Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Censoring by PBS of "Islam vs. Islamist: Voices from the Muslim Center" - WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS

Hat Tip: LGF

Islam vs. Islamist: Voices from the Muslim Center is a documentary film that covers the threats moderate Muslims have to face from radical Islamists in the US and elsewhere. It was to be one of eleven films in a PBS series called America at a Crossroads, which, according to the website

is a major public television event premiering on PBS in April 2007 that explores the challenges confronting the post-9/11 world — including the war on terrorism; the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; the experience of American troops serving abroad; the struggle for balance within the Muslim world; and global perspectives on America's role overseas.

According to one article, $700,000+ of your tax dollars were spent on the 12-month production.

And if the Islamists and some of the powers-that-be in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting get their way, you'll never see the film. Why?

[Robert] MacNeil [the host of the Crossroads series and of the MacNeill-Lehr News Hour] was on the Diane Rehm show...for the purpose of promoting this series of films. Unfortunately, ours is not going to be one of them, as he said, in his own words, because it is alarmist, and extremely one-sided.

The American people need to know about it, and I [Frank Gaffney, director of Islam vs. Islamist] think frankly, [the American people] need to know about it more than they need to know about [Robert] MacNeil’s vision of Muslims in America, which it turns out, according to his website, he, by the way, got a film as part of this series when he became the moderator, that was not selected as part of the competition. It wasn’t even submitted as part of the competition. It was one of a number of examples...of instances in which it appears that the people at PBS were so determined to keep our film from being shown, that they actually commissioned another film outside of the competition to cover some of the same subject matter. But interestingly enough, according to [Robert] MacNeil, the Muslims in America are the Muslims of the Muslim Student Association [a partner organization of UCI's friendly neighborhood Islamist organization, the Muslim Student Union]...And that’s the subject of his film, his vision of American Muslims, as opposed to the anti-Islamist Muslims that are featured in ours. And that’s the man who’s deciding, it appears, at least in league with others, deciding as to which of the films is one-sided, or alarmist.

For your review:

Producer: PBS dropped 'Islam vs. Islamists' on political grounds

Silencing Muslim moderates

Here’s the actual letter to the PBS Board of Directors from Frank Gaffney, Martyn Burke, and Alex Alexiev (Burke and Alexiev are the documentary's co-producers)

Why is PBS using our money to make a film that we’re not allowed to see?

Note: Gaffney is also president of the Center For Security Policy, but according to the link immediately above, the CfSP had no link to the film.


According to that last link, Patricia de Stacy Harrison, the President and CEO of the CPB "has been very helpful" in making sure this film was made. Gaffney says she's the reason why they weren't shut out of the process - so DON'T BEAT HER UP.

Instead, do what Gaffney said in the article - plead with her to make sure it is either included with the Crossroads series, or ask her to permit another network to show the film (I'm sure Fox News will pick it up).

Here's how you reach Pat Harrison:

Dial the CPB at 1.202.879.9600.

If you get the CPB's automated phone system, hit the 1 key on your phone, then dial H A R R (4277) and wait - the system will connect you.

Then ask to speak with her or leave a message.

Again, BE NICE TO HER. Praise her for her help in getting the film where it is today, and ask her to make sure it makes it into the Crossroads series (where it should be), or if not, allow another network to pick it up.

Heck, see if they'll let it be put on YouTube...

Don't let your tax dollars be used for censorship.


The Washington Post has picked up the story and written in more detail.

In addition, apparently PBS's review board for Crossroads included Professor Aminah McCloud of DePaul University (which is also home to Norman Finkelstein). Professor McCloud apparently is also a board member of Chicago's Council on American Islamic Relations (aka CAIR), and in what has been termed to be a violation of journalistic principles, she apparently screened footage from the film for members of the Nation of Islam.


Here's another article - this one written by one of the film's co-producers, Alex Alexiev

UPDATE 2007/04/20 0916 PST

Google News has a bunch of additional articles on the topic.

1 comment:

The Objectivist Club at UCI said...


So I assume you saw that there will be protesters at the UCLA panel Thursday?