A Rebuttal to Obsession

A guest post by fellow Inter Press Service columnist Eli Clifton:

We have followed the campaign behind Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West since it first emerged in 2005. IPS has published two articles on its producers and distribution here and here. This new rebuttal by JewsOnFirst is one of the most comprehensive attempts to dismantle the arguments presented in the film.

JewsOnFirst, an organization, “dedicated to the protection of the separation of church and state under the First Amendment,” has published Rebutting Obsession: Historical Facts Topple Film’s Premise that Violent Muslim Fundamentalists are Nazis’ Heirs, Expose its Fear-mongering, a devastating critique of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West. Obsession, a 2005 film that, in the name of exposing violent fundamentalism, casts suspicion on all Muslims, experienced increased exposure this fall, when the mysterious Clarion Fund initiated the unsolicited distribution of millions of DVD inserts inside swing state newspapers.

In support of the rebuttal, JewsOnFirst also offers a web-based slide presentation summarizing the key arguments, as well as profiles of the supposed experts interviewed in the film. (The slide presentation will soon be available for download as a PowerPoint presentation next week.)

Key arguments made in JewsOnFirst’s Rebutting Obsession are:

• Obsession and the “expert” viewpoints presented in it represent the ideology of the far right wing within the Republican Party, which seeks to intervene in the Presidential election with a distraction from the current economic turmoil.

• Obsession ignores the geopolitical environment in which radical Islam was cultured, and makes a baseless argument that such fundamentalism is the ideological descendent of Nazism.

• Obsession seeks, at a time of economic pain and cultural division to permit the viewer to project all real or imaginary fears and anxieties onto Muslims, as an alien and externalized enemy. This propaganda mirrors the situation faced by Japanese Americans during World War II and non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants in the 20th century. Such divisiveness actually weakens America by threatening our principles of cultural coexistence and religious freedom.

• The “experts” presented in Obsession have limited experience in the Middle East, few speak Arabic or Farsi and most have limited or no academic background in Islam or the Koran. They represent a fringe group of Middle East “specialists” who align themselves with the Likud party in Israel and Christian evangelical and pro-settler lobbies in the United States.

• Finally, Obsession, despite its half-hearted disclaimer that radical Muslims are a small minority, seeks to promote the concept of a violent clash of civilizations instead of cultural coexistence and religious pluralism.

The full project can be viewed at http://www.jewsonfirst.org/obsession/.

Author: Jim Lobe

Visit Lobelog.com for the latest news analysis and commentary from Inter Press News Service's Washington bureau chief Jim Lobe.

22 thoughts on “A Rebuttal to Obsession

  1. “The far right wing of the Republican Party…” and using the last eight years of Republican G. Bush as the power point presentation, shouldn’t that include the “entire” Republican Party? Actions speak volumes louder than words. Patriot Act? Wall Street Bailout? Iraq? Afghanistan? The death of Palestine? Condo Rice? Monica Goodling? Berto Gonzales? Ashcroft? Yoo? Torture? War and more war? McCain and the Barbie Fairy Princess? Wolfowitz the Intellexual? Scooter and treason? Nancy Pelosi? I mean she is a ‘closet’ Republican isn’t she? “The Middle East Peace Process?” Yeah, now there’s a laugher!!

  2. are only jews allowed to criticize other jews ?
    I assume both groups are pro Israel and trying to cover every side possible
    I find it really hypocritical of jewish groups to condemn muslim groups but they support and even incite them anywhere where they don’t stand in the way of Israel particularly against christians.

    lester: Maybe because it’s forbidden to talk about the sovereign as in every good dictatorship

  3. According to ABC the new chief of staff of Barack Obama will be Rahm Emanuel. Obama has assured his Israeli handlers that nothing will change, in any significant way.

  4. Often an accuser accuses others of their own sin as a projection.The obsession of the smear casters is clear. They led the drumbeat to the Iraq war without regard for truth. Their obsession has proven murderous. It is troubling that they keep their jobs because they are so wrong about about what is honest and true.

  5. Informant’s credibility targeted in Fort Dix trial

    “Omar, 39, became an informant in 2005 after being caught in a bank fraud scam. Beginning in March 2006, he infiltrated the group of men eventually charged with plotting the attack on Fort Dix, an Army installation used primarily to train soldiers for deployments in Iraq. No attack took place.
    …Omar, an Egyptian who entered the U.S. illegally in the 1990s, is getting $1,500 a week plus free rent for his aid to the government.”


  6. Ah, yes. “Cultural co-existence and religious pluralism” Why not throw in moral relativism too.
    I’m so sick and tired of this crap. My God, where have all the great leaders gone? We so desperately need a Winston Churchill to wake us up and tell us the truth, to tell us that there is such a thing as good and evil in this world. We need a John F. Kennedy and his “Bear any burden” speech to get us back on our feet. We need to stop being a nation of sorry, weak, appeasers.

    What is so hard to understand? RADICAL ISLAM = EVIL

    Not such a complicated formula.

    1. Yeah, what is so hard to understand ? I wonder just what country this could be today ?
      The Founding Fathers would have deported or jailed Rahm Emanuel, by the way.

      As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent Patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practise the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the Public Councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

      —-Excerpt from George Washington’s Farewell Address

    2. It seems nowadays that that the ones who mostly have advocated , benefitted and used to their advantge “culutral co-exitenence,tolarance ,accepetance of differences,and religious pluralism are the ones who are most against it.

    3. Tim R,
      Radical Islam = Evil? Maybe so. If so then it must follow that radical Judaism, radical Christianity, etc. are also evil. Evil being the trademark of those who will kill innocent people to get their way. Say we accept the figure of 1 million dead Arabs in Iraq; killed by our own hands or through forces that we let loose. Now how many of this 1 million were evil? 999,999? 100,000? 200? 0? Do we really give a sh-t? Obviously not – we don’t even count them because we really don’t want to know. We do know exactly how many died on 9-11, we know exactly how many Israeli soldiers were kidnapped, and exactly how many Jewish journalists were killed. Doesn’t any of this bother you or do you just see Arabs and Muslims as all intrinsically evil; vermin to be exterminated?

      1. Richard Vajs,

        Anytime an innocent person is killed, of course it bothers me. Heck, even when we kill a radical Muslim terrorist, he is still a human being and it brings me no joy, I don’t dance in the streets over it (like the arab muslims tend to do when they kill innocent people). We just do what we have to do to defend ourselves. And here is the key point: I do NOT believe that the United States of America intentionally kills innocent people. Negligence? Yes. Reckless? Perhaps. But we don’t go out of our way to purposefully kill innocent women, children, and old men. But guess who does? The Radical Muslims, that’s who! Also, how can you possibly compare radical Islam with radical Judaism or Christianity? When was the last time a Rabbi stoned someone to death for adultury? But the muslims still do it until this VERY DAY. When was the last time the Catholic Church killed someone for turning away from the faith? But the Muslims do that until this VERY DAY.

        1. “But the muslims still do it until this VERY DAY. When was the last time the Catholic Church killed someone for turning away from the faith? But the Muslims do that until this VERY DAY.”

          But Muslims this ,and Muslims that,therefore whatever we do to them is good.Our killings,our crimes are good ,theirs are evil.It was never about so called radical Muslim s at all!

  7. “These are the Jewish extremists who annually celebrate the 1994 slaughter of 29 Palestinian worshippers by their fellow settler Baruch Goldstein, and admire Eden Natan-Zeda, the anti-disengagement deserter from Tapuakh who shot dead four Israeli Arabs on a bus in August. Their stark outlook is rooted in religious certainty that dismisses democracy, peace treaties and negotiations as the works of man, irrelevant beside God’s biblical promise of the Land of Israel to Abraham and his descendants.”


  8. Are not the deaths and destruction as the result of a war that was based on lies intentional!?When you invade a country and bomb it into the “stone age”,you know very well the results of that.When people vote for the governemnt of that country are more responsible for the actiions of their government than other people,in this case Muslims, who did not elect the so-called governments or radicals,or extreemists.

  9. Lear K: The pattern you reference in the last 4-5 posts is truly unsustainable for a civilized society. Typically, it collapses from within and upon itself. Its just a matter of time. Where there is no wisdom, the people perish (paraphrase of God’s word).

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