Obsessionwithhate.com–New website to answer anti-Muslim propaganda in “Obsession” film

Posted on September 26, 2008


What is ‘Obsession’?

Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West is a 2005 anti-Muslim propaganda film put together by controversial anti-Muslim figures to further the perceived divide between Western and Muslim audiences. 28 million copies of the DVD were recently distributed by a mysteriously-funded entity by the name of the Clarion Fund with the help of 70 US newspapers in a curious and unprecedented campaign. This large distribution, particularly given it was targeted to swing states in the current elections cycle, piqued the interest of many, especially civil rights watchdogs.

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)

What about the film’s declaration that it is not about moderate Muslims, just radical ones?

“Obsession” begins with a brief disclaimer that states: “It is important to remember that most Muslims are peaceful and do not support terror.” However, the remainder of the film distorts facts and events in an attempt to convince its audience of the exact opposite.

What is the film’s main goal?

The film’s ultimate goal is to lay the grounds for a larger religious war that goes beyond our national security interests and has only two beneficiaries: radical evangelicals who hold an apocalyptic worldview, and war profiteers who gamble at the expense of thousands of American lives and trillions of tax-payer dollars.

What are the film’s main tactics?

“Obsession” employs two main tactics.

First, it exploits Americans’ unfamiliarity with Islam and Muslims to suggest that deviant groups are somehow representative of most, if not all, Muslims. It scours the Muslim world for bizarre incidents and falsely projects them as the accepted norm. It then concludes that the Muslim world is an overall radical hotbed that wishes death and destruction upon the West.

In fact, while the Muslim world has its share of fanatics, they comprise a tiny fraction of the population and are highly at odds with a mainstream society that aspires to peace and prosperity. [MORE]

Please click here to read more and to go to the obsessionwithhate.com website.

Note from Rafik Beekun: There are too many problems (famine, diseases, slavery, etc.) faced by our fellow men and women globally for us to hate and despise each other on the basis of religion and faith. We need to learn from one another, understand each other and work together to solve these global, yet urgent problems. For that purpose, I have added the following section to this article.

Answering Hate and Islamophobia with Peace and Mutual Understanding

1. A Message of Peace from Muslim Scholars to the Pope.

2. Please click here to download the whole 29-page letter entitled “A Common Word Between Us and You.”

3. Against Terrorism and Religious Extremism: Muslim Position and Responsibilities. An extremely helpful and clearly written handout by the Islamic Society of North America addressed to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

4. Brochure Anti-Terrorisme et Anti-extrémisme en langue française. Une brochure extrêmement utile et clairement écrite par la Société Islamique de l’Amérique du Nord (ISNA) adressée aux Musulmans et aux non-Musulmans francophones du monde entier.

5. Full text of fatwa by Islamic Commission of Spain against Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaida (in English, French and the original Spanish).

6. Complete text of the British Muslim Clerics’ Fatwa against terrorism.

7. Complete text of fatwa of U.S. Muslim Scholars against religious extremism.