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Formed in 2010, the American Islamic Leadership Coalition appears to exist only as a credibility vehicle for Zuhdi Jasser and his American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD). The coalition’s website was last updated in October 2012. The group has no appreciable social media presence, with the most recent Twitter mentions being in October of 2012.
As of November 3, 2014, AILC is listed under the “programs” section on the AIFD website. The coalition is one of AIFD’s “three largest program services” accounting for $77,300 according to AIFD’s 2012 IRS Form 990, a document all non-profit organizations are required to file annually. Despite AILC’s apparent dormancy over the past two years, it still receives over a quarter of all AIFD program funding.
The only 2013 mention of the AILC in the LexisNexis media database, a source that compiles most domestic print media as well as major international media, was a blurb in the Winter 2013 edition of the Louisiana Law Review about AILC’s support of Michigan’s American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) bill. The ALAC legislation that AILC endorsed was penned by Islamophobe David Yerushalmi and was introduced in Michigan by another Islamophobe, former state representative Dave Agema. Agema is infamous for questioning whether anyone had “ever seen a Muslim [contribute] positively to the American way of life”, and also for referencing Arab fighter pilots as “camel jockeys”.
An additional search of Google News for AILC activity produced no results.
According to a paper issued by the AILC in July 2011, the coalition is “a group of more than 25 organizations and leaders that are representative of the overwhelming ‘silent majority of Muslims in America.’”
As of November 3, 2014, AILC’s web site lists 12 individuals who represent 7 organizations:
Additionally, coalition groups appear to be inactive. As of November 3, 2014, the Alliance of Iranian Women’s web site’s key feature was an event that occurred in 2009. Similarly, the Bangladesh-USA Human Rights Coalition’s website most recent posting center on events that happened in 2008-2009. The Council on Democracy and Tolerance’s website is now defunct.
Coalition members often display a close partnership with, or are themselves, key players in the anti-Muslim movement in the United States:
Zuhdi Jasser narrated The Third Jihad, a biased film created by the Clarion Fund that depicts Muslims as inherently violent and seeking world domination.
Coalition member Tawfiq Hamid was listed as part of a “five star” line-up at ACT! for America’s 2012 National Conference & Legislative Briefing. ACT! for America is broadly recognized as an anti-Muslim organization. Its founder, Brigitte Gabriel, has alleged that “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.”
An investigative reporter examining funding of the American Islamic Congress found that, “according to Internal Revenue Service 990 information filings, the AIC is funded largely by a pool of right-wing donors responsible for bankrolling key players in America’s Islamophobia industry, from Charles Jacobs to Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism and Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum.”
To date, the coalition’s two major public actions have included:
The coalition received early backing from Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.). Myrick retired from Congress in 2012, but in 2009, she famously held a press conference falsely accusing young American Muslim interns on Capitol Hill of being spies and infiltrators. In 2003, she advised looking at a potential national security threat coming from convenience stores saying, “You know, look at who runs all the convenience stores across the country. Every little town you go into, you know?”
Daniel Pipes, one of the nation’s most prominent Islamophobes, has also expressed his support for AILC.
The Sarah Scaife Foundation’s "grant program" is primarily directed toward public policy programs that address major domestic and international issues.”
The foundation is chaired by Richard Mellon Scaife, a donor known for his largess regarding conservative issues. The Sarah Scaife Foundation is part of the outer core of the U.S. Islamophobia network.
According to its 2012 IRS form 990, the Foundation gave $175,000 to the Center for Security Policy and $225,000 to the David Horowitz Freedom Center. The following year, the Sarah Scaife Foundation’s 2013 Annual Report included approved grants of $175,000 to the Center for Security Policy and $300,000 to the David Horowitz Freedom Center.