(DALLAS, TX – 5/6/19) – The Dallas Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW) today discussed a just-released report by its national office, called “Hijacked by Hate: American Philanthropy and the Islamophobia Network,” that shows how mainstream philanthropic foundations were used by anonymous special interest donors to funnel almost $125 million to anti-Muslim hate groups between 2014 and 2016. 

See CAIR’s Full Report:Hijacked by Hate

According to the report, “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.”

The funders include household names such as Fidelity and Schwab, as well as community-centered, faith-based charities such as the Jewish Communal Fund and the National Christian Charitable Foundation. They also include lesser known and more opaque private family foundations such as the Mirowski Family Foundation Inc., which has virtually no public imprint but nonetheless contributes millions of dollars to support anti-Muslim activity.

Anti-Muslim hate groups listed in the report include: The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Gatestone Institute, Center for Security Policy, Middle East Forum, David Horowitz Freedom Center, Clarion Project, and the Investigative Project on Terrorism, among many others.

“The magnitude of funding of the Islamophobia network and the fact that many mainstream philanthropies are driving it, is simply mindboggling,” said CAIR-DFW Acting Executive Director Ekram Haque.  “The report shows that the anti-Muslim hate groups, once a fringe element, have become mainstream and pose a serious threat to our democracy and national peace.”

In the executive summary of “Hijacked by Hate”, the report’s authors state:

“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. . .

“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 the 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?’”

“Hijacked by Hate” also places President Trump at the center of an “Anti-Muslim Hydra Administration,” noting that that “there have been more than a dozen individuals in the Trump administration who have possessed direct links to anti-Muslim hate groups.”

CAIR’s report includes recommendations for civil society organizations, philanthropic institutions and interfaith communities that include:

  • Familiarizing staff and stakeholders with major actors and influencers in the Islamophobia Network and the major philanthropic organizations responsible for supporting it.
  • Conducting audit of funding sources, institutional partners, and programming relationships to ensure that organizations or institutions are not directly or indirectly connected to the Islamophobia Network.
  • Reviewing funding sources to determine whether those funding organizations and institutions are also supporting the Islamophobia Network.
  • Implementing policies and procedures to ensure that funds are not diverted to hate groups. Implementing policies and procedures to ensure that the programs and activities of grantees align with donor interests, stakeholder values, and the public good.
  • Designing and implement faith-based programs dedicated to marginalizing hate speech and anti-Muslim bigotry in local communities.


CONTACT: CAIR-DFW Acting Executive Director Ekram Haque, 469-463-1861, ekram.haque@cairdfw.org