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Factsheet: Katharine Gorka

Published on 29 Jul 2017

IMPACT: Katharine Gorka has a history of promoting anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and now serves as a policy advisor in the Department of Homeland Security.

Katharine Gorka is a national security analyst who serves as a policy adviser in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She previously served on the “landing team” for the Trump administration’s DHS transition team. Her husband, Sebastian Gorka, served as the Deputy Assistant to President Trump.

Gorka founded and served as president of the now-closed Council on Global Security think-tank. Additionally, she founded and led Threat Knowledge Group consulting firm, which provided “counter terrorism” training for the U.S. government and military.

Before joining the Trump administration, Gorka was a contributor to Breitbart, where she has argued that there must be something in “Islam” that would “explain the behavior of some Muslims.” She claimed that understanding this will be the “most important weapon in the ever-escalating battle between the West and ISIS.” Gorka adheres to the common claim made by anti-Muslim activists that Islam is an inherently violent religion.

In another Breitbart article, Gorka warned of the dangers that come with adopting “Sharia-compliant banking” in Western countries, focusing on England, as it “weakens their [Muslims’] ties to the non-Muslim community,” and thus creates a “parallel society.” Gorka went on to claim that “Islamic finance” has “chauvinist and supremacist” origins and would “strengthen Muslim identity,” which could be a “recipe for disaster” for Britain.

Gorka has advocated an “ideological war” with the “Islamists.” (“Islamist” is a term for an Islamic political or social activist. As experts have noted, it has in the media become a “catch-all for everything from politically active Muslims” to Muslim militants. Those who work for anti-Muslim groups often used to cast suspicion on Muslims.)

In 2014, she supported legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood,  a political party in a number of countries in the Middle East, a terrorist group, and impose sanctions on its “affiliates, associated groups, or agents.” Anti-Muslim groups and those who run them, like Frank Gaffney and his Center for Security Policy (CSP), have advocated for this designation as well. The legislation named mainstream U.S. Muslim organizations, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), as Muslim Brotherhood groups. Gorka herself has claimed CAIR is one of these “front groups.”  She has stated that the “Muslim Brotherhood,” is “both threatening regional stability in the Middle East and aspires to make the United States a Muslim nation.”

In a 2013 lecture, Gorka claimed without evidence that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations (UN) with a membership of 57 states — was the “headquarters” of the enemy of the West.

Gorka was the co-editor of Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism, a volume of essays highlighting the “Islamist threat” to the United States written by individuals including Gorka’s husband, Sebastian Gorka, and Dr. John Lenczowski, who previously served on CSP’s National Security Council. She argues that defeating terrorism requires “our being able to call the enemy by its proper name: Global Jihadism.”

In 2014, Gorka publicly defended Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and four other congress members who in 2012 claimed without evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated the U.S. government, and who accused Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides, of having ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Republican John McCain (R-AZ) denounced such claims calling them “sinister,” and the US State Department responded to the allegations against Abedin as “vicious and disgusting lies.”

Deeply critical of the Obama administration, Gorka wrote in 2014 that the Department of Homeland Security was wrong to emphasize that Islam is a “religion of peace.” In a 2013 article for the Westminster Institute, which she helped establish in 2009, Gorka argued that “constitutions based on Islam” “codify” the “principles of inequality and oppression.”

Last updated July 26, 2017