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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Who's Funding Islamaphobia in America?

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 11:14 AM

When I hear radical anti-Muslim pundits on TV or read right-wing blogs that do things like describe the language of Arabic as "a spearhead of an ideological project that is deeply opposed to the United States," my first response is always, "Who ARE these people? Who's cutting them enough checks that they have time to scribble hateful blogs and be television talking heads?"

Well, progressive think tank the Center for American Progress released a report last week detailing exactly who is bankrolling Islamaphobic groups in the US. Read it here.

Seven contributors have poured nearly $43 million into anti-Muslim think tanks nationwide since 9/11, the study found. These groups, like Stop Islamization of America and Jihad Watch, don't speak into a vacuum—they push the mainstream perception of Islam toward a religion synonymous with terrorism and anti-democracy.

As Colorlines points out, 60 percent of Americans say they don't know a Muslim person. That means Americans rely a lot of media coverage to shape their understanding of Islam and when that media coverage is shaped by anti-Muslim think tanks who have the time, money, and connections to get on the news, well, you wind up with anti-Muslim intolerance and hate crimes.

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