Sunday, August 28, 2011

The promotion of islamophobia in the US

Tape composed by the Center for American Progress to illustrate how it works. The video consists of fragments of  people warning against the so called 'danger that sharia becomes law in America'.

Do we know who are the people that promote islamophobia in the United States? (From where it spread to  other western countries?) Yes, we know.  It is in fact a rather small bunch of people and who they are has been common knowledge for quite some time. Also the impact of their activities is not unknown. In september 2010 a poll by the Washington Post/ABC News showed that 49% of Americans have an unfavourable view of islam, up from 39% in 2002. But who is funding the islamophobes was not so clear. We assumed that it could be quite profitable to be in their camp. But exactly how profitable was anybody's guess.
Till now. The Center for American Progress dug into it and released a 130 page report about the flow of money, and how it is being distributed. The total amount that was involved in the last decade was USD 42,7  million. The origin of this money was a couple of .foundations, charities, like there exist many in the US. And the receivers are also just a couple of institutions: Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Daniel Pipes of The Middle East Forum, David Horowitz of the Freedom Center, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, David Spencer's Jihad Watch, the Clarion Fund, and a lesser known Security Educationd and Research Foundation.
Most of the above names are the usual suspects. New is that the money has been traced. The Center for American Progress writes in its report that most of the money goes to five 'experts' or 'scholars'. They are the ones whose names I wrote in italics. To them the name of David Yerushalmi of the Society of Americans for National Existence has to be added.
These so called  experts are assisted by people who help them spread the message. These are - among others - David Horowitz of the Freedom Centre (who funds Spencer's Jihad Watch),  Brigitte Gabriel of the American Congres for Truth, and Pamela Geller of  'Stop the Islamization of America' and the blog 'Atlas Shruggs', These people disseminate the information through conservative organisations, politicians and news channels like Fox, says American Progress. More reading is provided in Think Progress (here) 
and through the many links that Think Progres provides it it is possible to get a good picture of who is who.

Whoever wishes to rea the whole report click here.
I have a few remarks: I'm not so sure that the division the report makes between 'scholars' and watercarriers or people who spread the message, is correct. Somebody like David Horpowitz with his 'Front Page Magazine' act in a double capacity.  He dissiminates the massage, but disposes also over very large amounts of money that he can distribute among other people. He is considered to be a spin the islamophobia web, as far as I know, and it is assumed that Horowitz also is one of the main sources of the funding of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands. Another important - and as it seems somewhat undervalued -  player is the Clarion Fund. Itr was Clarion that distributed no less than 28 million dvd-copies of the rabidly anti-islam film Obsession in the months preceding the presidential elections in so called 'swing states'  (states where the outcome of the elections was still in doubt). As yet it still has not been clarified who was responsble for the vast sums that were involved in this venture. Clarion is also noteworthy because it is a clear exemple of the links that somtime exist between the far right in Israel and American islamophobes. Clarion was established by rabbi Raphael Shore and his brother Ephraim, also a rabbi. Both brothers had also ties with the fundamentalist Jewish organisation Aish haTora, which in turn had ties with (and funded) colonisation projects in the territories occupied by Israel. The role of Clarion and the link with rightist Jews in general of the islamphobe community seems to be somewhat overlooked by the report.           

Donors Capital Fund $20,768,600 Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), Middle East Forum (MEF), Clarion Fund (Clarion), David Horowitz Freedom Center (Horowitz
Richard Scaife foundations $7,875,000

Counterterrorism & Security Education and Research Foundation (CTSERF), Center for Security Policy (CSP), Horowitz

Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
$5,370,000 MEF, CSP, Horowitz

Russell Berrie Foundation
$3,109,016 IPT, CTSERF, MEF

Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund
$2,818,229 IPT,CTSERF, MEF, CSP, Clarion, Horowit
Fairbook Foundation $1,498,450
IPT, MEF, CSP, Jihad Watch, Horowitz, American Congress for Truth

Newton and Rochelle Becker foundations


Clarion, Horowitz, American Congress for Truth



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