Interfaith Leaders Call 'Obsession' DVD Hateful

October 15, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Detroit News

A documentary film mailed to tens of thousands of households in Macomb and Oakland counties and distributed as advertising in local newspapers is being decried as bigotry by some Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders, who say it portrays radical Islam as a demonic force bent on world domination.

The film "Obsession" contains a disclaimer, asserting that it is not about most Muslims. But critics of the film say the remainder of the production, with rare exceptions, distorts Islam, compares radical Muslims to Nazis and says that it is not possible to determine how many Muslims are predisposed to terrorism, a claim the film makes. The sacred Islamic principle of jihad -- a personal or community struggle against evil -- is misidentified as a commandment to Muslims to make war against the United States and Europe, they say.

"After the film starts off with a very weak disclaimer that Muslims are a peaceful people, and the problem is so-called radical Islam, it goes through a barrage of images about Muslims and Islam that would scare the average viewer and make the average viewer suspicious of anyone who has any resemblance to figures shown in the movie," said Dawud Walid of the Council on American Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group.

About 28 million copies of the DVD "Obsession" have been distributed by dozens of newspapers nationwide, according to Editor & Publisher, a media journal.