Philadelphia – November 8, 2017 – The Middle East Forum (MEF) has launched the Campaign on Islamist Financing (CIF), a research body and resource for foundations, politicians, journalists, and private companies that accept donations from, offer grants or services to, or wish to investigate charities and lobby groups suspected of Islamist ties. CIF will campaign against this flow of money to and from Islamist organizations and operatives in the United States, and instead encourage support for moderate Muslim groups.
CIF has been launched in the wake of a prominent feature piece by The Daily Caller about an MEF campaign to identify and challenge millions of dollars of donations from major American corporate, community, and independent foundations to prominent Islamist groups with long histories of links to terror and extremism.
Since 2008, over 50 foundations – including the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the GE Foundation and George Soros' Open Society Foundations – have given $5.6 million to Islamic Relief USA, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). [See Appendix I]
Since 2008, over 50 foundations have given $5.6 million to six leading U.S.-based Islamist organizations.
MEF sent the foundations evidence of these Islamist groups' extremism, which included examples of anti-Semitic, homophobic, anti-Western, and pro-terror hate preachers regularly given platforms by the seven organizations.
CIF will expand on these efforts, publicly shaming other foundations that fund extremist organizations and refuse to stop. CIF will also continue the work of MEF's Islamist Money in Politics (IMIP) project, which studies and campaigns against Islamist money in politics – identifying politicians that take money from Islamist-linked operatives and calling for these donations to be returned. [see Appendix II],
In addition, CIF will study government grants to Islamist organizations, Islamist monies in American universities, foreign funding of American Islamist groups, taxpayer subsidy of Islamist-run schools and community institutions, and the growth of Islamist charitable organizations that fund extremism and terror in the Middle East and South Asia.
Gregg Roman, Director of the Middle East Forum, said: "For years, we have been writing to foundations and politicians, urging them to stop funding and partnering with extremists and start working with moderate Muslim groups instead. They ignored our requests. Many even failed to respond. As Americans are mowed down on the streets of New York, some of America's richest charitable foundations, most prominent politicians, and government officials continue to fund and legitimize the ideology that underpins this violence. It is time to condemn this behavior publicly. They must be held to account."
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For immediate release
For more information, contact:
Gregg Roman, Director