Dr. Khaleel Mohammed Says: ‘Obsession’ Film is a ‘Vile Piece of Propaganda’ that demonizes an entire community. I have allowed myself to be used.’
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/27/08) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today said that a participant in an anti-Muslim film that is being distributed to 28 million homes in presidential election swing states CALLED the production a “vile piece of propaganda” in a statement sent to http://www.obsessionwithhate.com/
In his statement, Dr. Khaleel Mohammed, a professor at San Diego State University, apologizes to the Muslim community for his role in “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War against the West.”
Dr. Mohammed’s statement reads:
“Sadly, it would seem that I have allowed myself to be used. I gave an interview to the makers of “obsession” wherein I explained the meaning of Jihad, and its misuse by extremists. I understood that the film would be used objectively, focusing on fanatics who seek to spread violence. I am aware that there is a disclaimer at the beginning of the film that says it is not about Islam in general, but only about extremist interpretations.
“But the material from some of the speakers gives the lie to the disclaimer: many of them are not experts, or have used the mantle of academic qualifications to purvey hate. That their alarmist drivel should be mixed with my whittled down interview proves that the intent of the film is not to educate, but to mislead. The free distribution of the film to voters in particular districts shows the political chicanery that is the motive, and the secrecy about the financing of the distribution only underlines the evil intent in circulating this vile piece of propaganda.
“Evidence seems to indicate the involvement of Aish ha-Torah in this dishonest enterprise. I find that particularly distressing, because any Jewish organization ought to realize what the film seeks to do: they demonize an entire community to the point where a government takes action to further beleaguer its citizens and resident aliens simply because of their religious identity. This bigotry over religion and identity is precisely what caused the Shoah — and it is sad that those who ought to have learned what hate can engender should seek to imitate Nazi propagandism.
“Yet — for all the nefarious intent of the distributors of the film — I must also accept culpability for allowing myself to be so used. I still oppose many of the traditional interpretations of Islam—but that has nothing to do with the film Obsession. I cannot stand by silently and allow my participation in such satanic demonization of innocents. I apologize to my fellow Muslims for appearing in such a film. I apologize to my Jewish teachers and friends—who have warned me time and again about falling into such a situation—for not heeding their counsel. And I expect now that those who support the film will make me their target. But again: I am no diplomat, and I love a good fight. I am obsessed with the truth. Let’s get it on. “
The Obsession With Hate website at http://www.obsessionwithhate.com/ was launched recently by the Hate Hurts America Multifaith Community Coalition (HHA), a group of religious and civic organizations seeking to challenge hate speech in our society. The new site is designed as a positive response to the anti-Muslim bigotry used in “Obsession.” CAIR is a coordinating member of HHA.
On Friday, the St. Petersburg Times revealed ties between the film’s distributors and the Israel-based group Aish HaTorah.
SEE: Who is behind Relentless, Obsession and The Third Jihad? http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/who_is_behind_relentless_obsession_and_the_third_jihad1/0016736
Last week, CAIR filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) over the distribution of the film.
SEE: CAIR Asks FEC to Probe Anti-Muslim DVDs Sent to Swing States http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/cair-asks-fec-probe-anti-muslim/story.aspx?guid=%7B7948034F-EC85-4DD6-BB41-235B7E716F44%7D&dist=hppr
Many American Muslims and other people of conscience have expressed concerns that the massive distribution of such intolerant and biased materials may lead to an increase in anti-Muslim prejudice and stereotyping.
SEE ALSO: Chemical Irritant Empties Islamic Society of Greater Dayton’s Mosque (Dayton Daily News) http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/09/27/ddn092608evacweb.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=16
FBI Investigating Torching of Joplin Mosque’s Sign (Joplin Globe) http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/local_story_270215632.html
Two Charged With Hate Crime for Anti-Muslim Vandalism in Revere, Massachusetts (U.S. Department of Justice) http://5pillar.wordpress.com/2008/09/26/two-charged-with-hate-crime-for-anti-muslim-vandalism-in-revere-massachusetts/
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
NOTE: For full background on the Obsession video see: Resources for Responding to “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War With the West” DVD Mass Distribution to 28 million Americans. Who is behind Relentless, Obsession and The Third Jihad? for a background on those responsible for the production, mass distribution, and promotion of the film. In-Depth Summary & Analysis of “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War on the West” for a point by point discussion of the film.