A report from the Council on American-Islamic Relations classified 37 groups as belonging to an 'inner core' of organizations whose mission is to spread what it calls Islamophobia.
By David Knowles, New York Daily News
'Islamphobia,' it seems, is a lucrative business.
American-based groups promoting an anti-Muslim worldview took in more than $119 million in revenue between 2008 and 2011, a new report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations has found.
Titled Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States, the report divided the purveyors of propaganda against Islam into two categories: an inner core comprised of approximately 37 groups "whose primary purpose is to promote prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims," and an outer core consisting of 32 more groups whose "work regularly demonstrates or supports Islamophobic themes."
One of the groups in the inner core is ACT! For America, a nonprofit founded by Lebanese American journalist Brigitte Gabriel, who argues that practicing Muslims should not be eligible to hold public office in the United States.
By studying ACT! For America's IRS filings, CAIR learned that the group had taken in more than $1.2 million in 2010 and 2011.
Despite the proliferation of what CAIR sees as clear anti-Muslim organizations since the Sept. 11 attacks, the report found a slight decline in Islamophobia in the U.S. over the past two years.
"2010 was their high point in terms of fundraising because of the Park 51 mosque controversy in lower Manhattan," Corey Saylor, one of the author's of CAIR's report, told the Daily News.
Still, CAIR found no shortage of what it considers anti-Muslim attitudes, and singled out the likes of New York congressman Peter King, televangelist Pat Robertson, Koran-burning Florida pastor Terry Jones and author Pamela Geller as actively promoting what it sees as bigoted views.
"King walked into his 2011 hearings claiming that Muslims don't cooperate with law enforcement," Saylor said, "but none of the witnesses he called to testify ended up actually supporting that claim."
Saylor said that by naming names, CAIR hoped that financial support for such organizations, as well as the views they espouse, would diminish. (Read more)