MONITORING AND COMBATING ISLAMOPHOBIA

A Project of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

Gatestone Institute

Type of Organization: Media, Politics

According to its website, the Gatestone Institute claims to be “a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank, dedicated to educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report in promoting human rights, institutions of democracy and the rule of law, etc.” Gatestone’s founder, Nina Rosenwald, is the heiress to the Sears Roebuck fortune, and has used it to further Islamophobia through the William Rosenwald Family Fund. In fact, a report titled “Fear Inc.” by the Center for American Progress found that the fund is one of the “top seven contributors to promoting Islamophobia in our country” and has put forth $2.8 million to “organizations that fan the flames of Islamophobia” since 2000.

The Gatestone Institute employs false information regarding Muslim refugees in Europe to stoke fear and hatred of Muslims in the West, including the fabricated idea of “no-go zones.” A 2018 report by NBC quoted the Brookings Institute fellow, Alina Polyakova, who found that the Gatestone Institute is “putting out content that was clearly anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and was echoing some of the Russian disinformation propaganda.” For example, in a 2015 article, Gatestone contributor Burak Bekdil stated that “Muslims in this part of the world view the Christian West as ‘evil;’ yet they know Christian lands are the most decent places to live economically and politically. Wealthy Arab states rigidly turn their back on the plight of fellow Muslims who are in need of a helping hand; and Islamist hypocrites blame it all on the West.”

The organization is perhaps most well-known through its former chairman, current U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, who received more than $310,000 in payments for Gatestone. The Gatestone Institute publishes “an online daily report” on their website, in which previous editions have featured articles from Geert Wilders, who has stated “I hate Islam,” and David Horowitz, a prominent anti-Muslim figure. Various article titles have included “Sweden: Rape Capital of the West” and “Are Jihadists Taking over Europe?” Several other publications on the Institute’s website contend that the Obama administration’s refugee policy “exposes Americans to the jihad,” that Muslim migrants are hosts of “highly contagious diseases,” and that Europe is facing a looming “Great White Death” as a result of new immigration and abortion policies.

American Freedom Law Center

The American Freedom Law Center, Inc. (AFLC) is an anti-Muslim law firm co-founded and co-led by David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise.   The center often acts as the Islamophobia Network’s legal counsel and has represented Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy and Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative.  

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Appearing as a key witness supporting Rep. Peter King’s anti-Muslim hearings in March 2011, Jasser criticized Muslim organizations for informing communities of the fundamental constitutional right to have counsel present during interactions with law enforcement.

American Islamic Forum for Democracy

American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is an anti-Muslim lobby group founded by Zhudi Jasser. Under Jasser’s leadership, AIFD has allied itself with institutions and legislative efforts that attempt to limit Muslims’ access to enumerated freedoms in the Bill of Rights.

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Americans for Peace and Tolerance

Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) is a Boston-based lobby group founded by Charles Jacobs that proliferates misinformation and conspiracy theories about Islam and Muslim-Americans. It is dedicated to undermining mainstream Muslim institutions and promoting Islamophobia within the media. 

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Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter, a conservative media personality, has gained notoriety for her unabashed Islamophobia. Her influence extends to the social media platforms, where she boasts over 2 million followers on X (formerly known as Twitter). 

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Bare Naked Islam

Bare Naked Islam is an anti-Muslim Internet blog and online community that portrays Islam as “a totalitarian political cult-like ideology.” Bannered with the line “It isn’t Islamophobia / When they really are trying to kill you,” the blog Bare Naked Islam is run by New York-based ‘Bonni’ Benstock-Intall.

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Center for Security Policy

The Center for Security Policy is a key anti-Muslim lobbying and propaganda group founded by Frank Gaffney. CSP seeks to advance anti-Muslim sentiment in both policy and society and predicates Islam as an existential threat to America. 

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