Last week, the Center for American Progress published a report detailing the network of anti-Muslim "experts" who relentlessly promote Islamophobia in America, as well as the sources of their funding. One of those featured in the report, Steve Emerson, appeared on the August 30 edition of Fox Business' Follow the Money to misrepresent the report and attack CAP in an attempt to discredit the report's claims.
Emerson said on Fox that he felt "somewhat complimented because they're attributing to me and four other people the ability to control the minds of 300 million Americans for 15 years." In fact, the report features a dozen "main players who conjure up and spread misinformation about American Muslims and Islam," as well as seven major financial contributors and an echo chamber that includes the religious right, the media, politicians, and grassroots organizations.
Emerson went on to suggest that some level of Islamophobia is justified because "65 to 70 percent of all international terrorist attacks are carried out by radical Muslims, so there's a fear based on that." He accused CAP of quoting "terrorist organizations" and "a front group for Hamas" in its report, dismissing CAP as a "$38 million-a-year organization that looks like the Democratic Party in exile."
Emerson also falsely suggested that the report somehow denies that Islam is used as a justification for terrorist acts:
What's interesting here is that when it comes to looking at Islamic terrorist attacks, what they deny and what they claim is racist is the assertion that Islamic terrorism is motivated by Islamic extremist clerics, mosques, statements --
In reality, the report states:
Around the world, there are people killing people in the name of Islam, with which most Muslims disagree. Indeed, in most cases of radicalized neighbors, family members, or friends, the Muslim American community is as baffled, disturbed, and surprised by their appearance as the general public. Treating Muslim American citizens and neighbors as part of the problem, rather than part of the solution, is not only offensive to America's core values, it is utterly ineffective in combating terrorism and violent extremism.
During his Fox appearance, Emerson also offered this bizarre comparison: "This reminds me of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion or, you know, it reminds me of someone who attacked the Southern Poverty Law Center because they attacked the Ku Klux Klan. Right? I'm the messenger."
Emerson later said:
They believe that the only reason there exists suspicion against Islam -- popular suspicion, and it's not a majority, it's a minority -- is because of people like me who are orchestrating it like, you know, the Wizard of Oz. The bottom line is it comes from so many rampant sources -- if you go on YouTube, on the Internet. Most of the Islamic organizations in the United States, they're run by the Muslim Brotherhood or they were created by the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that believes in imposing Islam and the sharia around the world. We're coming out with a documentary --
Host Eric Bolling echoed Emerson: "I find it hard to believe that a group of four or five people are -- who are responsible for what is perceived Islamophobia. I think it has a lot more to do with 3,000 people dying at the World Trade Center 10 years ago."