CONSERVATIVES AND GAYS AND MUSLIMS — OH MY…. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), arguably the nation’s largest annual right-wing gathering, kicks off in about a month. Under normal circumstances, the buzz would be about the speakers’ list and the size of the crowd.

And that would make sense. This should be an especially big year for CPAC — emboldened Republican Party leaders will be on hand to boast about their right-wing agenda, and a legion of likely presidential candidates will be on hand to kiss the base’s ring. The turnout should be huge.

But some prominent conservatives have decided to skip the party. About a week ago, several prominent religious right organizations, including the Family Research Council, announced they would not participate because organizers agreed to allow a gay Republican group to be part of the event.

This week, far-right critics of CPAC have decided to move in a more creative direction.

Incensed over the participation of the conservative gay-rights group GOProud in the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, far-right activists are now trying to connect the major conservative event to the Muslim Brotherhood. The American Conservative Union (ACU), which hosts CPAC, has been the target of Religious Right groups and leaders over their handling of GOProud’s involvement, with Joseph Farah even calling for conservatives to “purge” the ACU from the movement. […]

Now, the conservative news site WorldNetDaily, a major cheerleader for the groups boycotting CPAC, is giving right wing activist Frank Gaffney a platform to charge the ACU with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamist group. […]

Gaffney outlines a theory that since the ACU is allowing the leader of an organization known as Muslims for America, a conservative group with ties to the GOP, to participate in CPAC, the ACU is supporting a “stealthy effort to bring Shariah” to America.

I wish I could say this is some sort of parody, but it’s not. Some fairly prominent right-wing voices seriously want conservatives to believe the preeminent far-right event of the year, with appearances from Republican leaders and the nation’s most prominent conservative leaders, has been “infiltrated” by Muslim radicals.

The mind reels.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.