Tuesday, April 10, 2007

PBS - Refusing to Show the Threat of Islamists in Our Midst

PBS received 20 million dollars in federal funds to develop shows that “enhance public understanding of terrorism, homeland security and other crucial issues in the post-9/11 era.” PBS conceived of a series of 21 documentaries for its Cross-roads series that will begin airing this Sunday. Originally, PBS agreed that one of the segments was to be Islam vs. Islamists – a study of Islam in the west and how moderate voices are under attack from the fundamentalist Muslims also living in the West. That sounds critically important – and something that your average Salafi Wahhabi organization would not like to see at all. Well, the Salafis win. As the Arizona Republic explains:

The segment was titled, Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center. By and large, the clashes it depicted involved people like Jasser condemning violence perpetrated in the name of Islam, and fundamentalist imams condemning the Jassers of the world as false Muslims.

In some cases, the documentary showed fundamentalists talking candidly about shutting up the moderates in their midst. And, in one case involving a moderate Muslim politician in Denmark, it caught them talking about shutting him up permanently.

In many respects it is an inspiring story, the sort of story that public television often likes to tell.

Unfortunately, we won’t get to see it. PBS has decided to drop that documentary from its play list after, among other things, letting a Muslim professor at DePaul University and an officer in the Nation of Islam screened it first. Apparently, they did not care for it. As the Arizona Republic explains:

Jeff Bieber, WETA's executive producer for Crossroads . . . said Burke's film had "serious structural problems (and) . . . was irresponsible because the writing was alarmist, and it wasn't fair."

. . . Subtitled Voices From the Muslim Center, Burke says his film "attempts to answer the question: 'Where are the moderate Muslims?' The answer is, 'Wherever they are, they are reviled and sometimes attacked' " by extremists.

Michael Levy, a spokesman for CPB, said the corporation set up the Crossroads project and provided funding, but turned over management and content control to PBS and WETA 13 months ago.

After that, Burke says in his Feb. 23 complaint letter, he "consistently encountered actions by the PBS series producers that violate the basic tenets of journalism in America."

. . . Burke . . . says that funding was delayed and WETA began to interfere with his film until it was "expelled" from Crossroads.

Among Burke's 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.

"This utterly undermines any journalistic independence," Burke wrote in an e-mail to WETA officials.

In an interview, McCloud said she showed a single video frame to a Muslim journalist who was not a Nation of Islam representative.

However, in a January e-mail, McCloud told Crossroads producers that she had spoken with Nation of Islam representatives and "invited them over to view this section." She also wrote that they were outraged "and will promptly pursue litigation."

Read the story here. And in an opinion piece from the same paper:

If Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of Phoenix were a Christian - and he emphatically is not - we might deem him a saint.

But Jasser is a Muslim. He believes in his religion as fervently as any Catholic bishop believes in his. Or any Muslim imam, for that matter. He is faithful to the Quran, which Jasser believes conveys a message of peace.

Because of his faith, and because of what he has done to act on his faith, Jasser has evolved into an extraordinary symbol of what true heroism means in the post-Sept. 11 world. He is a Muslim and an American. And he is a man of peace - a rare, bold iconoclast who is willing to speak out against people who, he believes, have stolen his faith for evil ends.

So, is Zuhdi Jasser what you might call a "moderate" Muslim? If you do, then the Public Broadcasting Service has a problem with you.

. . . They could not bring themselves to declare people like Jasser "moderate" because that would mean criticizing the fundamentalists whom the Jassers of the world oppose.

As the PBS producers affirmed time and again in their letters and e-mails, who is an Islamic "extremist" and who is a "moderate" depends entirely on which side of the street you're standing. In large part, it is about "context."

"We felt the program was flawed by incomplete storytelling and problems with fairness," said Jeff Bieber, executive producer of the Crossroads series. "We felt the writing was alarmist and without adequate context.

"We just felt there was incomplete context, (that) could lead viewers to the wrong conclusions."

"These are the 'root-cause' people," responded Jasser, who said the PBS-WETA producers could not bring themselves to identify the issue facing the United States since Sept. 11, 2001: "It is a radical Islam problem."

This certainly sounds like the PBS deck was stacked against this documentary. I do not know but I bet if we check, we will find that DePaul's Islamic program, like most major colleges in the US, is funded in large part by grants coming out of Saudi Arabia. At any rate, Islam vs. Islamism certainly sounds like it deserves to be aired. Okay, everyone knows what has to be done now, right?

Your Senators

Your Congressman

Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CBP)

CBP Inspector General


PBS Ombudsman

1 comment:

Always On Watch Two said...

In the past few years, I've noticed a dhimmitudinal trend at PBS.

This particular refusal by PBS indicates to me that the cultural jihad is accelerating.


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