David Horowitz Freedom Center [Freedom Center]

SOURCE:  Wikipedia, 2020-06-09

  • Founded: 1988
  • Founders: David Horowitz | Peter Collier
  • Type: Conservative think tank
  • Legal status: 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization [not required to disclose donors]
  • Focus: Media
  • About: the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes Freedom Center as a far-right organization, and an anti-Muslim hate group
  • Location: Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
  • Area served: United States
  • Product: FrontPage Magazine
  • Key people: David Horowitz, Founder & CEO | Peter Collier, Vice President of Publications | Michael Finch, President
  • Revenue (2013): $7,095,015
  • Website: HorowitzFreedomCenter.org
  • Formerly called: Center for the Study of Popular Culture
  • Funded (in part) by the Bradley Foundation.

    The David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC), formerly the Center for the Study of Popular Culture (CSPC), is a conservative foundation founded in 1988 by political activist David Horowitz and his long-time collaborator Peter Collier. It was established with funding from groups including the John M. Olin Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, and the Scaife Foundations. It runs several websites and blogs, including "FrontPage Magazine," "Students for Academic Freedom", and the blog "Jihad Watch." Both the foundation and Jihad Watch have been described as Islamophobic.

    Mission and budget

    The original intention of the CSPC was to establish a foothold in Hollywood, California. It was to serve as a platform for conservative speakers and debates between conservative and liberal speakers.

    In 2003 Horowitz expanded the scope of the CSPC to include monitoring what CSPC views as an ingrained hostility towards conservative scholarship and ideas within academia. He established Students for Academic Freedom (SAF) to further that goal.

    DHFC is a 501(c)(3) charity. In 2005 it had revenues of $4.9 million, expenses of $4.0 million, 8.4% of which was $336,000 compensation for David Horowitz. For 2008 the DHFC reported on IRS Form 990 revenues of $5,466,103 and expenses of $5,994,547 with total compensation to David Horowitz of $480,162 and to vice-president Peter Collier of $228,744.


    The Center has the following ongoing programs.

    Heterodoxy was a news magazine published in a tabloid format by the center, edited by David Horowitz and Peter Collier. Its focus was said to be on exposing the excesses of "political correctness" on college and university campuses across the United States.

    Funding activities

    Between July 2000 and February 2006, the center (under its old name) was the sponsor of 25 trips by United States senators and representatives, all Republicans, to six different events. Total expenditures were about $43,000.

    In 2014-2015, Horowitz provided $250,000 in funding to the Dutch right-wing nationalist Geert Wilders's Party for Freedom, possibly violating U.S. tax law.


    The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has described the Freedom Center as a far-right organization and anti-Muslim hate group.

    According to Horowitz, the SPLC's designation of his conservative think tank as a hate group resulted in his Freedom Center's donation processing system being blocked by Visa and Mastercard, in which he plans to "fight back" and "push for an investigation" against the SPLC and Visa and Mastercard.

    Chip Berlet, writing for the SPLC, accused Horowitz of blaming slavery on "black Africans ... abetted by dark-skinned Arabs" and of "attacking minority 'demands for special treatment' as 'only necessary because some blacks can't seem to locate the ladder of opportunity within reach of others,' rejecting the idea that they could be the victims of lingering racism." Responding with an open letter to Morris Dees, president of the SPLC, Horowitz stated that his reminder that the slaves transported to America were bought from African and Arab slavers was a response to demands that only whites pay blacks reparations, not to hold Africans and Arabs solely responsible for slavery, and that the statement that he had denied lingering racism was "a calculated and carefully constructed lie." The letter said that Berlet's work was "so tendentious, so filled with transparent misrepresentations and smears that if you continue to post the report you will create for your Southern Poverty Law Center a well-earned reputation as a hate group itself." The SPLC replied that they stood by the accuracy of the report, and subsequent critical pieces on Berlet and the SPLC have been featured on Horowitz's website and personal blog.

    In a 2011 report, the Center for American Progress cited Horowitz as a prominent figure instrumental in demonizing Islam and spreading fear about an Islamic takeover of Western society. Horowitz responded, saying that the Center had "joined the Muslim Brotherhood."

    The Anti-Defamation League wrote that Horowitz sponsors a college campus project that promotes anti-Muslim views and arranges events with anti-Muslim activists. The DHFC was also a sponsor of the May 3, 2015 Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas, where two Muslim terrorist attackers were shot and killed by a school security guard.

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