Critic of Islam accuses partner organizations of financial motives
by the Stream Team, AlJazeera English
Some organizations critical of Islam have long been accused of profiting from spreading fear of Muslims, but now the accusation is coming from one of their own. Dave Gaubatz, author of the book Muslim Mafia, reportedly sent an email to his supporters on Saturday announcing his retirement from his fight “to expose Pure Islam” and explaining his reasons for quitting. Gaubatz accused the organizations he once worked with of being “business corporations” that are primarily motivated by financial gain.
Below are excerpts from Gaubatz’s email, posted by community organizer Hussam Ayloush:
In his email, Gaubatz said he had never financially gained from his work beyond what it took to “live from payday to payday as many Americans.” He also wrote proceeds from Muslim Mafia, which was a top 20 book on Amazon in 2009, were donated to help his publisher with legal fees.
Gaubatz’s accusations about the network of organizations in the ‘fight against Islam’ mirror what many have said about these organizations from the outside. A 2011 Center for American Progress report entitled Fear Inc. (co-authored by The Stream’s co-host Wajahat Ali prior to his joining Al Jazeera America), revealed what it called the “Islamophobia Network in America,” comprised of seven key donors and a small group of organizations competing for their funding. According to Fear Inc., these seven foundations have contributed more than $42 million in funds to organizations propagating an anti-Islam message in the past decade.
A recent report from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) revealed several six-figure salaries among organizations receiving funds from the so-called the “Islamophobia network.”
David Gaubatz has worked closely with several of the organizations and individuals these reports identify. Muslim Mafia was backed by the Center for Security Policy, whose total 2011 revenue was over $4.5 million and whose president, Frank Gaffney, made nearly $300,000 that same year. Gaubatz has also worked with the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE). SANE’s president David Yerushalmi, who authored the model “anti-sharia” legislation introduced in 12 states, received $110,823 in contracting fees in 2012.
With Gaubatz’s retirement, the “Islamophobia network” is losing one of its most controversial figures. Gaubatz gained notoriety in 2009 by having his own son, Chris Gaubatz pose as a bearded Muslim convert and go undercover as an intern for CAIR. While posing as an intern, Chris made off with hundreds of CAIR internal documents that his father would later use as the basis of his book. Citing the CAIR documents in Gaubatz’s book, four members of Congress requested an investigation of the group, accusing it of trying to plant spies in congressional offices. Politico reporters described the leaked documents as “a fairly straight forward public relations and lobbying strategy.”
The picture below shows former Rep. John Shadegg with a copy of Muslim Mafia, alongside former Rep. Sue Myrick and Rep. Paul Broun:Gaubatz ended his retirement email with his view that these organizations are not “making a difference” and that “America will lose the war against Islam.” He intends to devote his attention to working with veteran groups that help troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.