In CAP’s recently-released report “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” my co-authors and I demonstrate how the Islamophobia network operates: a small group of so-called “experts” produce anti-Muslim talking points, which are then propagated and echoed on news outlets like Fox News to reach larger audiences.
Unintentionally validating our research, last night Fox Business aired a segment that tried to debunk “Fear, Inc.” but instead reaffirmed the methods of the Islamophobia network. Fox’s “Follow the Money” host Eric Bolling, who has previously pushed the “creeping Sharia” myth, hosted The Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Steven Emerson — one of the five leading producers of anti-Muslim information identified in our report. (Fox did not offer us an invitation to defend the report.)
After Emerson spoke, Bolling invited a three-member panel to comment, who all agreed that there isn’t an Islamophobia network in America. Bolling set up the discussion by making this outlandishly false statement:
I need to point this out – I’m reading directly from this report: “The Obama-allied Center for American Progress has released a report that blames Islamophobia in America on a small group of Jews and Israel supporters in America, whose views are being backed by millions of dollars.”
To be clear, that quote is nowhere to be found in our report. If Fox wants to read “directly” from the report, we’re happy to send them a copy. In the meantime, they should stop making up quotes and issue a correction.
Before the panel discussion, Steven Emerson reacted to “Fear, Inc.” by gushing, “I feel sort of somewhat complimented because they’re attributing to me and four other people the ability to control the minds of 300 million Americans.” Emerson mischaracterized our report by stating: “What they deny — and what they claim is racist — is the assertion that Islamic terrorism is motivated by Islamic extremists, clerics, mosques…”
We don’t say anything like that in our report. There are clearly instances of radicalized Muslims committing violent acts and defaming their religion. As we say in the report, “Around the world, there are people killing people in the name of Islam, with which most Muslims disagree.” What Emerson does is try to cast aspersions on all Muslims because of the acts of a few. He questions Muslim American loyalties and tries to marginalize their voice.
For instance, Emerson has previously asserted that “nearly all of the Islamic organizations in the United States that define themselves as religiously or culturally Muslim in character have, today, been totally captured or dominated by radical fundamentalist elements.” And last night on Fox, Emerson pushed the same argument:
Most of the Islamic organizations in the United States, they’re run by the Muslim Brotherhood, or they were created by the Muslim Brotherhood – a group that believes in imposing Islam and Sharia around the world.
Watch it, courtesy of Media Matters: