There’s Big Money In Muslim-Bashing
The Tennessean has been chronicling the outrage over the building of a mosque in Murfreesboro, TN, and in the process has looked at the money stream flowing to those who make a good living bashing Islam.
Steven Emerson has 3,390,000 reasons to fear Muslims.
That’s how many dollars Emerson’s for-profit company — Washington-based SAE Productions — collected in 2008 for researching alleged ties between American Muslims and overseas terrorism. The payment came from the Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation, a nonprofit charity Emerson also founded, which solicits money by telling donors they’re in imminent danger from Muslims.
Emerson is a leading member of a multimillion-dollar industry of self-proclaimed experts who spread hate toward Muslims in books and movies, on websites and through speaking appearances.
Leaders of the so-called “anti-jihad” movement portray themselves as patriots, defending America against radical Islam. And they’ve found an eager audience in ultra-conservative Christians and mosque opponents in Middle Tennessee. One national consultant testified in an ongoing lawsuit aimed at stopping a new Murfreesboro mosque.
A group called Charity Navigator understands how non-profits are used as front groups to get money that is then funneled to its founders at their for-profit groups, with enough space in-between to allow for deniability.
Frank Gaffney, head of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Center for Security Policy, earned a $288,300 salary from his charity in 2008. Gaffney was a key witness in recent hearings in the Rutherford County lawsuit filed by mosque opponents. He said he paid his own way.
On the stand, the Reagan-era deputy assistant defense secretary accused local mosque leaders of having ties to terrorism, using ties to Middle Eastern universities and politics as evidence. His main source of information was his own report on Shariah law as a threat to America, one he wrote with other self-proclaimed experts.
But, under oath, he admitted he is not an expert in Shariah law.
The list of people on the anti-Islam circuit goes on. IRS filings from 2008 show that Robert Spencer, who runs the Jihadwatch.org blog, earned $132,537 from the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative nonprofit.
Brigitte Tudor, who runs the anti-Islam groups ACT! For America and the American Congress for Truth, earned $152,810, while her colleague Guy Rogers collected $154,900.
It appears as though bashing practitioners of one of the world’s great religions is much more profitable than praising it.Click here for reuse options!
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