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Stateside with Rosalea Barker: Fear Inc.

Stateside with Rosalea Barker: Fear Inc.

By Rosalea Barker
August 29, 2011

A small group of conservative foundations and wealthy donors are the lifeblood of the Islamophobia network in America. They provide critical funding to a clutch of right-wing think tanks and misinformation experts who peddle hate and fear of Muslims and Islam—in the form of books, reports, websites, blogs, and carefully crafted talking points, which dedicated anti-Islam grassroots organizations and some right-wing religious groups use as propaganda for their constituency. These foundations and wealthy donors also provide direct funding to anti-Islam grassroots groups.

So begins Chapter One of a report published last week by the Center for American Progress, which goes on to list the top seven contributors as:

• Donors Capital Fund
• Richard Mellon Scaife foundations
• Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
• Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker foundations and charitable trust
• Russell Berrie Foundation
• Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund, and
• Fairbrook Foundation

The report goes on to say that, altogether, these seven charitable groups provided $42.6 million in total to Islamophobic think tanks between 2001 and 2009, according to the documentation that charitable groups are required to submit to the federal government. The Clarion Fund, one of the charities supported by the Donors Capital Fund—the first on the list above—widely disseminated the DVD “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” in 28 battleground states during 2008. Translation of Arabic material on the DVD was supplied by the Middle East Media and Research Institute, which has been described by one former CIA case officer as “propagandists for the extreme right of Israel’s Likud Party.”

The press release for the report states that the authors have “created this report at an important time in history where people are trying to exploit fear, hysteria and ignorance and divide Americans based on religious and ethnic lines. We've written this report for a mainstream, wide audience. This is meant to empower communities with knowledge, facts and information with the hopes of marginalizing these anti-American, divisive, fear-mongering voices so we can return to a moderate course and partake in civil discourse.”

As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and the run-up to the 2012 election approaches, the need for a fear-and-idiocy antidote has never been higher.

Fear Inc., The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, by Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir



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