Friday, 20 September 2013

CAIR Report: Islamophobia Network Funded with $119 Million 2008 to 2011

                               
CAIR-Florida Announcement

         

WASHINGTON, D.C., (9/20/13) -- The nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization yesterday released a report, "Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States," which reveals that anti-Islam groups received more than $119 million in funding between 2008 and 2011.
 

The new report by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also identifies 37 organizations dedicated to promoting anti-Islam prejudice in America. CAIR's second report on the subject more fully identifies the "Islamophobia network" in the United States and exposes its funding.

 

[NOTE: CAIR today also distributed an ISLAM-OPED commentary, "The Reality of Islamophobia in America," which states that, "Like racism, anti-Semitism, sexism and other issues, Islamophobia exists." That commentary is available upon request for publication by media outlets nationwide.]

 


CAIR's Research Findings Highlight Five Core Islamophobia Groups in Florida:

  • Americans Against HateWhen our South Florida Executive Director, Nezar Hamze, attempted to join the party whose economic and social policies (save for the endemic Islamophobia), mirror his own, he was resoundingly rejected as a "terrorist operative" by both the GOP and Americans Against Hate, who organized against his being admitted to the Broward County Executive Committee. Watch John Stewart's coverage, including the hypocritical stance of 'Americans Against Hate' founder Joe Kaufman, who evidently doesn't know what it means to be "against" something
    Click to watch the Daily Show
  • Citizens For National Security -Rep. Allen West (R-FL) has a lengthy history of pandering to Islamophobes and a well recorded willingness to rub shoulders with members of the extreme right.But a press release announcing a "private citizens group to expose stunning details about homegrown jihad at Capitol Hill," an event sponsored by West, should raise new questions about West's proclivity for aligning himself with individuals and groups who engage in crude stereotyping of MuslimsThe "private citizens group" West invited for a July 25 presentation is the Boca Raton, Florida-based Citizens for National Security (CFNS). The CFNS press release promises that the event will release "an unprecedented list of individual members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S." Headed by William A. Saxton and Peter M. Leitner, the organization's website is littered with language suggesting that all Muslims represent a danger to U.S. national security.    
  • Counter Terrorism Operations Center - Last year, a coalition of 30 Islamic organizations, led by CAIR-FL, criticized the way Florida police are trained in counter-terrorism methods. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has used materials that spread fear and bigotry against Muslims, according to Nezar Hamze, South Florida executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR).In particular, the coalition singled out materials used by Sam Kharoba, president of the Cape Coral-based Counter Terrorism Operations Center (CTOC), saying they make "vile accusations against Islam, sweeping generalizations targeting all Muslims and factual inaccuracies." 
    which he sells to public agencies through the auspice of his LLC, the CTOC.
      
  • Florida Family Association - The Learning Channel Show 'All-American Muslim' depicted, much like any other TLC show, different families in American cities, only these families lived in Dearborn Michigan, and were Muslim. One man, David Caton, the founder and sole employee of the Florida Family Association, created the controversy that regrettably led to Lowes pulling it's advertising funding from the show, claiming it was a front for an Islamic takeover of America. "We live in the age of the Internet and a well-organized extreme right," said Mark Potok in the New York Times, who investigates hate groups for the Southern Poverty Law Center and has followed Mr. Caton's activities. "This little man was able to have his voice amplified in huge ways." Since that fiasco, Caton has teamed up with local Tampa bigot and repeat School Board candidate failure Terry Jones, in a school board crusade to ban CAIR-FL from presenting perspectives on Islam and Muslims in America to high school students. The Tampa Bay Times called the school board meetings a series of "did-I-just-hear-that" moments of intolerance.

 

In 2011, after significant pressure from CAIR and other organizations that included crucial reporting by Wired.com's Spencer Ackerman, federal authorities initiated steps to remove biased and inaccurate material about Islam from law enforcement training materials. Studies and a lack of consequences for most candidates for public office who engage in anti-Muslim rhetoric reveal an unfortunate societal tolerance for prejudicial speech directed at Muslim.

 

 

CAIR names individuals, institutions and groups that were at the center of promoting Islamophobia in America during the period covered by the report.

The "worst" list includes:

  • Lieutenant General William G. "Jerry" Boykin (retired)
  • Zuhdi Jasser and the American Islamic Forum for Democracy
  • Herman Cain
  • Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)
  • David Yerushalmi
  • Former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.)
  • Walid Shoebat and the Forum for Middle East Understanding
  • State legislators who sponsored anti-Islam legislation
  • The Clarion Fund
  • David Caton and the Florida Family Association
  • Lowe's

CAIR also names individuals, institutions and groups that deserve recognition for their outstanding contributions to pushing back against Islamophobia in 2011 and 2012.

The "best" list includes:

  • Rais Bhuiyan
  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R)
    Senator Dick Durban (D-Ill.)
  • Media and interest groups exposing Islamophobia in counter terrorism training received by federal, state and local law enforcement (specifically Political Research Associates, Washington Monthly, Wired, CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°" and National Public Radio)
  • The Democratic Members of the House Homeland Security Committee, plus Reps. Mike Honda and Judy Chu
  • The Islamic Circle of North America's Defending Religious Freedom Understanding Shariah Campaign
  • Those involved in the opening of the Murfreesboro Mosque
  • Groups exposing the Islamophobia Network (specifically People for the American Way, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for American Progress)

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.


CONTACT: CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-541-4321, hshibly@cair.com; CAIR-Florida Communications Director Samantha L. Bowden, 703-289-7782, sbowden@cair.com  

 

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