" />

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

Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime that not only appears to be behind the assassination of a U.S. resident and respected commentator but is also responsible for thousands of civilian casualties in Yemen—the majority killed with U.S-supplied bombs, combat aircraft, and tactical assistance.


The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


RightWeb
share