Iranian TV Loves Soros Report On Islam
September 12, 2011
By Cliff Kincaid
As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 was approaching, a new report from the Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP) purported to examine a conservative network of people and groups described as “Fear Inc.” and said to be guilty of “Islamophobia” toward Muslims. The report seemed deliberately designed to take the attention away from events in the U.S. that were in progress to commemorate the deaths of almost 3,000 Americans killed by radical Muslims on 9/11.
On cue, another Soros-funded group, Media Matters, ran with excerpts from the report, emphasizing the “role played by right-wing media” such as Fox News in supposedly fanning the flames of “Islamophobia.”
But CAP has its own propaganda network, which includes foreign propaganda channels Al-Jazeera and Iranian Press TV, an official government-funded propaganda channel.
Press TV is an anti-Semitic channel that frequently blames Jews and/or Israel for what goes wrong in the world, such as the bombing of a Coptic Christian church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria earlier this year which left 21 people killed and another 80 Muslims and Christians wounded. Without any evidence, Press TV blamed the Israeli intelligence service and a “Zionist” plot. Most experts said al-Qaeda or an affiliate was responsible.
CAP’s “Think Progress” affiliate notes with pride that the “Fear Inc.” report’s authors have appeared on CNN.com, Al Jazeera English, Current TV, Guardian.co.uk and have done radio interviews. It says that print media outlets such as The Jewish Daily Forward, The Atlantic, Salon.com, The Washington Post and The Nation ran articles on the report’s findings.
That CAP would point with pride to one of the authors appearing on Al-Jazeera is significant. Al-Jazeera is the voice of al-Qaeda, which carried out 9/11, and now acts as a mouthpiece for terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Al-Jazeera reporter Samer Allawi is now in custody in Israel on suspicion of being an agent of Hamas.
However, CAP failed to highlight how Iranian Press TV, which is completely funded by the government of Iran and has a Washington, D.C. bureau, has run several reports about the CAP study. The omission suggests that the authors of the report and the funders of CAP want to try to keep their distance from the Iranian regime that is behind the propaganda channel.
The latest example of Press TV’s favorable coverage of CAP came when Mauri’ Saalakhan, director of the Peace through Justice Foundation in Washington, D.C., spoke to Press TV’s “U.S. Desk” regarding “who benefits from the demonization of Islam and Muslims through propaganda campaigns that are well funded.” Saalakhyan called the CAP report “very revealing.”
David J. Rusin, director of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, has noted that Press TV frequently uses Muslim Americans, especially officials of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), to promote the notion that life in America is a nightmare for Muslims.
Press TV also serves as an outlet for Iranian government officials, including Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi, who justified the imprisonment of the American hikers Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd, by claiming they “had links with Western and Israeli intelligence services.”
However, on the website Freethehikers.org, President Obama is quoted as saying, “I want to be perfectly clear: Sarah, Shane and Josh have never worked for the United States government. They are simply open-minded and adventurous young people who represent the best of America, and of the human spirit. They are teachers, artists, and advocates for social and environmental justice.” Shourd was released in September 2010 on $500,000 bail and returned to the U.S.
The other two, sentenced to eight years in prison, are completely innocent, even according to leftist Noam Chomsky, who has also appeared on Press TV. Chomsky and others say, “We do not understand why two clearly innocent young people who have committed their lives to improving our world continue to languish in Evin Prison. The time for Shane and Josh’s freedom is overdue and we implore you to allow them to go free and return to their families.”
Interestingly, an Al-Jazeera story about “Fear Inc.” was written by M.J. Rosenberg, described as a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters. His story was titled, “Who funds Muslim-baiting in the US?”
Wajahat Ali, lead researcher and writer for the Center for American Progress report on “Islamophobia,” went on Al-Jazeera to discuss his “report” and denounce the “hate-mongers” and “fear-mongers” drawing attention to the violence directed by radical Islam toward the West.
One of the Iranian Press TV stories about the report ran under the headline, “US Empire foments Islamophobia.”
The CAP report made much of the claim that seven conservative-oriented foundations gave $42.6 million to “Islamophobia think tanks” between 2001 and 2009. But CAP’s income in one year alone, according to Guide Star, which monitors public policy groups, was $38,600,935. The latest annual income of the Center for American Progress Action Fund was reported as $8,966,943.
So this means that CAP’s money surpassed the think tanks it attacks in the report by about $5 million in one year alone.
The CAP report, based on “a grant from the Open Society Foundations,” which are funded by Soros, used information from one Jim Lobe, a frequent contributor to Al-Jazeera and Washington, D.C. correspondent and chief of the Washington bureau of Inter Press Service (IPS), described as “journalism and communication for global change.” IPS is supported by the United Nations, foreign governments, and the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, as well as the Soros-funded Open Society Institute. Lobe’s rhetoric was reflected in the CAP report and his work was cited therein.
One of the authors of the CAP report is Eli Clifton, who previously worked with Lobe at Inter Press Service.
It turns out that Jim Lobe’s story about the CAP report that used him as a source ran under the headline, “New Report Identifies Organizational Nexus of Islamophobia,” the same headline over another Press TV story about the report. An official of the Muslim Public Affairs Council appeared on camera to promote the report, while the Iranian reporter, Marjan Asi, said the network under scrutiny was based on money from “several extreme right and Jewish family foundations.”
Daniel Greenfield at FrontPagemag.com recognized the same theme, saying that CAP was trying to peddle a “Jewish conspiracy theory.”
Ed Lasky at AmericanThinker.com said CAP was trying to blame “rich Jews” for stoking so-called Islamophobia.
While CAP’s authors may try to deny that they intended to single out Jewish-American support for educational activities exposing radical Islam, that was one of the messages taken away not only by conservative writers but Iranian Press TV. It wanted its international audience to know that CAP was going after conservative Jews.
With this report, the Soros-funded CAP played into the hands of international propaganda networks and regimes hostile to the U.S. It cannot be seen as accidental.