In an extensive report from the Center for American Progress entitled, Fear Inc,: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, a trail of organizations, people and institutions that influenced and financed the growth of Islamophobia in the United States is examined.

 

There are two current articles about this study which describe the report in detail: 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/fear-of-islam-a-s...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/under-god/post/report-aims-to-m...

 

However what I think is worth pointing out is that, according to the study, of the seven top donors to Islamophobia in this country, each of them has ties to either conservative or religious organizations. I think a general conclusion can be made the main sources for Islamophobia in this country do not come from the secular community. The following information about the these donors is from pages 16-23 of the study:

 

Donors Capital Fund - In 2009, Donors Capital Fund provided nearly $60 million in contributions to
a variety of mainstream conservative groups, none of which are Islamophobic.
Donations included: the American Enterprise Institute ($2.7 million); the antiregulatory
Americans for Prosperity Foundation ($1.1 million); the Sam Adams
Alliance, which seeks to “raise awareness of free market principles and policy”
($3.2 million);7 the Heartland Institute, an advocate of free-market principles
and partner with cigarette maker Philip Morris ($2.2 million);8 the State Policy
Network, a network of free market-oriented think tanks ($2.6 million); and the
Federalist Society, a conservative organization that promotes an originalist interpretation
of the Constitution ($1.3 million).


Richard Mellon Scaife foundations - Richard M. Scaife is the billionaire “funding father of the right” who contributes to numerous mainstream conservative causes, think tanks, foundations, and
advocacy groups through three foundations: the Sarah Scaife, the Carthage, and
the Allegheny. 14 He is the principal heir to the Mellon family banking, oil, and
aluminum fortune, with an estimated worth of $1.2 billion. He is ranked 993 on
Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires.


Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation - The Bradley Foundation has contributed millions of dollars to mainstream conservative think tanks and groups that are not Islamophobic, including the Cato Institute,
the Federalist Society, the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, the Institute
for American Values, and the Hudson Institute, to name a few.21 Between 2000 and
2005 the foundation also contributed more than $1.2 million to the Project for the
New American Century, a highly influential think tank during the George W. Bush
administration that helped develop his military and foreign policy.


Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker foundations and charitable trust - The Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker Foundation’s tax filings describe its mission statement as conducting philanthropy “directed to the Jewish community, particularly Jewish organizations and programs that combat media bias against Israel and the Jewish people, Israel advocacy, and democracy defense.


Russell Berrie Foundation - The goal of the Russell Berrie Foundation is to “promote the continuity and enrichment of Jewish communal life,” foster “the spirit of religious understanding and pluralism,” and to raise “the awareness of terrorism.”
• Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund -The Anchorage Fund contributed tens of thousands of dollars to mainstream conservative institutions such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonpartisan policy institute; the Hoover Institution; the Hudson Institute; the American Enterprise Institute; and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.


Fairbrook Foundation - In 2009, the last year for which we have complete financial information, the Fairbrook Foundation provided tens of thousands of dollars to mainstream conservative foundations that are not Islamophobic, such as the Hudson Institute and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

 

The full study is found here.

Views: 164

Comment by Michael Klein on August 30, 2011 at 6:07pm

Considering the "far right" in the US is made of christians, i don't see a secular xenophobic organisation developing

Comment by Derek on August 30, 2011 at 11:42pm

Islamophobia is such a nonsense word - let's be honest - it was borne out of fear of criticizing Islam. It's a gag-reflex from the pc brigade;  spouted out whenever too much honesty is forthcoming. All it does is stop the debate in its tracks, as it seems any reluctance to go along 100% with Islam gets called Islamophobia these days.

Comment by Sassan K. on August 30, 2011 at 11:57pm

Islamophobia doesn't exist. It's a nonsense word made up by Islamists to portray themselves as victims when in fact, they have great opportunities in the west if they simply assimilate like civilized human beings into western societies and put away the barbaric practices they bring from their home countries. Please tell me, where is the "Christianphobia" or "Atheistphobia" that takes place inside of nearly every Islamic country?

Comment by Sassan K. on August 30, 2011 at 11:58pm

Comment by Sassan K. on August 30, 2011 at 11:59pm

To add (and to quote) the great Sam Harris, "the problems with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam"

Comment by kris feenstra on August 31, 2011 at 3:07pm


"Islamophobia is such a nonsense word..."

 

It's not 'such' a nonsense word; it's just a word that is blown out of proportion and used too liberally.  While I wouldn't recognize it in any formal context, I think it has limited application for those that cannot, or will not distinguish between legitimate, factual criticisms of Islam and hyperbolic trash.  I would use it for those that run around like chickens with their heads cut off at the very sight of a mosque.  I would use it for those that treat all Muslims with undue hypocrisy, prejudice and bigotry.  Just because Islam is well-deserving of criticism, doesn't mean that any and all negative treatments of Islam and Muslims are magically justified.  Islamophobia should refer to the extreme behaviour that crosses the line.  

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on August 31, 2011 at 3:41pm

I see Islamophobia as a direct extension of the ideologies of Leo Strauss, founding father of the NeoCons.  He espoused that a clear and intelligible threat, even if fabricated, was necessary at all times in order to maintain social cohesion and to avoid the sorts of social disorder that he associated with individualism.  Although many NeoCons now try to trace their roots back to anti-socialist views fostered against Stalinism, the direct line of pedagogy from Strauss to Neocons like Wolfowitz and Krystol is clear.

 

With the NeoCons jumping into bed with Christian fundamentalists in the late 70's and the current trade imbalance between Opec nations and the U.S., it isn't hard to see why Islam is their fabricated threat of choice.  Although a Bronze Age pustule that is an embarrassment to our species in the 21st century, Islam doesn't pose nearly the direct threat the the security of the world currently posed by Dominionists.  Islam hasn't even tried to put forward a candidate for POTUS.

 

But the masses are already railing against Islam every chance they get, frightened that Sharia is going to be used in their next criminal case, while Christian rule has already turned Maine red and is now making a run for the White House.

Comment by Arcus on August 31, 2011 at 4:30pm

"He espoused that a clear and intelligible threat, even if fabricated, was necessary at all times"

In keeping with the title, that could also include climateophobia, americaphobia, masculinophobia, negrophobia, francophobia, sinophobia, europhobia, russophobia, neoconophobia, christionaophobia, semitophobia, communistphobia etc, etc..

Phobia (outside the medical usage of the term) merely means fear, and it may be rational or irrational. There is nothing irrational in fearing Islam in particular or religion in general as the propensity for violence in these world views is fairly immense. Islam is clearly leading at the present day in the danger to the western world, much like Judaism was a clear threat during the Jewish rebellions.

But it does work well in attempting to paint ideological adversaries in a bad light, stifle opposing views, limiting free speech and promoting your own cargo cultesque political opinions.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on August 31, 2011 at 5:03pm

Yes, in keeping with the title it could include all of those things - but it does not.  The rationality behind fearing Islam is not clear to me at all.  Despising it, sure, but fearing it just seems irrational.  When I see news stories about third party arbitration practices, that have been around since just after WWII, that suggest they are a new invention that is spreading Sharia to Canada and/or the U.S.A., I can't help but wonder what is motivating such leaps in non-logic.  When I see science classes being compromised with religious dogma, I can't help but wonder why the concern is all about Islam when the dogma is purely Christian.

 

In any event, why don't you tell me about this threat that Islam is posing to my safety and well being right at this very moment?  It would certainly be enlightening, considering my current concerns lay with the fundamentalist Christian who currently has a serious bid going on to take over the White House.

Comment by Arcus on August 31, 2011 at 5:32pm

"The rationality behind fearing Islam is not clear to me at all. Despising it, sure, but fearing it just seems irrational."

The unbridled penchant for violence should scare you. the fact that around 9% of American muslims support using suicide attacks in mass-killings in defense of Islam should scare you. Those are not irrational fears, and combined with a ~100 nuke Pakistan without effective leadership, and a military and security service sympathetic to the Jihadist cause is a cause for concern.

However, that many of those who can be labelled as "Islamophobes" don't see the difference between the real threats and their Arab looking neighbor is just plain old racism/xenophobia and also a bit scary. But at least those elements can usually be contained better than state-sponsored terrorism and their effect is generally lower (though no less horrible).

"that suggest they are a new invention that is spreading Sharia to Canada and/or the U.S.A."

There are already "unbinding" sharia courts in some places in Europe. The effect of their rulings are generally biding. I doubt the US has any particular willpower to resist either. There aren't any christian law courts out there, and I'd rather have religion out of law completely.

"When I see science classes being compromised with religious dogma, I can't help but wonder why the concern is all about Islam when the dogma is purely Christian."

Which is a problem... in the US! If you check the science curriculum in Islamic (influenced) schools the curriculum is even more absurd. Just because xians are nutjobs when it comes to science does not make muslims less nuts.

"In any event, why don't you tell me about this threat that Islam is posing to my safety and well being right at this very moment?"

Take a stroll through the Palace gardens in Oslo a Saturday night.. About every other week there is a violent rape, none of those are committed by xians. A failure of integration for sure, but you don't see the indians or vietnamese (or swedish) doing it. And it is not a discussion about this very moment, it is a discussion about this moment and the upcoming ones.

"It would certainly be enlightening, considering my current concerns lay with the fundamentalist Christian who currently has a serious bid going on to take over the White House."

Which is a genuine concern, but at least the US has a secular government and there are certain limits to even what a US president can do. Also, I doubt he'll become a sponsor of terrorism (at least in the first term..).

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