The Clarion Project (formerly Clarion Fund Inc.) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization founded in 2006. The organization has been involved in the production and distribution of the films Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West, The Third Jihad, Iranium and Honor Diaries. These films have been criticized for falsifying information and described as anti-Muslim propaganda.
|Motto||Challenging extremism, Promoting dialogue|
Mission, organization and fundingEdit
The Clarion Project states its mission as "exposing the dangers of Islamic extremism while providing a platform for the voices of moderation and promoting grassroots activism".
Ryan Mauro is the Clarion Project's national security analyst.
The nonprofit Charity Navigator has rated the Clarion Project 1 out of 4 stars, primarily because of its accountability and transparency issues but also because less than two-thirds of its expenses go to its programming.  According to the Clarion Project's Form 990, 64.7 percent of its expenses are program expenses, 17.5 percent are administrative, and 17.6 percent are for fundraising.
The project's advisory board included Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum, and Walid Phares of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. MEMRI provided translations of media from Muslim-majority countries for its films.
Films produced by Clarion ProjectEdit
Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the WestEdit
Obsession is a documentary film – produced and co-written by Raphael Shore, Clarion Project founder, about the perceived threat of radical Islam to Western civilization. Using footage from Arab television, it reveals an "insider's view" of what it claims is hatred being taught in schools, incitement to global jihad and radical Islam's goal of world domination. The film also traces the parallels between the Nazi movement of World War II, current radicals and the Western world's response to both threats. Obsession features interviews with Daniel Pipes, Steve Emerson, professor Alan Dershowitz.
The movie starts with a disclaimer: "This is a film about radical Islamic terror. A dangerous ideology, fueled by religious hatred. It's important to remember most Muslims are peaceful and do not support terror. This is not a film about them. This is a film about a radical worldview and the threat it poses to us all, Muslim and non-Muslim alike."
The Clarion Project sent 28 million DVD copies of the film to voters and religious organizations across swing states in October 2008, a few weeks before the 2008 Presidential election. The DVDs were distributed by mass mailings and insets in major national newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, and St. Petersburg Times. Approximately 60 newspapers refused to distribute the film, including the Detroit Free Press, Cleveland Plain Dealer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Greensboro News & Record. According to CounterPunch, producing and distributing the DVDs cost $16,395,617 and was paid for by the Koch-brothers linked Donors Capital Fund, whose $17,778,600 donation in 2008 represented 96 percent of the Clarion Project's revenue as well as a nine-fold increase in the Clarion Project's revenue compared to 2007.
The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision For AmericaEdit
The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision For America is a 72-minute documentary released in May 2009. It was produced by former NBC News journalist and Clinton administration adviser Erik Werth and narrated by Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
The Third Jihad focuses specifically on Islamic extremism in Western Europe and America. It also introduces the concept of cultural jihad – defined by the narrator as a non-violent means of infiltrating and undermining American society with the goal of working against it and overthrowing it.
According to the film makers, the growth of Islamic terrorism in the second half of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century should be seen as the beginning of "The Third Jihad" being waged by radical Islamist elements. The film presents "the first jihad" as the Arab conquest of the Middle East and North Africa in the seventh century and the second as the Turkish thrust into Constantinople and central Europe in the 15th century.
Iranium, which premiered in 2011, presents the views of certain experts on the Middle East who see the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran as having a radical Islamist ideology bent on developing nuclear weapons. Among the experts featured are Professor Bernard Lewis (Professor Emeritus at Princeton University), R. James Woolsey, Jr (former head of the CIA) and U.S. Representative Eliot Engel (member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee).
Honor Diaries, released in 2013, documents gender inequality and abuse of women in Muslim-majority societies. The film features nine women’s rights advocates who share firsthand testimonies of the hardships women suffer.
Honor Diaries was shown at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva at a screening organized by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). Honor Diaries was also screened at the House of Commons (United Kingdom), Amnesty International and the United Nations in New York.
The Southern Poverty Law Center described the organization as an anti-Muslim group that engages in peddling Islamophobic conspiracy theories which are also prevalent in the organization's films. Clarion advisory board included, at one time or another, anti-Muslim activists of Frank Gaffney, while employing security-analyst Ryan Mauro, who promoted the falsehoods such as story on so called "no-go zones" for non-Muslims across the U.K. and Europe, and telling Fox News about supposed rising number of Muslim enclaves across the U.S. governed by "gangs of Islamic extremists" enforcing the Shariah law.
The Clarion Project's 2008 distribution of 28 million copies of its Obsession DVD right before the Presidential election has helped increase Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims in the United States according to both Islamic and anti-Islamism organizations.
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