I'm very curious to know if any of you got this dvd "Obsession" in your newspapers earlier this month? Been following along the stories and glad NPR finally (!) decided to make mention of it, alongside a few other small-time papers (more ! points).
pasting in some emailed news clips that were forwarded around. Very curious to know how I can get a copy. I want to see it for myself. Maybe I should just write to this shady Clarion Fund and ask point blank. Dear Clarion Fund, Can I please get a copy of your DVD?
"DON'T LET DVD'S HATE INFILTRATE U.S."
By Shams Ghoneim and Jeffrey Portman
Iowa Press-Citizen, 9/25/08
Click here to read the entire article.
Recently, 28 million copies of the film "Obsession: Radical Islam's War against the West" were distributed for free in newspapers across the country as part of a paid advertisement. On Sept. 13, the DVDs were bundled inside more than 70 newspapers and magazines and delivered nationwide to sub-scribers -- including those of the Press-Citizen -- by the non-profit, New-York-based Clarion Fund.
Additional DVDs by the same group are to follow in a new film to be released Oct. 10. "The Third Jihad" is promoted and targeted toward the alleged threat of radical Islam and radical Muslim leaders in the U.S.
These newspapers and magazines may have allowed themselves to be caught up in neo-conservative propaganda in the midst of a presidential campaign -- and during 9/11 week, no less. The film's jacket reads, "The threat of Radical Islam is the most important issue facing us today. But neither the presidential candidates nor the media are discussing openly. It's our responsibility to ensure we can all make an informed vote in November."
This offensive propaganda campaign against a minority religion and its followers is a heinous and serious concerted effort to marginalize and demonize the entire Muslim community. Its purpose is to divide us across faith cultures for its own political agenda....
If we allow such hate to infiltrate our great country, then the terrorists of 9/11 have injured us twice. First, by brutally attacking us; second, by dividing us. Such malignant, media-savvy attempts only assist our enemies and undermine our democracy. Read more...
Press-Citizen Editorial Board member Shams Ghoneim is coordinator for the Iowa Chapter of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Jeffrey Portman is rabbi of Agudas Achim Congregation.
CHARITY FLOODS SWING STATES
WITH ANTI-ISLAM DVD
By Peter Overby
NPR Morning Edition, 9/26/08
Click here to LISTEN to the story.
Just after the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a small charity group flooded campaign battleground states with an inflammatory DVD on radical Islam. Critics say the charity is trying to influence the presidential race.
Earlier this month, subscribers to 70 newspapers in 14 states got a little something extra: A DVD that argues the same hard, militaristic line on terrorism that John McCain takes in his presidential campaign. It's called "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West."
Madaline Muir of Montgomery County, Pa., got the DVD in her Philadelphia Inquirer. She called it propaganda.
"It's to influence people. Sent out now. Whenever it was made, 2006, but it's really to influence people in the election and scare people," she said. Click here to listen to the full story...
Please post an appreciative note to http://www.npr.org/contact/ and select "Morning Edition" program.
SENDERS OF ISLAM MOVIE 'OBSESSION'
TIED TO JEWISH CHARITY
By Meg Laughlin
St. Petersburg Times, 9/26/08
Click here to read the entire article.
A nonprofit group that has shipped out 28-million copies of a controversial film on radical Islam refuses to reveal the source of its funding, but numerous ties connect it to a well-known Jewish education group that vehemently denies any involvement with the film.
The backing for "Obsession: Radical Islam's War with the West" and the intent of its distributor, the Clarion Fund, has been the subject of speculation since the DVDs were distributed beginning Sept. 14.
Clarion Fund, which was incorporated in 2006, distributed Obsession in 14 states, including the key presidential battlegrounds of Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The DVDs were distributed by mail and as an advertising supplement in 58 Sunday newspapers, including the St. Petersburg Times.
"We don't have to say who its directors are or give financial information until Nov. 6, 2008," said Clarion spokesperson Gregory Ross...
There are a number of connections between the Clarion Fund and a well-known organization called Aish HaTorah, an international charity founded in Israel in the 1970s...
Washington tax attorney Marc Owens, who was IRS director of the Exempt Organizations Division for 10 years, says that if IRS investigates and finds a link between the film and Aish, it will ask: Was the film designed or distributed to have an impact on the election? Is this film an inflammatory hate message instead of a charitable, educational message?
"If the answer is 'yes' to either question," said Owens, "the involved charities could lose their tax-exempt status." ...
It is not clear who paid for the extensive mailing of the DVD from Freeport, N.Y. The permit number belongs to Clarion Fund, but Clarion Fund had no money in its bulk-mail account, according to postal administrators.
"The bulk mailing of this was made possible by a third party, other than Clarion," said U.S. Postal Inspector Debbie Waller. "We're looking into it." Read more...
Please send emails of appreciate to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
OBSESSION WITH HATE:
The Real Story Behind the Controversial "Obsession" DVD Project
& The Radical Right's War Against Islam
By Hate Hurts America Coalition
Why is 'Obsession' a hate film? Can we deny that radical violent Muslims exist?
Of course, there is no denying that there are those who have misused Islam to promote an anti-Western militant ideology that is responsible for the tragic 9/11 attacks and other deplorable terrorist acts around the globe. Few would disagree that Al Qaeda and its imitators are ruthless enemies that the United States must deal with forcefully.
But "Obsession" is not an honest critique of violent radicalism. Instead, it is a propaganda piece that seeks to cast a wide net of suspicion against Muslims by blurring the line between violent radicalism and mainstream Islam. As such, it does not call on credible experts and reputable scholars but resorts to shady characters like "former-terrorist" Walid Shoebat, who has made such outlandish statements as: "Islam is not the religion of God Islam is the devil."
In a recent commentary responding to the distribution of "Obsession," Jeff VanDenBerg, director of Middle East Studies at Drury University, called the film "a blatant piece of anti-Muslim propaganda." He also wrote: "The film 'Obsession' plays to the crudest stereotypes and promotes the simplest solutions. In the end, this kind of thinking will do far more to harm American security than it will to help it." (News-Leader, 9/17/08) Read more...
WHO IS THE BEHIND THE
'RADICAL ISLAM' DVD?
By Will Evans
Click here to read the entire article.
The blogosphere is alive with the sound of buzz -- all about an inflammatory DVD on radical Islam being distributed to millions of households at the peak of election season.
The obvious question: Who is behind it?
And the answer: The DVD is distributed by the Clarion Fund, a nonprofit set up by the film's producer, Rabbi Raphael Shore. But not much is known about the group. It's a 501(c)(3) charity, which means it can't engage in partisan politics. It did apparently have material on its Web site supporting John McCain, but then took it down.
Clarion has connections to Aish HaTorah, a strongly pro-Israel Jewish educational organization promoting Jewish identity and pride. Aish HaTorah has offices in Israel and the U.S.
But don't ask where the Clarion Fund gets its funding. It's not telling. And with its 501(c)(3) status, it doesn't have to. Read more...