Source: Aljazeera English
A new report details how a small group of donors and ‘intellectuals’ have pushed Islamophobia into the mainstream.
It has been just about a decade since Islamophobia exploded in this country. That was of moment that the World Trade Center and Pentagon were hit by al Qaeda terrorists. It existed prior to 9/11, but the losses that day and the general terror it inflicted upon this country made many, many Americans much more wary of Arabs and, fairly quickly, fearful of the religion the terrorists professed.
The first sign that 9/11 would be exploited to advance various agendas came from Binyamin Netanyahu, who was quoted in the New York Times as saying the attacks would be good for Israel:
Asked tonight [September 11, 2001] what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, replied, ”It’s very good.” Then he edited himself: ”Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.” He predicted that the attack would ”strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.”
Netanyahu subsequently reiterated his views about 9/11, quoted here in Haaretz.
And, of course, ever since 9/11 the “pro-Israel” lobby has successfully used it to build support for right-wing Israeli policies in the United States.
But the lobby isn’t alone.
It is just one of the components of an orchestrated and well-financed effort to make Americans fear and hate Muslims and Arabs.
I have to admit, however, that until I read a report published today by the Center for American Progress (CAP), I had no idea just how orchestrated and well-financed this movement was.
The report, “Fear Inc: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” demonstrates that a small group of self-proclaimed experts (Frank Gaffney, David Yerushalmi, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, and Steve Emerson) backed by a host of foundations and donors (many of which also fund the lobby) have put Islamophobia on the map.
To put it simply, without these “experts,” their donors, and Fox News (their media mouthpiece) you would never have heard that a Muslim community center (the “Ground Zero Mosque”) was being constructed in New York City. And the center certainly would not have become a major news story. Nor would Republican (and even a few Democratic) candidates for president, Congress, and even village councils be called upon to condemn Islam and “Sharia Law” or face being labeled a supporter of terrorism. Nor would Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum have made hatred of American Muslims such an integral part of their campaigns.
It all starts with the money. According to CAP: READ MORE ON ALJAZEERA”]