Back in the 1980s, I had a phone interview with Gen. Edward Lansdale, the famed CIA propagandist and model for a key character in The Ugly American. Lansdale told me that the real trick of propaganda was not to plant stories in an outlet that was known to be controlled (because then a person’s defenses were up), but to get the false information into venues that the public thought to be independent.
That way, Lansdale said, the public’s defenses would be down and the propaganda would be more effective. – Robert Parry, The NYT’s Favor and Fear
On December 7th, 2015, a strange thing happened; thirteen middle-to-upper class Western Muslims met in Washington and declared themselves arbitrators of what it is to be an acceptable Muslim. Stranger still, spearheading this “movement” were Zuhdi Jasser and Raheel Raza – employees of overtly pro-Israel and anti-Islam groups The Clarion Fund and the Gatestone Institute who both promoted the launch.
Jasser is the founder/President of the American Islamic Forum For Democracy (AIFD). Scrutinising AIFD’s benefactors a clear picture emerges of the world from which Jasser operates within. A staunchly pro-Israel/anti-Islam world. Featuring a whose-who of the anti-Islam lobby – Pipes, Horowitz, Spencer, Doug Murray, Frank Gaffney, Brigitte Gabriel and Steve Emerson.
Seth Klarman is a Jewish billionaire waiting to fill Sheldon Adelson’s throne. He has been promoted by hate-group leader Robert Spencer; whom he indirectly funds through Islamophobia Godfather, Daniel Pipes.
Hope Winters formerly sat on the board of The Israel Project. She has funded the work of hate-group leader Pamela Geller.
Richard Levitt currently sits on the Advisory and Action Council of Iowans for Israel. Formerly, he was also on the board of Directors at the Israel Project being replaced by his son Randall; who also sits on the board at JINSA.
Nina Rosenwald, a patron of Jasser’s Clarion Fund and The President of the Gatestone Institute has been Christened “The Sugar-Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate” by Max Blumenthal and it’s Rosenwald/Jasser’s Clarion and Gatestone both leading the (altrusitic?) demand for Muslims to “reform”. So who are they? Or more pertinently, who were they before their respective “Muslim Reform” transparent make-overs?
Gatestone are a pro-Israel/Neocon think-tank founded by Nina Rosenwald. To get an idea of their output the Zionist terrorist Anders Breivik’s Manifesto mentions twenty-five of their listed authors. Most notably the Gatestone anti-Islam author “Fjordman”, who Breivik had been in contact with and was named by Norwegian Police as “an essentially central witness” to the twin Oslo terror attacks.
In an apparent act of duplicity Haras Rafiq, the MD of the supposed counter-extremist think-tank Quilliam denied all knowledge of the Islamophobic core at the heart of the Gatestone Institute, an organisation they’d previously flirted with. When presented with unrefutable evidence by the Home Select Committee of its Islamophobia he vowed never to allow Quilliam to be entangled with Gatestone again. Just days later Quilliam’s own Usama Hasan was flanking Jasser and Asra Nomani, on a D.C. platform “reforming” Muslims…
If there is a difference beyond stationery between the Clarion Fund and fundamentalist Jewish organization Aish Ha Torah it’s not apparent. See: here, here and here (with bonus Zuhdi Jasser in Clarion’s propaganda film “obsession”).
Aish are a pro-Jewish-settler movement backed by the Israeli Government whose members run sites advising how to “prevent intermarriage”
Orthodox Judaism Reform? Settler Reform? Does Jasser care?
Zasser’s lack of credentials as a “moderate reformer” are matched only by his lack of credentials as a “terrorism expert”. His “secularist-Muslim” identity aside he is as “moderate” as Dick Cheney and has been adding his Muslim voice/name to Neocon projects since at least 2004 when he endorsed (as a Muslim) Bush-Cheney and their War on Terror.
It’s impossible to say whether he’s been invited to suckle on the Islamophobia cash-cow because his actual extremist views are consistent with the Zionist/Neocon militarist narrative of his patrons or if he’s tailored his views to fit the narrative and ride the gravy-train. Either way, as he’s sitting on the board at Nina Rosenwald’s Gatestone Institute and the Clarion Fund he’s been well rewarded for his efforts.
Whenever his friends on Fox require a Muslim to validate their Islamophobia he appears. If a McCartyite needs a Muslim face for his anti-Muslim witch-hunt he appears . If Republicans require a Muslim to rubber-stamp their militarism in the Muslim world he appears. Need a Muslim to justify your racist policies? Hirsi Ali is busy? Call Jasser.
So who better than Zuhdi Jasser – The Muslim who stays on-message – to front a “Muslim” group to hammer home the Zionist/Neocon narrative that it’s barbaric Islam and not intervention/occupation that radicalizes Muslims?
As Machiavellian grey-propaganda goes it’s sublime. Comparable to the apartheid regime hiring American blacks to publically defend white supremacy in South Africa. Afterall, who could possibly object to a “moderate” Muslim group? Closer inspection reveals it is far more complex and agenda-driven. An anti-Islam agenda.