Tuesday, April 10, 2007

PBS drops "Islam vs. Islamists"

The series "America at a Crossroads" commissioned a series of films about Islam in America that will air next week. One of the films, "Islam v. Islamists: Voices From the Muslim Center," by Martyn Burke, will not be shown.

Burke, who was previously the producer of "Pirates of Silicon Valley" and "The Hollywood Ten," says that his film was dropped for political reasons (including the fact that two of his co-producers, Frank Gaffney and Alex Alexiev, are neoconservatives from the Center for Security Policy) after "tampering" by PBS and managers from WETA Washington D.C. He listed these examples of tampering:
• A WETA manager pressed to eliminate a key perspective of the film: The claim that Muslim radicals are pushing to establish "parallel societies" in America and Europe governed by Shariah law rather than sectarian courts.

• After grants were issued, Crossroads managers commissioned a new film that overlapped with Islam vs. Islamists and competed for the same interview subjects.

• WETA appointed an advisory board that includes Aminah Beverly McCloud, director of World Islamic Studies at DePaul University. In an "unparalleled breach of ethics," Burke says, McCloud took rough-cut segments of the film and showed them to Nation of Islam officials, who are a subject of the documentary. They threatened to sue.
PBS claims that Burke's film was not completed on time, had "serious structural problems" and was "irresponsible" and "alarmist, and it wasn't fair."

Burke's film featured Phoenix medical doctor Zuhdi Jasser, head of the Islamic Forum for Democracy, a non-profit that advocates "patriotism, constitutional democracy, and a separation of church and state." Jasser, a staunch Republican and former U.S. Navy physician, was an internist at the Office of the Attending Physician at the U.S. Capitol in the late nineties.

There are more details and a short clip of Jasser from the film at the Arizona Republic (from which the above bulleted points are quoted).


Einzige said...

Zuhdi talked briefly about this at the EDG last night.

It's very hard to be enthusiastic about his cause, given that it seems akin to taking a position on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. That, and the fact that he is wholeheartedly behind the U.S. invasion of the middle east.

Put those two things together and I can barely restrain myself from constantly telling him to go fuck himself.

Mitch said...

We are always told that the vast majority of Muslims in the US are ordinary law-abiding citizens who are not interested in the radical Islamic message that is being preached around the world.

Well, I have rarely seen or heard one. We as non-Muslims, need to see this documentary.