The Center for American Progress has issued a detailed report on the foundations and individuals who have been funding the self-described anti-jihadists. It focuses particularly on five people:
• Frank Gaffney at the Center for Security Policy
• David Yerushalmi at the Society of Americans for National Existence
• Daniel Pipes at the Middle East Forum
• Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and Stop Islamization of America
• Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism
Pipes has his problems but he’s considerably more serious and credible than Gaffney, Yerushalmi and Spencer, who are all just plain nuts. I’ve never heard of Emerson and am not familiar with his work. The report notes more than $40 million in support given to various groups of this type:
The foundations funding the misinformation experts: Donors Capital Fund; Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation;
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; Newton and Rochelle Becker Foundation and Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust; Russell Berrie Foundation, Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund; Fairbrook Foundation.
Pam Geller, the looniest of the loony, reacts exactly as one might expect:
Over at the wildly funded machine of hate and lies, the “Center of American Progess,” the Soros cranks have spent hundreds of thousands producing a pile of dung masquerading as research. This is part of leftist/Islamic war machine on freedom, truth and …. America. Anyone who dares expose the agenda of the global jihad can expect their names, reputations and credibility to be destroyed and libeled.
Why isn’t the wild Boorstein chasing after the million$ these killers are getting? Who paid for this “report”? It reads more like a Mein Kampf treatise. The funding section of the report is outrageous. I have not seen one dime from any those donors, though they name me as a recipient. Lies.
And if you’re looking for a pile of dung masquerading as research, look no further than the Center for Security Policy’s ridiculous report on “creeping Sharia” in American courts. Every single example in the report says the exact opposite of the report’s conclusions, as I documented here.
None of this in any way suggests that Islam should not be criticized, especially the reactionary and barbaric form of Islam favored by those who engage in terrorism. The wingnuts like to pretend that if you criticize their specific crazy claims about Islam that you’re defending Islam; I certainly am not. I think Islam is every bit as invalid as Christianity. And I think the most reactionary forms of Islam are the single most dangerous ideology in the world today.
But that isn’t the problem with the anti-jihad crowd. The problem is that they go far beyond legitimate criticisms and into the kind of paranoid delusions that no sane person should hold. The notion that sharia law is poised to take over the United States is not just wrong, it’s absolutely insane. And if you think, as many of the anti-jihad crowd does, that Muslims are not covered by the First Amendment, you are as much an enemy of American ideals as those you criticize.