From Dr. Omid Safi, Associate Professor, Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
On his personal web site, Dr. Safi describes the impact on his family by the distribution of the hate-filled DVD, Obsession, distributed in a newspaper ad in his local community.
With his permisson, an excerpt from Dr. Safi’s essay follows:
. . . The distribution of Obsession affected me and my family at an intimate local level: up to 160,000 copies of this propaganda piece were distributed through our local community in North Carolina. The newspaper of the nearby city of Charlotte, distributed another 200,000 copies.
Upon contacting the local newspaper, the Raleigh-based News and Observer, and asking why such a hateful piece of propaganda was being distributed for free to all the subscribers, the response of the paper was less than impressive. Jim McClure, vice president of display advertising for The News and Observer, said: “Obviously, we have distributed other product samples, whether it’s cereal or toothpaste.”
Really? Is this where we are? That a DVD which includes 77 minutes of propaganda footage slicing together videos of violent Muslims with those of Nazis, suggesting that Muslims are out to destroy Western civilization, is comparable to cereal and toothpaste? Puhleeze…
The claims of the DVD, which claims to be an educational product and part of a non-profit production, are as follows:
*That the world stands today as it did in 1938. Radical Islam is as great, if not greater, of a threat than the Nazis presented to the world. And action [not specified] must be taken.
*That the attacks in Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya, and Iran present a global Muslim conspiracy against Israel and “The West.”
*A distinctive feature of the DVD is in fact the linking together of threat of radical Islam with passionate defense of Israel. Most of the figures who are paraded in the DVD, whether they are Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, are all passionate pro-Israel speakers who have a long legacy of speaking against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims in general. The list includes such luminaries as:
• “Former PLO Terrorist Who Speaks Out For Israel”, Walid Shoebat, who claims to have been a “former Islamic terrorist” turned Christian Evangelical Zionist. The Jerusalem Post has already dismissed the accuracy of his claims.
• Nonie Darwish, with the tell-all website: http://www.arabsforisrael.com/ “Arabs for Israel”? Darwish also neglects to mention that she is another ex-Muslim turned both Christian and ardent supporter of Israel. In a world when virtually all Arabs and most Muslims view the Palestinian/Israeli tragedy as the burning political and moral issue of our time, how many Arabs in the world can be claimed as being passionate supporters of Israel?
• Carline Glick, a member of Israel On Campus Coalition.
• Daniel Pipes. If the Pro-Israel/Neo-conservative unholy alliance had a poster-child, Pipes would be it. Pipes is the most noted Islamophobe operating in the US. Pipes is also the Director of a Pro-Israel entity called “The Middle East Forum.” As for his one-sided commitment to Israel credentials, suffice it to say that he is the 2006 recipient of the “Guardian of Zion” award. . . . Dr. Safi’s complete original posting may be found by clicking here..