First Published: 2008-09-17

 
Hate DVDs spread anti-Islam message in Florida
 

Millions of propaganda DVDs distributed with Florida newspapers promote Islamophobia ahead of US elections.

 

Middle East Online

MIAMI - The mass mailing of a controversial DVD "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" has sparked anger among many in South Florida.

The hour-long video began turning up in mailboxes last week as a direct mailing, and also as an advertising insert in dozens of newspapers, including The Miami Herald and the South-Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The DVD is promoted by Clarion Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to "educating the public about national security threats."

South Florida Muslims say it maligns their faith and fuels hysteria ahead of the fast-approaching US presidential vote.

"I think it's very irresponsible of the newspapers themselves to disseminate such propaganda," said Altaf Ali, executive director of the Florida chapter of The Council on American-Islamic Relations. "It's fueling hysteria."

Ali said the video began circulating more than a year ago, and he questioned the timing of the mass distribution just weeks before the November 4 presidential election.

Ali feared that the DVD would "incite more hate and bigotry against our community."

The Huffington Post reported that the Clarion Fund plans to reach 28 million households with the video in all, targeting viewers in potentially critical battleground states such as Florida, Ohio and Colorado.

The Clarion Fund did not respond to phone calls Tuesday seeking comment.

Ali also said he worried viewers might attribute legitimacy to the film because it was packaged with their city newspaper. He said his phone had been ringing off the hook with complaints, often from newspaper readers who planned to cancel their subscriptions.

An article at the DAVD group's site was said to have all but endorsed John McCain this past week before being pulled down.

One newspaper which refused to distribute the DVD, said the film played on “people's fears and served no educational purpose”.

The DVD did not clearly differentiate between radical Islam and mainstream Islam, and newspapers did not inform their readers of the controversial nature of the film.

"It seemed (designed) to get people up in arms," John Brough, 70, a retired businessman in New Port Richey was quoted as saying, fearing the film might encourage Americans to react harshly to all Muslims.

The DVD claims to show the "parallels between the Nazi movement of World War II, the radicals of today, and the Western world's response to both threats."

Ironically, critics noted the DVD actually incites sentiments against Muslims similar to the sentiments the Nazis had incited against the Jews.

The film’s re-distribution comes at a time of rising Islamophobia.

It comes following the release of a controversial game called "Muslim Massacre," which trumpets itself as a "game of modern religious genocide."

The game, which can be downloaded for free on the Internet, urges players to "wipe out the Muslim race with an arsenal of the world's most destructive weapons.”

Players in the game -- the aim of which is to "ensure that no Muslim man or woman is left alive" -- control an "American Hero" wielding a machine gun and a rocket launcher parachuted into the Middle East.

 

Iraqi Kurds may postpone referendum in return for concessions

Assad says no Syria ties for countries backing rebels

Rouhani says top priority is protecting nuclear deal from US

Iraqi-Arab Gulf rapprochement makes headway

In Egypt, Syrian refugees recreate Syria

In African tour, Sisi seeks to rebuild ties, address security and water concerns

Syria’s transition scenarios for future rounds of talks

Dubai real estate market sets the pace for renewed growth in the GCC

German-Turkish intellectual held at Ankara’s request

Jordan’s municipal elections marred by deaths, riots

Russia doubts IS claim of stabbing attack in northern city

Turkey slams 'arrogant' German reaction to Erdogan poll call

Police confirm Finland 'terror attack'

Spain hunts suspects as IS claims attack

Aid project helps Syria refugees feel at home in Jordan

Lebanese army launches anti-IS offensive on Syria border

UN demands access to Yemen ports

Low-cost attacks a new reality for Europeans

Forces of Libya's Haftar say commander wanted by ICC in detention

Yemen rebels urged to free political commentator

Iranian footballer breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

Erdogan meddles in German politics

IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert

For Israel, White House ties trump neo-Nazis and antisemitism

Israel freezes implementation of settlement law

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers

Syrian actress, activist Fadwa Suleiman dies in Paris

Israeli court extends detention for Islamic cleric over ‘incitement’

UAE to provide $15 million a month to Gaza

Sudan's Bashir 'satisfied' with Nile dam project

US-backed rebels say American presence in Syria to last ‘decades’

Tunisian clerics oppose equal inheritance rights for women

Israel strikes almost 100 Hezbollah arms convoys in 5 years

UN hopes for eighth round of Syria talks before year’s end

LONG READ: How Syria continues to evade chemical weapons justice

Civilians killed in US-led raids on Raqa

Qatari pilgrims begin flooding into Saudi by land