America is Behind the Rise of the Right-Wing: Funding Islamophobia in Europe 1


Introduction

The increase in Islamophobia and the rise of extreme right-wing anti-Muslim organisations are intrinsically linked. It would be foolish to think they would arise out of chance or through spectacular terror attacks.  It was suggested that the right-wing groups in Europe are directly and indirectly funded through the same donors of the Islamophobia network in America. Although, one found it difficult to put a finger on it without being tossed aside as a “conspiracy theorist” – until now.

Research conducted by the Centre for American Progress, a public policy research organisation, found that the anti-Islamic sentiment amongst right-wing groups in America linked back to the same key organisations and individuals who are pumping millions of dollars into it. This research was the first of its kind in exploring Islamophobia and its root cause.

“the steady increase in demonstrations and other forms of harassment toward American Muslims is part of a calculated strategy that is paid for by a small clutch of foundations that fund some select Islamophobia network think tanks that in turn provide a wide array of mis-characterized facts about the threat of Islam and Muslims in America. These think tanks in turn provide the incendiary rhetoric employed by ACT! for America and other grassroots groups promoting anti-Muslim hate.” Fear Inc, The Roots of the Islamophobia Network

From this research, we learn the tactics employed by the network of hate that is now set to plague Europe, as well as understand why the biggest donors for right-wing groups in Europe come from America.

Think-tanks funded by Americans

Quilliam Foundation

The counter-extremism think-tank Quilliam Foundation is one of many that have been funded by American organisations. The investigative journalist Dr Nafeez Ahmed reported that the Quilliam Foundation has received over a million dollars in funding from an American conservative philanthropic organisation, with close ties to the Tea Party and extreme right-wing Christian networks.

The funding came from the John Templeton Foundation, for a total of $1,080,997, covering the period from September 2014 to June 2017. The report details that in 2014, the same year that Quilliam received its million dollars 3-year funding package, the John Templeton Foundation participated in a shadowy annual “conference of hard-right Christian organisations” known only as “The Gathering.” According to the Daily Beast, where Maajid Nawaz is a columnist, ‘The Gathering’ is a convening of “many of the wealthiest conservative to hard-right evangelical philanthropists in America.”

Interestingly London’s Prevent manager Ghaffar Hussain is the lead for the Quilliam project financed by Templeton which proves that the funding doesn’t sit in isolation but directly seeps into government.

Ed Husain founder of Quilliam now a Senior Fellow at the US Council on Foreign Relations. CFR’s list of donor includes Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation who are listed in the roots of Islamophobia network by American Progress.

Gatestone Institute

The Gatestone Institute is a “non-partisan” international policy council and thinktank who actively fuel the anti-Islamic agenda and shockingly house senior fellows that utter obscene language against Islam, the Qur’an  and the Prophet ﷺ. The Alternet.org would title an article “One of America’s Most Dangerous Think Tanks Is Spreading Islamophobic Hate Across the Atlantic” and discussed in lengths the Gatestone Institutes relationship with far-right figures included in the report by the Centre for American Progress. It also details the fact that the Gatestone Institute paid $100,000 dollars after the Paris attacks for an advert in the New York Times to drive home its implicit message that a good Muslim supports US power, two out of the three Muslims pictured in the Gatestone advert were posing next to the American flag. Mentioning violence in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Egypt and “Africa,” the text of the advertisement effortlessly ignored all other violence in the world not involving any of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims and simultaneously glossed over the context-specific political factors at play in each conflict. The subtext was clear: Gatestone was advocating a mono-causal explanation for this violence and put the spotlight firmly on Islam.

The three signatories outside of America were Maajid Nawaz, Usama Hassan, and Naser Khader – again another link back to the Quilliam Foundation. When Quilliam Foundation was questioned on whether they are now receiving funding from the Gatestone Institute, they did not respond.

The Henry Jackson Society is another UK organisation that receives funding from the founder of the Gatestone Institute, Nina Rosenwald – who was dubbed as the “sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate”. Ingrid Carlqvist, Richard Kemp and Soeren Kern are senior fellows at Gatestone based in Sweden, UK and Spain and regularly post defamatory content about Islam and Muslims. A short scan of their article titles would surprise even the most reserved.

“Where does all this hatred (against disbelievers) come from? Its long lineage begins with the Muslim prophet Muhammed and its modern form pre-dates Hitler.” Richard Kemp – Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute

Political factions funded by Americans

UK Independence Party (UKIP) and Party for Freedom (PVV)

UKIP’s biggest donor is US real estate developer Paul Sykes who donated £1.3 million pounds for UKIP’s advertising campaign. It had always been baffling to see foreign funds bankrolling political groups in Europe but it all now begins to make sense. Interestingly his name reminds us of the man that carved up the Middle East, to begin with.

Nigel Farage recently endorsed Trump’s campaign in America and cemented any doubt that UKIP must have come to the fore due to the billions being flooded into Europe by American anti-Islamic and far right xenophobic organisations.

Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with extreme right politician Joram van Klaveran, who left Geert Wilder’s Party for Freedom (PVV) party to set up his own party named “Voor Nederland” (for The Netherlands). Astonishingly Van Klaveren thinks the Wilder’s party has become too left-wing, even though the PVV promote anti-environment, anti-immigration, anti-EU, and anti-Islam policies.

In the article van Klaveren talks about his contacts with UKIP (translated from original Dutch):

“We met Farage in Brussels, in a restaurant. It was very relaxing. We first talked for thirty minutes about football, then about the food. Only then it was about politics. It clicked. He found us very interesting. I think it’s quite special: we are a party with only a few hundred members, we still have no party leader, we are only a few people, but he did not mind. Size is not everything, he says. We have met a few times since then. UKIP representatives also came to The Hague. Through UKIP we are invited by the American Heritage Foundation, a large conservative think tank. It has offered to raise funds for us. We go there in May, to present ourselves to the Americans.”

Now, if extreme right groups such as Voor Nederland are going through UKIP to secure funding in America it leaves no doubt that UKIP and other far-right groups are receiving funds directly from America. It is also common knowledge that funding will come through think-tanks and other private organisations rather than through Washington itself – this is just how the Americans like to do business.

Notorious anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders has been forced to disclose that he received funds from David Horowitz Freedom Centre. Horowitz was named in the 2011 Center for American Progress (CAP) report Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America as one of the most influential purveyors of anti-Muslim propaganda. He also appears at PEGIDA anti-Muslim rallies regularly.

National Front

In France, National Front received a huge loan from Russia after seeking loans in the U.S. also with Marine Le Pen stating that “French banks have not been forthcoming — perhaps because of the party’s reputation, perhaps because the bet on its electoral success looked too risky. No bank wants to give us as much as a cent … We have cast the net wide: in Spain, in Italy, in the U.S., in Asia and in Russia, and we have signed with the first catch and we are very happy,” the daily Le Monde quoted Le Pen as saying.

This story was widespread at the time and mainstream media tried to link funding for far-right organisations to Russia, as expected. Both The Independent and The Telegraph purposefully misquoted Marine Le Pen and slyly redacted the “U.S.” from the list of countries that the National Front sought funding from. It leads one to believe that the papers are hiding something from the public and using Russia as the scapegoat. Thomas Hirst of Business Insider UK quite bluntly put it in his article titled “Russia’s infiltration of Europe far-right is a myth”.

Where will it go from here?

Indeed, Europe is entering a new phase in politics. Gone are the days of left-wing and leaning right factions, and like in America we will see the rise of the far-right like never before. We will see groups like “Act! For America” openly advocating their hatred for Islam and the Muslims.

Brigitte Gabriel the founder of ‘Act! For America’ routinely says that every “practicing Muslim who believes in the teaching of the Quran cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America”. She goes on to say that “Americans must wake up and confront the threat of Islam in every corner of society” The ACT! website, for example, features a 52-slide PowerPoint detailing the typical ACT! training seminar, which claims Muslims are seeking to “conquer America” and “spread Sharia.” This notion of “creeping Sharia” will be a term that we will hear more often.

Centre for American Progress reported that,

She informed the Christians United for Israel convention audience in 2007 that Arabs and Muslims “have no soul. They are dead set on killing and destruction. And in the name of something they call ‘Allah’ which is very different from the God we believe.” radical Muslims have “infiltrated” (referring to Obama) our government and “are being radicalized in radical mosques,” and that Muslims engage in taqiyya,which she describes as religiously mandated lying. She bases this last charge on the Center for Security Policy’s inaccurate definition of the Arabic word.

Taqiyya is a new word being thrown around by the Islamophobic bigots who claim any argument you use to be ‘Taqiyya’, a lie based on misapplied evidence even if the evidence has been applied for centuries by the most renowned and traditional scholars of Islam.

In conclusion, it is evident that far-right movements in Europe are being funded directly by American organisations and individuals who have a deep hatred for Islam and the Muslims. It is not an American vs Russia paradigm but rather an American-dominated world whereby Russia is merely a pawn and Europe will succumb to its power unless the general public educates themselves, especially the Muslims.

 

Sources
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/report/2011/08/26/10165/fear-inc/
https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/the-quilliam-foundation-is-financed-by-tea-party-conservatives-investigated-by-sam-harris-1e43d54f0bee#.v3z0ybhab
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/25/the-1-billion-a-year-right-wing-conspiracy-you-haven-t-heard-of.html
http://i.cfr.org/content/about/annual_report/ar_2015/CFR_2015_Donor_Listing.pdf
http://www.alternet.org/investigations/one-americas-most-dangerous-think-tanks-spreading-islamophobic-hate-across-atlantic
https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5032/new-york-times-beautifying-islam
http://essays.ssrc.org/sept11/essays/mamdani.htm
https://www.thenation.com/article/sugar-mama-anti-muslim-hate/
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/ampp3d/meet-ukips-5-biggest-donors-4909075
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/25/nigel-farage-tells-donald-trump-rally-i-wouldnt-vote-for-clinton/
http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/4324/Nieuws/article/detail/3945620/2015/04/07/Joram-van-Klaveren-De-PVV-is-veel-te-links.dhtml
https://electronicintifada.net/tags/geert-wilders
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/putin-s-far-right-ambition-think-tank-reveals-how-russian-president-is-wooing-and-funding-populist-9883052.html
http://uk.businessinsider.com/russia-infiltration-of-europe-far-right-is-a-myth-2015-2
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