Who Funds Campus Watch?
According to tax documents, in 2019 the Middle East Forum received $5.1 million in contributions Between 2001 and 2009, The Middle East Forum received $5.9 million from a number of right-wing philanthropic organizations, including $2.3 million from Donors Capital Fund and $305,000 from Bradley Foundation.
Campus Watch, founded by Daniel Pipes in 2002, is a web-based project of the Middle East Forum (MEF). MEF claims that Middle East Studies in the United States is too pro-Palestine and overly critical of Israel. It purports that “The Middle East studies professorate is almost monolithically leftist due to a systematic exclusion of those with conservative or even moderately liberal views. The result is that Middle East studies lack intellectual diversity.” Additionally, it accuses the Middle East Studies faculty in North America of portraying militant Islam as a benign movement and evading, ignoring, or apologizing for topics that do not fit their politicized agenda.
In response, the Campus Watch publishes stories about the discipline, and individual professors, criticizing them for being too accommodating of Islam.
Campus Watch also encourages students to submit reports about college professors. In its early years, Campus Watch stirred a controversy when it compiled these reports into dossiers critical of various professors at educational institutions in the United States, in which it detailed their supposedly “anti-Israeli statements.” In response to the posting of the dossiers on its website, many individuals sent harassing emails and phone calls to the profiled professors, and the website was widely condemned in the media for supposedly engaging in “McCarthyesque” intimidation. Hence, the critics of Campus Watch say that it is a pro-Israel lobbyist organization involved in harassing, blacklisting, or intimidating scholars critical of Israel.
The founder of Campus Watch, Daniel Pipes, has been accused time and again for spreading misinformation about Islam and Muslims. Pipes recommended increased profiling of American Muslims and Arabs to cope with an impending exaggerated threat of “militant” Islam and repeated the falsehood that President Barack Obama is a former Muslim who “practiced Islam.” The right-wing extremist responsible for the Oslo massacres, killing 68 people in 2011, referenced “Pipes and the Middle East Forum eighteen times in his 1,500 page anti-Islam manifesto.”
SourceWatch, “Middle East Forum.”
Ali Wajahat, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir, “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” Center for American Progress, August 2011.