The following report by our D.C. correspondent Frontinus concerns the use of foreign money by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to buy American public opinion and change government policy. There’s no secret about what the OIC is doing — they planned it at their annual conference last December, and posted a policy paper (PDF) with the details. It’s a blatant, in-your-face operation.
Frontinus’ report is designed as a game plan for grassroots organizations and think tanks to use to expose and counter the subversion of American journalists and our public officials
The OIC’s Long March Through Western Institutions
In late December 2016, the OIC announced plans to pay American and European journalists and influential political leaders in order to change government policies based on OIC instructions and coordination.
This isn’t against the law in the United States, but anyone taking the OIC funds — a journalist or an influential person — should register as a foreign agent under the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). These three criteria are required:
|2)||foreign instructions, and|
|3)||an intent to influence public opinion and change policy to align with foreign interests.
— for an organization or individual to have to register as a foreign agent under FARA. And, given the OIC’s statements in the linked document (also excerpted below), they are indeed in place.
We just don’t know who in the U.S. is taking the money to do the OIC’s bidding. Which brings us to…
|1.||For the media and other advocates for the OIC’s policy positions: Journalists, and political leaders probably won’t announce that they have been paid by the OIC. But when they clearly ARE writing and advocating for OIC positions, we can ask them outright if they’ve accepted money from the OIC, either directly or indirectly — and demand that they register as Foreign Agents, if they have in fact been paid.|
|2.||For Congress: Let Congressmen know that the OIC has announced it’s going to do exactly what the FARA legislation was written to cover: it’s a foreign entity purchasing influence and journalists in order to change US opinion and government policies. FARA has come up in the news recently, with the failures by both Paul Manafort and Tony Podesta to register as foreign agents. The State Department needs to demand that the OIC provide lists of any American citizens it is paying, and how much, so that the FARA office can implement the FARA legislation. And of course, the FARA office needs much stronger congressional oversight.
On December 21, 2016 in Jeddah Saudi Arabia, the OIC held the 11th Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers, titled “Session of the New Media to Counter Terrorism and Islamophobia”. The goal of the meeting was to develop the “OIC Media Strategy in Countering Islamophobia and its Implementation Mechanisms.” The document is here. It’s only ten pages long, and various sections may be useful for organizations dedicated to opposing Islamization.
As always with OIC documents, the English can be a bit odd — presumably badly translated from the Arabic.
Somewhat arbitrarily, I quote the following bits, starting with the Long Term Goals (emphasis added):
III. Long Term Goals:
1. To call media professionals to develop, articulate and implement voluntary codes of conduct to counter Islamophobia. The OIC and its Member States should be vocal in calling media professionals to use the power they have with responsibly through accurate reporting. 2. To assess successful media campaigns with a view to understanding the strong factors to be replicated and review the unsuccessful ones for avoiding the weak contents and procedures. 3. To engage with western governments in creating awareness against the dangers of Islamophobia by addressing the responsibility of media on the issue.
The Actions are also worth noting — Page 2:
3. To enhance the presence of Muslims on the internet and benefit from the experiences of successful Islamic institutions in this regard, as the success of Islamophobes in the West is the failure of Muslims online. However, extra care should be considered while investing on this enhancement, as there is a need to be aware of unintended consequences of the increased presence of Muslims on the internet. In addition, there is a need to identify and support non-Muslim bloggers and researchers from outside the mainstream media positively disposed towards Islam and Muslims.
This campaign proposes that the OIC plays a leading role in fostering effective anti-Islamophobia initiatives across the western world and achieve through a range of interlinked actions designed to accomplish both short-term and long term-targets. These include seeding a proactive anti-Islamophobia grassroots media network in the United States and specific European countries, overseen by OIC – appointed regional public relations offices (PR); researching and identifying the key misconceptions about Islam and Muslims, and refuting these through a comprehensive online resource supported with social media; building alliances with scholarly, journalistic and media communities, and civil societies. In addition, the project would seek to develop an “Ambassadors’ Programme” or “OIC Friends Program” to recruit local public figures and celebrities to support the initiative; organize key engagements between western delegates and figures from the Muslim world; create a fund to support local anti-Islamophobia initiatives; media monitoring and high impact media positioning to place commentary and news stories in key western publications; arranging a high profile advertising campaign to leverage this work through mass market publicity, and developing broadcast quality documentaries to explore how Islamophobia has affected Muslim communities and western societies alike.
5— Anti-Islamophobia Ambassadors or OIC Friends Network
- Identify and recruit leaders, opinion-formers and public figures in western politics, media and the art [sic] for the anti-Islamophobia “ambassadors” network.
- Apply “ambassadors” network to other aspects of internal OIC anti-Islamophobia work.
- Engage with specific projects, events, and other publicity generating activities elsewhere that are suitable for ambassadors.
6— Anti-Islamophobia Independent Projects Fund
- Determine scope and potential recipients for anti-Islamophobia fund.
- Create application materials, determine application process, and solicit projects.
- Determine methodology for assessing projects and selecting recipients.
- Disburse grants on the basis of assessments and determine criteria for delivery.
- Institute review / monitoring and evaluative mechanism of the process of media campaign and apply to recipients to ensure delivery of results within deadline.
7— Examples of Mass Media Campaigns and public relations
- A two-week television campaign and a two-week advertising campaign targeting public transport (bus and metro), famous newspapers and magazines for each country two times in one year.
- Produce and/or commission and television and transport media campaigns.
- Promote media campaigns through social media, ambassadors, and through secondary or internal networks.
- Reporters Exchange program (ten reporters and journalists per year).
- Arranging three talk shows per year in key TV channels in US and Europe about Islam, with the participation of selected members from the Muslim countries.
- Holding ten lectures per year in each country (universities, unions and suggested important centers) about Islamic role in building cultures and connect between religions.
- Visits to schools and universities and educational search by specialist team from our side.
- Arranging 100 Guest programs per year to be organized through the OIC with the Cooperation of its Member Countries to host a 100 – western activist from various fields in selected Muslim countries where they can interact with intellectuals, politicians, media figures, and religious scholars.
8— Documentary Productions
- Produce a broadcast quality one-hour documentary examining the growth of Islamophobia in the West and its impact on Muslims around the world and interfaith relations.
- Facilitate broadcast on mainstream networks such as Britain’s BBC and Channel 4 or America’s PBS.
- Promote documentary through social media, conventional advertising, ambassadors, and through secondary or internal networks.
One last point: The OIC’s institutions and policies are currently in flux, given the changes in Saudi Arabia’s governance, the Sunni-Shia wars, etc., all of which will affect the OIC’s policy positions and ability to function.
The OIC is just barely keeping it together, since so many members are at war with each other, and alliances keep shifting. The one thing they may be able to agree on is the need to use the Islamophobia campaign to open the West to hijra, to enable the onslaught of “refugees” from the Islamic countries’ civil wars and their regional wars against each other. The more that chaos descends in the Muslim world, the more they may project “Islamophobia” and make demands of the West.
And that’s why this is important.