The Merchants of Hatred
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|Full page Ad given by the Muslim community in Las Vegas Review Journal. Sep 28, 2008|
More than 28 million copies of a blatantly biased and anti-Islamic film called "Obsession" were distributed last week through more than 70 conservative newspapers across the nation. These newspapers are owned and operated by those who are identified as supporters of Israel, and Evangelical Christian groups. The funding to the distribution of the documentary has come from Clarion Fund Inc, a New York based group. Majority of donors are either Israelis or pro-Israeli businesses and individuals and right wing Christian evangelical groups.
The DVD was distributed in all those states where the Republican Party is struggling to retain the support of independent voters. The purpose is to create and maintain an environment of fear and hatred against Islam and Muslims. The goal of the distributors seems to ensure that Muslim Americans are seen as fifth columnist and suspect in the eyes of average Americans. This would mean that the doors of public institutions should remain closed to them and unless supported by the pro-Israeli groups and the Republicans, none of them should be trusted.
The documentary is nothing but unashamed propaganda probably compiled from the archives of the Israeli government.
Apparently, major evangelical groups and leaders including Peter Hagee, the guru of the Republican nominee McCain have given their blessings to the movie.
The movie is a major international enterprise, unmatched in the history of Islam and west relations. Not even during the crusades was the propaganda machinery mobilized so swiftly as it has been done now.
There are a few things that Muslim Americans can seriously work on to combat this misinformation.
1. A national summit of Muslim leaders to look at the issue and develop a unified and coordinated strategy. Muslim masses should become active and coordinate with their leaders to be proactive on this issue. (On October 10 and 11, the Las Vegas Islamic Society of Nevada is hosting its sixth annual Quran conference to be attended by many prominent Muslim leaders. This conference can devote a few session on developing a unified strategy.)
2. IslamiCity.com and many other Islamic websites have access to information about Islam and Muslim Americans they should plan to produce a documentary on Islam and Muslim-West Relations citing incidents of hatred against Islam and Muslims in recent times. They should prepare a budget for research and production and present it to the community and proceed with it on an emergency footing.
3. Muslim organizations should approach interfaith groups in their localities to develop a unified response to this challenge. Muslim community in those states where local newspapers distributed the DVDs should buy a full page of ad to introduce them to the general public.
4. Muslim Americans should offer their lives as living examples of peaceful and law abiding citizens. We are proud to say that thousands of Muslim medical professionals in the country are busy saving human lives of fellow Americans day in and day out and never do they deviate from their professional ethics. Thousands of engineers are involved in maintaining the essential infrastructure of the nation with full responsibility. Millions of workers are engaged in running the economy and contributing to its growth. Not only here in America, but all over the world, the Muslim communities are standing up against terror and injustices and for the rights of common people.
5. Muslim Americans should engage in public debates in the upcoming election. They should be visible in walks through neighborhood at precinct levels. They should speak up and take a stand against those who are perpetuating hatred against Islam. Moreover, they should remain alert about the Islamophobic campaigns going on in the country. They should know the background of all those who are hate mongers and they should be willing to expose them.
The Clarion Fund Inc (http://clarionfund.org/) is behind the movie. Here is background information. If anyone has more research on the group, please forward it to the author of the article.
Clarion Fund is classified a tax exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code 501 (c)(3). The organization receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public. The founder of the Clarion Fund is Raphael Shore, who is a Canadian citizen, lives in Israel and is the producer and the co-writer of Obsession.
Shore is a director of the organization along with Richard Green of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area.
In an article published in the Israeli newspaper The Haaretz under the title 'Obsession' stokes passions, fears and controversy the following information was included.
"'Obsession' gives the picture that unfortunately no one else does," says Raphael Shore, the Canadian-Israeli living in Jerusalem who produced the film.
The film has a largely Zionist and pro-Israel distribution network, though Shore is trying to expand the film's appeal. According to news reports, at a screening earlier this year at New York University, distributors of the film required viewers to register at IsraelActivism.com, the Web site of Aish HaTorah's Hasbara Fellowships. Shore, incidentally, was the director of both Aish HaTorah International and the Hasbara Fellowships, a pro-Israel advocacy group. He also tries to play down the film's Israel connection, simply because "It isn't helpful," he says, "I don't want it to be only Jewish and Israel-related."
The issue is further complicated as funding sources for the film remain hazy. Shore and director Wayne Kopping of South Africa are the only figures associated with the film willing to release their real names and appear in media interviews; the executive producer is listed as Peter Mier, while the production manager is listed as Brett Halperin. But Mier and Halperin are just aliases, Shore says.
According to Shore, about 80 percent of the film's $400,000 budget was provided by Mier.
"Many evangelical Christians are waking up and becoming passionate about this issue," says Shore.
Shore is also the founder of Honest Reporting, which is a Zionist media watchdog outfit.
Similar information can be compiled on those who are attacking Islam and Muslims. This information will be helpful for Muslims to convince our fellow citizens that those who are promoting this hatred are part of special interest groups committed to racial and religious bigotry.
Above all, we must not remain silent. The propaganda launched against Islam and Muslims is unmatched. We must have the determination and inspiration to expose the liars and bigots who are undermining the founding principals of our nation.
Dr. Aslam Abdullah is Editor-in-Chief of the Muslim Observer, director of the Islamic society of Nevada, Las Vegas and acting president of the Muslim Council of America, a Washington-based newly formed groups of Muslim activists.
I think we should also produce a documentry called "Answers to Obsession". This documentry should expose all the lies given in the "Obsession" documentry. This documentry film should also be distributed freely in same area where "Obsession" was distributed.
If some knowlegeable Muslim would have had published a book called "Answer to Satanic Verses" then we could have succefully nailed down the satan long back. People will be interested in reading/seing answers to false allegations against Islam in the same format.
Inshallah we will be able to combat this hate campaign successfully. Only required thing is to unite in the cause of Allah.
You know, there is a sad part to all of this hatred. Instead of spending 70 million dollars on passing out DVD's, think of all the other things these people could have done with this money. Since the claim is the DVD came from Isreal, think of all the Palestenians and Isrealies that could have been fed. Think of all the hospital equipment that could have been paid for. Think of all the schools and streets that could have been built.
Same thing in the US. Think of all the homes that the victims of Hurricaine Katrinia. Allah only knows of the schools in the US that could have had computers and descent books in them with all that money. Also, helping homeowners who are losing their homes, and again, feeding the poor people in the US.
It's amazing how we as human beings spend our money on foolishness and on things that really do not matter. Yet, we will not even spend our money on the things that really do matter. Isn't that what Jesus (as), and our last Prophet (pbuh) instructed us to do. I am speaking to the Christians and to the Muslims. Honestly, isn't that what our Holy books teach us to do?
Islam just proved something that our markets in America are going through. Islam showed that Riba is not profitable in the long run, instead it is in position as those controlled by the devil's influence. Alah akbar and God bless all muslims
Belief In Allah means Peace and security.
Some Sects of extremists are going against the great prophets Jesus and Moses teachings-who are the great prophets of Islam and who never preached hatred anytime against anyone...
To Ramesh Khan, Welcome to Islam, God said in Quran-I have completed the religion.. it is for all mankind...(God did not say only for muslims)
Islam, Christianity and Judaism have common ancestor the Great Prophet Abraham and they are from the same one God-Allah and His messengers.
How about a DVD-Documentary titled " Radical Christianity and Radical Judaism-JOINT VENTURE
against Islam/Muslims/Mid-East.? Have they distributed similar material? No definetely NOT-That would be antisemitic or terrorism.
Journalism, Media and every Profession has codes, principles and ethics. They have clearly violated by distributing such hatred material without doing research.
First of all, the whole thing was produced and distributed as a scare tatic because of Barack Obama. Its sad that people would stoop this low just to win an election. See, hatred and racism is a cancer in America. And, one that is not soon to go away. It is so deeply rooted in American society. So, most Americans will buy this propoganda, believe it or not. Because, their hearts are already filled with hatred.
What is even more disheartning is that Arabs were on the DVD as well. See how divided muslims are. Just to let some of you know, Dr. Mohammad who was in the DVD Obsession, has written an apology to the Muslim community. He claimed that he did not know that he was being used. Despite his Jewish friends and others warning him about these people. So, yes, don't only blame the people who were behind this propoganda, but also blame some of these Muslims as well.
My oldest sister is a Christian, and she called me to inform me about this tape. She was offended about this propaganda, but was even more offended whenever she saw the Arabs on the tape. She could not understand why they were talking against one another.
I believe that if muslims are going to have a unified strategy, it should even include the everyday Muslims as well. Not only the Imams and the Scholars, but the whole Umah. It would really help if Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern leaders would get on board. But, I guess that may be asking a little to much. There is a way that this stuff could be stopped, but who would the Middle Eastern leaders be willing to help make it so? Would they be willing to stop doing business with some of these people? To every problem there is a solution.
I did poke around in the Islamicity response web-site linked yesterday (9/29) and found it vague and uninformative. In particular, it did not address the primary concerns this liberal, non-Christian American has regarding Islam. It did not address the conditions under which Muslims would actively pursue Islamic law in a country without it. In stressing the tolerance of religous minorities under Islam, it did not address the prohibitions on building and maintaining non-Muslim houses of worship. It did not address the devaluing of non-Muslim and female witness relative to Muslim and male witness. It did not address the "protection" rules in which non-Muslims are not perimited means of self-defense but are forced to rely on Muslims for their self-defense. It did not address the sorry state of non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries, partially due to the issues I've already raised.
I could go on, but I'll just say in short that any attempt to alleviate non-Muslim fears will require more than the happy-talk I usually see in these public-relations efforts. It will require evidence that Muslims can see some basis in non-Muslim concerns, even if these concerns are overblown. It would be useful to see some self-criticism not simply of bad Muslims but also of some common practices and even theological traditions.
One thing about the west: you'll find we criticise ourselves intensely and openly. Perhaps we hold too little sacred, but Islam holds too much
Apparently you are listening to our cries,why else do you keep posting your comments.Imagine how boring your life would be if you didn't have Islam and Muslims to vent at.
Although I too am a believer I am ashamed of these people who call themselves Christians.
Peace be with you.
Stop being crybaby. Grow up. Nobody is going to send you love and flowers, because you don't deserve them. There are something 2 million Hindus in US; they concentrate on doing what they came to US -- making money; have you heard of any Hindu being mentioned in any newspapers or TV, other than the usual common crimes in any society of theft, fights, traffic accidents, etc? You don't find any Buddhists in the news in US?
Nobody pays any attention to your cries. Grow up.
It's sad that the so called moderate christians who also believe in the Book of One God perpetrate in this false propagandas. Its a good idea to muslim leaders to counter these attrocities but our ultimate goal is to have Calipha, whereby we can all unite and call for Jihad Akbar. This is the only thing that the Kafur fear and understand. We have to speak the language they best understand. In no way will these Narrow-minded people respect dialogue but it's no sin on Muslims if we invite them first by written Jihad. Please lets suppot those who are willing to establish islamic caliphate, this is only way we can overcome all these problems. Isrealis and its Pros will not dialogue and if they do they will brake every single promise. However, it's understood that not all these isrealis or Jews support these attrocities, there are among them who distance themselves from it but they are not heard.
If Allah wills soon shall we gather under the barner of "Laillaha illa Allahu".
Diologue will never work since Quran has told us their true story. They have been breaking their promises since they came out from the loins of Adam. These fanatics claim they are peaceful and tolerant but they are the ones that step up attack in any form. I swear by Allah, that the only thing they need is Jihad Akbar. We Muslims need unity and stop condeming one another. What we should do is to organise international Muslim/islamic conference to vote a Caliph rather than producing a video to counter these Narrow minded people. Muslim leaders across the globe must call for international islamic conference, should any muslim nation refuse to do that should be ignored. The Kafurs have a leader why cant we have on