Anti-Muslim bigotry is a common and widespread feature of our country’s mainstream cultural and political landscape. However, it is important to remember that Islamophobic attitudes and policies are propagated by special interest groups with deep sources of funding. This decentralized group of actors is known as the Islamophobia Network, a close-knit family of organizations and individuals that share an ideology of extreme anti-Muslim animus, and work with one another to negatively influence public opinion and government policy about Muslims and Islam.
To provide a better understanding of how the Islamophobia Network operates, this report maps the flow of funding from charitable organizations to anti-Muslim special interest groups, and their negative impact on public life.
The report finds that the Islamophobia Network has been drawing upon mainstream American philanthropic institutions for financial and political support for years.
CAIR researchers have found 1,096 organizations responsible for funding 39 groups in the Islamophobia Network between 2014 and 2016. The report also reveals the total revenue capacity of the Islamophobia Network during
this period to have reached at least $1.5 billion.
As this report demonstrates, many of these anti-Muslim groups, usually considered marginal or fringe, are in fact funded by mainstream American charitable organizations such as Fidelity Charitable Fund, the National Christian Charitable Foundation, and the Jewish Communal Fund.
While some funds and foundations are ideologically aligned with the interests of the Islamophobia Network, most mainstream foundations are more than likely being exploited or used by donors who seek to anonymize their
contributions to anti-Muslim special interest groups. This report allows stakeholders to determine whether they are directly or indirectly connected to the Islamophobia Network. By mapping the flow of funding from charitable organizations to anti-Muslim advocacy groups, and their negative impact on public life, this report asks, “Should the American philanthropic community divest from the Islamophobia industry?”