As Representative Peter King’s hearings on “Muslim radicalization” refocus attention on Islamophobia, a new report sheds light on the network of private security firms tapping into public funds that push an anti-Muslim agenda to law enforcement agencies.
An organization called Security Solutions International (SSI) is one focus of the Political Research Associates’ report (pdf) , titled “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: Private Firms, Public Servants, & the Threat to Rights and Security.”
SSI “trades on the reputation of Israeli counterterrorism expertise by using Israeli veterans as trainers.”
This is the ideology that SSI, which “taps into public funds for its trainings,” promotes, according to the report:
Following civil liberties advocates’ criticism of SSI’s courses on “Radical Islamic Culture” in 2008, SSI intensified its promotions for the course. SSI Chief Executive Officer Solomon Bradman responded to criticism by saying, “I can’t take the responsibility of my course linking their religion [Islam] to terrorism. I think their religion got linked to terrorism a long time ago.”56 SSI planned to expand the reach of its “Islamic Jihadist Threat” seminar, holding it in even more venues, including Detroit, Minneapolis, Washington, DC, Dallas, Kansas, and Boston…
The Counter Terrorist’s coverage [, an SSI publication,] includes infrastructure protection, school shooting threat assessments, intelligence gathering and what SSI calls “the Radical Islamic Threat.” Articles like “U.S. Prison Recruitment for Jihad”—a piece by M. Zuhdi Jasser and Raphael Shore, founder of the Clarion Fund, a nonprofit organization “that aims to alert Americans about the real threat of Radical Islam”—reinforce an image of Muslims as menacing militant fundamentalists. The magazine’s regular inclusion of such articles allows the publication to function as a credentialed law enforcement outlet for authors who exaggerate and distort terrorist threats.
The report also notes other instances where a far-right pro-Israel agenda has been promoted hand-in-hand with Islamophobia.
Here’s the bottom line the report gives on support for Israel and Islamophobia:
Islamophobic story lines characterize the widespread support for Palestinian statehood and opposition to the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands among Muslim-American leaders as evidence of sympathy for terrorism
The report is further evidence of Scott McConnell’s observation “that anti-Muslim bigotry is becoming embedded in American political culture, and Israel and its supporters are playing a substantial role in generating it.”