U.S. Charities Funneled More Than $105 Million to Anti-Muslim Groups, New Report Finds

The anti-immigrant, anti-multiculturalism, anti-Muslim industry:

A new report revealed that organizations deemed Islamophobic by the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights group received more than $105 million in donations from U.S. charities between 2017 and 2019.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a Jan. 11 report titled “Islamophobia in the Mainstream” that it studied the tax records of 50 organizations it had previously identified as the largest funders of anti-Muslim causes, and found that 35 of them were the source of a total of $105 million directed at such groups. CAIR has researched Islamophobia in the U.S. for decades and has been at the forefront of high-profile legal battles involving violations of Muslims’ religious liberties. For the purposes of its research, CAIR identifies organizations as Islamophobic if they support policies that lead to discrimination against Muslims, demean Muslims because of their religion or allege that Islam represents an existential threat to the U.S (or partner with other organizations that do).
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“It is very important to not only track people who commit hate crimes, but the people whose money contributes to the rise in hate crimes,” says CAIR’s deputy director Edward Ahmed Mitchell. “If anti-Muslim hate groups are getting funding from mainstream foundations, that’s very concerning.

CAIR’s new report builds upon a longstanding body of research by the organization and other institutions that highlights how money is funneled toward anti-Muslim groups. A series of reports called Fear, Inc., published by the progressive think tank Center for American Progress in 2011 and 2015, were among the first to map out the issue in detail and found that eight charitable foundations spent $57 million between 2001 and 2012 to support the spread of anti-Muslim rhetoric. A 2019 report by CAIR found that the total revenue of anti-Muslim special interest groups surpassed $1.5 billion between 2014 and 2016. Mitchell notes that while 15 of the top 50 charities CAIR identified as giving to Islamophobic groups in 2014-2016 did not do so in 2017-2019, the current number is still “very significant and very concerning.”

“There absolutely is this sophisticated, orchestrated network of activists, politicians and media personalities that are working in coordination as this echo chamber to push out anti-Muslim rhetoric and policy,” says Yasmine Taeb, a human rights attorney who co-authored the 2015 Fear, Inc. report.

CAIR’s research found that the charity group Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism Inc. donated more to special interest groups CAIR identified as Islamophobic than other charities did by a significant margin—the donations were close to $20 million annually between 2017 and 2019. Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism did not respond to a request for comment.

Mitchell emphasizes that it’s possible that some donors do not know their money is being used to perpetuate Islamophobia. Of the 35 organizations CAIR identified as giving funds to anti-Muslim groups, a handful were donor-advised funds, meaning that donors can suggest how they want their money to be directed but the fund ultimately decides how donations are spent. Contributors to these funds are often anonymous, making it even more difficult to track donations. “That’s part of the reason why we do this report, so that there’s no excuse,” Mitchell says. CAIR hopes to create transparency so donors can take greater responsibility, he adds.

In its report, CAIR urged the philanthropic community to establish clear policies to ensure funds are not directed toward anti-Muslim groups and to educate their employees and boards about the extent of anti-Muslim bigotry. The ultimate goal, Mitchell says, is to reduce the threat of Islamophobia faced by American Muslims.

Source: U.S. Charities Funneled More Than $105 Million to Anti-Muslim Groups, New Report Finds

Mosque Attacks, Apparent Anti-Islam Spending Up: Report – NBC News

There does appear to be an anti-Islam, anti-Muslim industry:

Thirty-three Islamophobic groups had access to $205 million between 2008 and 2013 to spread fear and hatred of Muslims, according to a new report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Center for Race and Gender at the University of California, Berkeley. “Confronting Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the U.S. 2013-2015” documents the ways this and other funding has made Islamophobia manifest in America, as well as a new national strategy to improve American understanding and acceptance of Islam. The report also found that mosque attacks had reached an all-time high in 2015.

Image: US-POLITICS-CAIR
A report titled “Confronting Fear,” about Islamophobia in the US released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), is seen at their headquarters in Washington, DC, June 20, 2016. SAUL LOEB / AFP – Getty Images

“The last two months of 2015 saw 34 incidents in which mosques were targeted by vandals or those who want to intimidate worshippers,” Nihad Awad, CAIR executive director, writes in the introduction. “This is more incidents than we usually record in an entire year. This report makes a case that those who value constitutional ideals like equal protection, freedom of worship, or an absence of religious tests for those seeking public office no longer have the luxury of just opposing the U.S. Islamophobia network’s biased messaging.”

The number of Islamophobic groups in America has increased from 69 groups in 2013 to 74 groups in 2015, according to the report. Thirty-three of these groups are considered the inner core of the American Islamophobic network because their primary mission is to promote hate and prejudice against Islam and Muslims. Among the report’s other findings: Attacks on mosques have increased, with 78 recorded incidents in 2015. Ten states have passed anti-Islam laws. Two states have changed the way textbooks are approved in order to change the way Islam is taught in schools, law enforcement trainings on handling anti-Islamic crime has decreased, and a new phenomenon of “Muslim-free” businesses and armed anti-Islam demonstrations has developed.

“The 2016 presidential election has mainstreamed Islamophobia and resulted in a number of un-constitutional proposals targeting Muslims,” Corey Saylor, director of CAIR’s department to monitor and combat Islamophobia, said in a statement. “‘Confronting Fear’ offers a plan for moving anti-Muslim bias back to the fringes of society where it belongs.” 

Source: Mosque Attacks, Apparent Anti-Islam Spending Up: Report – NBC News