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Max Blumenthal on Nina Rosenwald–The Sugar Mama of anti-Muslim Hate

The Nation Magazine is rolling out some very informative and in-depth articles on Islamophobia in their most recent issue, July 2-9.

In fact, the cover of Nation is titled “Islamophobia: Anatomy of an American Panic.” We already highlighted one article from the magazine today by author and professor Laila Lalami on the term “Islamophobia,” and those who attempt to delegitimize it.

Max Blumenthal’s piece on Nina Rosenwald, a premiere funder of Islamophobia contains some gems and is a must read!

I highlight some of these gems below:

Nina Rosenwald spends her Sears Roebuck inherited fortune on a lot of anti-Muslim initiatives, like giving a platform to Geert Wilders:

At the April event, Wilders’s seamless fusion of anti-Muslim bombast and pro-Israel cant was gratefully received by the Gatestone Institute’s founder and director, Nina Rosenwald, whom he acknowledged at the top of his jeremiad as another of his good friends. An heiress to the Sears Roebuck fortune, Rosenwald spreads her millions through the William Rosenwald Family Fund, a nonprofit foundation named for her father, a famed Jewish philanthropist who created the United Jewish Appeal in 1939.

The Rosenwald’s have donated $2.8 Million since 2000 to the Islamophobic cause:

According to a report by the Center for American Progress titled “Fear Inc.,” Rosenwald and her sister Elizabeth Varet, who also directs the family foundation, have donated more than $2.8 million since 2000 to “organizations that fan the flames of Islamophobia.”

The connection between Islamophobia and pro-Israel advocacy. Rosenwald has been instrumental in fueling the rapidly emerging alliance between mainstream pro-Israel organizations and the Islamophobic fringe.:

Besides funding a Who’s Who of anti-Muslim outfits, Rosenwald sits on the board of AIPAC, the central arm of America’s Israel lobby, and holds leadership roles in a host of mainstream pro-Israel organizations. As groups like AIPAC lead the charge for a joint US-Israeli military strike on the Islamic Republic of Iran, threatening to turn apocalyptic visions of civilizational warfare into catastrophic reality, Rosenwald’s wealth has fueled a rapidly emerging alliance between the pro-Israel mainstream and the Islamophobic fringe. (In 2003 alone the Rosenwald Family Fund donated well over half of its $1.6 million in total contributions to pro-Israel and Islamophobic organizations.) This alliance serves to sanitize and legitimize professional anti-Muslim bigots like Wilders, allowing their ideas to mingle easily with those of neoconservative foreign policy heavyweights intent on promoting the appearance of a convergence between US and Israeli interests by invoking the specter of a common “Islamofascist” enemy.

A big funder and supporter of David Horowitz‘s “Islamofascism Awareness Week”:

Over the past decade, Rosenwald’s generosity has helped sustain the pet projects of “Islamofascism Awareness Week” organizer and Stalinist apostate David Horowitz.

Supports certifiable anti-Muslim loon Brigitte Gabriel:

Her largesse has also supported former Lebanese Maronite TV anchor Brigitte Gabriel.

Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy would be dead in the water if it weren’t for Nina Rosenwald:

The Center for Security Policy (CSP), a Washington-based think tank directed by neoconservative former Pentagon official Frank Gaffney, has also thrived as a result of Rosenwald’s beneficence. The $437,000 in donations Gaffney reaped from the Rosenwald family enabled him to churn out conspiratorial pamphlets like his 2010 “Shariah: The Threat to America,” in which he warned that American Muslims were engaged in a “stealth jihad” to place the country under the control of Sharia, or Islamic law.

Rosenwald gave seed money to sell out and faux liberal Irshad Manji:

Rosenwald has also used her money to support a seemingly sober set of self-proclaimed “dissident” Muslims who have seized the post-9/11 media spotlight to defend pro-Israel positions, Western military intervention in the Arab world and police spying on Muslim Americans. These beneficiaries include Irshad Manji, an openly gay Canadian TV personality and self-described “Muslim refusenik” who argued in her 2005 book, The Trouble With Islam Today, that “desert Arabs” and “Arab cultural imperialists” were imposing an anti-democratic, sexist and endemically anti-Semitic mindset on the rest of the world’s Muslims. In 2007 Rosenwald provided $10,000 in seed money for Manji’s new nonprofit, Project Ijtihad, which she founded to “help build the world’s most inclusive network of reform-minded Muslims and non-Muslim allies.”

She also gave seed money to sell out and neo-Con Zuhdi Jasser‘s American Islamic Forum for Democracy:

Two years later Rosenwald pumped $10,000 into a similar but markedly more aggressive venture called the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. The group was founded by Zuhdi Jasser, an Arizona physician hailed by Glenn Beck as “the one Muslim we were all searching for after 9/11.” Despite his lack of academic or theological credentials, Jasser provided expert testimony last year before the Congressional hearing on Muslim American radicalization conducted by Representative Peter King of New York, widely criticized as a witch hunt. In early March, after the Associated Press exposed a secret NYPD unit monitoring Muslims throughout New York City and far beyond, Jasser issued a press release declaring, “We thank God every day for the NYPD.”

The biggest recipient of funds is Daniel Pipes:

But no single anti-Muslim activist has benefited more from his relationship with Rosenwald than Middle East Forum founder Daniel Pipes, bankrolled to the tune of $2.3 million over the past ten years by the Rosenwald family’s philanthropies.

Gatestone Institute is an offshoot of the Hudson Institute:

Through her affiliation with the Washington-based Hudson Institute, where Norman Podhoretz is an adjunct fellow, Rosenwald established a branch of the think tank in New York City. Operating under the Hudson banner, Rosenwald brought Wilders to town in 2008 to warn against the Muslim plot to “rule the world by the sword.”…By 2011, well before Wilders’s return visit this year, Rosenwald separated Hudson New York City from Hudson’s national branch, changing her organization’s name to the Gatestone Institute. Today, Rosenwald maintains a seat on Hudson’s board of directors.

Read the whole article here…

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  • aiman

    In this article Irshad Manji attempts a whitewash of Israel:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/irshad-manji-modern-israel-is-a-far-cry-from-old-south-africa/story-e6frg6zo-1111112964516

    She rightly critiques Muslim countries, and I think it can be assumed that she did not do the same for Israel because she was getting money from Rosenwald. That’s both intellectual and moral dishonesty

    There are much more serious Muslim thinkers out there, who are challenging patriarchy and calling for ethics in Muslim life. They need to be given a chance, not these post-9/11 opportunist hacks.

  • aiman

    Michael Elwood,

    You may be on to something. I have little to disagree with the position that Saudi Arabia funds a very unethical discourse on Islam. It might as well spend that money for education and nourishment of impoverished Muslims in many countries. However, Irshad Manji calls them “desert Arabs” and “Arab cultural imperialists” which just does not make sense. Manji herself belongs to a class of discourse-as-policy gang who refuse to admit their privilege. She deliberately ignores the hurt of Muslims in colonial campaigns and aligns herself with the establishment, the liberal elite. Her opinions on Islam, much like that of her ideological opponents, is weak. She just wants to sound provocative, to feel like a “dissident”. If you want really find out what a moral dissident is, look no further than Muhammad Abduh. If you want to look for a real Muslim woman who understands Islam and is of an ethically sound mind and heart, take Asma Barlas:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asma_Barlas

  • Michael Elwood

    @Garibaldi

    “It’s not just guilt by association but her erstwhile portfolio is just loaded with Islamophobicisms (I just coined a neologism! ), too much to ignore. Here association and support from Rosenwald is just the tip of the iceberg in my opinion.

    I feel kinda weird being put in a position to defend Irshad Manji, because I’m hardly her biggest fan. But I just don’t find the argument against her very convincing. If Irshad Manji is an Islamophobe, how come other Islamophobes don’t recognize her as one? Could it be that they’re right and that she isn’t an Islamophobe? Most of what I’ve read from actual Islamophobes is critical of her. For example, take the following links (except for the last one, I already posted the first three links in the other thread):

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/05/after-getting-physically-attacked-in-indonesia-irshad-manji-starts-to-realize-that-maybe-it-isnt-as.html

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/11/fitzgerald-irshad-manji-islam-and-mental-illness.html

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2008/02/fitzgerald-manji-and-ayoub-on-france-24.html

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2007/01/fjordman-why-i-criticize-irshad-manji.html

    The last link is interesting because it’s Fjordman’s review of her book “The Trouble With Islam Today”, which is often quoted as evidence of her Islamophobia (even though she has said on numerous occasions that her views have evolved). But a real Islamophobe, Fjordman, criticized.it (but praised the books of real Islamophobes like Ali Sina, Ibn Warraq, or Wafa Sultan). Irshad Manji has been critical of some atheist Islamophobes:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/elevating-the-god-discussion/article4082413/

    Because of this, they aren’t fond of her:

    http://deadwildroses.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/irshad-manji-apologist-for-irrationality-and-her-concern-over-the-tone-of-atheism/

    The fact that Islamophobes don’t see her as one of them (even after reading her past “Islamophobicisms” :- )) is to me the most convincing evidence that she isn’t an Islamophobe.

  • Reynardine

    I would add that I am sorry any Rosenwald has fallen to this, when a Rosenwald gave Chicago one of the greatest museums of all time: Science and Industry.

  • Reynardine

    Let us be exact. The mean-lunatic core of the present Republican Party has been looking for a way to “get” Jewish voters, who normally won’t go for their retrogressive planks at all. So now they’re doing this: essentially “Jewing” those Islamic “others” in order to “Gentile” the Jews. But it’s temporary. Once this batwing gains all the branches of government, Jews can essentially convert or go to Hell…literally

  • @Michael,

    It’s not just guilt by association but her erstwhile portfolio is just loaded with Islamophobicisms (I just coined a neologism! :D), too much to ignore. Here association and support from Rosenwald is just the tip of the iceberg in my opinion.

  • DrM

    Hasbaras at work. What a surprise.

  • Ali Abde Manaf

    Hah! Daniel Pipes ia a hard-core Muslim hater and an Islamophobe. Sometimes the “jinn deceives by speaking with forked tongue”.
    Another person that comes to mind is Thomas Friedman. His tactic is the same. They play on both sides of the dirty game of Islam-bashing.
    It’s like people saying “I don’t mean to offend you but…” and they do just that by using a pre-condition.

  • Michael Elwood

    @Garibaldi

    “I guess that’s a wrap for any defense of Irshad Manji, right?”

    For me, no. The guilt by association argument used against Irshad Manji seems too much like the one used by Islamophobes. For example, the article below tries to discredit Ingrid Mattson by implying that she is funded by “Islamists”:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/academic_pay_to_play_radical_islamists_fund_one_of_their_own_in_ontario.html

    There are individuals who are funded by “Islamists” and promote their ideology in America, but I don’t think Ingrid Mattson is one of them. And that article doesn’t convince me. There are individuals who are funded by Zionists and promote their ideology in America, but I don’t think Irshad Manji is one of them. And this article doesn’t convince me. There are other reasons that I don’t buy some of the criticism against Irshad Manji that I mentioned in the other thread:

    http://www.loonwatch.com/2012/06/police-blotter-bob-and-the-banning-of-irshad-manjis-allah-liberty-love-in-malaysia/#comment-176965

    @Ali

    What you talking ’bout, Willis? 🙂 Many Chicagoans still refer to it as the Sears Tower.

  • Ali

    Sears Roebuck reminds of Sears tower (now Willis Tower), an architectural marvel and which was tallest building in the world was designed by a Bangladeshi Muslim Fazlur Rahman Khan. Fazlur has been called the “Einstein of structural engineering” and the “Greatest Structural Engineer of the 20th Century”.

  • Garibaldi

    @Deccal

    “I wonder why…”

    Sure you do. Pipes is an Islamophobe, and not an advocate of anything except his own neo-Con agenda: http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/09/a-defeated-people/

  • deccal

    I wonder why Loonwatch is so opposed to Daniel Pipes, Pipes makes a distinction between Islam and Islamism, he also believes Islam is in need of reform, does Pipes being a nonmuslim make his opinion islamophobic? Gamal Al Banna, who has been referenced at length by Loonwatch supporters to support their arguments, also argues for reform in Islam, possibly to an even more radical point than Pipes (Pipes merely postulates the reformation of Islam, Al Banna believes several hadiths should be removed).

  • Tanya

    Proof that the 1%’s need to be taxed more so they’ll have less to control the masses with.

  • I guess that’s a wrap for any defense of Irshad Manji, right?

  • mindy1

    I love how Blumenthal pulls no punches 😀 pathetic that someone so rich could do so much good, instead she makes the world worse not better 🙁

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