Sunday, September 14, 2008

Obesssion DVD and CAIR

CAIR’s Indifference to Obsession DVD Distribution
by Sheila Musaji

This week, 28 million copies of a DVD of the film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” will be distributed free of cost in newspapers across the country. I was unable to find anything in the Muslim media, or on the websites of any of the major Muslim organizations in the U.S. including where is CAIR, and this leads me to ask where is CAIR when we actually need them. (I am stressing CAIR’s responsibility only because they are the only major organization whose mission is to be an advocate for American Muslims.) According to their vision and mission statement: “CAIR’s vision is to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding. CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.” The following is what I have been able to discover in the media about this propoganda campaign.

A DVD of the film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” has been bundled inside more than 70 newspapers and magazines and delivered nationwide to subscribers. “There is no greater threat than radical Islam,” said Gregory Ross, spokesman for the Clarion Fund, a New-York based nonprofit organization that is paying newspapers to distribute the DVD. “It needs to be pushed to the forefront of the political discussion.” (Controversial film on Islam delivered nationwide, Yonat Shimron)

Copies of the DVD were distributed free at the DNC, and at the RNC by the recently formed group watch Earlier this year, the Florida Attorney General required employees to watch this video.

The DVD seems to only be distributed in swing election states. (‘Terror’ DVD Getting Delivered to Millions This Weekend—via Newspapers, Gregg Mitchell) “Aimed at voters in the battleground states the week of September 11, the film is more than a scare tactic or a campaign ploy. It smacks of classic propaganda, boosted through this clever marketing deal by association with the authority of the New York Times brand. The point is to frighten viewers and, it seems clear, to frighten American voters across the country in order to raise security concerns ahead of all other issues in the election.” (Right-Wing Terror Film Delivered To Swing-State NY Times Readers, Denise Dennis)

The DVD is being distributed as paid advertizing: “According to reports in the Huffington Post, 28 million copies of the film are being delivered this week. The DVD has already been inserted into copies of The New York Times distributed in Midwestern states. This weekend and next, it is slated to be distributed in many newspapers in the electoral battleground states of Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and Colorado, in addition to North Carolina.” (Muslims Rap DVD in Advertiser, Tim Funk) “Funding is coming from a New York-based group called the Clarion Fund, a shadowy outfit whose financial backers are unclear. ... Although supposedly a 501 c(3) non-profit, this week the Clarion Fund’s website featured an article supporting John McCain.” (Pro-McCain Group Dumping 28 Million Terror Scare DVDs in Swing States, Eric Ose)
‘’The threat of Radical Islam is the most important issue facing us today,’’ reads a paragraph on the sleeve of the DVD. ‘’But it’s a topic that 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.’’ (Is DVD a wake-up call or propaganda?, Josh Drobnykj)

“Anyone can see an electoral vote pattern to the targeted areas, with almost all of the battleground or “swing” states represented. (The daily newspapers in only one such state appear to have refused the ad, Minnesota.) These papers have allowed themselves to be caught up in a “neo-con” propaganda scam in the context of the presidential campaign, and during 9/11 week. As of Saturday, September 13, the rationalizations of the publishers and ad personnel at the two N.C. newspapers were either beggarly excuses for new sources of revenue, or politically naïve in the extreme. (Delivering Propaganda, As If It is Toothpaste, William E. Jackson, Jr.)

And, even fringe groups like the United American Committee are getting in on the distribution and advertising of this DVD and sent out an email saying: “We are assisting in the distribution of MILLIONS of copies of the film ‘Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West’ launched by the Watch Obsession Committee. THIS SATURDAY an airplane hauling a banner with a menacing photo of bin-Laden will be flying over Los Angeles promoting the film, and at the same time a truck with the same message will be circling the streets of L.A., everyone in America must see this film and wake up to the threat posed to our way of life by Islamic aggression.”
Representatives from both presidential campaigns said they were not aware of the DVD mailing. (DVD on radical Islam offends Lemoyne recipient. Carrie Cassidy)

We think we have a watchdog in Washington, D.C. and that they are looking out for the community when it is under attack. This is not the first time that that watchdog has turned out to be toothless, deaf, dumb, and blind. This propoganda campaign against Islam and Muslims is one of the most serious concerted efforts to marginalize and demonize the entire American (and International) Muslim community that I can remember seeing in 30 years of Islamic work, and CAIR is silent when we need them to be speaking out loudly.

It is time for ordinary Muslims to demand answers from CAIR and our other national organizations. What are their resources, and where is the money going? Why is such a major incident being ignored?

In 2006 a Washington Post poll found that 58% of Americans say there are more violent extremists within Islam than in other religions and 46% have a negative view of Islam. In 2007, a CNN poll found that 53 percent of Americans believe conflict between Islam and Christianity is “inevitable,” up from 45 percent in 2003.

You can bet that this campaign will negatively influence the attitudes of Americans towards Islam and Muslims and that a poll done anytime in the next few months will show that percentage to have risen again, dramatically. You can also bet that lots of ordinary Muslims will have to answer questions from their co-workers, school-mates and neighbors in the coming weeks, and where will they get some help? Why is it that our key advocacy organization with a paid staff is unable to flag and identify issues and act proactively on behalf of the community?
As a community we need to wake up and realize that we need to be much more proactive at the grass-roots and to demand more of our national organizations. Contact CAIR National at:
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E. Washington, DC 20003 Tel: 202.488.8787 Fax: 202.488.0833

Note: The Huffington Post has a list of the newspapers distributing the DVD
SEE ALSO: numerous resources in online article at


  1. Sheila,
    Thanks for taking this up. I have been swamped with things and did not pay attention to this, I am glad you did.


  2. As-Salaam-Alaikum

    Dear Mike:

    Thanks for your positive response to Sis. Sheila's cautions and warnings.

    This is a time Mike, for you to call in your "debts," from those of the pluralistic groups where your influence is best achievable. This an opportunity to "call in your chips," as it were, to the pluralistic partners, even as they and others have criticized (I think unfairly) varied Muslim groups for not vociferously condemning so-called fundamentalist groups (labeled as Muslim terrorist,) etc.

    This is an excellent, and most appropriate time for your pluralistic group to take up the responsibility,more so than CAIR and insist that your religious "partners" of all these faith groups roundly "condemn" such movements that our sister has exposed as a menace to the American claim of equalizing and positive inter/intra relationships.

    It would be well to demand that they ("these "partners) should be first to condemn such activity ( as proof of their sincerity and commitment with respect to the "pluralistic" code they've made. -------As they have vigorously "tested" tested Muslims in this manner,--- they should be informed that "what's good for the goose, is good for the gander," as the old saying goes.

    While we know that CAIR might be compared to the 3 Musketeers, it is also pointed out in later movies that they really did not come to full force until they happened upon a fourth one, . So this might be that role for those concerned about this new anti-Muslim thrust. This fourth one turned out to be the best swordsman of the foursome. So who will step up to help CAIR?---------------gnk

  3. WAA,

    Dear Kashif,

    Yes, would you mind preparing a three paragraph letter that I will get the religious leadership to sign? I am so pushed with my time that I am asking you to do it.


  4. Assalamu Alaikum
    Too late, CAIR and I informed the community last year about this movie and CAIR even protested on the Campuses when they were showing this movie. It has been shown in over 2000 churches, 200 campuses and millions of copies sold on the Christian channels last year.
    Since 2003 their has been over 50 Islam hate movies and documentaries shown in US and western countries.
    Think Tanks and focus groups have published over 100 reports since 2003 Demonizing every aspect of Islam.
    Clergy, Politicians and Media has attacked us on a daily basis.
    Who has taken this huge project and why is the question.
    In 2003 according to polls 24% of Americans had a negative attitude towards Islam and Muslims, in 2007 it jumped upto 64%.
    saif khan



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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.