Fear Inc. The Islamophobia misinformation experts.

By: Islam against Extremism



Frank Gaffney  David Yerushalmi Daniel Pipes Robert Spencer Steven Emerson

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

A small group of conservative foundations and wealthy donors are the lifeblood of the Islamophobia network in America, supporting a central nervous system consisting of a clutch of misinformation experts. Just as Newt Gingrich relied on these experts′ talking points to grossly mischaracterize the dangers of Sharia law in our country, the five men profiled in this chapter are responsible for orchestrating the majority of misinformation about Islam and Muslims in America today. This small network produces talking points and messages relied upon and repeated by every segment of this interconnected network of money, grassroots leaders, media talking heads, and elected officials.

There are five key think tanks led by scholars who are primarily responsible for orchestrating the majority of anti-Islam messages polluting our national discourse today:

Frank Gaffney at the Center for Security Policy

David Yerushalmi at the Society of Americans for National Existence

Daniel Pipes at the Middle East Forum

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and Stop Islamization of America

Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism

All five are actively promoting the deeply mistaken portrayal of Islam-a religion of nearly 1.6 billion people worldwide, including 2.6 million Americans-as an inherently violent ideology that seeks domination over the United States and all non-Muslims.1 Spencer neatly sums up their inaccurate and perverse view of Islam as “the only religion in the world that has a developed doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates violence against unbelievers and mandates that Muslims must wage war in order to establish the hegemony of the Islamic social order all over the world.”2

This small band of radical ideologues has fought to define Sharia as a “totalitarian ideology” and “legal-political-military doctrine” committed to destroying Western civilization.3 (See box.) But a scholar of Islam and Muslim tradition would not recognize their definition of Sharia, let alone a lay practicing Muslim. In fact, Sharia is followed in part and in different ways by every practicing Muslim. There are no Ten Commandments that make up Sharia. Instead, it is, for Muslims, the ideal law of God as interpreted by Muslim scholars over centuries to achieve justice, fairness, and mercy, primarily through personal religious observances such as prayer and fasting.4

But by intentionally misdefining Sharia itself as the problem, the misinformation experts profiled in this chapter are effectively arguing that only the extremists′ interpretations of Islam are authentic, and that therefore the diversity of moderate interpretations within Islam is meaningless. They also cast suspicion upon all observant American Muslims.5

Similarly, they boldly mischaracterize the extent to which radical Islam is infiltrating America through the presence and active participation of American Muslims in civic, social, and political life. Look no further than the controversy in 2010 surrounding the Park51 community center in lower Manhattan, which revealed how these experts perpetuate the notion that mosques are no longer houses of worship but “Trojan horses” harboring and disseminating radical Islamic theology.6

Park51 is the new name of the Cordoba Project, initiated in 2009 as a planned Muslim community center that is two blocks from Ground Zero. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, one of the project′s lead organizers, works with New York City, the FBI, and the State Department to combat Islamist extremism. His new center is modeled on New York′s 92nd Street Y, a Jewish community center that serves diverse groups across the city. “We want to push back against the extremists,” said Rauf, explaining his intentions behind constructing the center.7 The project plans detail a cultural center to house a swimming pool, a basketball court, a library, as well as a prayer space.

These well-intended goals were ignored by the five men profiled in this chapter who instead promote a fabricated myth that the center would be built as a testimony to Islam′s dominance. On June 30, 2010, Gaffney wrote, “The Ground Zero mosque is designed to be a permanent, in-our-face beachhead for Shariah, a platform for inspiring the triumphalist ambitions of the faithful.”8 On July 25, 2010, this talking point was parroted by Newt Gingrich on Fox News, when he reiterated that the mosque is “a kind of triumphalism that we should not tolerate.” 9 The Middle East Forum′s Daniel Pipes repeated the talking point that Rauf ′s community center “will spread Islamist ideology.”10

Then there is the conspiracy theory about Muslim American civil liberties organizations being proxies for the Muslim Brotherhood and paving the way for radical Islam. According to Gaffney-citing CSP′s “Shariah: The Threat to America” report-“it is now public knowledge that nearly every major Muslim organization in the United States is actually controlled by the MB [Muslim Brotherhood] or a derivative organization. Consequently, most of the Muslim- American groups of any prominence in America are now known to be, as a matter of fact, hostile to the United States and its Constitution.”11 The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna, and is regarded as the seminal Islamist political organization in the world. Gaffney has also made similar accusations about associations with the Muslim Brotherhood about the president of the United States, the Department of Defense and the Conservative Political Action Committee (described in more detail below). As the “smoking gun” evidence, Gaffney cites a single 20-year-old document titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” written by one member of the Muslim Brotherhood.12 That document has been thoroughly discredited as a strategy document of the Muslim Brotherhood, and revealed instead to be a piece of hapless propaganda.

Nathan Brown, professor of political science and international affairs, and director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at The George Washington University, was interviewed recently by investigative journalist Sarah Posner regarding the document. He says that “nobody has ever produced any evidence that the document was more than something produced by the daydream of one enthusiast.” Regarding Gaffney′s allegations, Professor Brown added, “Gaffney is a self-parody. I have better things to do with my time than investigating the veracity of his raving.” 13 And yet, Gaffney′s ravings now have considerable influence on mainstream political discourse.

The patterns evident in these targeted myths by Gaffney and others is perhaps best exemplified by their greatest public relations triumph-the obfuscation of President Obama′s Christian religious identity as a potential Muslim or former Muslim. After the president′s historic 2009 Cairo speech to Muslim communities, Gaffney wrote an article titled “America′s first Muslim president?”, in which he incorrectly alleged there is “mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.”14 And on an April 2009 episode of “Hardball,” Gaffney said President Obama uses secret Muslim “code for those who adhere to Sharia,” as evidenced by his waist-bow greeting to the king of Saudi Arabia. In the past two years, no evidence has been found to prove that a “waist bow” is secret code for Sharia adherents, or that President Obama intended a gesture of diplomatic respect as such. In 2005, George W. Bush held hands with Saudi Arabia′s Prince Abdullah and even kissed his cheek. No evidence suggests he is a closet or open Sharia adherent, either.15

Gaffney also believes President Obama has an “openness (to put it mildly) to bringing the [Muslim] Brotherhood to power.” He mistakenly conflates, for example, the president′s pledge to support Egypt′s new foray into democracy following the ouster of dictator Hosni Mubarak with “his embrace of the ascendant Muslim Brotherhood.”16 Gaffney is out of step with many conservatives. “The Arab Spring deserves to be greeted with enthusiasm and support,” writes William Kristol, respected neoconservative analyst, director of the conservative think tank Foreign Policy Initiative, and editor of the conservative political magazine The Weekly Standard. “Decades of ′stability′ in the Middle East had produced a waste land of brutal authoritarianism, Islamic extremism, and corrosive anti-Americanism. No more. The Arab winter is over.”17

Kristol also criticized Fox News′ Glenn Beck′s theory that Communists and radical Muslims were causing chaos in Egypt to start a Muslim caliphate that could dominate the world. Gaffney dismissed Kristol′s statements as being “ill-informed.”18 Here, we profile the key ideologues who are the nerve center of the Islamophobia network, responsible for originating and manufacturing the intellectual arguments, rhetoric, and talking points used by members of this deeply interconnected network.

To get detailed info about their Islamophobic activeties , Please Read: Center for American Prgress, Fear Inc. Report, Starting page: 27.