Meet the Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate
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Conspiracies, Witch Hunts and “Moderate Muslims”
Over the past decade, Rosenwald’s generosity has helped sustain the pet projects of “Islamofascism Awareness Week” organizer and Stalinist apostate David Horowitz. Her largesse has also supported former Lebanese Maronite TV anchor Brigitte Gabriel, who told an evangelical audience in 2006 that Muslims “have no souls—they are dead set on killing and destruction.” 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. At the Conservative Political Action Conference the following year, Gaffney sent his cadres to distribute fliers accusing top Republican anti-tax activists Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan of organizing a secret campaign dedicated to “the replacement of our constitutional republic…with a theocratic Islamic caliphate governing according to Shari’ah.” (David Steinmann, president of the Fund, sits on the board of Gaffney’s CSP.) Norquist is married to an Arab-American, and Khan, a former Republican Party official, is a fellow for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Institute for Global Engagement. The American Conservative Union investigated Gaffney’s charges and declared them “reprehensible.”
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.”
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.” That same day, he surfaced at a pro-NYPD rally in New York with King by his side. Then, only days later, over vehement objections from a coalition of Muslim groups, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell installed Jasser as a member of the Commission on International Religious Freedom.
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. Pipes thanked Rosenwald for “[taking] on a leadership role when the [Middle East] Forum was yet fledgling, helping us through some tough spots.” A former scholar at the Rosenwald-backed pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), Pipes has made a career of advocating aggressive US and Israeli military action in the Middle East, including the razing of entire Palestinian villages. Expressing his solidarity with Wilders, Pipes echoed the Dutch politician’s racial views on Muslim immigrants, describing them as “brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and not exactly maintaining Germanic standards of hygiene.”