Tuesday, September 23, 2008

CAIR Asks FEC to Probe Anti-Muslim DVDs Sent to Swing States Israel-based group behind 'Obsession' distribution to 28 million U.S. homes

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/23/08) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today announced that it has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) over the distribution of an anti-Muslim film to 28 million homes in presidential election swing states.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is urging the FEC to investigate whether the Clarion Fund, a shadowy non-profit organization that distributed DVDs containing “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” is really a front for an Israel-based group seeking to help Sen. John McCain win the U.S. presidential election. (No information about a board of directors, staff or even a physical address is offered on the fund’s website.)


Pastorius said...

Ok, sounds good.

Probe the Obsession people AND probe CAIR.

Citizen Warrior said...

Here's the rest of the message sent out, no doubt, to hundreds of thousands of people. This is a formidable enemy:

In its complaint to the FEC, CAIR wrote in part:

“The Clarion Fund recently financed the distribution of some 28 million DVDs containing the film ‘Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West’ in what many political analysts describe as ‘swing’ states in the upcoming presidential elections. Those same analysts say the distribution of the ‘Obsession’ DVD was designed to benefit a particular presidential candidate, namely Sen. John McCain…

“According to the website for the Secretary of State for New York, Clarion Fund Inc. is incorporated in New York as a Delaware based foreign not-for-profit corporation. According to the Delaware Department of Corporations, Robert (Rabbi Raphael) Shore, Rabbi Henry Harris and Rebecca Kabat incorporated Clarion Fund. All three of whom are reported to serve as employees of Aish HaTorah International, an organization apparently based in Israel. Also according to the Delaware Department of Corporations, the incorporators of the Clarion Fund used Aish HaTorah’s New York City address (150 West 46th Street, New York) to incorporate Clarion Fund in Delaware…

“It appears that the funding for the production, marketing and distribution of ‘Obsession’ may have originated from Israel-based Aish HaTorah International.”

To read the entire FEC complaint, click here.

There is at least one report of a person who received the DVD also getting an automated phone call asking that person to watch the film and then “keep it in mind when you go to the voting booth.”

“American voters deserve to know whether they are the targets of a multi-million-dollar campaign funded and directed by a foreign group seeking to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria as a way to influence the outcome of our presidential election,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Awad said CAIR has received numerous complaints from those who were sent the DVD in newspapers delivered to their homes and has recorded at least one report of an anti-Muslim bias incident directly resulting from the DVD distribution.

SEE: Ohio Muslims Fearful After DVD Released in Newspapers

Some newspapers, including the News & Record in North Carolina and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, have refused to distribute the DVDs.

SEE: Post-Dispatch Refuses to Distribute DVD Offensive to American Muslims

Interfaith leaders such as Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, have spoken out against the distribution of “Obsession” in swing states. In a statement, Gaddy also called for an FEC investigation: “…when a cynical attempt is made to influence our nation’s presidential election by stoking fear of one religious group we believe the media along with public officials, such as the Federal Election Commission, must establish who is trying to influence our politics through religious bigotry.”

SEE: Statement of Rev. Welton Gaddy On the Distribution of the Anti-Muslim Film “Obsession” in Newspapers

An editorial in the Palm Beach Post outlined the apparent political motivation behind the Clarion Fund campaign:

“Distribution of the DVD…was timed with the post-Labor Day start of presidential election season. About 95 percent of the papers that contained the DVD are in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and New Hampshire.

“Notice a pattern? Right, those are the swing states that most analysts believe will determine the election. The issue on which polls consistently show John McCain ahead of Barack Obama is national security. One way to make voters worry less about the economy and more about national security would be to send out a DVD that opens with clips of 9/11 and includes scenes of Muslims chanting ‘Death to America!’”

SEE: The Secret Cell Helping McCain (Palm Beach Post)

SEE ALSO: Anti-Islam Film Targets 'Swing State' (IPS)

Editorial and letter writers nationwide have called the film “propaganda” and even compared it to Leni Riefenstahl's 1935 pro-Nazi film "Triumph of the Will.” One writer called it “misleading and dangerous.” (Broward-Palm Beach New Times, 9/20/08)

SEE: Putting Lipstick on Propaganda Doesn’t Change It (NWF Daily News)

Jeff VanDenBerg, director of Middle East Studies at Drury University, called the film “a blatant piece of anti-Muslim propaganda.” (News-Leader, 9/17/08)

Those interviewed in “Obsession” constitute a veritable who’s who of Muslim-bashers.
Speakers include Walid Shoebat, who once told a Missouri newspaper that he sees “many parallels between the Antichrist and Islam" and “Islam is not the religion of God -- Islam is the devil.” (Springfield News-Leader, 9/24/07)

Others interviewed in the film include Nonie Darwish, a self-styled “former Moslem" who wrote that "Islam is cruel, anti-women, anti-religious freedom and anti-personal freedom in general,” and Daniel Pipes, who warned a Jewish convention of the "true dangers" posed by "the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims." (American Jewish Congress, 10/21/2001)

Another “Obsession” interviewee, Brigitte Gabriel, told the Australian Jewish News: “Every practising Muslim is a radical Muslim.” She also claimed that “Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word...it's the vehicle for Islam...Islam is the problem.”

SEE: The World According to Brigitte Gabriel (Australian Jewish News)

When asked whether Americans should “resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation," Gabriel said:

"Absolutely. If a Muslim who has -- who is -- a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day -- this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America."

SEE: 'Obsession' Stars Have Lectured at U.S. Military Colleges

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com

Citizen Warrior said...

I tell ya, these guys are freaking out. But their presentation has authority and legitimacy to millions of Americans. Why? Because those Americans do not know the basic teachings of Islam. Most people have never even heard of taqiyya.

But that movie, Obsession, was a great first stab at the beast that must be slain.

Anyone who wants to help the cause can Sign Up at WatchObsession.com.

Anonymous said...

Amina Rubin? A Jewish convert?

Anonymous said...

CW, their presentation is bupkus. CAIR provides zero documentation the Clarion fund is in any way connected to McCain's campaign. ZERO.

When CAIR claims:

There is at least one report of a person who received the DVD also getting an automated phone call asking that person to watch the film and then “keep it in mind when you go to the voting booth.”

PROVE IT! Display the recipients phone logs to evidence such a claim.

I nearly lost my drink thru a painfully restrained snort while reading about CAIR's concern about Clarion's foreign investors. Bwa ha ha ha! Pot meet kettle! Glass houses/stones and all that!

Anyone see a McCain logo on the DVD's? Anyone see any requests for campaign contributions to McCain's campaign with those DVD's?

No? WHERE's the beef CAIR? Without direct links to McCain in them there complaints - CAIR's got bupkus.

Epaminondas said...

Time to investigate whether CAIR should be registered as a foreign lobbyist

WC said...

Wait a minute.

Tell me why political ads in swing states are any different from distributing DVDs in those states?

If CAIR is right then the FEC should go after all political ads.


Citizen Warrior said...

I think CAIR is using a technique you might call "implication." It doesn't have to even send its letter for the letter to have an effect. It doesn't have to have a legitimate beef.

And the recipients of the CAIR newsletter will never question whether or not McCain really had anything to do with sending out the DVD. CAIR is simply helping its readers avoid "cognitive dissonance." That is, the whole DVD debacle must be an evil plot of some kind. It can't be a legitimate attempt to educate fellow Americans about Islam's relentless encroachment.

For the "innocent" Muslims (read "ignorant" of their own religion's most significant teachings), this allegation will be enough to settle their minds.

For those Muslims who do know what's going on, they will applaud the effective use of taqiyya. Either way, CAIR's constituents walk away happy that CAIR is doing its job.

Always On Watch said...

Too late, CAIR! The movie is out there, and people are watching it. I know of three specific cases in just a small circle of my contacts. And those same contacts are passing the DVD along to others who didn't receive it.

Epaminondas said...

I think they are after the same rule Obama tried to use, a 501c or 527 must spend more than half its income in other pursuits than electioneering. The FEC/Justice dept refused to investigate for Obama. I would think that would be the outcome here

Anonymous said...

So CAIR is distracting people´s attention from the main issue which is the subject in the DVD´s at the same time that tries to score in the campaign election, and all that by playing the victim.

Citizen Warrior said...

I just finished reading a very long but very informative article last night called The Muslim Brotherhood's US Network. I urge everyone to print it out and read it.

Among other things, it said this:

Typically, when the Ikhwanis (Muslim Brotherhood founders who have also founded CAIR, MAS, NAIT, IIIT, WAMY, MSA and many other organizations in the U.S.) are confronted with extremist quotes they claim that they have been misinterpreted. Yet in many cases the directness of their rhetoric leaves little room for interpretation. On July 4, 1998, the San Ramon Valley Herald, a local California newspaper, published an article about an Islamic school study session entitled “How Should We Live as Muslims in America?” The article stated that at this gathering CAIR Chairman Omar Ahmed urged Muslims not to assimilate into American society but instead to deliver Islam’s message. He underlined that Islam is not in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant, and that the Quran should be the highest authority in America with Islam the only accepted religion on Earth. When Ahmed’s statements were highlighted in 2003, the CAIR founder flatly denied making these statements and said that he had sought and obtained a retraction from the newspapers that printed the article. Interestingly, as of December 2006, neither of the newspapers that ran the article received a retraction request from Ahmed and the reporter who wrote the article has adamantly stood by her account of the events.

Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s communications director, has also expressed his wish to overturn the U.S. system of government in favor of an “Islamic” state. “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” Hooper said in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.” By “education,” Hooper likely means dawa, which would be in line with what the Muslim Brotherhood commands its members to carry out.

As with other aspects of its existence, CAIR’s funding has also been deceptive. In a November 2001 news release, CAIR stated that it does not support, or receive support from, any overseas group or government. There is evidence however; that this statement was not true even at the time it was issued: In August 1999, the President of the Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank announced a $250,000 contribution to the purchase of land in Washington DC for CAIR’s headquarters. WAMY also financed the construction of the headquarters. In December 1999, Arab news reported that the Riyadh-based group was “extending both moral and financial support to CAIR in its effort to construct its own headquarters at a cost of $3.5 million in Washington DC.” WAMY later provided in excess of $1.04 million for one of CAIR’s advertising campaigns.

Given all the facts that are being revealed, especially as the HLF trial unfolded, the posturing of CAIR is very troubling. In August 2007, at a banquet in Dallas, CAIR Chairman Parvez Ahmed stated, “it is not just the HLF that is under fire, but the entire American Muslim community is under fire.” With this, Ahmed is implying to the American Muslim community that groups like CAIR are being persecuted simply because they are Islamic rather than because of links to terrorist organizations—further creating a sense that all Muslims need to unite to the Islamist cause. Such rhetoric is increasingly used to drive a wedge between Muslims and non-Muslims in America, as well as in Europe and elsewhere.

Citizen Warrior said...

Always On Watch, I would love it if you wrote up your conversations with these people who have gotten the Obsession DVD and shared it with others and published the conversations in an article. I would definitely link to it and share it with others. It is inspiring.

Citizen Warrior said...

Oh, this is RICH. Check this out. I just got an email from CAIR. They have created a website to combat the damage to their cause done by the sending out of 28 million copies of Obsession!

They say in their letter the Clarion fund is reportedly used as a front for an Israel-based organization. You know who reported it? CAIR! Those clever bastards. Anyway, here's a quote from their letter:

The Hate Hurts America Multifaith Community Coalition (HHA), a group of religious and civic organizations seeking to challenge hate speech in our society, today announced that it has launched a website as a positive response to the anti-Muslim bigotry used in an ongoing multi-million-dollar campaign to influence the presidential election.

The Clarion Fund, a U.S. group reportedly used as a front by an Israel-based organization, is distributing 28 million copies of the controversial film "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" to voters in presidential election swing states.

HHA's new website, www.obsessionwithhate.com, offers a point-by-point rebuttal to propagandistic claims made in the film, as well as a list of newspapers that delivered the film's DVD as an insert, a sampling of bigoted statements made by controversial anti-Muslim figures interviewed for "Obsession," and examples of the overwhelmingly negative media coverage of the Clarion Fund's controversial campaign to influence voters.