Founded in 2003, Jihad Watch is an anti-Muslim conspiracy blog affiliated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, run by blogger Robert Spencer, it has been described as one of the main homes of the anti-Islamic Counter-jihad movement on the internet. It has been repeatedly criticized by numerous academics who believe that it promotes an Islamophobic worldview and conspiracy theories. According to their FAQ page “Jihad Watch is an attempt to raise awareness about the activities of the global jihadists.”
Funded by / Ownership
The owner of the website is Robert Spencer who is affiliated with the 501c3 nonprofit David Horowitz Freedom Center. As of 2010, Robert Spencer was paid a salary of $132,000 by the David Horowitz Freedom Center to run the website. The Horowitz Center is funded by multiple donors including the strongly right leaning Bradley Foundation. The Jihad Watch website is funded through donations and advertising.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Jihad Watch holds an extreme right anti-Islam viewpoint. The main purpose of Jihad Watch is to portray Muslims in a negative light that often points toward violent tendencies such as this: Canada fights “hate”, while jihadist sign threatening “massacre of Jews” flaunted at Toronto al-Quds Day rally and this, in which they seem to advocate for a fight against Islam: Can Islam Be Defeated? This propaganda piece is sourced to both the Bible and Quran as evidence. When it comes to sourcing, they use a variety of sources, some which are credible and others which are not, such as Breitbart. In general, all stories on Jihad Watch serve as propaganda to frame Muslims negatively, while portraying Christians/Americans as persecuted and in danger.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled Robert Spencer a White Nationalist, while the Anti-Defamation League has done the same. Robert Spencer is also the co-founder of Stop Islamization of America with Pamela Geller, which is considered a hate group.
A factual search reveals numerous failed fact checks by IFCN fact checkers.
Overall, we rate Jihad Watch a Questionable source based on Extreme Right bias, promotion of propaganda and conspiracies, use of poor sources, numerous failed fact checks and links to individuals associated with hate groups. (D. Van Zandt 10/21/2016) Updated (6/4/2019)