Movie review: Obsession – Radical Islam’s War Against the West

We live in a scary world. The oil price is skyrocketing, and we’re running out of the stuff. Terrorists are planning the destruction of our very way of life. Morality is being eroded, the news can’t be trusted. And the economy. And debt. Big trouble.

Or is there?

If the makers of the movie Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West have it there way, there sure is. And it’s bigger, badder, meaner and madder than anyone realises. Bigger even than George W Bush and Donny Rumsfeld think. And the naive lefties — have they got a surprise coming.

The movie is a three-stranded twist of shock yarn. The first strand is a series of interviews with 4 or 5 specific individuals who have something to say about “radical Islam” and the “jihaidsts”. The second strand is a lavish comparison of today’s radical Islam to Nazism of the 1930’s. And the remaining strand is a large number of clips from Arabic television.

The message, to simplify: there are some crazy guys out there. They won’t be happy until every Jew, American and (frankly) immoral westerner has been either wiped out, or forced to submit to Islamic law. Actually when we say “some”, we mean lots (about 150 million according to this film’s statistics). And by the way, these are basically the same kind as were goose-stepping around Germany in 1938, in fact, these guys were actually buddies with those guys. They’re organised, they’re armed, they don’t give a crap about their own well-being, and they’re coming. For you. Soon. Just you wait and see.

I’m being facetious, but that’s largely because it’s hard to take the ranting and raving seriously. Not that of the crazies in the TV clips, nor, by inference, the producers of this film.

There are a few things the film says which bear repeating before I go any further:

Firstly, it sets up the story by saying that most Muslims are not extremists, and this film is about them. This acts as a useful caveat that allows the filmmakers to go on and present the Islamic world as packed to capacity with crazies. It’s undeniably there, so they can’t be accused of portraying Muslims as a whole in a bad light.

Secondly, early on in the film, is the argument that there is a co-ordinated effort in over 50 countries in the world in the name of jihad. In fact, I’m not exactly sure that’s what the filmmakers say exactly. Not exactly. But with this film you have to read between the lines, at the heavy, double-underline in red ink. And they very clearly imply that jihad is a global problem. That the same people, essentially, are behind the whole thing. And that’s why it’s such a giant threat.

Thirdly, it says quite adamantly that people in the west who cut the jihadists any slack — by trying to reason with them; by trying to negotiate; by blaming themselves for having an arrogant foreign policy — miss the point. The jihadists don’t care a damn. They only care about destroying the western way of life.

So let’s look at two specific claims in this film, and ask ourselves if they are to be taken seriously.

1. There is a global, co-ordinated Islamic fundmantalist threat: is this true? Yes, there are many countries that may be called “Muslim states” from Algeria to Indonesia; from Pakistan to Iran. And, thanks to the removal of secular Mr Hussein, probably Iraq soon enough. And unsurprisingly, many of them have similar ideologies.

That said, is it a fact that Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Jordan and Dubai are all teamed up in a plot to destroy America and Israel? The Saudis who have massive investments in the US economy, and are apparently so buddy-buddy with the Bush’s as to think of George as part of the royal family? The Jordanians who openly condemned the World Trade Centre attacks, and co-operated with America fully in the Gulf War?

And while we’re on the subject of common ideologies, how many countries in the world are Christian countries? I’m not talking about the thin veil of separation of church and state. I’m talking about countries where people swear on the bible to tell the whole truth and nothing but. Where President’s use the word “God” in speeches and attend Christmas masses. And yet we would never argue that there is some kind of common threat to the world as a result of common religion.

Unless that religion happens to be Islam, it seems.

Islam has been demonised — perhaps you can trace that back as far as the crusades. Perhaps further. But now of all times, a shifty man in a turban walking onto a plane or a subway or a bus in London or New York is scary. And that’s not because, in fact, he’s a threat. But because public perception, shaped by mass media, has turned him into a figure of evil, just as it did to the Russians during the Cold War.

In fact, the global nature of the threat is emerging as the ATTACK on Islam as a religion and a way of life emerges from the West. Not to argue that extremism is new, or that there haven’t always been calls for the destruction of Israel and America. The Ayotollah in Iran was doing that 20 years ago. But mobilisation on a mass scale is more recent. And it’s being helped — as the intelligence report this week in the US says — by an outright attack by the US in particular on the sovereignty of Arab nations.

2. Islam is just like Nazism: now wouldn’t this be the ultimate clincher if it were true? If the Muslims are up to the same no-good that Hitler was up to, and we ignore it again, well then as George Bush himself said, “fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again”.

And yes, the producers have managed to come up with a whole lot of anti-semitic claptrap from Arab TV; a handful of cartoons that are scarily similar to Nazi propoganda; and testimony from “a historian” who argues that the two situations are exactly the same. There’s even footage of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem hanging with Hitler, and a regiment of Arab SS officers he helped to assemble.

My response to this: it’s hardly a surprise to learn that people in the Arab world hate the Jews. That’s a bit like finding out that the IRA have a problem with the British government. We know this already. And whilst they may not be inclined the same kind of shameless extremism, a lot of Jews feel rather similarly about the Arabs. The phrase “mortal enemies” comes to mind.

Jews will be quick to say they don’t want Arabs wiped off the earth. They just want them to stop wanting Jews wiped off the earth. Leave Israel alone, stop spreading anti-semitic feelings and just buzz off. Problem is: they aren’t going to just buzz off. And so there is a much shorter step from this apparently tolerant point of view to war — as we recently saw in Lebanon.

As Matthew Rothschild argues in this piece, to pull Nazism like a rabbit from a hat to explain today’s situation is spurious. Whatever similar ideologies these two groups may have (and even that is a stretch: Hitler was certainly no religious zealot) the Arab world simply does not have the might to pose that kind of threat to the world. The US has, as Rothschild notes, over 10,000 nucleur weapons. Perhaps double that number exist in the whole of the Western world. Iran — the greatest threat Bush and Israel presumably see today, has, maybe, the chance of building one or two.

And that’s only if these unreasonable and apparently non-negotiable jihadists stop acting out of turn by actually entering into talks, as Iran did this week.

The emotive segue into Chamberlain’s “Peace in our times” speech is not only disingenuous, it’s completely inapplicable: the US has already gone to war with the Islamic fundamentalists. Not only now, but throughout the 80’s when they sold countless weapons to Saddam Hussein to try and overthrow the Ayatollah. They have bombed the crap out of the Taliban in Afghanistan. And they will, it seems sure, continue this campaign.

No-one, least of all Bush and Blair, is posing for photos shaking Osama Bin Laden’s hand and declaring a truce. In all likelihood, the handshaking with the Bin Ladens happened a long time ago in the complicated Web that is George senior’s history.

This film makes one important point: there are extremists out there, and they are dangerous. Point taken. But surely we already knew that? There is nothing new in this documentary apart from the extreme tone with which it is composed. And by presenting such a de-contextualised and one-sided story, it becomes an example of the kind of propoganda it deplores. Far from offering new and shocking insight into radical Islam, it pours petrol onto the fire of the hatred growing on both sides of this religious, political and economic impasse.

22 thoughts on “Movie review: Obsession – Radical Islam’s War Against the West

  1. I think it matters less why someone made the film, than the actual footage shown that supports extremists views on death to non muslims.
    Was the footage showing the cheering after 9/11,of a rather large group, staged? Is it false?

    Are the multiple clips of mosque leaders shouting death to America and good sized groups responding in kind staged? We didn’t do that here after 9/11, or after many of the other atrocities that killed innocent people. You don’t see the world doing this, not in Europe, Asia, no where.
    Are the children not systematically trained in school that non muslims are the enemy and that jihad is a viable way to stop them?
    I don’t know where you all worship, but when I go to church, the sermon is not something that contains anything about killing others. If I were to get 100 of my closest friends and we were in front of a mosque here in the USA, and we began shouting “Death to the extremists,all non christians must die” how far would that go? I think we would probably be arrested for infringing on their rights to worship as they want, arrested for inciting a riot and it would be a hate crime.
    What is going on here is the systematic brainwashing of large groups of people to hate another large group of people. And why do they do this? I personally believe it is so the money and power stay with a few.It allows the masses an outlet, blows up a few, projects the claim that jihad is holy and those who would not agree are bad muslims. No one will speak out about it and I can well understand why.Or if someone has non violent ways of achieving growth and stability, they are not widely accepted. It is a way to divide their own countries and stagnate them.
    So, with all this going on, who has the time or energy or thinking that things should and could be better for them? That the power in charge is stripping away their right to speak and think freely? That same power is more wealthy than they and that it is supposed to be that way? Praise Allah!
    The people of these countries need to know that they are the ones the holy war is being waged against.

  2. Hei , Happy Fool’s Day!

    The man told his doctor that he wasn’t able to do all the things around the house that he used to do. When the examination was complete, he said, “Now, Doc, I can take it. Tell me in plain English what is wrong with me.”
    “Well, in plain English,” the doctor replied, “you’re just lazy.”
    “Okay,” said the man. “Now give me the medical term so I can tell my wife.”

    Happy April Fool’s Day!

  3. Well I’m an American but a south american, and all I want to say to all of you is OPEN you eyes, dont raise hatred but do be alert, because I have arab friends that were raised here and say that when they were little they’re parents tought them to throw bombs, shoot Israel, and things like that…Also in the bible there is the source of the whole war between these 2 groups, i would suggest reading this, maybe reading the Quoran to find out if its true that it encourages to kill anyone opposing Islam…In fewer words what I’m trying to get to is go to the source, find the roots, so you understand your issue with them better. Hope this helps!

  4. The Arab World, and the Muslim World, are not without their real grievences against the US, Britain, the West, Russia, and Israel. The point is the extreme degree to which the Moslem world has, in part, responded. This reflects perhaps the huge Wahabbist influence, backed by oil money. Perhaps not. Nothing in the liberal democracies of the West compares with this phenomenon. To argue otherwise is blind. The proper response . . . well that is the difficulty, isn’t it. The film’s commentators emphasize the tolerance of our open-society Western liberal democracy, that we let this hate speech go on ‘under our noses’. Are we fools, should we shut this down, or are we right. Is this 2006 film an early election shot? Should we accept a little less habeus corpus because there is great evil plotted against us?

    I think that is where are debate should be. It is ludicrous to be debating if there are people out there who hate us, do they have any justification, etc. Nations and peoples have had conflicts before recorded history, and we have been prone to settle these conflicts with war and violence. This is asymmetric war and violence, but not really new. Is the suffering of the Arab people wrought more by their own leadership than by the West? I think it greatly is, but we are still party to it? Does it deserve the response depicted in this film? I think not, but it is our there nonetheless. Now what?

    Use less oil. Reach out to moderate Muslims. Acknowledge our participation in the support of the Shah, the Wahabbi’s, and Saddam Hussein.

    We have already done some of this, but we could do more.

    Clearly it does no good to go on a Crusade agaist Jihad.

    I think the current departing administration had done us great harm in coming to terms with Islam. We went to war in Iraq on clearly false pretext. Perhaps 100,000 Iraqis have died from the war, perhaps not so many as in the Iraq-Iran War. We are on occupying power in two Moslem lands. Most importantly, the handling of the War has been amateruish at best. On the ‘hearts and minds’ thing, which means the most, our efforts were an embarassment not to be forgotten for a generation.

    And somehow, we have not yet managed to improve this. Perhaps the new administraion will. Perhaps not.

  5. Pingback: Belated reply to Phil Orenstein about Debbie Almontaser and the KGIA « Diane Vera

  6. ok hi, just wanted to say, “Billy”, the first comment up here from oct 2006, is an idiot. Don’t take the time to read his stupid comment.

  7. Here’s some food for thought. The movie features two Arabs–Walid Shoebat and Nonie Darwish–presumably to look even-handed by including Arabs.

    They are also ex-Muslims. To me, it says a lot that the producers were only able to get their hands on ex-Muslims.

  8. Thanks Nate, you’ve given me stuff to think about. I do realise that I have certain pre-suppositions which cloud my perspective. I don’t know of anyone who is free of these though. I appreciate the effort you took to present me with all this information, I will definitely look into this in more detail.

    I remain a supporter of Israel, though I don’t always disagree with their attitude and decisions, they are not immune to criticism. I disagree with any form of terrorism, and as someone mentioned earlier in this thread – it’s the ideologies that need to be investigated and judged, not the people, as people themselves can often be provoked into hating their enemies, no matter what camp they fall into.

    I also need to say that I appreciate they way you addressed what I said, and it’s times like these that I enjoy engaging in discussions with people who have different opinions to mine. When people get overly emotional about it, then I don’t believe much good takes place.

  9. Billy,

    Let me ask you a question. What do you think the purpose of this film is? I will assume (for argument’s sake) from your analogy (and you can correct me later) that you believe this film is an honest, straight forward documentary with a certain focus on Islamic terrorists: How they are recruited; the weapons they use; their usual methods; interviews with them; scenes of terrorism… So far so good? All for what? What’s the point? So we can understand them better? I think not my friend. It is so we can blame them, fear them, hate them, and above all, fight them.

    I appreciate that you appear to be open minded and have inquired as to what specifically about this film makes it blatant propaganda. To informed viewers, it is obvious that Obsession, Wayne Kopping, his previous work Relentless, and in general, are instruments of pro-Zionist propaganda.

    To those who don’t realize, Kopping’s cast of characters from this film is the same as the cast from his first film. Caroline Glick, the phoney Walid Shoebat, Nonie Darwish, Daniel Pipes, et all are blatantly and openly beholden to the extreme right wing Zionist view. This fact alone should begin to raise suspicions as to whether the intent of this film is education or propaganda.

    Generally speaking, the modus operandi of these “documentaries” is to pick out the most sensational aspects of Muslim film clips and sound bites. These clips and sound bites are then: distort; ripped entirely out of historical, current, and social context; strung together with the help of Zionist apologists presented as experts; and finally presented as a narrative which obfuscates the indefensible reality.

    Here is an interesting quote from the movie by noted Israeli apologist Steve Emerson “what they are saying is that the united states is a threat, is a danger to them, is trying to dominate them, is trying to turn the whole world into America and this is what they are telling their people they have to fight against.”

    Hopefully, the irony is not lost on some of the readers. For the rest of you, I will try and spell it out. The irony is Steve is unwittingly describing the film. If you replace the words United States and America with the words Islam and Islamic, Steve is precisely describing the message of the film.

    To summarize, the panelists by enlarge are all rabid pro-Israeli apologists and there are no dissenting viewpoints offered much less examined. Few if any of the hundreds of clips and sound bites are put in proper context which allows them to be understood in any way other than the simplistic message of the film.

    Billy, if I put together a documentary entitled “Obsession, 75+ Years of Zionist Terror” where I spotlight a few of the hundreds of documented instances of Zionist terror including Zionist/Nazi collaboration, Irgun, Stern Gang, and Haganah atrocities, the King David Hotel, Deir Yassin, the USS Liberty, Goldstein etc, would you champion my film as an honest documentary with the specific focus of examining how Israeli foreign policy is the greatest threat to world peace? I hope so.

  10. I don’t think personally speaking to the maker of a film is a criterion for raising a criticism of it. A film is, by definition, meant to stand on its own.

    I think I was pretty ardent in my attack on the content of the film anyway. It is the content with which I take issue. The motives of the film-makers are betrayed by what they are saying, not who they are (as a matter of fact, I only have a vague notion of who they are — but it does tend to confirm that they have a clear agenda, not that they are trying to present any kind of balanced view).

    And on the hijacker analogy – if I made a film demonising hijackers, failing to portray their social conditions, the suffering that has brought them into crime, the poverty and abuse they will have experienced in their lives, then damn straight that would be propoganda. Compare “Tsotsi” (a work of fictin, with no burden of objectivity) to this “documentary”.

    Finally, that analogy fails in the most important respect of all, which is the magnitude of the claims being made. It would probably do little violence to the truth to show hijackers as criminals of whom we should be rather scared.

    It is a different matter to imply there are 100 million Muslims in the world bent on the destruction of Western Civilisation. And that’s not an interpretation of the message of the film, it’s practically a direct quote.

  11. I think its a sad day when one is not allowed to have an opinion because it may be perceived as invalid or as meaningless ranting.

  12. Nate,
    I don’t believe Jesse was referring to muslim culture in general when he said that this film makes us aware of a culture we do not understand.

    Your claim, sung in harmony with that of Jarred, Tim, and Covenant; is that the movie is blatant propaganda.
    Your inference seems to be that either this material is blatantly untrue and is thrown together to support a cause, or it is thrown together to make money from stupid conservative Christians [and Jews, I might add Tim] (which, buying the movie thrusts me into that category), or simply it is to incite hatred for all muslims alike and suggests that they are all bad people.

    I do not agree with these conclusions.

    Let’s paint a little comparison quickly.
    If someone were to create a film on South African hijackers, show how they are recruited, the weapons they use, their usual methods, interviews with them, scenes of hijackings, all of that – it would present a CERTAIN FOCUS. This is allowed for the purposes of the report and falls within the scope of what it claims to be, a film about hijackers. To say that because they interviewed an african man or an indian man who was a hijacker, that the film paints that person-group in a bad light is not fair. To say that because the footage was shot in Johannesburg, it is a bigotted view of the city is inaccurate. It is not presenting itself as anything but a report on hijacking. If someone misunderstands, or misuses the premise of the film, it doesn’t necessarily constitute as propaganda. Bad film techniques or bad communication should be the worst we could throw at it as an insult.

    Also, to critique the work one should critique the content, not put forward perceived motives of the film makers. Have any of you bothered to speak to the filmmakers about their purpose? Or even read up on their intentions from them? Have you even seen the film? (Jarred, I know you have) – if not, please tell me what you base your statements on? Are they valid because they’re your opinion? On that logic then everything is just as valid as everything else.

    It is our responsibility to base statements on something – otherwise we land up with rantings; and as is the case with those, the loudest most insulting/intimidating voice wins.

  13. Jesse said “I believe the purpose of this movie is to make us aware of a culture we do not understand.”

    Do you really believe that after watching this tripe you have a better understanding of muslim culture? I mean seriously? This is a hatchet job from start to finish. The soul intention of this movie is to demonize islam and deceive Americans into supporting the illegal, immoral, and wicked foreign policy agendas of the far right likudniks and neocons. Propaganda like this, which paints arabs and muslims as a bunch of blood thirsty, mindless, potential suicide bombers with nothing to live for except hatred and death, simply ads fuel to the fire of Israeli and Western extremists. I feel sorry for everyone who buys into this garbage. I wish that people would take the time to really inform themselves about current events before forming and especially sharing their opinions. It is astonishing how ignorant Americans are, considering that our country is the most powerful in the world and everything that our country does, it does in our name.

  14. Jarred:
    It seems you believe I was offering a solution. I didn’t say we need to fight Muslims. You are correct that I was trying to restate in more simplistic terms. I believe the purpose of this movie is to make us aware of a culture we do not understand. There are people in the world who do not share our ‘Western’ views and do not honor treaties they make with what they call ‘infidels’. You have seen the movie…it is what it is. Just because a person chooses to deny the truth in what they see does not make it any less true. A spade is a spade…especially when it tells you its a spade. Had we seen this movie before 9-11, would the country have been as surprised when it happened?

    The communism remark was a separate issue to address. It had nothing to do with the Muslims. The foundation of Communism tells people they are limited and therefore only useful for what the government dictates. This is not an idea that gives people any self worth and the outcome of it on a large scale has been shown. People should not be labeled as evil because that draws the assumption they cannot change; but an idealogy in its premise can be evil. That is if you believe good and evil exist. If you don’t, then we can ignore that statement altogether because we would have nothing to discuss.

    You stated that I inferred “Therefore: Israel, the West and Jews in general need to fight Muslims.” and “the world is more violent than ever — apparently, you imply, because of Muslims).” Please do not put words in my mouth. I don’t hate Muslim people and I don’t like war…neither do most of the men who fight in them. It is unfortunate that you put words in my mouth and then attack my writing skills. Neither one of those actions help to justify your argument. You seem to be someone who desires peace on a global scale, but in turn attack people when they seem to differ from you. I used to think like you and believe like you. Even though I know you may attack me for this feel free to check out this website:
    Have a good day!

  15. “Please see the truth when it’s right in front of you”. Ah, the language of calm, rational debate. What you’re really trying to say is: please agree with me. What new information have you provided, other than to restate, in even more simplistic terms, the content in the movie?

    No-one is denying (least of all me) that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says a lot of insane-sounding things. However, what is stopping him from using nucleur weapons? Well, perhaps the selfish desire not to be annihilated 5 seconds later by the 10,000 nuclear warheads which the US posseses.

    Leaving that aside, your basic argument seems to be this: Israel and the Jews are good (they have bombs and haven’t used them). The Muslims are bad (one president of an Islamic country said some crazy stuff; the world is more violent than ever — apparently, you imply, because of Muslims). And Communism was evil (proven by the fact that North Korea is the product of it).

    Therefore: Israel, the West and Jews in general need to fight Muslims.

    If you can’t see the non sequitors in that argument yourself, it’s not my responsiblity to offer training in basic logic here.

  16. If you truly want to look at what is taking place and what will take place, drop your preconceived notions and take people at their word. It is no secret that the leader of Iran (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) was quoted as saying he would like to see Israel “wiped off the map”. This of course was spoken at a conference call “The World without Zionism.” If he has a nuclear weapon, what will stop him from using it. Are the Jews saying that all Muslims should be wiped off the face of the earth? If someone says “I am going to kill you and your children”, do you step aside and say “please, let me help you”? The nation of Israel has nuclear weapons and has not used them on any of their neighbors who have tried to roll into their country more than once.

    Are we all so naive to believe that we can usher in peace in a world that has become more violent and war torn in the last century than in any other time in history? Has technology and information availability made us more compassionate and understanding of each other? It is honorable that we want to love peace and believe peace is possible but that has never been the reality for the human race.

    In regards to your comment about Russia being evil and us falsely portraying them that way, is it possible that Communism is evil? Look at the results. Has anything positive come out of communism?(current day North Korea)

    Final statement: You don’t have to agree with the wars we fight or how we are fighting them. Please see truth when it is right in front of you. These people don’t care whether you are Christian, Jew, or even Muslim. Unless you agree exactly with their views, they want you dead because that is what they have been told is their obligation. These people have directly said this. Don’t be afraid to call something evil when it makes that claim itself. In a time of so much deception, take these people at their word…they mean it.

  17. I love this sentence:

    “by presenting such a de-contextualised and one-sided story, it becomes an example of the kind of propoganda it deplores”

    I couldn’t agree anymore. I went to their website and downloaded all their trailers, and it was packed with 4-5 second blurbs of raving arab lunatics saying extreme things. But these statements are never put into their proper context. Instead, their given their context by sometimes over-dramatic commentators.

    For example, they show a 4-5 second blurp of a little girl in a classroom praising the values of Jihad (“which is such a dirty word these days”) against the enemy. After the sequence ends, we’re left with a daunting picture of seemingly conflict-‘philic’ people. Look at the girl! All she does is want to kill! Ofcourse, nobody bothered to remind the audience that this girl is in a warzone and that she regularly deals with death all around her that is partly (although not fully) perpetuated by Israeli incursions into the West Bank. But no, a girl who calls for armed conflict against a people that she perceieves as armed and dangerous (which I’m not saying is true or false) is WRONG. No, in fact, it’s “evil”.

    But yea, maybe this is above some American’s heads. Maybe it’s hard to see the desperation in these people’s faces while we sip our hot chocolate, watch re-runs of Laguana beach, and drive around in a car that’s probably worth more than an entire Palestianian’s life savings.

  18. Tim, I really agree with a lot of what you say. And you actually do sound pretty clever (even for a Christian :-P)

    I think the essence of what you say is perhaps a far more concise way of saying what I was saying: let’s stop trying to beat each other up, and try and find a way to a peaceful co-existence. Of course, the contention of these filmakers would be: but we want to! It’s just THEM that want to cause trouble.

    I disagree. I think the West has a lot to answer for in the way it’s dealt with the Muslim world not just in recent times, but for hundreds of years. Our memories as a civilisation are altogether too short. We remember last week’s kidnapping or bombing, but we forget we live in history. We are history’s children. And so the rampages of Richard the Lionheart are, in some ways, with us still.

  19. Hi,
    I can’t comment on the review in relation to the movie, as I haven’t seen the movie, but i just have three things to say. I hope they’ll be considered in the spirit with which they’re written.

    Firstly, a documentary entitled “Obsession – Radical Islam’s War Against the West” is a pretty sure bet to get conservative christian dollars out of pockets and over the counter. Mass paranoia creates a marketplace where decisions on buying are not governed by logic but rather by fear. This is just another example of someone tapping that gold mine. We are all subject to manipulation for political, or financial gain.

    Secondly, propaganda is not restricted to twisting lies and offering them as truths. Propaganda is the the propogation of particular ideas and information, without offering any alternatives. You are free to counter my definition with one endorsed by Collins or the like.

    Thirdly: Up until 12 years ago a nation of South African people suffered violence and horror at the fist of a Christian government. As a Christian myself (and this after some time in the wilderness without faith, so please, no one accuse me of blindly following an example set by my parents), I find it impossible to judge other followers who have misinterpreted their scriptures and are now using it to incite violence. The examples of Christianity abused are pervasive throughout the world. The conflict in Northern Ireland is a particularly good example of this, as both sides effectively believe the same basic truths, yet countless have died defending their own variation.
    The problem with religion is that it is so easily abused and twisted to satisfy selfish gains and desires. This is what happens when Christians turn into the Pharisees that Jesus so vehemently fought.

    I’ve never read the Qur’an. Not even a page, and therefore don’t consider myself qualified enough to believe that Islam is not in fact a religion of peace. But I do know what I have read in the Bible, and truth be told I get it wrong sometimes too, because it seems God made it complicated enough for someone to study it their whole life and still find new revelations. But I’ll end with an encouragement to read Mat 22:36-37, and a quote from Bono: ‘Loving thy neighbour was not a suggestion, its a command’.

    *my views are probably not the same as a whole bunch of other Christians. Somebody please buy Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis and read it. Also, I wish I sounded clever but I don’t. Action figures sold seperately. WMD not included.

  20. Islam has been demonized in the minds of the people by mass media? I would agree with you if your explanation of that is that the media show real footage of suicide bombers in London, or in Spain, or “martyr’s” flying passenger aircraft into buildings.

    Your views however seem to reflect a perception that is fairly prevalent today, which I can best describe as sympathetic to the cause of the martyrs who sacrifice their lives for their freedom. aka “Islam is a religion of peace”.

    While you never exactly said this, (so I don’t want to be guilty of a straw man argument), it is the impression I’m getting in reading between the lines – and I do not agree with this view. I also do not agree that because this film focuses on one element more than others, it is deemed to be propaganda. Let me try explain: Something is not propaganda if it only portrays one side of the story. It might be bad journalism, or one-sided, but it is not propaganda.

    Propaganda is when something is twisted and blantant lies are propogated as truth. A case in point: The Da Vinci Code. This was not just bad research, but a case of deviant research. Details were deviously and purposefully distorted to support a pre-supposed idea, creating the illusion of a well researched hypothesis.

    The clips in the “Obsession” movie are straightforward enough to me. They don’t show the whole big picture, granted. But they honestly reflect events and interviews which really took place. The footage is plain as day: children learning hatred poetry of Israel, hatred of the West in many speeches and public ralleys, prominent leaders encouraging violence and victimisation towards the “kufar” [unbeliever]. There is enough of it, and it goes on long enough, to convince me that it was not taken out of context to misrepresent what it portrayed. If it was, the onus is on you to explain this properly and factually in your rebuttal.

    After showing the footage, they then suggest an interpretation of the situation. It is up to you to agree or disagree. I found nothing underhanded about it. You could disagree, and put forward your reasons for that; however you choose instead to dismiss everything as propoganda.

    I know we’re not going to agree on this, so I’ll keep my comment brief (less than a high school essay). Are the ideas and contents of this movie a true reflection of the situation we face? Time will tell. If this is an extreme and unfounded interpretation of current events, then the increase of peaceful relations with and between Muslim adherants will become the order of the day. If indeed this was, as you suggest, mere propaganda, aimed to misrepresent Islam so that I could be incited to fear and loathing of Muslim’s, then it has failed in it’s mission to create an extremist anti-all-Muslim person out of me. If these guys have a point (and I think they do) – then maybe we will see an increase in the violence and horror found at the sword of Islam. Like I said, time will tell.

    Do you now understand why I didn’t want to engage in this with you? Our views are so distinctly opposite and cannot be reconciled. The world is becoming increasingly polarised: truth is absolute//truth is relative, special creation//evolution, support for Israel//support for Palestineans, right and wrong are pre-determined//we define right and wrong.

    I leave you with a question – if when Christianity is derided, or Jesus Christ is mocked by the media; suppose the Christians took to the streets and killed and injured people in protest, or blew themselves up in busses or trains filled with innocent people – what would be the outcome? Would you write the same kind of article you did here in response to a film depicting that?

    There are obviously some differences: show me the passages in the New Testament which incite violence and killing as a response to anything… Perhaps “Mat 5:44; But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you “? or “Rom 12:17; Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. “? (apologies for using the KJV, but most people are familiar with that translation)

    Would you offer me the same challenge in the Koran?

    Note: my views here to not necessarily represent the views of Christians in general. They are my own, but I do happen to be a follower of Jesus.

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