Americans for Peace and Tolerance
last updated: September 27, 2013
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Americans for Peace and Tolerance
15 Main St. Suite 118
Watertown, MA 02472
“Americans for Peace and Tolerance is a Boston-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence in an ethnically diverse America by educating the American public about the need for a moderate political leadership that supports tolerance and core American values in communities across the nation.”
- Charles Jacobs
- Dennis Hale
- Ahmed Mansour
Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) is a Boston-based advocacy group that describes itself as "a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence in an ethnically diverse America." It has been lampooned by critics, however, as an outpost of "hate and intolerance" for its anti-Islamic rhetoric and campaigns against Boston-area mosques and Islamic cultural centers. In addition to its Boston office, as of late 2013 the group's website suggested possible expansions to Nashville, Buffalo, Detroit, and California.
APT was founded in 2008 by longtime "pro-Israel" activist Charles Jacobs, who has reportedly described mosques as "victory markers" and declared that "there is no moderate Muslim doctrine." Jacobs has written that he founded APT along with fellow activists Dennis Hale and Ahmed Mansour "in response to the threat of Islamic Radicalism’s rapid penetration of American society, and the failure of civic and political leaders to deal with the threat."
Many of APT's campaigns are prefaced on Jacobs' contention that mainstream interfaith organizations and civic leaders are too "politically correct" to grapple with the infiltration of American society by "Islamic extremists." While a statement on APT's website concedes that the American Muslim community is "mostly moderate," it asserts that "the Muslim American leadership is mostly radical and has been spreading Islamic extremist ideology within the community for several decades." By welcoming Islamic institutions into their communities, APT contends, "American civic leaders have enabled the very same radicals who incite American Muslims against our society."
APT is well known in the Boston area for its campaign against the establishment of a Roxbury Islamic Center and mosque. Jacobs and APT documents have repeatedly accused the mosque's leadership of harboring anti-Semitic, anti-American, and Islamic extremist views. "Long before the Park51 project made news," reported the anti-Islamophobia website Loon Watch, "Jacobs spearheaded opposition to an Islamic Center in Roxbury and slammed governor Deval Patrick and Boston mayor Thomas Menino when they late supported the project and met with Boston community leaders. Despite widespread repudiation Jacobs continues to maintain that the Roxbury center is linked to global terror plots."
APT has also organized campaigns directed at schools and college campuses, alleging that "American universities have become hotbeds of Islamic extremism and hostile environments for Jewish students who support Israel." It has singled out Boston's Northeastern University and the University of California system in particular, complaining that each institution has harbored "anti-Israel and anti-Semitic campus rhetoric." Even at the K-12 level, according to APT, "Islamists have followed the leftist model of influencing textbooks, sanitizing and glorifying Islamist history while painting Western civilization as a victimizer of the Muslim world."
Since visiting Argentina in 2009, Jacobs has associated APT with efforts to link the government of Iran to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed more than 80 people. Although critics say this claim relies on testimony from Iranian dissidents linked to the MEK, an anti-regime Iranian exile organization that has been tied to terrorist attacks of its own, APT has republished in full a 675-page indictment prepared by a Jewish Argentine prosecutor accusing Iran of orchestrating the attack and the Argentinian government of covering up Iran's involvement.
Like Elizabeth Cheney's now-defunct advocacy group, Keep America Safe, APT has also organized efforts to oppose the transfer of Guantanamo detainees—even those cleared for release—to American soil.
In its tax filings, APT reported nearly $320,000 in revenues in 2011.