that Muslims want to take over the US. What a bunch of pathetic mice!"

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