News / Middle East

Anti-Islam Film Linked to 'Islamophobic Industry'

Experts say "Innocence of Muslims", the film that incited rioting in the Middle East, is the product of a well-financed vocal minority that has been fomenting anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States since the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Haris Tarin of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington says the movie, which mocks Islam's Prophet Muhammad, was produced by what he describes as a hate-mongering "industry" in the United States. "This industry that's developed here sees Islam as the problem," he said.

Tarin says it was created after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington 11 years ago.

Pamela Geller is a spokeswoman for Stop Islamization of America.  Websites like hers have flourished on the Internet and other media, according to a report last year by the Center for American Progress research organization.

At a religion newswriters conference last year, Faiz Shakir, co-author of the report titled "Fear Incorporated," presented his findings.

"Fear Incorporated is the small network of actors in this country who've been building an effort over the past decade to try to propagate baseless conspiracy theories that cast aspersions on all Muslims in America," he explained.

Shakir says they have received tens of millions of dollars in funding from anti-Islamic groups. "So it pays to be an anti-Muslim hater," he added.

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik's notes suggest he was inspired by anti-Islamic rhetoric from America.

"It's a transatlantic activity," said Jocelyne Cesari, a political scientist at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies here in Washington. "I have noticed the same topics, the same arguments, and the same figures actually circulating between Europe and the U.S."

Cesari cites Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who two years ago joined protests against the construction of a mosque near the site of the destroyed World Trade Center in New York.  She says Islamophobia is a European invention.

"And all this popular imagery of the prophet [Muhammad] as being an anti-Christ, the prophet as being a sexually obsessed person, all these kinds of things are not new.  You can read them even in medieval times," she noted.

Cesari warns that extremists on both sides are feeding off each others' negative stereotypes and warns that it could get a lot worse unless more moderate voices prevail.

Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Skeet Jensen from: Canada
September 18, 2012 12:05 PM
The alcohol merchants who are part of are cherished democracy have ruined the lives of millions along with misguided foreign policy which causes people from other parts of the world to hate America and everything it believes it stands for. Mohammad Ali is Americas Mohammad and I'm sure that fundamentalist Christians can't stand him to this day, because he refused to go to war and kill for their Manifest nation and when he dies then let the blasphemy begin.

by: Garry from: PA USA
September 17, 2012 6:54 PM
"You can read them even in medieval times," Why is that I wonder? To read about that prophets sexscpades even a thousand + years ago. Islam started in the 600s and the legends of murder and rape litter the land in those days as a fact.

by: Joe from: USA
September 17, 2012 3:52 PM
I am not Muslim and have no associations with Islam. I am american, however I am often perceived to be Muslim as a result of my appearance and my asian name. As a result I am not hired for jobs. I am mistreated and discriminated against often and stopped and searched often. I was detained once at the port of Dover UK (18 hours) and rejected from entering the uk on the basis of nothing. I was stopped and questioned in the ticket line at walt disney world's epcot center. I was asked what religion I practice. I was followed for the duration of that day. When I complained to the Disney company investors I was basically paid (in tickets) to be silent and not go to the press over what happened to me. I have had bomb sniffing NYPD dogs brought around me in the staten island ferry before and have been spied on in such places. It is horrible and as a result of that I no longer care about america and want to leave this horrific place forever. I have documentation of all of this and more. If I (not a muslim) am treated like this then I surely know how people who really are Muslim are treated. This is really bad and is going to end in a War of some sort. No people can endure in this modern era such absolute persecution. Hate doesn't solve anything.

by: darryl from: washington dc
September 17, 2012 1:41 PM
This article is trash and is unworthy of being published in VOA. It is biased to the point of outrage that i don't need to explain why.
In addition, the author's attempt to blast the film and critiques of islam as "islamophobic" is a vile attempt to silence opposition to Islam. The media can try all they want to prevent people from disagreeing and critiquing islam but as long as the First Amendment and Americans with guts exist, they will lose.

And by the way, where's all the protests and media blasting the constant burning of bibles and harassment Christians endure on a DAILY basis in those backward countries?

by: Maryann Larssen from: saluda, VA
September 17, 2012 12:51 PM
At 1st I was going 2 say it doesn't matter who paid 4 the film but if we will ever have peace in this world - it does matter. Whoever is behind the anti-Islam movement is doing his best to start WWIII..May God Bless Us All & send the devil back to hell....

by: emmanuel from: Ghana
September 17, 2012 8:33 AM
Some Muslims deliberately make movie to provoke their fellow Muslims and they stat fighting the Americans in the name of Religion. Yet they they preach Peace and say Asala malikum! I think the American should withdraw all their consulate and embassies from all Muslim Violence Countries. They should Stay in their homes and the Americans stay in their homes. Muslims-Americans got nothing to do with the violence because America is their home and they have no place to go.

by: Rationale
September 16, 2012 2:33 PM
It should be realized that this is just another sophisticated ploy of exploiting the masses to commit violence and at the same time an opportunity to direct the violence towards Western Governments. Linked to religious beliefs they are the catalyst of extreme violence and are international within days.


by: Syed Azaz from: NY
September 16, 2012 10:10 AM
Almost every church in America is Islamophobic, and I as a Muslim do not blame them. Islam interferes with their income, by providing support to public, free access to religion, teaching that repentance is between the person and God Almighty .... Lord of Jesus son of Mary .... no membership fee to public, teaching that help your close relatives before you donate to religious centers etc., etc.

So why the PARASITIC CHURCH that lives on money from devoured from public should not be ISLAMOPHOBIC?

by: musawi melake from: .
September 16, 2012 9:28 AM
Well, the report only speaks of funding received by anti-islamic groups, most probably from individuals or companies that sympathizes with these groups, but there's another side to the coin. It's been reported that the authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia fund the building of mosques in various European cities, an the same reports say that the European authorities used a loop-holes, they can no prevent the building under democratic norms, to at least postpone these projects by siting that the countries that fund religious building in other countries should also allow other religious faiths to establish shrines in their. Since the Saudis and many other islamic state don't allow that, the buildings were stopped for a while. It's said that interested parties have channeled the funding in other clandestine ways to restart. So, while criticizing one side the other extream also needs to stop.

by: Dave from: Chicago
September 15, 2012 7:19 PM
The film clips are easy to see for what they are. It is a dubbed over porn movie, produced in Hollywood, the only question is who is behind this! It's intentions are evident.
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More