The Heritage Foundation hosted a Benghazi panel on Monday that took a turn for the worse when a Muslim law student asked the panel a question about their portrayal of Islam as universally bad. Their answers, detailed in Dana Milbank's Washington Post column, quickly turned introduced a comparison to Nazi Germany.
As Milbank notes, the panelists' intense, angry response to a question from the "soft-spoken" student — along with the standing ovation it triggered from the crowd — was something of an "unexpected turn" to the panel. However, it is perhaps not so surprising when you know that two of the Foundation's panelists were Brigitte Gabriel of ACT! for America, and Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy. Gabriel is a prominent anti-Sharia activist who is a regular commentator on Fox News. Gaffney is one of the architects of a conservative approach to national security that advocates for the profiling and surveillance of Muslim Americans.
Here's a video of the relevant segment, lifted from Heritage's livestream of the panel (via Media Matters):
Gaffney himself often takes a soft tone when responding to accusations that his ideas are bigoted or dangerous. In the video, he speaks first after American University law student Saba Ahmed asks the panel to address "how can we fight an ideological war with weapons," and questioned the panel's portrayal of Islam as inherently bad. Gaffney, as he often does, makes a distinction between "moderate" and "bad" Muslims. However, his argument includes the implication that the "moderate" Muslims would become radicalized if they were simply more devout to their own religion. In other words, it's a complicated and subtle response, but it still does the thing that Ahmed's question criticizes: Gaffney's approach to combating terrorism involves the assumption that any follower of Islam is uniquely suspect.