As They Profited From the Opioid Crisis, Sacklers Funded Anti-Muslim Network

As They Profited From the Opioid Crisis, Sacklers Funded Anti-Muslim Network

A man uses heroin under a bridge where he lives with other addicts in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, which has become a hub for heroin use on January 24, 2018. SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES

The family that owns OxyContin producer Purdue Pharma donated to anti-Muslim hate groups and other organizations headed by well-known anti-Muslim figures.

Art museums including the Guggenheim and the United Kingdom’s Tate are fleeing the billionaire Sacklers, the family that has profited immensely from the opioid crisis, for which it is partially responsible. Various members of the wealthy family, which owns OxyContin producer Purdue Pharma, have donated millions of dollars to arts organizations over the years, portraying themselves as community-minded philanthropists.

But now, as America’s opioid crisis reaches new heights and the Sacklers face a slew of lawsuits, some cultural organizations have had enough.

“The Middle East Forum is one of the longest-standing and most nefarious organizations in America when it comes to purveying anti-Muslim hate in America,” Imraan Siddiqi, executive director of the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, previously told Sludge.

The Southern Poverty Law Center stops short of labeling Middle East Forum a hate group, but it has written about founder Daniel Pipes’ anti-Muslim rhetoric. In 2017, Pipes expressed a false sentiment often circulated by white nationalists: “Muslim immigrants want to replace existing European civilization with Islam.” In his lengthy manifesto, a New Zealand white nationalist terrorist said that this alleged “white genocide” motivated him to gun down 50 worshiping Muslims on March 15, 2019.

“Pipes is one of the biggest purveyors of anti-Muslim ideas in the U.S.,” Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told Sludge. “He has endorsed interment based on the Japanese model for Muslims and spread false rumors of ‘no-go zones’ in Europe where non-Muslims are not allowed. In general, his defamation of Muslims and spreading of conspiracy theories about them is vile, and his comments should not be taken seriously.”

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Middle East Forum has received funding from Frank Gaffney’s anti-Muslim hate group, the Center for Security Policy, and has donated to the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Anti-Muslim personality Steven Emerson was a fellow of Middle East Forum, according to the Center for American Progress.