Muslim civil rights group asks Naval Academy alumni association to drop speaker

The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights group has called for the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association to cancel a scheduled speech by a Texas-based security professional it calls an “anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist.”

John Guandolo, a 1989 graduate of the Naval Academy, former FBI agent and frequent commentator on what he has described as “the Global Muslim Movement,” is slated to address a chapter of the alumni group at a luncheon in San Diego on Feb. 21.

The alumni group chapter describes Guandolo on its website as ”a powerful, dynamic and highly credible speaker.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations disagrees, calling Guandolo “an infamous Islamophobe” who has made unsupported claims against a wide range of Muslim-Americans and others.

It’s not the first time CAIR has opposed an appearance by Guandolo, a former U.S. Marine. In January, Trevecca Nazarene University in Tennessee canceled a scheduled presentation by Guandolo after CAIR voiced its opposition. The Amherst County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia did the same with a scheduled speech by Chris Gaubatz, a Guandolo employee.

Gaubatz is a vice president at Understanding The Threat, the Dallas-based company Guandolo founded to provide “strategic and operational threat-focused” training to law enforcement and others interested in countering what he calls as a network of militant jihadists in the U.S.

Guandolo frequently cites the claim that CAIR itself supports terrorism, an assertion the group has repeatedly denied. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

Recent speakers in the San Diego chapter’s luncheon series have included a retired rear admiral and an administrator of the Naval Academy athletic department.

Alumni association officials did not respond to requests for comment.

jonpitts@baltsun.com

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