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In late August, the Center for American Progress issued a 130-page pamphlet called Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamphobia Network in America. It was filled with inaccuracy, misrepresentation and slander against American critics of Muslim extremism, especially those who have pointed out the efforts to make “Islamophobia,” a coinage of the Muslim Brotherhood, a “thought crime,” thereby silencing those who discuss Islamist violence against women, murder of homosexuals, etc. That this publication came from a George Soros-backed organization such as the CAP, deeply networked with leading figures in the Democratic Party establishment, rather than from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or one of its other front groups, was a tremendous victory for the Muslim Brotherhood and its effort to kill free speech on Islamic issues. That the report was conceived of as a weapon in the attack on America was proven by the fact that its “findings” were immediately trumpeted by the Islamic Republic of Iran and reprinted by its state-run propaganda agency. The new section in our pamphlet, Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future, deals with this phenomenon. It is printed below:
American Liberals and Iranian Mullahs Peddle Fear
By David Horowitz and Robert Spencer
Continuing the train of attacks by American leftists on critics of Islamic misogyny and terror, the Center for American Progress issued a new Islamophobia report in August 2011, and received widespread publicity for its allegations on Internet sites like HuffingtonPost and cable news networks like MSNBC. The slickly produced 130-page document called Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America required a year to write, according to its authors, but followed the same basic lines of argument, repeated the same unsubstantiated accusations, and vilified the same “Islamophobes” as the “reports” by CAIR and FAIR.
A striking feature of the new report, on the other hand, was that it was not produced by a fringe leftist group like FAIR or a Muslim Brotherhood front like CAIR. The Center for American Progress is a Democratic Party brain trust headed by former White House chief of staff John Podesta, and funded by George Soros and others. Gaining the backing of the Democratic Party in its campaign to suppress its critics had to be ranked as one of the most significant victories to date for the Muslim Brotherhood, whose claims and concepts the new report rehashed.
One of the five authors of Fear, Inc. was Wajahat Ali, who had been featured on the Center for American Progress’s CAIR-inspired panel the year before. In college, Ali was a board member of the Muslim Students Association, which is, as previously noted, a Muslim Brotherhood front. Ali is a fanatic supporter of the Islamic jihad. When the U.S. prosecutors indicted the Holy Land Foundation for funding the terrorist organization Hamas, Ali denounced the prosecution as a pro-Israel policy and a notch on the Bush Administration’s “get a terrorist club.” He also rushed to the defense of Palestinian Islamic jihad leader Sami al-Arian when the latter was prosecuted (and eventually deported) for terrorist activities. Ali called him “one of the earliest victims of the ‘war on terror.” On his Internet blog, Ali also criticized certain elements of the left as Muslim-haters (i.e., Islamophobes) because they “have certain beliefs contradictory to radical feminist and gay ideologies.” Ali was thus a revealing choice as one of the authors of a report attacking critics of Islamic misogyny, gay-hatred and terror.
The glossy photograph on the cover of Fear, Inc. is a photograph of the building that houses the Islamic Center of North America (ICNA), with the words “Go Home” painted in red across its front. The photo encapsulates the report’s message that “Islamophobia” – or hatred directed against all Muslims — is a serious problem in America. But that is not what the photo shows. The Islamic Center of North America is not an unpolitical, inclusive Muslim group. Instead, ICNA is a well-known Muslim Brotherhood front, and a spearhead of the jihadist attack on America’s secular and inclusive civilization.
The theme of Fear, Inc. is that the movement to oppose attempts to institute Sharia law in the American legal system and to erect symbols of Islamic conquest like the Ground Zero Mosque are the work of a sinister cabal created by conservative foundations, largely Jewish, whose mission is to stir up hatred against all Muslims. The specifics of Fear, Inc.’s indictment imitate its CAIR and FAIR predecessors in distorting the positions of its victims, and twisting associated facts beyond recognition.
What distinguishes Fear, Inc., on the other hand, is its focus on the alleged financial “machine” behind the Islamophobia campaign. This is composed of seven foundations, many of which happen to be run by Jews – a point emphasized at several points by the authors. The recipients of the foundations’ largess are eight organizations, which according to the report have received $42 million for Islamophobia agendas over a nine-year period. But this figure represents the total funding received by organizations such as the Center for Security Policy and the David Horowitz Freedom Center, while in fact these institutions devote many of their program activities – and funds received – to causes unrelated to the threat from the Islamic jihad. Moreover, the alleged sums are far smaller than the funds available to the Islamic supremacist groups and their progressive allies that have produced and promoted the “Islamophobia” reports.
At the time that Fear, Inc was published, for example, Hamas-linked CAIR announced that it had almost reached its goal of raising $650,000 during Ramadan – well over twice the annual budget of JihadWatch.org, one of the groups the report singles out for attack. The Center for American Progress receives $38 million per year, or almost 100 times the budget of JihadWatch.org from George Soros and other left-wing sources. As one of the report’s targets observed, “It’s pretty rich that the Center for American Progress, whose 2009 budget was $38,187,695, focuses on 8 organizations receiving about that sum over a period of nine years.
Fear, Inc. focuses on the funding received by five individuals – anti-Sharia attorney David Yerushalmi, scholars Robert Spencer and Daniel Pipes, investigative reporter Steven Emerson, and Center for American Security head Frank Gaffney. As journalist Daniel Greenfield notes, “ The Muslim world often blames its problems on the Jews, and Fear, Inc, … does the same thing by claiming that five men, three of whom are Jews (a fourth is employed by a Jew – as the report notes — and receives underwriting from two more Jews), have turned Americans against Islam.”
Fear, Inc.’s distortions start with the description of these five individuals as “the anti-Muslim misinformation scholars we profile in this report.” None of the named individuals has ever attacked Muslims as such, and no credible evidence is provided in the report that they have. All five have been critical of Islamic policies, regimes and political parties that oppress Muslim women, Muslim gays, Jews, Christians and other minorities, suppress freedom of speech and religion, and conduct or endorse terrorist attacks on their religious and political enemies.
Like the New York Times before it, the Center for American Progress attempts to establish guilt by association of its targets with the ravings of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik: “While these bloggers and pundits were not responsible for Breivik’s deadly attacks, their writings on Islam and multiculturalism appear to have helped create a world view held by this lone Norwegian gunman that sees Islam as at war with the West and the West needing to be defended.” But in fact it is Osama bin Laden, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Muslim Brotherhood who see Islam as at war with the West, and there is no patriotic American who does not recognize that America and the West need to be defended. There is no comment in the report on this, since its agenda, like the Brotherhood’s, is to silence critics, not to answer them.
Fear, Inc. singles out the most prominent moderate Muslim in America, Zuhdi Jasser, and condemns him because he “dangerously and incorrectly labels mainstream Muslim-American organizations as subversive.” But the mainstream Muslim-American organizations Jasser has criticized – CAIR, the Muslim American Society, the Islamic Society of North America and the Islamic Center of North America,” are all Muslim Brotherhood fronts. The report also calls “inaccurate and perverse” Robert Spencer’s statement that Islam is “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.” What the report does not do is offer evidence that this is not the case. This is particularly revealing since it is matter that can be objectively verified: all the mainstream Islamic sects and schools of Islamic jurisprudence do indeed teach that the Islamic umma must wage war against unbelievers and subjugate them under the rule of law. The report does not – and cannot – produce evidence of mainstream Islamic sects or schools that do not teach this.
Scholar Daniel Pipes is accused of defaming CAIR, an organization four of whose top executives have been convicted of terrorist activities. “Without corroborating evidence, Pipes smeared the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, in an article called ‘CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment.’” No specifics are offered as to how Pipes smeared CAIR or how the 7700- word, heavily footnoted article failed to provide “corroborating evidence.”
Such false claims appear throughout the report with no attempt by the authors to substantiate them. “Numerous times,” as critic Mark Tapson observes, Fear, Inc. condemns the “Islamophobes” for claiming that the majority of American mosques are radicalized and preach violence.” The claim appears in David Yerulshami’s study “Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques,” which Fear, Inc. says “speciously claims that more than 80 percent of U.S. mosques feature texts that promote or support violence,” – a claim that is hardly unique to Yerulshami. “How is the claim specious?” Tapson asks. “As usual, the report does not specify.”
Spencer’s scholarly credentials are attacked in the report on the authority of “Islamic scholar Carl W. Ernst, Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill,” Ernst claims that Spencer has no academic training in Islamic studies whatsoever. The claim is false and the authority, Ernst, is a man who flew to Teheran in December 2008 to accept an award from Iran’s Jew-hating, genocidal Islamic supremacist, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
It should hardly come as a surprise then, that the Islamic Republic of Iran immediately picked up the Center’s report, and its official English language press agency trumpeted the “findings” of the Center’s attack on critics of Iranian terrorism, Jew-hatred and anti-American ravings under the telling title “U.S. Empire Foments Islamophobia.” Terror analysts Clare M. Lopez and W. Thomas Smith, Jr., noted that the Iranian agency PressTV was “funded almost almost exclusively by Iranian petrodollars (oil profits) from the same regime that funds and directs global terrorist organizations like the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (the IRGC which is also known as the Pasdaran), the IRGCs Quds Force, Lebananon’s Hizballah, and others; all of which are designated foreign terrorist organizations by the U.S. government and other countries.”
Commented Lopez and Smith, “The Press TV articles – to include those who funded and published it – should not be taken lightly. This was not simply an opinion piece. This was a list of names published in international media by a state-run news agency; a state designed by the U.S. State Department as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism.”
In other words, the Center for American Progress, a key component of the liberal establishment in America, published a “report” filled with inaccuracies, misrepresentations and false accusations, which the chief terrorist state in the Middle East has authenticated as a document identifying the enemies of Islam. This could be counted a perfect score for the Muslim Brotherhood and its campaign in the West to silence the critics of the Islamic jihad.