Earlier this month we mentioned the Canadian website Point de Bascule in our report, Islamist Propaganda: The Montgomery County Model, WORDE and the Muslim Brotherhood . It was regarding Hussein Hamdani, an advisor to a Canadian security agency, who has been suspended pending an investigation into his alleged ties to Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas related organizations.
The Canadian National Post (NP) just published an article by Catherine Solyom that focuses on possible motivations behind Hamdani’s suspension titled, “Hero or extremist“. It devotes a good amount of time on attempting to discredit the credibility of Point de Bascule’s author, Marc Lebuis. It fails to fully explore the validity of reports that Hamdani has ties to Islamist groups, relying instead on statements made by Hamdani that he is simply a victim.
Another version of the article appears in the Montreal Gazette titled, “Hussein Hamdani: Vetted by the feds, felled by a blog“ with additional references to Pamela Geller and Steven Emerson along with an expanded history of Hamdani’s community involvement. This version also includes a statement by researcher Seigfried Mathelet calling Lebuis a “militant”.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) has labeled the NP article a “hit piece” and we agree. GMBDW defends Lebuis, responding in depth to the four issues Solyom raises. Recommended reading.
A key point to all this: Hamdani was not suspended until after a televised report by French language TVA network journalist Michel Jean was made about Hamdani’s questionable ties. Solyom acknowledges this in her article yet makes no attempt to question any motives that TVA or Michel Jean might have pertaining to the broadcast.
The article includes:
Seigfried Mathelet, a post-doctoral researcher at the Université du Québec à Montréal, said he knows of Lebuis as a “pseudo-expert” who has worked for years to gain influence with political decision-makers and the mainstream media, even though he has no links to academic research.
His modus operandi, like that of numerous anti-Islam bloggers and organizations based in the U.S., Mathelet explained, is to take anything problematic associated with Islam – like the Boko Haram or ISIS attacks – and link them to people in Canada.
Matthew Duss, the lead author of Fear, Inc. 2.0. — a report published by the Centre for American Progress on anti-Islam organizations and their sources of funding – says Muslim-bashing is a very lucrative business in the U.S., and it may be in Canada, too.
Duss believes Point de Bascule may be part of an international “Islamophobia network.”
These two above sections are mentioned to highlight the fact that even so called “experts” miss the mark when dealing with these terms …
- Islamist –
- Muslim: a follower of the religion of Islam
The release of “Bin Laden’s Bookshelf” by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) has refocused interest on the additional details regarding the operations and mindset of the Al Qaeda “mastermind”. The content was found during the 2011 Navy SEAL team raid of Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Portions had already been released to the public in 2012 through the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC)..
This declassified/released material is described by the DNI as “a sizeable tranche of documents”. Some former U.S. government officials are hitting the talk shows saying it is only a very small portion of the documents seized – estimates of 6,000+ – others have implied far larger numbers.
Most of the initial media coverage has been focusing on the books, magazines and periodicals found – many indicating Bin Laden had sights set on western interests in the U.S., France and Germany. Not really news there.
A bit more telling are all the letters and notes. They provide unique background to Al Qaeda operations along with some insight into Bin Laden’s family relationships. These will be subject to the scrutiny of third parties to verify or challenge the English translations.
A few points of interest:
- Bin Laden remained fixated on engaging American interests and Al Qaeda had a dedicated section (external operations) to organize and execute operations against western interests. There were several references to an Al Qaeda spy network within the U.S..
- Al Qaida members from western countries, such as German Bekkay Harrach (Al Hafidh Abu Talha al Almani) were highly regarded for western recruiting operations and training. (note: It was reported that Harrach was killed in 2010 by a U.S. drone strike.)
- Bin Laden heavily monitored information released by the CTC.
- Relations with the Muslim Brotherhood were lukewarm at best. Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has been reported as being a Muslim Brotherhood member in his youth – claiming to abandon it later on. He uses several aliases and may be the “Abu Muhammad” Bin Laden writes about in this letter (date unknown – most likely late 2010/early 2011):
History taught us that the people in revolt will change the existing situation, and we at the moment should exert our efforts to guide them and to prevent their being represented by the half-solution people such as (TN: the Muslim) Brotherhood, and we hope that the next stage will be the reinstating of the rule of the Caliphate. As to the Muslim Brotherhood, we note that the young generation’s adhering to true Islam is a matter of time, as can be noticed by the Internet reply of Shaykh ((Abu Muhammad)) who is a Brotherhood member, in which he said that within the Muslim Brotherhood there are factions who now adhere to true Islam, and there is also a powerful Salafist faction within the Brotherhood.
- as with ISIS, focus on establishing an Islamic Caliphate was the priority and end goal.
- the “Arab Spring” uprisings were not viewed as wins for democracy. Bin Laden wrote that it would, “free the Muslim land from American hegemony” by toppling “tyrants”. As country leaders were removed, Al Qaeda operatives would guide a move towards the formation of an Islamic state.
- Bin Laden was critical of Al Qaeda activity that would harm other Muslims. This was conveyed in instructions regarding actions in Somolia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- Somali pirate actions were apparently Al Qaeda directed for funding, but the connection was not to be publicized:
We hope that you will send a letter to the brothers in Somalia to have them avoid declaring their solidarity with the al-Qa’ida, and to give their full attention to collecting ransommoney and hijack ships.
- Security was a major concern. Operations used compartmentalization as a safeguard. Bin Laden realized that computers and electronic communications were a major risk and he preferred to use couriers for high-level communications. He wrote:
With respect to the communication over the internet, we have no objection in communication of general messages. However, even with what the brothers had mentioned regarding al-Asrar al-Mujahidin program, the secrecy of the external work does not allow its use. I recommend confirming with the interested brothers that the external work would only be through the trusted messengers.
- Bin Laden believed classified Department of Defense information leaked through the website Wikileaks would provide Al Qaeda with important insight regarding U.S. combat strategy.
- Al Qaeda relations with Iran appeared to be conflicting. There are some indications of cooperation, but some letters include accounts of members being detained.
Nothing very revealing considering what the CTC released three years ago.
With this past weekend’s shooting outside Culwell Event Center in North Garland, TX, several reports have been quick to link the the two dead shooters to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) interests. Some are even implying that the MB may have provided support for the shooting through the Islamic Community Center (ICC) of Phoenix.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) is probably the leading source for information regarding the activities of the MB. We frequently cite it here as do many others. Law enforcement/intelligence/security agencies use it as a reliable reference. In regards to the Garland shooting, the GMBDW writes:
Of these reported links, the strongest is the ownership of the ICC mosque by the NAIT. We should point out that the GMBDW is quite familiar with the NAIT and the GMBDW editor has published a report on the history of the US Muslim Brotherhood which includes detailed information on the organization some of which can also also be found on the GMBDW NAIT Wiki page. However, as noted, at last count the NAIT held title to some 332 mosques in the US, estimated to be about about 27 percent of the estimated 1200 mosques in the United States. Knowing what we do about the NAIT, we can assume that the majority of these mosques, if not all, are somehow tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood as NAIT itself is an integral part the Brotherhood as documented in the report referenced above. However, we have no idea how many individuals are attending NAIT mosques but the number surely runs into many many thousands or hundreds of thousands given that a number of these are surely very large mosques. Whatever any given mosque leadership knows or believes about NAIT, it is beyond any credibility to suggest that every Muslim worshipping at a NAIT-owned facility is somehow also tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood. Therefore, until such time that reliable sources report that the Garland shooters had some demonstrable and substantial connection to the ICC leadership or that they were somehow radicalized at the mosque itself, the GMBDW will not be reporting that the shootings were “tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.” Should such evidence emerge, of course we are prepared to alter that conclusion.
We agree. There simply is not enough evidence to promote the claims of MB involvement and/or operational support.. As the GMBDW notes, it would be unrealistic and irresponsible to claim every Muslim attending a NAIT-owned facility is part of the MB.
A similar “linking” was done in trying to tie The Moore, OK beheading by Alton Alexander Nolen to Boston Iman Suhaib Webb. See our report Beheading in OK – media fails the “facts”? where we provided a timeline that pretty much dismissed the possibility. At that time we related a tweet made by Mohamed Elibiary:
Priceless to watch the Islamophobic #RtWing camp. They are truly #ISIS’s best propagandists inside US. #oklahomabeheading #Oklahoma #Tragedy – 4:27 PM – 26 Sep 2014
MB operations in the U.S./Canada primarily focus on fundraising in support of causes outside overseas (i.e. Palestinian, Bosnia, Syra, etc.). North America is a cash cow and it simply doesn’t make sense for the MB to promote something like the Garland shooting.
For those that are lost with the “Six degrees to ..” reference, see this link.
It appears that this attack is yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” syndrome, when the suspect is already known to law enforcement and intelligence. Virtually every terror attack in the West over the past year has been by one of these “known wolf” suspects.
Some additional articles by Poole covering what he coins as “Known Wolf” incidents:
- Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure
- Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome
- Jan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome
- Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome
- Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism
- Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism
- Apr. 22, 2015: Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism
CAIR Asks DOJ to Probe Arkansas Business Declared ‘Muslim-Free Zone’ by Owner
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/7/14) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today said it has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate a Hot Springs, Ark., shooting range that has been declared a “Muslim-free zone” by its owner.
The owner claims the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agrees with her claimed right to bar customers based on their faith.
The full text of the CAIR letter can be found HERE
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: When the original story of the range being “Muslim Free” by owner Jan Morgan came out, it was just a matter of time before CAIR would get involved. CAIR’s letter requests a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation noting that the range owner is discriminating based on race and religion. We are not sure what race a Muslim is, but CAIR has been increasing efforts to embrace a “race card” as of late. The religious discrimination argument tends to be in CAIR’s favor.
Ms. Morgan comments on CAIR’s request to the DOJ are addressed in this post, Islamic Organization With Ties to HAMAS Asks Holder to Investigate Me. She brings up some interesting points, but we suspect Ms. Morgan may be out gunned (pardon the pun) in regards to this issue.
Her blog entry of Sep 28 , 2014 is now titled, “Why I Want My Range to be a Muslim Free Zone” , but when it was originally posted it read as, “My Business is a Muslim Free Zone“. The later is what was picked up by the media and brought to the attention of CAIR. It may be too late to try and defend the post as simply expressing her opinion … in other words an issue of constitutionally protected free speech.
The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range is located in in Hot Springs, AR about an hour south of Little Rock.
Last night, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held it’s 20th Anniversary Banquet. According to promotional material, the keynote speaker was MSNBC host Al Sharpton.
We’re just not sure if he showed up.
The CAIR National twitter feed is showing photos of the other guests, Congressmen Keith Ellison and Jim Moran. No mention of Rev. Sharpton. On the flip side, Rev. Sharpton’s twitter feed makes no mention of his attending the CAIR event.
Sharpton had previously spoke at CAIR’s 18th annual banquet back in September 2012 . At that event he said he was “honored” to be asked to speak for “one of the most important civil rights organizations in the United States today and that is CAIR.”
We’re making a guess that this time he stood up CAIR in favor of the Congressional Black Caucus Phoenix Awards Dinner.
Big news here? Hardly- we were just wondering what happened the “Rev. Al”
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch profile on CAIR:
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group and as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.” CAIR was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the U.S. Hamas infrastructure at that time. Documents discovered in the course of the the terrorism trial of the Holy Land Foundation confirmed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood and that CAIR itself is part of the US. Muslim Brotherhood. In 2008, the then Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood acknowledged a relationship between the Egyptian Brotherhood and CAIR. In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” CAIR and its leaders have had a long history of defending individuals accused of terrorism by the US. government, often labeling such prosecutions a “war on Islam”, and have also been associated with Islamic fundamentalism and antisemitism. The organization is led by Nihad Awad, its longstanding Executive Director and one of the three original founders.
There was very little national news coverage regarding the arrest and charging last week of Ali Muhammad Brown a Seattle resident and Muslim convert. Brown went on a killing spree that took place on the west and east coasts of the U.S. involving the murders of 4 people.
What coverage that could be found was primarily from local outlets. Some of those tended to skit around that fact that Brown’s motives were based on his devotion to Islam.
Seattle man says he killed 4 in Wash., N.J. to gain revenge against U.S.
From: LA Times
By: James Queally, August 20, 2014
A Seattle man who confessed to killing four people in Washington and New Jersey this year said each shooting was part of a mission of vengeance against the U.S. government for its actions in the Middle East, according to court documents released Wednesday.
Ali Muhammad Brown, who had already been charged in the targeted killing of a gay couple in Seattle and the point-blank shooting of a New Jersey college student, was charged Wednesday with the April slaying of 30-year-old Leroy Henderson in Skyway, Wash., according to the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
According to a criminal complaint filed in King County, Brown took responsibility for each shooting and told investigators he carried out the killings to gain retribution for lives lost during U.S. military action in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
“My mission is my mission between me and my lord. That’s it,” Brown said during a jailhouse interview in New Jersey, according to the court filings. “My mission is vengeance, for the lives, millions of lives are lost every day.”
The La Times failed to mention that the complaint indicated that Brown had stated …
“… he strictly followed the Muslim faith and as part of his beliefs, he had become angry with “evil” that the government was allowing to take place in the United States …. “
Two of the murders occurred in Seattle and the local Fox News affiliate covered it with a headline of COPS: Self-styled jihadist admits to killing 4 people, calls it ‘vengeance’ for U.S. actions in Mideast. The story was void of the terms Islam or Muslim with the exception of this statement by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray:
“The charging documents reveal disturbing details about Brown’s motive for committing these murders, which appears to have based on anti-American sentiment and an extreme interpretation of the Muslim faith. While Brown invoked his faith, we must be clear that Brown’s views and his actions do not reflect the values of Muslims.
“In this moment of grief, we, as one community, across all faiths and religions races and ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations, can and must renew our resolve to stand firm against violence and hatred of all kinds.”
Columnist Michelle Malkin points out that in contrast to the mayor’s statement, Ali Muhammad Brown appears to have plenty of company in Seattle:
Seattle alone has been a long-festering hotbed of anti-American, anti-Semitic jihadism.
In 2011, a Muslim terror ring led by Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh plotted “to kill officers and employees of the Department of Defense who worked at the (Military Entrance Processing Stations) located in the Federal Center South building in Seattle, Washington, and to kill other persons assisting such officers and employees in the performance of their duties” using “fully-automatic weapons pistols, and fragmentation grenades.”
In 2007, Seattle jihadist James Ujaama pleaded guilty to terrorism charges related to his plan to establish a terror-training ground in Bly, Oregon. He had previously pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban.
In 2006, Everett, Washington Islamic revenge-seeker Na veed Haq shot six innocent women and killed one at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building while spewing anti-Israel hatred and Muslim diatribes.
In 2002, James Ujaama’s mosque leader, Abdul Raheem Al Arshad Ali of the radical Dar-us-Salaam mosque in Seattle’s Central District, was first arrested on illegal weapons charges. He had provided arms to fellow Seattle-area Muslim cleric, Semi Osman. The ethnic Lebanese born in Sierra Leone had served in a naval reserve fueling unit based in Tacoma, Washington. Osman had access to fuel trucks similar to the type used by al-Qaida in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, which killed 19 U.S. airmen and wounded nearly 400 other Americans. Osman later pleaded guilty to illegal weapons possession.
Another militant Seattle jihadist, Muslim convert Ruben Shumpert (aka Amir Abdul Muhaimin) was arrested after an FBI raid in 2004 for his role in a terror-financing scheme. He skipped out on his sentencing hearing and turned up in Somalia, where he was killed fighting the U.S. military. Terror group al Shabaab hailed Muhaimin as a martyr.
Brown was part of the Muhaimin ring that were arrested by the FBI terrorism agents in 2004. He, along with several others, were convicted on federal bank fraud charges but prosecutors were unable to prove the money was being used to finance terrorist operations.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: There have been similar spin efforts by the media and politicians to disengage any reported acts of violence by Muslims from Islamic teachings. Prime example: actions of Major Nidal Malik Hasan being related to workplace violence. To deflect Islam’s influence like this is foolhardy and draws attention away from logical connections resulting in dangerous naivety. Islamist groups, such as CAIR and MPAC, have managed an extremely effective PR campaigns leveraging western fears of being politically incorrect — the fear of being labeled an Islamaphobe. Any phobia is based on an irrational or illogical fear. With the murders committed by Brown, killings in Britain, killings in Europe and most recently acts of genocide by ISIS, one needs to ask if a fear of Islam is actually irrational or illogical.
… online media efforts may also include fabricated stories. Examples cited are plans to destroy Mecca, an ISIS/IS member marrying a 6 year old girl, and an edict involving forced female circumcision. All these items have made the rounds on a number of anti-Jihad blogs/websites.
Hashem contends that ISIS/IS has no qualms in committing and publicizing horrific acts, but implies online media efforts may also include fabricated stories. Examples cited are plans to destroy Mecca, an ISIS/IS member marrying a 6 year old girl, and an edict involving forced female circumcision. All these stories have made the rounds on a number of anti-Jihad blogs/websites. Hashem states:
With this piece, I do not intend to defend IS or attempt to crystallize its image. The group is expressing itself without any fear through its websites and social media accounts by showing beheadings as they happen and openly acknowledging their stances and activities. In fact, the Islamic State’s media strategy, through its online social media posts and publications, highlights the group’s intention to scare all its enemies, a strategy that aims at defeating the opponent without shooting a bullet, for no one wants to be slaughtered with a sword or knife while hearing the cheers of dozens or hundreds of extremists.
ISIS/IS is frequently described as simply an offshoot of al-Qaeda that has simply gained an advantage by using captured U.S. weapons. This view overlooks how effectively ISIS/IS has been in using and manipulating social media as part of an orchestrated psychological operations (PSYOP) campaign:
The Islamic State’s strategy has already succeeded in Iraq and several parts of Syria, and the fabrication of horror stories about its activities win IS further ground. Its online and print media organization is efficient. Each online network such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have designated moderators, and each “wilayah” (state) has its own dedicated social media accounts, with Ninevah state, for instance, only posting news from that area. In addition to the official IS social media accounts, there are hundreds of private accounts of individuals who are followed by thousands of Internet users. Both help spread the organization’s propaganda message — those aimed at its enemies or those meant to attract supporters and recruits. All of the Islamic State’s productions fall under the main umbrella of “Al-Furqan Media,” which regularly posts videos and audio recordings and produces a documentary-style series under the title “Messages from the Land of Epic Battles.” Interestingly, another media organization associated with IS, “Fursan Al-Balagh Media,” works on video transcriptions, giving viewers the chance to both read and watch all productions.
For most of the west, social media coverage of ISIS/IS has been limited to activity in Syria and Iraq. This changed in August 2014 as Hashem points out:
On Aug. 9, a photo showing an image of the IS flag displayed on a smartphone in front of the White House was tweeted from pro-IS Twitter handle @sunna_rev. The image reflected a trend by followers and supporters of the self-styled state to say they are everywhere, even at the White House. The tweet came under the hashtag #AmessagefromISIStoUS that attracted dozens of tweets by pro- and anti-IS Twitter users. On Aug. 18, a YouTube video titled “A message to the American People” was posted by Al-Miqdam Productions showing pictures of coffins covered with the US flag with a caption reading, “This is what will happen to you in any place you are, if aircraft bomb the mujahedeen.” (YouTube quickly removed the video, saying it violated the website’s policy against violence.)
The flag photo incident was effective enough to be reported by the major news networks. Today (8/20/2014) ISIS/IS has been using social media to report/promote the beheading of U.S. Freelance journalist James Foley and provided a video.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: As ISIS/IS attracts supporters/recruits from western nations, it gains a pool of social media savvy users. This is an extremely valuable resource in implementing the strategy outlined in Hashem’s column. A growing number of western society obtains/forms opinions based on what is read through social media such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.. These services, by their nature, provide unfiltered outlets for information. With the Foley killing, mainstream news outlets have been repeated saying they will not show the video. This statement tends to encourage viewers, out of morbid curiosity, to search the internet to find the video produced by ISIS/IS – drawing an audience.
Properly leveraged, social media offers a significant psychological tool in framing opinions/perceptions of a vast and growing audience. ISIS/IS apparently understands this, working it to its advantage.
Additional question to be asked: Is the story that even al-Qaeda found ISIS to be too extreme simply part of the ‘scare all enemies” strategy?
As a result the top three spellings alone accounted for the names of 7,445 boys, easily beating the second most popular name Oliver which got just 6,949.
Muhammed Is Britain’s Most Popular Boys Name
By: Andre Walker, 15 Aug 2014
As exclusively reported by Breitbart London last week, Muhammed has been crowned Britain’s most popular boys name in figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) today. The name of the Muslim prophet beat Oliver as the most popular boys name chosen by parents in Britain in 2013.
As a result of the way the statistics are put together, the name does not appear to have won, as the ONS classifies each of the different spellings as a different entry on the list. This means that “Muhammad” came in 15th with 3,499 children but “Mohammed” was 23rd with 2,887 and “Mohammad” was 57th with 1059 given the name.
As a result the top three spellings alone accounted for the names of 7,445 boys, easily beating the second most popular name Oliver which got just 6,949. Also the statistics are only published for the top 100 names, so the even more obscure spellings of Mohammed are likely to push the total even higher.
News that Mohammed is the most popular boys name in Britain was first exclusively reported on Breitbart London following a leak at the ONS last week. At the time, Mohammed was already the most popular boys name in London by some considerable margin.
The scale of the result is likely to leave the public shocked, although much of the mainstream media are expected to focus on the official ONS results. As a result, they will report that Mohammed only came in 15th, ignoring the multiple entries. In previous years, media outlets in Britain have not aggregated the various spellings and have only published the top 20 names, which makes it seem like traditional names remain dominant.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: Add this to the laundry list of trends changing the face of Britain as Islam gains ground in Western culture.
*While Breitbart is claiming this as an exclusive, it should be noted that U.K.’s MailOnline published a similar report back in 2010.
Carry-on … nothing to see here …. (cough)
“… would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum.”
– Sheikh Mostafa Elazabawy of the Masjid Manhattan mosque
9/11 museum film draws heat for portrayal of Islam
By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, April 24, 2:06 PM
NEW YORK — A film that will be shown at the National September 11 Memorial Museum when it opens next month unfairly links Islam and terrorism, clergy members said in letters demanding it be changed.
“The Rise of Al Qaeda,” a brief documentary narrated by NBC anchor Brian Williams, shows the growth of international terrorist groups in the years leading up to the 2001 attacks. The film has not been publicly released, but museum officials have screened it for groups including an interfaith clergy advisory panel.
Members of the clergy group sent a letter to museum officials this week asking that the film be re-edited to make it clear that not all Muslims support the terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center.
“We continue to posit that the video may very well leave viewers with the impression that all Muslims bear some collective guilt or responsibility for the actions of al-Qaida, or even misinterpret its content to justify bigotry or even violence toward Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim (e.g., Sikhs),” the clergy members wrote. The signers included Peter B. Gudaitis, chief executive of New York Disaster Interfaith Services, and the Rev. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center of New York.
Officials at the Sept. 11 museum, which opens May 21 at the trade center site, said the film doesn’t suggest that all Muslims are terrorists.
COMMENTS/ANALYSIS: It would be nice to one day see a simple response back to these type of complaints of, ” We really don’t care how you feel.”