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$42 Million From Seven Foundations Helped Fuel The Rise Of Islamophobia In America

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A very interesting report on the funding of the anti-Muslim movement. It is unfortunate that despite a few citations there is scant mention of our taking the haters on day in and day out for over two years.

REPORT: $42 Million From Seven Foundations Helped Fuel The Rise Of Islamophobia In America

By Faiz Shakir on Aug 26, 2011 at 9:30 am

Following a six-month long investigative research project, the Center for American Progress released a 130-page report today which reveals that more than $42 million from seven foundations over the past decade have helped fan the flames of anti-Muslim hate in America. The authors — Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matt Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and myself — worked to expose the Islamophobia network in depth, name the major players, connect the dots, and trace the genesis of anti-Muslim propaganda.

The report, titled “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America,” lifts the veil behind the hate, follows the money, and identifies the names of foundations who have given money, how much they have given, and who they have given to:

The money has flowed into the hands of five key “experts” and “scholars” who comprise the central nervous system of anti-Muslim propaganda:

FRANK GAFFNEY, Center for Security Policy – “A mosque that is used to promote a seditious program, which is what Sharia is…that is not a protected religious practice, that is in fact sedition.” [Source]

DAVID YERUSHALMI, Society of Americans for National Existence: “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization…the Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.” [Source]

DANIEL PIPES, Middle East Forum: “All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.” [Source]

ROBERT SPENCER, Jihad Watch: “Of course, as I have pointed out many times, traditional Islam itself is not moderate or peaceful. It is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.” [Source]

STEVEN EMERSON, Investigative Project on Terrorism: “One of the world’s great religions — which has more than 1.4 billion adherents — somehow sanctions genocide, planned genocide, as part of its religious doctrine.” [Source]

These five “scholars” are assisted in their outreach efforts by Brigitte Gabriel (founder, ACT! for America), Pamela Geller (co-founder, Stop Islamization of America), and David Horowitz (supporter of Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch). As the report details, information is then disseminated through conservative organizations like the Eagle Forum, the religious right, Fox News, and politicians such as Allen West and Newt Gingrich.

Over the past few years, the Islamophobia network (the funders, scholars, grassroots activists, media amplifiers, and political validators) have worked hard to push narratives that Obama might be a Muslim, that mosques are incubators of radicalization, and that “radical Islam” has infiltrated all aspects of American society — including the conservative movement.

To explain how the Islamophobia network operates, we’ve produced this video to show just one example of how they have mainstreamed the baseless and unfounded fear that Sharia may soon replace American laws:

*We published this piece earlier but took it down for technical reasons.

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  • Brett Gasper

    LOL – This isn’t a phobia. After September 11, 2001, many people heard Osama bin Laden speak of Islam. Some said bin Laden hijacked a peaceful religion others said Islam is violent, fascist and barbaric.

    Many of us turned to the Qur’an, Haditha and Sirat to find out for ourselves. We know that after 622 CE Mohammed was violent in the Ghazwah and Siryah – bent on conquest and urging his followers to wage jihad.

    If Jihad was simply to promote good and forbid evil nobody would have a problem with it – but in the Qur’an and Haditha, jihad is always associated with a bloodbath.

    The Muslim Brotherhood has said it themselves that they understand the “Grand Jihad” to be nothing less than “destroying western civilation from within”.

    The “moderate” Muslim groups like the MSA has hosted the likes of Anwar al Awlaki, leader of Al Qaeda on the Arab Peninsula and idealogue of the Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan.

    Did Osama bin Laden do an Islamicly correct thing? Yes… unless you prefer to lie to me and tell me that the writings in the Quran is wrong.

    Is Islam a peaceful religion? No Mohammed was a conqueror.

    If you are peaceful – you are Christian.. not Muslim.
    Muslims are either violent or shirk.

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  • Politics

    Meet An Islamophobia Network Funder: The Varet And Rosenwald Family
    By Eli Clifton on Sep 2, 2011

    According to a 2007 New York Jewish Week article, Elizabeth Varet, who chairs the Anchorage Charitable Fund and serves as vice-president at the William Rosenwald Family Fund, gained inspiration for her philanthropy from her father, William Rosenwald, who she says:

    …was driven by an empathy for people at risk — people who were suffering — “and a feeling of ‘there but for the grace of God go I.’ And he believed in acting on it.”

    Indeed, the Anchorage Fund engages in a broad array of philanthropy to various right-wing institutions such as the: Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD); Hoover Institution; Hudson Institute, America Enterprise Institute; and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

    Additional board members of the Anchorage Charitable Fund include Michael A. Varet, Sarah R. Varet, David R. Varet, and Joseph R. Varet.

    In the 2008 tax year, the Anchorage Fund “suffered a complete loss of its investment through PJ Administrator LLC,” according to its 2008 tax filings. PJ Administrator was a client of Bernie Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme collapsed in 2008.

    Charitable activity from both Varet related foundations has significantly decreased since 2008 but it’s safe to say that the Islamophobia network described in Fear Inc., wouldn’t have become such a formidable force without the deep-pocketed support of family foundations like the ones operated by the heirs to Julius Rosenwald’s Sears Roebuck fortune.


  • Top Ten Right-Wing Responses To CAP’s Islamophobia
    Report: ‘Cowards,’ ‘Straight Out of Mein Kampf,’ ‘A Pile Of Dung’

    By Eli Clifton on Sep 1, 2011

    The Center for American Progress’s new report, “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America” is receiving a positive welcome from neutral observers as journalists and pundits pore over the 139-page exposé on the U.S. Islamophobia network.

    The report’s authors have appeared on, Al Jazeera English, Current TV, and numerous radio interviews. Print media outlet such as The Jewish Daily Forward, The Atlantic,, The Washington Post and The Nation have all run articles discussing the report’s findings.

    Unfortunately, that accuracy and thorougness has proven a challenge for many of the Islamophobes mentioned in the report. With no serious factual errors with which to attack the authors, they’ve fallen back on attacking straw men and offering vitriolic, if at times colorful, ad hominem attacks.

    Here’s the top ten list of right-wing responses to “Fear, Inc.”

    read more here

  • Meet An Islamophobia Network Donor: The Lynde And Harry Bradley Foundation

    By Eli Clifton on Aug 30, 2011

    As a key funder in the Islamophobia network, the Bradley Foundation contributed $4.25 million to the David Horowitz Freedom Center, $815,000 to Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy and $305,000 to Daniel Pipes’s Middle East Forum.

    When not funding some of the key groups responsible for propagating misinformation about Muslim-Americans, the Bradley Foundation uses its financial resources to promote a militarist foreign policy, most notably through their $1.2 million in support for the Project for the New American Century, a highly influential group which helped promote a neoconservative foreign policy during the Bush administration.

    Indeed, the Bradley Foundation has played an instrumental role in bringing neoconservatives into the halls of power in Washington. Irving Kristol, one of the movement’s key intellectuals, commented that AEI’s efforts to recruit neoconservatives in the 1970s and 1980s was “facilitated by the appearance on the scene of a rejuvenated Bradley Foundation and John M. Olin Foundation.”

    The foundation also generously supports various right-wing institutions such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the American Enterprise Institute, the Federalist Society, the Hoover Institution, the Institute for American Values and the Hudson Institute.

    read more here

  • Countering the Islamaphobia network
    August 31st, 2011

    Editor’s Note: Faiz Shakir is a Vice President at the Center for American Progress and serves as Editor-in-Chief of He was one of the co-authors of a recent Center for American Progress repot entitled, Fear, Inc. The roots of the Islamaphobia network in America.

    By Faiz Shakir, Special to CNN

    Shortly after 9/11, Daniel Pipes – a part-time Middle East scholar and full-time critic of Islam – felt emboldened. “I have a lot to say,” he declared. “This is my moment.”

    For years, Pipes had been attempting to scare Americans about the presence of Islam. 9/11 was a tragedy for the nation; for Pipes, it was a long-sought opportunity to push an argument that “a state of war exists” between Islam and the West. Over the past decade, Pipes and a small network of inter-connected anti-Muslim organizers appear to be succeeding in their efforts to cast aspersions of the loyalties of Muslim Americans.

    read more here

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