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CAP’s Islamophobia Report

The Center for American Progress has issued a detailed report on the foundations and individuals who have been funding the self-described anti-jihadists. It focuses particularly on five people:

• 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

Pipes has his problems but he’s considerably more serious and credible than Gaffney, Yerushalmi and Spencer, who are all just plain nuts. I’ve never heard of Emerson and am not familiar with his work. The report notes more than $40 million in support given to various groups of this type:

The foundations funding the misinformation experts: Donors Capital Fund; Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation;
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; Newton and Rochelle Becker Foundation and Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust; Russell Berrie Foundation, Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund; Fairbrook Foundation.

Pam Geller, the looniest of the loony, reacts exactly as one might expect:

Over at the wildly funded machine of hate and lies, the “Center of American Progess,” the Soros cranks have spent hundreds of thousands producing a pile of dung masquerading as research. This is part of leftist/Islamic war machine on freedom, truth and …. America. Anyone who dares expose the agenda of the global jihad can expect their names, reputations and credibility to be destroyed and libeled.

Why isn’t the wild Boorstein chasing after the million$ these killers are getting? Who paid for this “report”? It reads more like a Mein Kampf treatise. The funding section of the report is outrageous. I have not seen one dime from any those donors, though they name me as a recipient. Lies.

Actually, they don’t claim that Geller has received funding from those groups. The report names specifically which groups were funded, who they were funded by and how much they received. It does list Geller as part of the echo chamber that repeats those lies. She doesn’t list a single other alleged inaccuracy in the report, she just compares the authors as Nazis. Hardly a credible response.

And if you’re looking for a pile of dung masquerading as research, look no further than the Center for Security Policy’s ridiculous report on “creeping Sharia” in American courts. Every single example in the report says the exact opposite of the report’s conclusions, as I documented here.

None of this in any way suggests that Islam should not be criticized, especially the reactionary and barbaric form of Islam favored by those who engage in terrorism. The wingnuts like to pretend that if you criticize their specific crazy claims about Islam that you’re defending Islam; I certainly am not. I think Islam is every bit as invalid as Christianity. And I think the most reactionary forms of Islam are the single most dangerous ideology in the world today.

But that isn’t the problem with the anti-jihad crowd. The problem is that they go far beyond legitimate criticisms and into the kind of paranoid delusions that no sane person should hold. The notion that sharia law is poised to take over the United States is not just wrong, it’s absolutely insane. And if you think, as many of the anti-jihad crowd does, that Muslims are not covered by the First Amendment, you are as much an enemy of American ideals as those you criticize.

Comments

  1. says

    “Society of Americans for National Existence”

    Their meetings must be a raucous celebration of their resounding success each time they learn that America does, in fact, exist.

  2. Michael Heath says

    Ed asserts:

    I think the most reactionary forms of Islam are the single most dangerous ideology in the world today.

    I disagree, I think Christianism is far more dangerous – in fact the threat posed by radical Islam is not even close (from my perspective). Specifically because Christianists form the voting base of global warming denialists which is effectively preventing the U.S. from taking responsibility to lead or even cooperate in an effective global effort required to minimize and mitigate the harm done and will be done in the future due to the feeble efforts to date. This is the Christianists behavior within the context where we are beginning to encounter scientific articles begininning to assert we may already have surpassed certain tipping points.

    I’d also argue this is the story of the century which continues to be under-reported; AGW is a far greater threat to economic security and other types of security than our current debt load as onerous as that is. From my perspective our country’s response to AGW is analogous to one side of America denying the threat of fascism prior to WWII even existed and the other side acknowledging it but minimizing the need to confront it. (Of course the latter didn’t happen which saved all our skins).

  3. fastlane says

    The notion that sharia law is poised to take over the United States is not just wrong, it’s absolutely insane.

    Only if you compare it to something like…reality.

    It’s not insane when you look at the motives of the right wingers in the US. They want exactly the same thing as the jihadists, except under the umbrella of xianity instead of islam. It’s simply competing mythologies, same as it’s been since the dawn of time.

    And I agree with Michael Heath. The danger from xianists is much more subtle, as he notes, but ultimately, far more dangerous, IMO.

  4. anisharmin says

    None of this in any way suggests that Islam should not be criticized, especially the reactionary and barbaric form of Islam favored by those who engage in terrorism. The wingnuts like to pretend that if you criticize their specific crazy claims about Islam that you’re defending Islam; I certainly am not. I think Islam is every bit as invalid as Christianity. And I think the most reactionary forms of Islam are the single most dangerous ideology in the world today.

    But that isn’t the problem with the anti-jihad crowd. The problem is that they go far beyond legitimate criticisms and into the kind of paranoid delusions that no sane person should hold. The notion that sharia law is poised to take over the United States is not just wrong, it’s absolutely insane. And if you think, as many of the anti-jihad crowd does, that Muslims are not covered by the First Amendment, you are as much an enemy of American ideals as those you criticize.

    Thanks very much for writing this. The insistence of the “anti-jihad crowd” (as you call them) that they are the only alternative to the extreme reactionary forms of Islam, that they are the only ones who can keep us safe from those extreme forms of Islam is ludicrous. They seem to me to be the other side of the same coin.

    -Ani Sharmin

  5. says

    As far as threats to America go, I’d say radical Christianity, including the current anti-Muslim paranoia, is the more immediately dangerous one.

    They’re claiming the Muslims are on our doorstep, waiting for a moment of weakness, which is somewhat true for radical Muslims (though they’re probably farther away than our metaphorical doorstep), but not true for the Muslims who manage to remain peaceful despite their religion.

    The more immediate problem, however, is that the fundie Christians are already inside the house, wrecking the place as we speak, trying to institute or protect unjust laws exactly as bad as the “creeping Sharia” phantom. I certainly don’t intend to let them distract me from that issue.

  6. Chiroptera says

    fastlane at 12:29: They want exactly the same thing as the jihadists, except under the umbrella of xianity instead of islam.

    There is something sadly consistent about their beliefs. They truly believe that their Christian theocracy is allowed and proper under the Constitution, so they believe there isn’t anything to stop creeping Sharia from taking over. Which is why they shriek in panic over the thought instead of working to maintain roadblocks against the de-secularization of the state.

    They truly believe that the Constitution allows their Republican presidents to have all sorts of dictatorial powers, so they are panicking over Obama having those very same powers. So instead of fighting for Constitutional protections of due process and limitations on the state security apparatus, they scream in terror over health care reform.

  7. 4theist4narchist says

    “And I think the most reactionary forms of Islam are the single most dangerous ideology in the world today.”
    Ed, I have to disagree with you there. Fundamentalist Christianity + State Power = Scariest Ideology/Institution Ever, in my opinion. Christians seeking power are better funded, more entrenched in policymaking and slinkier than a turd-covered weasel. Mr Jefferson, build up that wall.

  8. frankboyd says

    None of this in any way suggests that Islam should not be criticized, especially the reactionary and barbaric form of Islam favored by those who engage in terrorism.

    Of course not. It just means, that it should not be criticized when there’s any risk.

    Or controversy.
    Or embarrassment.
    Or effort required.
    Or when it might make you defend people you don’t linke.
    Or when you might need to make difficult choices.
    Or when you don’t feel like it.

    The efforts of the “humanist” and “skeptical” circles in this area have been beneath pathetic. Let me take the above post’s strongest point, the fact that Pamela Geller is, how shall I put it, unhinged. Hard to argue with that. She’s the one who gave that “Obama’s secretly the love child of Malcolm X” thing new life.

    However.

    Who was it who, when a girl was running away from parents who wanted to kill her for changing her religion, organized a defense for her? Who was it who has kept the issue of the Aqsa Parvez honor killing alive? Who keeps the argument about these barbarities alive?

    Well, that’d be Miss Geller.

    The Skeptic/Humanist movements have done nothing, nothing like that.

    So what does that say? What does it say that a kook who circulates rumors about Obama’s parentage has a better practical track record on opposing Islamic misogyny and barbarism than our vaunted, oh-so-secular, “freethinkers”?

    Wait, I forgot. You’re too busy salving the hurt feelings of Rebecca Watson to do anything serious.

    Whatever else is true about Geller, stopping a teenage girl from having her throat cut ear to ear is a better days work than I’ve ever done. Or you.

    As to the rest of this – if one takes Spencer, I have read his work, and on Islam he is top notch. I have yet to see him be proved wrong in any debate about the teachings or history or current practice of Islam. Nor does the above post do anything like that. Because the author can’t. Because I doubt the author could do anything like that kind of reading. Yes, Spencer has a large pro-Christian bias – so what?

    Oh, anyone here remember the record of the brave, brave, brave ScienceBlogs, now Freethoughtblogs (With Even More Pretension!) during the cartoon riots? That’s right, while every rightist blogger with a spine was showing solidarity and reprinting the cartoons, these vaunted bloggers who take no nonsense from religion, shrieked and ran for cover.

    You ran. You chickened out.

    So. Why the hell should anyone believe you will stand up to any real threat? And if you can’t give a good reason, why should we give a damn what you say about those that actually will?

    Any port in a storm.

  9. Chiroptera says

    frankboyd at 6:17: What does it say that a kook who circulates rumors about Obama’s parentage has a better practical track record on opposing Islamic misogyny and barbarism than our vaunted, oh-so-secular, “freethinkers”?

    It says that you’re a kook.

  10. Chris from Europe says

    I wasn’t sure at the comment on PZ’s latest attempt to bait Libertarians, but now there’s no question that frankboyd is an idiot.

  11. Chiroptera says

    frankboyd at 3:12: Deep analysis to be sure.

    Too be fair, if your previous comment — “we have to respect the kooks who want to deport or lock up American Muslims because no one else ever mentions that the governments of other countries sometimes do bad things or that every once in a while a Muslim American commits a crime” — is typical of your contributions, then one really doesn’t have to dig very deep to see you’re a kook.

  12. frankboyd says

    Chiroptera,

    Do they still teach basic reading or comprehension where you live? Or is this just the standard result of the internet paranoid style? Is this simply you trying to be nasty? Or are you really that stupid?

  13. Chris from Europe says

    It’s so obvious that there’s no need for any analysis. Maybe I should have blockquoted your whole comment as evidence.

  14. frankboyd says

    Chris,

    I am sorry, I only just realized that this blogging community’s name is missing an “of”. It all becomes clear now.

  15. Chris from Europe says

    I’m neither in the mood to put up with such crap nor do I think it’s necessary as Chiroptera easily showed that your comments aren’t worthy of response.

    Who was it who has kept the issue of the Aqsa Parvez honor killing alive?

    That would be the CBC.

    Who keeps the argument about these barbarities alive?

    She doesn’t do that in a way that actually achieves something. There’s probably not much worse for your political argument than being associated with Pamela Geller. I don’t see that she actually tries to do something constructive politically besides spreading her racism and Islamophobia.

    Wait, I forgot. You’re too busy salving the hurt feelings of Rebecca Watson to do anything serious.

    Yes, of course, you would only care if the guy were a Muslim, the same reason why you care in the other cases.

    Nor does the above post do anything like that.

    It doesn’t need to. I think Ed and a lot of commenters have over time made pretty clear why the whole line of argument is beside the point. I also think that Ed exposed Spencer’s argument as idiotic, contradictory and bigoted at least several times. It doesn’t convince you. So? Why should we care?

    Of course, this is a waste, because you made pretty clear that nothing will convince you otherwise.

    I also think you aren’t new. We had your BS in a lot of threads at Scienceblogs. Are you a friend of Mr O’Brien?

  16. frankboyd says

    You have to engage the limitless discipline of sophistry, because you cannot point to any facts. You cannot point to anything comparable that the “skeptic/humanist” scene has done as to saving even one life. Or, for that matter, keeping alive the argument against slavery in the Sudan. Or anything else of that matter.

    As regards, RW – I will state it like this. You turn your back without conscience on my sisters who are beaten up and raped and murdered every single day. Very well, I turn my back on your pin-up girl who was offered coffee.

  17. frankboyd says

    dingo,

    An old term of solidarity. A matter of principle that your kind could never understand.

  18. dingojack says

    “… A matter of principle … ”
    [points] Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
    [wipes eyes, points again] Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
    :D – Dingo

  19. Chris from Europe says

    We could, but we won’t and don’t need you. And by the way, what facts have you brought up? You made nearly everything so generic that it’s hard to find what you mean without wading deep in your cesspool.

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