Bannon hates Muslims.
Although he has a long history of making inflammatory statements about what he calls “Islamic fascism,” and he was an architect of the ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries, Bannon is not reflexively anti-Muslim. His nationalist philosophy is built upon ideas drawn from a personal guru of sorts, René Guénon, an early-20th-century French metaphysician who was raised Roman Catholic, practiced occultism and Freemasonry, and later became a Sufi Muslim and observed sharia. Guénon is the intellectual godfather of a movement known as Traditionalism, many of whose followers converted to Islam because they believed that it was the path to esoteric knowledge lost to the West (though he admires Guénon, Bannon is a Tridentine Catholic).
Guénon’s philosophy is built upon the belief that the world has been in decline since the Enlightenment and is now in the midst of a “dark age” — a theme Bannon has echoed and channeled into Trump’s politics and speeches. As Guénon wrote in 1924, he wished to “restore to the West an appropriate traditional civilization.” Trump’s tweets Wednesday saying that transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the military was a gesture in this direction — and a gesture Bannon supported.