Bias: Extreme Right, Propaganda, Conspiracy, Anti-Islam
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
The Middle East Forum (MEF) is an American conservative think tank founded in 1990 by Daniel Pipes, who serves as its president. According to their mission statement “The Middle East Forum promotes American interests in the Middle East and protects Western values from Middle Eastern threats.”
The Middle East Forum also publishes the following:
Middle East Quarterly – a quarterly journal devoted to Middle Eastern affairs.
Campus Watch – identifies what it finds to be the five major problems in the teaching of Middle Eastern studies at American universities: “analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students.”
Islamist Watch – seeks to educate the government, media, religious institutions, the academy, and the business world about lawful Islamism.
The Legal Project – protects researchers, analysts, and activists who work on radical Islam and related topics from predatory lawsuits designed to silence their exercise of free speech.
Funded by / Ownership
The Middle East Forum is a nonprofit 501(c)3, that is supported through donations. The Middle East Forum lists their financial information here.
Analysis / Bias
In review, The Middle East Forum is an anti-Islamist and strongly pro-Israel group. They often use moderately loaded wording in their headlines such as this: Migration to Europe Becomes a Crisis and they rarely provide hyperlinked sourcing. The Middle East Forum also republishes articles from right leaning sources such as the Washington Times and the Gatestone Institute.
The Middle East Forum has been placed on the Hate Watch list by the Southern Poverty Law Center for financing a rally in London last month in support of English far-right provocateur Tommy Robinson. The MEF also bankrolled Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar’s trip to the U.K. to attend the rally for the jailed far-right activist.
In response to the rally, on June 19, 2018 a letter was published in The Guardian with over 50 signatories, including British parliamentarians, condemning the rally calling it a “resurgent of the racist right.”
“The racist right are using Robinson to reorganize,” the letter states. “Nazi salutes and Islamophobia were at the centre of the mobilisation. This is the first serious attempt since the collapse of the English Defence League (EDL) to develop a racist street movement and give it a political form.”
Further, the founder and President of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes is listed as an Islamophobic Individual by CAIR.
Overall, we rate the Middle East Forum Questionable due to Anti-Islamic views that have been labeled as hate by multiple organizations. (D. Van Zandt 8/11/2018) Updated (6/18/2020)