IMPACT: The Clarion Project is an organization that advances anti-Muslim content through its web-based and video production platforms. Its films have been used in trainings with law enforcement, the U.S. military and the federal government, and one was reportedly wielded to influence the outcome of the 2008 presidential elections. The Clarion Project has close ties with American anti-Muslim figures such as Frank Gaffney and Daniel Pipes and organizations that advocate issues concerning Israel.
Previously called the Clarion Fund Inc, the Clarion Project was founded in 2006 by Raphael Shore, a Canadian-Israeli film producer. Archived web content from April 2013 indicates that the Clarion Project website rebranded and redirected from its previous URL, “RadicalIslam.org.”
The Clarion Project describes itself as an organization that “educates the public about the dangers of radical Islam.” It also purports to provide “a platform to moderate Muslims and human rights activists to speak out against extremism.” Among its main projects are daily articles and other web-based content; the production of documentary films; and “investigations” into predominantly rural African-American Muslim communities.
According to archived web content, Clarion Project founder Shore previously worked for Aish HaTorah, an Orthodox Jewish outreach organization based in Israel. Reporting in the New York Times, NPR, Forward and Tampa Bay Times has revealed that the Clarion Project shared additional staff and a Manhattan-based address with Aish HaTorah International, “a fundraising arm of Aish HaTorah.”
Tampa Bay Times also reported that both the Clarion Project and Aish HaTorah International had ties with a group that monitors media for what it considers anti-Israel bias called HonestReporting, which produced the anti-Muslim documentary film Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West (2005). And according to Aish HaTorah’s website, Raphael Shore’s twin brother, Ephraim Shore, is the Executive Director of Aish HaTorah Jerusalem and “a founding director and board member of HonestReporting Canada.”
The Center for American Progress (CAP) Fear Inc. reports list the Clarion Project as one the “main organizations fueling the Islamophobia network.” The Donors Capital Fund (DCF), a non-profit focused on protecting “limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise,” has been Clarion’s top donor at an amount of $18,403,600, according to tax forms between 2001 and 2012.
The Clarion Project National Security Analyst and Shillman Fellow is Ryan Mauro, a frequent Fox News media commentator and law enforcement trainer who espouses anti-Muslim views. Its Executive Director is Richard Green, and current members of the its advisory board are Raheel Raza and Zuhdi Jasser. Past members have included Frank Gaffney, Clare Lopez, Daniel Pipes, and Walid Phares.
In an interview on the Point of View radio talk show in November 2017, Clarion Project’s Executive Director Richard Green said that national Muslim organizations have “strong Muslim Brotherhood links” and “are trying to placate the audience and give them a false narrative.” Green promotes the false claim that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is engaged in a stealth campaign to impose Islamic law in the U.S.
Under the direction of Ryan Mauro, the Clarion Project hosts an online initiative called the Fuqra Files, which went live in December 2016. The project alleges that rural communities built by predominantly African-American Muslims are terrorist training camps. The initiative also claims there are “no-go zones” in Europe that are controlled by terrorists who prevent non-Muslims from entering, a claim that has been debunked here, here and here.
The Clarion Project maintains a repository of documentary films, which Clarion describes as “expos[ing] how radical Islamists use terrorism, murder, subjugation of women, indoctrination of children, religious persecution, genocide of minorities, widespread human rights abuses, nuclear proliferation and cultural jihad — to threaten the West.” Included in this repository is the discredited documentary Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West (2005), released by HonestReporting and housed on the Clarion Project’s website.
The film Obsession depicts Muslims as inherently violent and anti-Western, and Islam as analogous to Nazism. The film included commentary by anti-Muslim figures Nonie Darwish, Steve Emerson, Brigitte Gabriel, Caroline Glick, Daniel Pipes and Walid Shoebat, among others. Among the film’s approbations are Frank Gaffney and Joel Surnow, the Executive Producer of 24. The film’s website also claims that the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy and law enforcement utilized the film for training. Twenty-eight million copies of the film were distributed in approximately 100 newspapers and magazines to key battleground states just seven weeks ahead of the 2008 U.S. presidential elections. On U.S. college campuses, Aish HaTorah’s fellowship program worked with Jewish student groups to hold screenings of the film.
In 2008, the Clarion Project released the documentary film The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America to introduce “the concept of ‘cultural jihad,’” which it defines as “a means to infiltrate and undermine Western society from within.” The film’s website claims that the film was “viewed by 1,500 members of NYPD as part of counter terrorism training” and lists approbations by three Members of Congress and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Then-New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly participated in the film as an interviewee, for which he later expressed regret.
Additional films by the Clarion Project include Iranium (2011) and Faithkeepers (2017). Available for purchase on the Clarion Project website, some of the films are additionally distributed via Comcast Video On Demand, Netflix, Hulu Internet TV and DirecTV, and have been screened as “primetime specials” on Fox News.
As of May 2019, Clarion’s latest film project is called “Kids Chasing Paradise.” A donation page to fund the film, which aims to tell the stories of children being “indoctrinated and manipulated – used and abused – to incite violence and radicalism” by terrorist organizations, raised over $100,000. The film is directed by Wayne Kopping, who also directed Clarion’s previous films, Obsession, and The Third Jihad. Like other Clarion projects, the film attempts to implicate Islam as being responsible for violence and terrorism.
Last updated: May 4, 2020