Last week, the Center for American Progress issued a 130-page report titled Fear, Inc.-- The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America. Here is an excerpt from the "Introduction and Summary":
[A] core group of deeply intertwined individuals and organizations manufacture and exaggerate threats of “creeping Sharia,” Islamic domination of the West, and purported obligatory calls to violence against all non-Muslims by the Quran.
This network of hate is not a new presence in the United States. Indeed, its ability to organize, coordinate, and disseminate its ideology through grassroots organizations increased dramatically over the past 10 years. Furthermore, its ability to influence politicians’ talking points and wedge issues for the upcoming 2012 elections has mainstreamed what was once considered fringe, extremist rhetoric.
... A small group of foundations and wealthy donors are the lifeblood of the Islamophobia network in America, providing critical funding to a clutch of right-wing think tanks that peddle hate and fear of Muslims and Islam—in the form of books, reports, websites, blogs, and carefully crafted talking points that anti-Islam grassroots organizations and some right-wing religious groups use as propaganda for their constituency. ....
Altogether, ... seven charitable groups provided $42.6 million to Islamophobia think tanks between 2001 and 2009....The report identifies "five experts [who] generate the false facts and materials used by political leaders, grassroots groups, and the media." One of those leaders, Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, yesterday posted a strongly worded rebuttal.