In the last decade, Horowitz has become a respected elder of a growing movement of hawkish neoconservatives, conspiracy theorists and former federal officials united in their twisted fears that Islam is on the march -- a movement he describes in Orwellian terms as a "counterjihad."
Through his David Horowitz Freedom Center, a wealthy nonprofit based in Sherman Oaks, Calif., he has financed leading Islamophobes driving public opinion and attacked universities as leftist "indoctrination" programs. He leads several conservative publications, all dedicated to tenaciously defending Israel and viciously attacking Islam as a religion of "hate, violence and racism."
A report from the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, "Fear, Inc.," exposed Horowitz as a prominent member of a "small network [that] produces talking points and messages relied upon and repeated by every segment of this interconnected network of money, grassroots leaders, media talking heads, and elected officials." The report's author, Wajahat Ali, chastised Horowitz as a self-serving and toxic presence in a field of anti-Muslim pundits.
Virulent Muslim-basher Robert Spencer, director of the website Jihad Watch, is on his nonprofit's payroll, and Horowitz's online FrontPage Magazine publishes the work of Daniel Greenfield and Daniel Pipes, both of whom add to right-wing fears that Muslims are infiltrating the West. Horowitz also works closely withPamela Geller, collecting money for her anti-Muslim hate group, Stop Islamization of America.
CAIR receives numerous calls and reports on the issue of being wrongfully placed on the no-fly list, but many people do not even know how to report it. That is why having statistics on this issue is near impossible -- no one knows who is on the list, meaning you can be on the list without knowing it until you try to board a plane.
"Her tireless dedication to civil rights helped inspire generations of activists, including within the American Muslim community," the California chapter of CAIR. "She will be fondly remembered by all those of us who continue to defend civil liberties and promote justice."
If the authorities believe Matanov was in any way involved in the bombings, these charges might make sense. But they aren't saying that -- not even by implication. Otherwise, this is just the kind of overly aggressive prosecution that gives the wrong impression of America's commitment to freedom, civil liberties, and proportionate justice.