Gatestone Institute

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Gatestone Institute
Gatestone Institute Logo.png
Founded 2008
Founder Nina Rosenwald
Type Not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, think tank
45-4724565
Registration no. 5119586
Focus International politics
Location
Key people
John R. Bolton, Amir Taheri, Elie Wiesel, R. James Woolsey[1]
Website www.gatestoneinstitute.org

The Gatestone Institute (formerly Stonegate Institute and Hudson New York) is a right-wing[2][3][4] anti-Muslim[a] think tank that publishes articles, particularly pertaining to Islam and the Middle East. The organization has attracted attention for publishing false articles and being a source of viral falsehoods.[5][6][7][8][9]

Gatestone was founded in 2012 by Nina Rosenwald, who serves as its president.[10] Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton, now national security advisor, was its chairman from 2013 to March 2018. Its current chairman is Amir Taheri.[11][12][13][14]

History[edit]

The institute was founded in 2008 under the name "Hudson Institute New York" (not to be confused with the Hudson Institute) by Nina Rosenwald, who serves as its president,[10] In early 2012 it was briefly renamed Stonegate Institute,[15] before becoming Gatestone Institute in March 2012.[16]

The Gatestone Institute's personnel includes John R. Bolton (Chairman), former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,[12] Nina Rosenwald (President), and Naomi H. Perlman (Vice President). Amir Taheri is the Chairman of Gatestone Europe. Bolton has received at least $310,000 from the organization since 2013.[17]

Rebekah Mercer, a billionaire heiress known for her donations to right-wing causes, was listed as a Gatestone board member in April 2017. When the foreign policy-focused website LobeLog enquired about her role in the organization, Gatestone removed all information about her from their website. It was later revealed that Mercer Family Foundation gave $150,000 total to Gatestone in 2014 and 2015.[9][18][5] Gatestone had a revenue of $2.3 million in 2016.[5]

The organization describes itself as a "non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank is dedicated to educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report."[19][20] The organization believes that traditional news outlets conduct insufficient and, as a result, misleading reporting on critical issues, and thus it distributes its own information about events in the Middle East and Muslim populations in other parts of the world.[19][21][22][23]

Gatestone authors frequently appear on Russian government-controlled media such as Sputnik News and RT.[5] Several Gatestone articles were promoted by Russian trolls working for the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency, as the articles often have a common purpose with a Russian disinformation campaign which seeks to portray Western society as in crisis due to immigration of Muslims.[5]

Content[edit]

Anti-Muslim bias[edit]

The Gatestone Institute has been described as "anti-Muslim",[a] regularly publishes articles to stoke anti-Muslim fears,[17][24] and has published false stories to that end.[9][25] Gatestone frequently warns of a looming “jihadist takeover” and "Islamization" of Europe leading to a “Great White Death.”[5] Gatestone authors have a particular interest in Germany and Sweden, and frequently criticize leaders such as Macron and Merkel.[5]

In 2012, the Gatestone Institute hosted a talk by Geert Wilders.[13] Gatestone has been criticized for affiliating itself with Geert Wilders, who says that he "hates Islam."[26] In 2016, Gatestone paid for Wilders’s flights and hotels on trips to the United States,[27][28] and has published his writings.[26]

Alina Polyakova, a Brookings Institution fellow and expert on far-right populism, said that Gatetone's content "was clearly anti-immigrant" and "anti-Muslim".[5]

Policy analyst J. Dana Stuster of the National Security Network, writing in The Hill, criticized Gatestone as "paranoid" for claiming that immigration to Europe was “civilization jihad” and a “Muslim invasion”.[29]

Gatestone's founder, Nina Rosenwald, has been accused of anti-Muslim bias by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Muslim writers for the Gatestone Institute have defended the organization and Rosenwald against the claims by CAIR.[30] Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, said, "It goes without saying, but to those who may not know Nina, and having known her now for many years, it is clear to me that she has the highest respect for Muslims who love their faith, love God, and take seriously our Islamic responsibility to defeat the global jihad and its Islamist inspiration."[30] Alan Dershowitz, a civil libertarian lawyer and academic who contributes to Gatestone, also defended the organization against charges of anti-Muslim bias.[31]

Inaccurate reporting[edit]

Multiple viral falsehoods originate from Gatestone.[9][5][32]

In 2011[33] and 2012,[7] Gatestone published articles claiming that Europe had Muslim "no-go zones", falsely describing them variously as "off-limits to non-Muslims"[7] and "microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law".[33][34] The claim that there are areas in European cities that are lawless and off limits to local police or governed by Sharia is false.[7][33][34][9][35] Gatestone's claims were picked up by many outlets, including FrontPageMag,[33] and The Washington Times.[34] The idea of no-go zones originated from Daniel Pipes,[33] who later retracted his claims.[7]

On November 18, 2016, Gatestone published an article that said the British Press had been ordered to avoid reporting the Muslim identity of terrorists by the European Union. Snopes rated the claim "false". Snopes pointed out that the report only made a recommendation and it was issued by the Council of Europe, not the European Union.[8] Gatestone subsequently corrected the article and apologized for the error,[36] before removing it entirely from its website.

In 2017, Gatestone falsely claimed that 500 churches closed and 423 new mosques opened in London since 2001, and argued that London was being islamized and turning into "Londonistan".[37][5] According to Snopes, Gatestone used "shoddy research and cherry-picked data."[37] Specifically, Gatestone only counted churches that closed but not churches that opened; data for the period 2005-2012 alone show that 700 new churches opened in London.[37]

The Gatestone Institute published false articles during the 2017 German federal election.[38] A Gatestone article, shared thousands of times on social media, including by senior German far-right politicians, claimed that vacant homes were being seized in Germany to provide housing solutions for "hundreds of thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East."[6] The German fact-checker Correctiv.org found that this was false; a single house was placed in temporary trusteeship, and had nothing to do with refugees whatsoever.[6] Gatestone also cross-posted a Daily Mail article, which "grossly mischaracterized crime data" concerning crime by refugees in Germany.[39]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sources describing it as anti-Muslim or anti-Islam include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Board of Advisors" Gatestone Institute. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  2. ^ Ramesh, Randeep (December 30, 2014). "Rightwing thinktank pulls funds for Commons groups after disclosure row". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  3. ^ Jaffe-Walter, Reva (March 16, 2016). Coercive Concern: Nationalism, Liberalism, and the Schooling of Muslim Youth. Stanford University Press. p. 17. ISBN 9780804798426. 
  4. ^ Sengupta, Kim (March 14, 2017). Secretive American conservatives are helping bankroll Geert Wilders' Dutch election campaign. The Independent. London. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "John Bolton chaired anti-Muslim think tank". NBC News. Retrieved April 23, 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c "Nein, in Hamburg werden keine Wohnungsbesitzer für Flüchtlinge enteignet". CORRECTIV (in German). May 17, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Carol Matlack (January 14, 2015). "Debunking the Myth of Muslim-Only Zones in Major European Cities". Bloomberg.com. 
  8. ^ a b "False: European Union Gag Order On Revealing Muslim Terrorists' Religion". Snopes.com. November 18, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Fang, Lee (March 23, 2018). "John Bolton Chairs an Actual "Fake News" Publisher Infamous for Spreading Anti-Muslim Hate". The Intercept. Retrieved March 24, 2018. 
  10. ^ a b "Nina Rosenwald". Gatestone Institute. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  11. ^ "John Bolton chaired anti-Muslim think tank". NBC News. April 23, 2018. 
  12. ^ a b "Former UN Ambassador John R. Bolton Joins Gatestone Institute as Chairman". Gatestone Institute. July 17, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Max Blumenthal. "The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate". The Nation. 
  14. ^ "Board of Advisors" Gatestone Institute. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  15. ^ On January 1, 2012, our name changed from "Hudson New York" to Stonegate Institute. "Stonegate Institute". Archived from the original on January 8, 2012. 
  16. ^ Note to our readers: Unfortunately we have had to change our name again, but last time: Lawyers... What can one do? "Gatestone Institute: International Policy Council". Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "Trump's new national security adviser chairs a group that has spread false claims about Muslim refugees in Europe". Business Insider. Retrieved April 7, 2018. 
  18. ^ "Rebekah Mercer Joins Board of Anti-Muslim Think Tank". LobeLog. April 13, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2018. 
  19. ^ a b "About". Gatestone Institute. May 3, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  20. ^ Cal Thomas (February 4, 2016). "The multiculturalism myth: World leaders ignore Islam's refusal to assimilate". Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Egypt Coptic Christians have one of their 'worst months,' Gatestone Institute report says". JNS.org. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  22. ^ "What the He!! Is Going On in England?". National Review Online. July 18, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  23. ^ Ben, Ariel. "Hundreds of European Muslims fighting Assad". Jerusalem Postdate=April 25, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  24. ^ {Beauchamp, Zack (April 23, 2018). "How John Bolton and Mike Pompeo mainstreamed Islamophobia". Vox. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  25. ^ "Republican Officials Have Been Bashing Muslims. We Counted". BuzzFeed. Retrieved April 10, 2018. 
  26. ^ a b "Rightwing thinktank pulls funds for Commons groups after disclosure row". The Guardian. 
  27. ^ "How Geert Wilders Became America's Favorite Islamophobe". Foreign Policy. March 1, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Before Elections, Dutch Fear Russian Meddling, but Also U.S. Cash". New York Times. 
  29. ^ Stuster, J. Dana (December 14, 2015). "The paranoid style in Islamophobic politics". The Hill. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  30. ^ a b Miller, Paul. "Islamic Scholars Blast CAIR for Trapping Muslims Into a 'Trance of Victimhood'". observer.com. Retrieved May 29, 2015. 
  31. ^ Dershowitz, Alan (May 9, 2018). "Alan Dershowitz: NBC's McCarthyesque attack on John Bolton and the Gatestone Institute". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved May 9, 2018. 
  32. ^ Thomsen, Jacqueline (2018-04-23). "Bolton chaired nonprofit that shared false anti-Muslim news: report". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-08-02. 
  33. ^ a b c d e David Miller; Tom Mills (January 14, 2015). "Misinformed expert or misinformation network?". openDemocracy. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  34. ^ a b c "France's 'No Go Muslim-Only' Zones Aren't What You Think They Are". 
  35. ^ "Trump's new national security adviser chairs a group that has spread false claims about Muslim refugees in Europe". Business Insider. Retrieved March 24, 2018. 
  36. ^ Mamou, Yves. "Council of Europe Recommends British Press NOT Report when Terrorists are Muslims". gatestoneinstitute.org. Archived from the original on February 6, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  37. ^ a b c "FACT CHECK: Did London Close 500 Churches and Open 423 New Mosques?". Snopes.com. Retrieved March 24, 2018. 
  38. ^ Fang, Lee (September 22, 2017). "Islamophobic U.S. Megadonor Fuels German Far-Right Party With Viral Fake News". The Intercept. Retrieved October 6, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Hyperpartisan Sites And Facebook Pages Are Publishing False Stories And Conspiracy Theories About Angela Merkel". BuzzFeed. Retrieved October 6, 2017. 

External links[edit]