Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, speaks at a D.C press conference Thursday (Sept. 19) to release "Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States," a report naming 37 groups to a list of "Islamophobia's Inner Core." Corey Saylor, director of CAIR's department to monitor and combat Islamophobia, listens on. RNS photo by Katherine Burgess

Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, speaks at a Washington press conference Thursday (Sept. 19) to release “Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States,” a report naming 37 groups to a list of “Islamophobia’s Inner Core.” Corey Saylor, director of CAIR’s department to monitor and combat Islamophobia, listens on right. RNS photo by Katherine Burgess


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WASHINGTON (RNS) Groups with a mission to spread prejudice and hatred against Muslims are coordinated and well financed, according to a report released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights group.

The report, titled “Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States,” was released Thursday (Sept. 19), and it names 37 individuals and institutions that “were at the center of promoting Islamophobia in America” during 2011-2012.

The report, which found that incidents of hatred against Muslims had decreased slightly, includes a list of 32 other groups that promote Islamophobic themes as well as a “best list” of organizations that have sought to combat Islamophobia.

“American Muslims face discrimination every day,” said Nihad Awad, national executive director of CAIR. “Islamophobia is a threat to the safety of American Muslims.”

In 2012, CAIR rated Islamophobia as a 5.9 on a scale of one to 10, with one representing an America free of Islamophobia and 10 being the worst possible situation for Muslims. In 2010, CAIR rated the state of Islamophobia in America as a 6.4.

The nonprofit organizations whose purpose was to besmirch Islam made more than $119 million in revenue during 2011-2012, the report states.

Awad said these organizations have made “a lucrative profession out of targeting a religious community.” Many of the institutions share founders and funding.

During the report’s two-year period, 78 bills “designed to vilify Islamic religious practices” were introduced in 29 states and Congress. Of these bills, 62 contained language from legislation created by David Yerushalmi of the American Freedom Law Center, one of the institutions listed as part of the “inner core.”

Awad said the 37 organizations have had a “devastating effect” on how Muslims are viewed in the United States, resulting in the increase of Islamophobic rhetoric and behavior.

“We will continue to be attacked by these individuals and institutions,” Awad said. “Our purpose in publishing this information is to empower the people who are concerned about Islamophobia.”

According to a 2011 study by the Public Religion Research Institute, 30 percent of the American public believe American Muslims want to establish Shariah law in the United States.

Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel at the American Freedom Law Center, called CAIR’s objectives in releasing the report “nefarious,” saying the civil rights organization is a “Muslim Brotherhood front group.”

“CAIR wants to silence speech that sheds light on its illicit objectives by trying to marginalize that speech,” said Muise. “By being named in the report, it is evident that the American Freedom Law Center is having an impact on CAIR’s operations, which is good for America and all freedom-loving Americans.”

Nonie Darwish, founder of Former Muslims United, another group named to the list, said she took issue with the wording of the report.

“The word ‘phobia’ refers to people who are afraid without reason,” Darwish said. “I would be crazy if I were not afraid of Islam. I have lots of fear of Islam, and rightfully so. Islam is brutal. Islamic law is brutal.”

Ten of the groups from the “Islamophobia Network’s inner core” are:

  1. ACT! for America
  2. American Freedom Defense Initiative
  3. American Freedom Law Center
  4. Atlas Shrugs
  5. Center for Security Policy
  6. David Horowitz Freedom Center
  7. Investigative Project on Terrorism
  8. Jihad Watch
  9. Middle East Forum
  10. The Clarion Fund (now called The Clarion Project)

8 Comments

  1. Sorry wrong citation. See the article in the “Middle Eastern Quarterly,” Spring 2006 by Daniel Pipes and Sandra Chadha on CAIR. Even “liberals” has some surprising input.

    See also the article by Cherson and Molschky dated 9/17/13, titled “Religious Sensitivity…” Both are excellent, and only you, an intelligent reader, can decide. I’ve just read that over 100,000 Christians are murdered each year; only you can discover where and by whom.

  2. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Two points: First: the way Christians are frequently brutally treated in virtually all Moslem countries makes a joke of any Moslem whining about how they are treated here.
    And second: To blame any of the groups listed here for how Americans view Islam is absurd. The obvious and widespread Islamic violence against non-Moslems–especially Christians– all across the Middle East has done that.

  3. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    And I get on the computer today and see 78 Christians blown to bits by an Islamic suicide bomber in Pakistan while at church services (mostly women and children killed).
    But none of the groups being tagged as anti-Islamic activist by complaining Moslems have done anything here in basically Christian America like what Islamic activists do in the name of Allah! around the world. Maybe if the groups of anti-Moslem activists being complained about in this posting were behaving as bloodily as Islamic activists the complainers would have a case.

  4. Freedom of religion means that you are free to fuel Islamophobia as much as you are free to fuel Islamophilia. So what is it exactly that CAIR is trying to prove by naming some of their competitors within the free market of religious ideas?

  5. I do trust all the concepts you have offered for your post.
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