Steve Bannon once tried to make a film arguing that Islamists were trying to take over the U.S.

Bannon's film idea was to expose the "fundamental clash of civilizations"

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published February 3, 2017 5:17PM (EST)

 (Evan Vucci)
(Evan Vucci)

Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart executive who currently serves as President Donald Trump's chief strategist, once tried to make a documentary-style film arguing that militant Islamists were trying to take over the United States.

Called "Destroying the Great Satan: The Rise of Islamic Facism [sic] in America," the eight-page draft discussed a three-part movie that purported to uncover "the road to this unique hell on earth," according to a report by The Washington Post. It would have opened with a shot of an American flag above Capitol Hill with a crescent and star while the legislators inside chanted "Allahu Akbar." The goal would have been to expose the "fundamental clash of civilizations" between the Western world and "supremacist" Islam.

"The road to the establishment of an Islamic Republic in the United States starts slowly and subtly with the loss of the will to win," the outline said. "The road to this unique hell on earth is paved with the best intentions from our major institutions. This political/accommodation/appeasement approach is not simply a function of any one individual’s actions but lies at the heart of our most important cultural and political institutions."

Bannon's draft argued that there were "front groups and disingenuous Muslim Americans who preach reconciliation and dialogue in the open but, behind the scenes, advocate hatred and contempt for the West." These included the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, who are unwittingly abetted by "enablers" including academia, political leftists, American Jews, the ACLU, mainstream media outlets like The New York Times and NPR, and various government agencies like the State Department and FBI.

Some of the themes described in the proposed film wound up making their way, coincidentally or otherwise, into a last-minute campaign ad released by the conservative political group Secure America Now shortly before the 2016 presidential election. In addition to showing an American flag distorted with Arabic script, it also featured the Hollywood sign substituted with a sign reading "Allahu Akbar," the Statue of Liberty covered by a burqa, and the sound of schoolchildren reciting "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the Islamic States of America and to our caliphate for which it stands, one nation under Allah with liberty and justice for men only."


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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