$206 Mn. to Hate Groups to Promote anti-Muslim Sentiment

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The UC Berkeley Center for Race and Gender and the Council on American Islamic Relations have jointly produced a new study on hatred of Muslims in the United States.

As The Guardian notes, it finds 74 organizations promoting hatred of Muslims in the US, with 33 of these institutions having been founded and having their primary purpose the spread against this religious group. Those 33 have had access to $208 million from donors in the past 8 years.

The report’s top 4 key findings:

Key Finding 1: Seventy-four (up from sixty-nine in 2013) groups are identi- fied as comprising the U.S. Islamophobia network.

Key Finding 2: The U.S.-based Islamophobia network’s inner core is cur – rently comprised of at least thirty-three groups whose primary purpose is to promote prejudice against, or hatred of, Islam and Muslims.

Key Finding 3: Between 2008 and 2013, inner-core organizations had access to at least $205,838,077 in total revenue.

Key Finding 4: An additional forty-one groups whose primary purpose does not appear to include promoting prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims, but whose work regularly demonstrates or supports Islamophobic themes, make up the network’s outer core.

As The Guardian notes, the end result of the activities of groups like Abstraction Fund, Clarion Project, David Horowitz Freedom Center, Middle East Forum, American Freedom Law Center, Center for Security Policy, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Jihad Watch and Act! for America, is an increase in attacks on mosques and attacks on Muslim individuals.

Some of them, such as the Middle East Forum, are part of the Israel lobbies, and apparently they believe the best way to go on keeping Palestinians stateless and without rights is to convince Americans that all Muslims are wicked and deserving of any abuse visited on them by the Likud Party. But that Jews should be assiduously spreading hatred of a religious minority is past shameful (and also very unwise, since once you get white people hating one exotic religious minority, they may go after others; and we’ve seen some of this blowback among the Trumpists).

Another key finding (no. 7):

“In 2015, there were 78 recorded incidents in which mosques were targeted; more incidents than ever reported in a single year since we began tracking these reports in 2009. Incidents in 2015 have more than tripled compared to the past two years ”

To underline that the report focuses on hate speech, it carries a caveat:

“Caveat: Questioning Islam or Muslims is Not Islamophobia
It is not appropriate to label all, or even the majority, of those who question Islam and Muslims as Islamophobes. Equally, it is not Islamophobic to denounce crimes committed by individual Muslims or those citing Islam as a motivation for their actions.”

The report advises Muslims to get involved in high-profile philanthropic work and in politics and community service– to demonstrate that they are actively helping people in their community. (Many already do, but the high percentage of first-generation immigrants in the community, perhaps half, leads to their being shy about sticking their heads up, or to their not knowing avenues for fruitful involvement).

It also advises Americans that they need to realize that being prejudiced against Muslims is just as bad as being bigotted toward Jews or toward African-Americans.

If we had 33 influential organizations funded to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars whose express purpose was to spread hatred of Jews, there’d be a big outcry. But this is no different.

There has also been a rash of anti-Muslim legislation in state legislatures, all of which is either redundant or will eventually be struck down as unconstitutional. (The cookie cutter laws forbid the use of Islamic law in the US court system, which hasn’t, like, ever happened). The legislation is just to mark millions of Muslim Americans as second class citizens.

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20 Responses

  1. It’s so painful to say, but does this study ask where the money comes from? That this isn’t just a random collection of 33 hate groups? That this is very likely a coordinated, foreign-funded, long-running intelligence operation?

    The policy of the government of Israel is to try to draw all of the West, and particularly the United States, into their conflict with the Palestinians, and as a large part of that population is Islamic, a useful step is to demonize Islam.

    Where is the money for all these organizations coming from? I don’t think you have to be a conspiracy theorist to wonder if this might not just be a massive influence operation by a foreign government.

    Because it’s working.

    • You shouldn’t underestimate how much of this is American Christians seizing the opportunity to demand that the USA become a legally Christian state. They are enthusiastic allies of the Israel Lobby, but they were always looking for the right narrative of victimization to replace White Supremacy as their excuse for inequality. There were always dollars ready to join shekels to reframe race war as holy war.
      The Lobby certainly did a fantastic job teaching its own supporters to overlook the anti-Semitism of many of these Christians. This is an alliance, one of the most cynical ever seen, but both parties have their own criminal agendas.

  2. Prejudice against neighbors, prejudice against “others,” prejudice against the unknown. This is close to the basis of tradition, perhaps the strongest force in human culture.

    The “other hand” is that, especially now in in 2016 when most of the chaos either is “breaking out,” or already has “broken out,” tradition in modern human culture is often, and often assiduously, opposed by strong forces of reform and innovation/revolution.

    IMHO, such conflict between “tradition” and “innovation/revolution” appears to be eternal in human affairs, see my writings in other places.

    • To clarify my thoughts, there is also a category of “takeover of group institutions by persons and/or sub-groups who wish to gain institutional privileges (and/or institutional domination and corruption) for themselves, without actually innovating or revolutionizing anything,” and in my opinion these types of folks don’t get to count on the “innovation/revolution” side of the ledger in human affairs.

  3. It would be helpful if the report could actually point to the sources of funding for these hate groups. Unfortunately, the Koch brothers and their ilk have had their minions in Congress make it nearly impossible to discover the true sources.

  4. These fascist groups should be spending $208 million dollars for legislation that creates jobs, not fans hate. Insecurity is big business for these crazies

    A couple of the groups named above were also headed or founded by Daniel Pipes. Pipes was once on the Fulbright Board — these guys shouldn’t be allowed near any government job or anything security-related, especially for the sake of a democratic and transparent society – yet how do they make it??

    • The report probably should have named the mainstream Republican party as one of the hate groups. Only difference between them and the others are that they are in govt.

    • Yes. Actual Jewish-Americans, concentrated in non-Red States, rarely support these anti-Islam bills. Any poll numbers that prove this would be useful to throw back in the face of Red State Christians claiming their Final Solutions are justified by Islamic anti-Semitism and are no threat to “good” religions.

      link to thinkprogress.org

    • I’m assuming that number would include the $206 million here being discussed… for it is certainly extremist preaching which causes terrorist actions, including attacks on mosques and individual Muslims.

    • Like Al-Nusra and radical company in Syria? Would love to know how much we spend on them, an ally of Al Qaeda, but isnt that part of the bill Congress authorizes kept secret??

      These groups are disengenuous – the ones supporting the legislation above are connected to groups that push for supporting the radical islamist groups like Al Nusra in Syria. But hey – they have to earn a living and work to make sure their claims have some basis but don’t look too closely at how they play a role in this

  5. …apparently they believe the best way to go on keeping Palestinians stateless and without rights is to convince Americans that all Muslims are wicked and deserving of any abuse visited on them….

    If ‘best’ means effective they could well be right. Anything appears permissible today as long as it is not specifically prohibited, not against the Law. It’s something especially though not uniquely true of the US. I believe it to be an unintended consequence of hyper-legislation which has eroded social responsibility with its innate sense of right and wrong; it operates at every level from parking anywhere where it doesn’t say you can’t to employing experts to pick routes through tax regulations. It is dialectically arguable that such attitudes, which can readily morph into crime, and are an offspring of freedom.

  6. The USA seems to need to have an enemy, and Muslims are the latest target. Native Americans, Black people, Chinese immigrants, different groups from Europe have all been “hated”, and of course those of Japanese origin in WW2. Many Americans living now must still remember the extreme anti-Communist actions and words of Joe McCarthy,which took a long time to be stopped.

  7. Still, according to the FBI reports, Jews are still the largest targets of hate crimes by far.

    According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports: Hate Crime Statistics, 2014, there were 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes in the U.S. in 2014. “Of the 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes: 56.8 percent [56.8%] were victims of crimes motivated by their offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.” That amounts to approximately 647.52 instances where Jewish individuals, businesses or institutions were targeted.

    A mere “16.1 percent [16.1%] were victims of anti-Islamic (Muslim) bias,” amounting to approximately 183.54 instances where Muslim individuals, businesses or institutions were targeted.

    In the U.S., Jews were targeted an astonishing 40.7 percent (40.7%) more than Muslims in the year 2014.

    Taking in the context of the San Bernadino and Orlando massacres, we are still a very tolerant culture.

  8. Anti muslim hate is a growth industry in the USA, it would appear that its proponents are getting rich of their bigotry.

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