" />

Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

The Islamophobic Echo Chamber

While it sometimes enjoys the trappings of a grassroots campaign, the anti-Islamic movement in the United States—which exploded after 9/11 and whose popular presence has increasingly been felt since the election of President Barack Obama—is in fact coordinated by a small coterie of right-wing foundations, think tanks, media figures, and bloggers, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress.

 

The report, entitled “Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” details the “echo chamber” created by right-wing think tanks and advocacy organizations like Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP), Daniel PipesMiddle East Forum (MEF), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch and Stop Islamization of America, and Steven Emerson’s Investigate Project on Terrorism.

 

The reports produced by these self-professed experts on Islam are aggressively promoted by a coterie of like-minded bloggers like Pamela Geller; sympathetically reported by right-leaning media outlets like Fox News, the Washington Times, and David Horowitz’s Front Page Magazine; and ultimately regurgitated by rightist politicians like Newt Gingrich, who use the base instinct of fear to motivate the electorate. According to the report’s authors, this propaganda machine has been funded by seven key foundations, which have provided nearly $43 million in funding for the network over the last decade.

 

The subjects of the report and their sympathizers have not reacted kindly to its findings.

 

David Horowitz called the document a “typical fascistic attempt to silence critics…[who] inform the American public about the threats we face from the Islamic jihad.” Robert Spencer dismissed the authors’ characterization of him as “anti-Muslim” as “manipulative and propagandistic”—attributing the report to the work of the “Islamic supremacist propaganda machine,” apparently without irony. Outdoing the lot of them, Pamela Geller compared the document to “a Mein Kampf treatise,” likening it to “Goebbels attacking the Jew,” before unsubtly including a plug for her book on the “Islamization” of the United States.

 

Some of the foundations identified in the CAP report, like the Bradley Foundation and those run by Richard Scaife, have long been associated with various right-wing causes. Others are less well known, so the impact of the report on their funding activities remains to be seen. At least one foundation has reportedly expressed discomfort with having been publicly connected to the Islamophobia campaign. On the other hand, if the rather boldly hysterical reactions of the funders’ beneficiaries and sympathizers are any indication, no one need worry that the money will dry up anytime soon.

 

—Peter Certo

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Nominated for the post of attorney general by Donald Trump, William Barr held the same post under George H.W. Bush, and established a reputation as a staunch conservative and supporter of executive authority.


Pundit Charles Krauthammer, who died in June 2018, was a staunch advocate of neoconservative policies and aggressive U.S. military actions around the world.


Former Weekly Standard editor and current Fox News commentator Bill Kristol is a longtime neoconservative activist who has been a leading right wing opponent of Donald Trump.


Jon Kyl, a hawkish conservative, served in the Senate from 1996-2013 and again in 2018, and helped guide Brett Kavanaugh through his confirmation process.


Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker of the House from 2015-2018, was known for his extremely conservative economic and social views and hawkish foreign policies.


On August 16, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the formation of the Iran Action Group (IAG). It would “be responsible for directing, reviewing, and coordinating all aspects of the State Department’s Iran-related activity, and it will report directly to me,” he stated. Amid speculation that the Donald Trump administration was focused on…


Norm Coleman is a lobbyist for the Saudi Arabian government, chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and former senator from Minnesota, known for hawkish, pro-Likud, and anti-Iran foreign policy views.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Had Washington made an effort after the last time President Trump promised to quit Syria to pursue diplomatic and military channels and prepare the ground for a U.S. departure, we have had something to celebrate.


Although a widespread movement has developed to fight climate change, no counterpart has emerged to take on the rising danger of nuclear disaster — yet.


U.S. supporters of Israel are in a bind: public opinion is changing; there are more actors publicly challenging Israel; and the crude, heavy-handed tactics they have successfully used in the past to silence criticism now only aggravate the situation.


As the civilian death toll from Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen grows and the backlash against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in Khashoggi’s murder escalates, former Sen. Norm Coleman’s control of Republican Party campaign purse strings positions him as a key influencer of Republican congressional action, or inaction, in curtailing the increasingly aggressive and reckless actions of Saudi Arabia.


Increasingly, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are positioned as rivals, each with pretensions to Middle Eastern influence or even hegemony. It’s not clear whether they can continue to coexist without one or the other—or both—backing down. This has made it more difficult for the United States to maintain its ties with both countries.


What does President Trump’s recent nomination of retired Army General John Abizaid to become the next U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia signify? Next to nothing — and arguably quite a lot.


The Donald Trump administration’s handling of nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia promises to lay bare some realities about security issues and nuclear programs in that part of the world that the administration has refused to acknowledge.


RightWeb
share