Wednesday, June 12, 2024

CRC: Left-Wing Foundations Funding Council on American-Islamic Relations

ResearchExternalCRC: Left-Wing Foundations Funding Council on American-Islamic Relations

An analysis of nonprofit grants by Capital Research Center and Focus on Western Islamism found that left-wing foundations are the top organizational donors to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a controversial anti-Israel organization that critics accuse of spouting extremism and of having historical ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Now should be a time of reckoning for left-wing philanthropy.

CAIR Extremism

“From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists . . . the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists,” stated federal prosecutors in a 2007 court filing.

The Justice Department listed CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator during the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for financing Hamas. CAIR was explicitly identified as an “entity” of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Specifically, CAIR was formed as part of the Brotherhood’s secret “Palestine Committee,” which was set up to covertly assist Hamas.

CAIR also has a history of inflammatory rhetoric, including anti-Semitism. Although its website says it opposes Hamas’s targeting of civilians, its executive director has referred to Hamas as a “liberation movement” and refused to condemn the group in an interview with Arabic media in 2004. Nor did CAIR condemn Hamas after its October 7 massacre of Israelis, and it has engaged in victim-blaming by relentlessly faulting Israel.

The analysis of nonprofit tax forms by Capital Research Center and Focus on Western Islamism found that most of CAIR’s top grantors are left-leaning organizations. The collected data covered the years 2010–2022.

The analysis also found that a large majority of these funds went to two of CAIR’s most incendiary chapters: its California and San Francisco Bay Area chapters. The San Francisco chapter’s executive director, Zahra Billoo has a long record of anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist rhetoric. Once he even suggested that fallen U.S. troops should not be honored on Memorial Day.

“Dark Money” Funding

CAIR receives a significant amount of “dark money” through donor-advised funds through which grantors and donors can make tax-deductible contributions to an organization, which then passes the funds on to the intended recipient. The maneuver enables supporters to make donations without attribution.

The top 20 grantors to CAIR and its chapters are:

  1. American Online Giving Foundation, $1,637,087
  2. Silicon Valley Community Foundation, $1,499,447
  3. Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund,$1,474,868
  4. California Endowment, $785,604
  5. Schwab Charitable Fund, $782,178
  6. California Community Foundation, $781,065
  7. Sierra Health Foundation, $637,558
  8. Tides Foundation, $631,300
  9. Weingart Foundation, $602,950
  10. K. Kellogg Foundation, $500,000
  11. San Francisco Foundation, $494,000
  12. Network for Good, $489,800
  13. MarJac Foundation (a Muslim Brotherhood–linked group), $450,000
  14. Charities Aid Foundation, $406,000
  15. California Wellness Foundation, $350,000
  16. All Hands on Deck Network (now named Movement Voter Project), $348,240
  17. Columbus Foundation, $336,250
  18. American Endowment Foundation, $315,600
  19. Levi Strauss Foundation, $310,000
  20. Orange County Community Federation, $301,255

The full list of grants to CAIR since 2010 is dominated by left-leaning organizations and some Islamist organizations. An additional transaction that sticks out is a grant of $40,000 to CAIR’s Arizona chapter from the New Venture Fund, one of the nonprofits established and overseen by Arabella Advisors, a left-wing “dark money” powerhouse.

A Time of Reckoning?

Now should be a time of reckoning for left-wing philanthropy. Hamas’s attacks on Israel and the crisis of anti-Semitism should compel a reconsideration of funding to any entity that foments Jew-hatred or advocates for terrorist organizations and their causes.

It is fair to assume that an overwhelming majority of organizations and donors funding CAIR and similar groups are unaware of the recipients’ unsavory actions. A noble intent to help the Muslim American community, however, does not absolve them of a responsibility to sufficiently scrutinize the recipients of their money. Leftists’ stated values of tolerance and human rights would seem to demand such due diligence.

Ryan Mauro is an investigative researcher for Capital Research Center.

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