Going back as early as the 1960s, seemingly mainstream Islamic groups in the U.S.—e.g., the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)—were established in close coordination with the Muslim Brotherhood, and with backing from such figures as the notorious Qatar-based anti-American and anti-Semitic cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. As Yehudit Barsky and Ehud Rosen show in a meticulous study, these groups, along with a host of other jihadist organizations and ideological tendencies—some of which are sponsored by Iran—have played a crucial role in rising anti-Semitism. Barsky and Rosen write:
In recent years, U.S. Islamist groups and leaders have increasingly sought common cause with progressive left-wing groups that promote minority rights and intersectionality among racial, ethnic, and religious minorities in their efforts to build coalitions around common interests. In doing so, the Islamist groups and the progressive left-wing organizations have formed a red-green alliance, a coalition that crosses ideological lines between the far left (red) and the Islamists (green). Such coalitions are built both by forming a narrative of the victimhood of U.S. Muslims, and by utilizing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, portraying it as an anti-colonial struggle. This has already brought about the formation of a new type of hybrid group that brings together under one roof activists of various fringe backgrounds.
While the FBI hate-crime statistics showed that the number of anti-Islamic incidents in 2020 and 2021 were among the lowest in a decade (110 and 152 incidents, respectively), U.S. Islamists have been labelling any criticism of Islam and Muslims as well as of themselves and their ideologies as “Islamophobia.” For example, the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, [which praised Qaradawi after his death], has attempted to utilize public discourse at a time when anti-Semitic attacks on American Jews have been at their highest in four decades to suggest that anti-Semitism is minimal in comparison to Islamophobia. . . .
The use of anti-Semitism to undermine [Jews’] political and societal standing is often not considered a calculated threat. Viewed over time, however, it can be understood as part of a larger process of societal erosion in which extremist and anti-Semitic beliefs previously thought to exist on the fringes of society become legitimized as part of the mainstream and normative public discourse. . . . These developments should not be ignored. . . . To this end, the process of choosing allies from the Muslim community should be made much more carefully, and proper due diligence is required.