Islamophobia Monitor

Introduction

Inner Core

The Clarion Project (formerly the Clarion Fund) is a nonprofit group distributing anti-Muslim propaganda films such as Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West and The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America.

In 2013, the group launched the film, Honor Diaries, which explores the subject of gender violence. The enormous importance of eradicating violence against women from all societies is undermined by the fact that the film’s executive producers are two anti-Islam activists, Ayaan Hirisi Ali and Raphael Shore.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a reputation for anti-Muslim and anti-Constitutional rhetoric. For example, during the course of a single 2007 interview with Reason Magazine Ali said, “I think that we are at war with Islam” and called for Islam to be “defeated.” Later in the interview, Ali suggested that the U.S. Constitution should be amended to allow for discrimination against Muslims saying, “There were no Muslim schools when the constitution was written. There were no jihadists.”

The group first garnered significant attention in 2008 when it was accused of attempting to influence the presidential election by distributing millions of copies of Obsession to voters in battleground states. As revealed by reporter Justin Elliot, the Fund received a $17.7 million donation, likely from Chicago-businessman Barre Seid, via the Virginia-based Donors Capital Fund to finance the distribution.

Jeff VanDenBerg, director of Middle East Studies at Drury University, called Obsession “a blatant piece of anti-Muslim propaganda.” Dr. Khaleel Mohammed, a Muslim interviewee for Obsession, now calls the production a "vile piece of propaganda." The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), a pro-Israel think tank, also pulled its support of the project.

Subsequently, the St. Petersburg Times revealed strong ties between the film's distributors and the Israel-based group Aish HaTorah. The newspaper’s investigative report stated: "Clarion's address, according to Manhattan directory assistance, is the same address as Aish HaTorah International, a fundraising arm of Aish HaTorah. The Clarion Fund and Aish HaTorah International are also connected to a group called HonestReporting, which produced Obsession. HonestReporting's 2006 tax return uses the same address.” According to the Delaware Department of Corporations, Robert (Rabbi Raphael) Shore, Rabbi Henry Harris and Rebecca Kabat incorporated Clarion Fund. All three of whom are reported to have served as employees of Aish HaTorah International."

The Third Jihad made headlines in 2011 after revelations that it was used in officer training by the New York Police Department. Following these revelations, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called the film “wacky” and “objectionable.”  Deputy Commissioner Paul Brown said, “[The Third Jihad] was reviewed and found to be inappropriate.”

In 1995, The Third Jihad co-producer Erik Werth was arrested after he claimed to be a secret service agent and threatened to have an airline employee arrested.

Key Individuals

Frank Gaffney

Position: Board Member

Daniel Pipes

Position: Board Member

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser

Position: Board Member

Nina Cunningham

Position: Board Member

Clare Lopez

Position: Board Member

Robert Shore

Position: Board Member

Robert (Raphael) Shore has been an executive producer on a number of Islamophobic documentaries, including Obsession: Radical Islam's Attack on the West and Honor Diaries. Shore's film sparked controversy when, shortly before the 2008 election, the Clarion Project - a 501 (c)3 organization barred from participating in electoral politics - distributed DVDs of Obsession through newspapers in 14 battleground states.

Ryan Mauro

Position: Staff Member

Mauro is also a writer for FrontPage Magazine, a conservative blog that frequently attacks Muslims and is operated by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

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