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The 2016 election campaign was full of examples of that difference.

That book was titled American president, which was the book’s central message.

When Bolton’s White House appointment was announced, numerous commentators recalled that and other instances when he aligned himself with prominent anti-Muslim activists, including Frank Gaffney, the leading campaigner against the supposed Muslim conspiracy to replace the US constitution with sharia, or Islamic law.

To begin with, theof sharia as a kind of official manual, a comprehensive “legal-political-military doctrine” spelling out a single set of rules that all Muslims are bound to obey, is wildly inaccurate.

It bears no resemblance to the sharia thatin Muslims’ lives, a constantly evolving guide to moral principles, religious practice, and personal conduct not formulated in any one document but drawn from many interpretations by scholars and religious thinkers across the Muslim world — the exact opposite of the “totalitarian socio-political doctrine” that the anti-sharia movement says Muslim infiltrators want to impose on the United States.

His record of offensive (not to say unhinged) statements is regularly recirculated by advocacy groups and cited in local media when he turns up somewhere to conduct training or promote his consulting business.

Recently, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement retroactively denied accreditation to a seminar Guandolo gave in that state in early May,far from unique. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as other political leaders, strongly rejected war-on-Islam rhetoric, inflammatory material about Muslims turned up repeatedly in counterterrorism briefings and training materials for federal national security and public safety personnel as well as in programs for local agencies.A notable member of that club is former FBI agent John Guandolo, who tells audiences that America is “at war with Islam,” and that all versions of their faith require Muslims to wage “warfare against non-Muslims until the entire world is under Islamic law…in the United States, unlike other places of worship, are not protected by the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.In his words, they “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.” Guandolo — whose publicity implies that he was forced out of the FBI for trying to speak truth to power about Islam, but who actually resigned after the bureau learned he’d hadwith a witness in a case that had nothing to do with Islam or terrorism — is by no means universally accepted as a valid anti-terrorism expert.Gabriel, whose organization ACT for America is one of the most active and visible anti-Muslim groups in this country, has maintained longstanding and warm relations with various high-ranking political figures, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.In rhetoric that is very similar in tone and logic to that of the white nationalists, Gabriel argues that the people she disparages are not true Americans: “A practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day — this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.” Pompeo not only delivered speeches at ACT conferences while a member of Congress, but arranged for the group to give a presentation at the Capitol and, in 2016, received its highest award.These and a great many other examples point to a troubling but indisputable conclusion: politicians, other public figures, and public institutions in America may not get a completely free pass when linked to Islamophobic bigots, but they certainly get a reduced-fare ride. They have plenty of critics, but have nonetheless gained an influential voice in the public dialogue — and have much more credibility than they deserve, given that their arguments are largely premised on false logic and provably phony evidence.