Obsession's main problem is one of credibility. The film ignores well-known scholars on Islam, Muslim-West relations, and Radicalism - the three key topics it is supposedly "educating" the public on. In the stead of credible and learned authorities, the film features a subjective slew of agenda-driven individuals who face regular accusations of bias, polemics, and innuendo.
Daniel Pipes is the founder of CampusWatch, a private watchdog group that monitors Middle East Studies on college campuses where he seeks to promote hardline pro-Israeli stances and limit alternative viewpoints. Critics accuse him of seeking to stifle free speech on Israel-related issues, especially with those who do not share his views. He is also founder of the dubious Middle East Forum.
Pipes has previously stated that, "Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene... All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most" and that "In its long history of immigration, the United States has never encountered so violence-prone and radicalized a community as the Muslims who have arrived since 1965."
He is also on the record stating that the enfranchisement of American Muslims is bad and a threat to Jews: "I worry very much from the Jewish point of view that the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims....will present true dangers to American Jews."
Learn more about the "Pipes Methodology"
Steven Emerson has amassed a reputation for going through great lengths in an order to link any and all mainstream Muslim leaders to Radicalism one way or another. As a self-styled journalist, his pretentious "grapevine" tactics are widely disavowed as a contemporary form of McCarthyism. His prime goal according to the Wall Street Journal is "to whitewash Israeli governments and revile their critics."
Emerson routinely tries to sell himself off as a private investigator and Middle East terrorism expert. Yet in 1995, his "investigative expertise" led him to conclude with certainty that Muslims are behind the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. This misguided and premature accusation led to "a backlash against the American Muslim community during the first few days after the explosion."
Emerson is not secretive about his anti-Muslim views, for example he claimed in a March 1995 article in Jewish Monthly that Islam "sanctions genocide, planned genocide, as part of its religious doctrine."
Read more about Steven Emerson's disturbing track record.
Walid Shoebat is a member of an apocalyptic religious group known as Christians United for Israel (CUFI). He claims to have converted to Christianity from Islam. Reports suggest that Shoebat never knew his Muslim father and was raised by his Christian mother. Shoebat is a self confessed “ex-terrorist.” He unapologetically flaunts his dubious credentials as a way to garner attention and interest, especially in the media and on the college speaking circuit. Critics have wondered why he is left on the loose as an ex-terrorist, while others have accused him of concocting his life story and using a fake name to eclipse his true identity.
While Shoebat has been embraced by some Jewish groups for his unabashed support of Israel, his extreme views and vitriolic language has also caused many Jews to distance themselves from him and to question his agenda. Shoebat stated that, "Islam is not the religion of God – Islam is the devil." At other times, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, he has stated that Islam is a "Satanic Cult." At a college speech in Milwaukee, he told a group of 1,000 mostly Midwestern students that "Palestinians keep Jewish testicles and breasts in jars."
Recently, Shoebat’s credibility has taken a notable plunge to the point where fellow Islamophobes who used to praise him in the past are now distancing themselves from him. Debbie Schlussel has come out categorically describing Shoebat as a "serial harasser, plagiarist, and fake terrorist." She also states that "this was a business for him." She also revealed that an irrate Shoebat told her, "F-k You, Bitch!" in a conversation over the phone.
New York Times Magazine describes Brigitte Gabriel as a "radical Islamophobe." She has publicly stated that "the difference between Israel and the Arab world is the difference between civilization and barbarism."
"It’s the difference between good and evil... They have no soul!," she said.
Gabriel is also coming out with a book titled They Must Be Stopped, it is clear who "they" are according to her, as she stated that "every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim." Her own publicist has described her views as "extreme."
In an interview with Jason Frenkel of The Australian Jewish News, Frenkel failed repeatedly to get Gabriel to acknowledge that there are practicing Muslims who don't espouse hatred and have extreme views of the world, including his friends. She seethed at Frenkel and declared that "a practising Muslim who goes to mosque every Friday, prays five times a day, and who believes that the Koran is the word of God, and who believes that Mohammed is the perfect man and (four inaudible words) 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."
Israel eNews reported that Gabriel said "Barack Obama is an anti-Semite, no Jews should support him. Jews should vote for Hillary Clinton." Palm Beach County federation's CEO, Jeffrey Klein said Gabriel frequently speaks to Jewish groups and came with many references. One of the speaker topics listed on her Web site is "the threat of Islam to world peace and national security."
United Jewish Communities President Howard Rieger said this was the first he had heard of Gabriel. Referring to her comments on Obama, he added, "I wish that people that express those views would simply go away."
Nonie Darwish is the creator of the website "Arabs for Israel" where she seeks to promote her Messianic Evangelical vision of unconditional support for Israel in order to pave the way for the second coming of Christ. She tells Israelis and Jews to support the apartheid wall that effectively partitions portions of the West Bank while at the same time encouraging Israelis and Jews not to work for a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
She is also the author of Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror. In that book, she gives conflicting accounts of her identity: she stresses that she is not "anti-Arab or anti-Islamic, and even suggests from time to time that she is still a Muslim. Then she pivots nimbly and attacks "the Arab mind," "the seething Arab street," and "the Muslim world," with its "culture of jihad," "culture of death," and "culture of envy." There are "no real distinctions between moderate or radical Muslims," and no significant differences within or among Arab or Muslim cultures. For Darwish, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser's secular Arab nationalism was essentially Islamic jihadist.
Darwish holds simplistic views on the Middle-East that seem to demonize the Arab/Palestinian/Muslim side: "I realized that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not a crisis over land, but a crisis of hate, lack of compassion, ingratitude, and insecurity." Rather than sound scholarship, Darwish offers us a watered-down version of Raphael Patai's The Arab Mind: a dictionary of Islamophobic commonplaces, underwritten by the authority of an ex-Muslim native informant: "I was there -- I know."
Caroline Glick was the assistant policy advisor to the former ultra right-wing Prime Minister of Israel Binyamin Netanyahu who in July 2006 commemorated the terrorist attack that took place on the King David Hotel in 1946 killing 92 people including civilians and nurses. This prompted the British Ambassador to Tel Aviv to state: "We do not think that it is right for an act of terrorism, which led to the loss of many lives, to be commemorated."
She has been on the record supporting and praising Pastor John Hagee and his Christians United for Israel or CUFI; an extremist evangelical organization that promote end times ideology.
She is also the senior fellow of Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy, a far right Neo-conservative think-tank. The Center believes in “Peace through Strength” which should be “used in maintaining peace and stability,” neo-Conservative double speak for “pre-emptive” war.
In a recent article entitled “It is Time to Act” she advocates the bombing of Iran as well as the overthrow of the Iranian government: “Today, there is only one way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Israel must bomb Iran's nuclear installations. All an Israeli air strike against Iran's nuclear facilities will do is set its nuclear program back for a couple of years. Such a strike will buy Israel and the rest of the world time. If Israel and the US are wise, they will use the extra time to ratchet up international economic sanctions on Iran. They will use the time to conduct covert operations against nuclear and regime targets. They will use the time to increase international pressure on countries that do business with Iran and sell it arms. And they will use the time that an Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities will buy to support Iranian democracy movements and so weaken the regime and perhaps eventually topple it."
This is the same drivel that we heard before in the lead up to the Iraq War and we must ask ourselves if we are ready for such demagogues and pro-war activists to be given any legitimacy as “experts” when it is clear they are serving their own selfish agendas at the expense of American lives and trillions of tax-payer dollars.
Itamar Marcus is, according to Wikipedia, an Israeli settler from the religious Zionist settlement of Efrat in the West Bank and founder of the dubious Palestinian Media Watch which, under the guise of objectivity and peace, sets out to expose what is portrayed in Palestinian Media.
In an article entitled “Aspiration not Desperation: The Islamic Blood Cult” he characterizes Palestinian society and its Islamic roots as equivalent to the descriptions of ancient Biblical pagan blood cults “In the ancient world, there was widespread belief that the deity wanted humans to die as the ultimate form of worship. People gave their children to the deity of Molech and the Baal. This ancient belief has now returned to plague the world.” He intentionally frames the conflict as having been created out of a vacuum, linking it’s origins to Islam rather than to issues of occupation, and violence. It’s as though he implies Palestinians woke up one day and wished to kill them selves because they love blood so much and it’s what their God requests from them.
He also portrays Palestinians and Muslims as barbarians, who don’t love life and are less than human.
Khaled Abu Toameh
Khaled Abu Toameh is an Israeli Arab journalist who works for the right-wing Jerusalem Post and has also been a frequent contributor to the Middle East Quarterly; a journal that is part of the publication of the Middle East Forum created by arch Islamophobe Daniel Pipes and Michael Rubin.
He is also a speaker with the propaganda-prone, Hasbara Fellowship Speakers Bureau, which seeks to educate and train “university students to be effective pro-Israel activists on their campuses.” “Hasbara Fellowships, started in 2001 in conjunction with Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, brings hundreds of students to Israel every summer and winter, giving them the information and tools to return to their campuses as leaders in the fight for Israel's image.”
He feigns to write objectively and with an insider’s knowledge, but the description of a “useful token native” fits him more accurately. The titles of his pieces give his agenda away, we read such polemical claptrap as, “Telling the Truth about the Palestinians, If I speak in the Arab World I will be Shot,” etc.
He has also been quoted as stating that Bush is “the savior of the Arab masses” As Melanie Phillips (a rightwing extremist Islamophobe) reported: Abu Toameh seems to believe that Bush's hard-line attitude is exactly the wake-up call the Arabs need to get their act together.
Alan Dershowitz is a professor of Law who stated that Robert Kennedy’s assassination was the beginning of Islamic Terrorism: “It was in some ways the beginning of Islamic terrorism in America. It was the first shot. A lot of us didn’t recognize it at the time.” What is quite ironic and revealing is that the assassin was no other than Sirhan Sirhan an Arab Christian. It seems Alan Dershowitz cannot distinguish between a Muslim and a Christian. Maybe to him all Arabs are the same?
This is the same psychology that leads him on his witch hunt against renowned Professor Dr. Norman Finkelstein an outspoken critic of Israel. His crusade lead to Prof. Finkelstein being denied tenure at DePaul University, a move that raised many questions about his academic integrity and commitment to free speech.
President of The Intelligence Summit and of the Florida Holocaust Museum. According to Wikipedia “John J. Loftus is the author and co-author of several controversial books on Nazis, espionage, and similar topics including The Belarus Secret (1982), Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican’s Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets (1992), The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People (1994), Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, the Nazis, and the Swiss Banks (1998). Most historians see his books as non-scientific political pamphlets.”
In 2005 In what Fox News officials concede was a mistake, “John Loftus, a former U.S. prosecutor, gave out the address Aug. 7, saying it was the home of a Middle Eastern man, Iyad K. Hilal, who was the leader of a terrorist group with ties to those responsible for the July 7 bombings in London. Hilal, whom Loftus identified by name during the broadcast, had moved out of the house about three years previously. But the consequences were immediate for the Voricks. (the current residents)” An article pointed out that: ..."statements made by John Loftus, a commentator for Fox News, describing grocery store owner Iyad K. Hilal as a terrorist. Although the article accurately quoted Loftus’ expression of his opinion, The Times wants to make clear that Hilal has not been charged with any illegal activity and The Times is not aware of any law enforcement agency or official that has identified Hilal as a terrorist.”
Alfons Heck was a former Hitler Youth Officer and “a fanatical adherent to Nazism’s ideologies.” After the war he migrated to Canada where during the ”50’s and 60’s he did not speak about his wartime activities or his former involvement with the Hitler Youth.”
If this is not enough of a red flag this supposed reformed ex-Nazi has stated, “We were enlightened people and we fell for this, why wouldn’t Muslims fall for this?” implying that Muslims, a “less enlightened” and “ignorant people” must be more susceptible to Nazi ideology than Germans.
"Glen Jenvey" is a self-proclaimed "spy" and vigilante counter
intelligence researcher, which begs the immediate question
how many real spy's declare they're spys so openly? He has
stated: "I'd spied on people before - bizarre as it sounds
- as a bit of a hobby, because I was interested in it."
He is a member of VIGIL whose parent organization
"The Intelligence Community Human Network" or
IC-Humnit declared in its bizzare mission statement:
"Back in 1991, a young-man from a far-off country came to
the Western-Sahara desert to meet with a group of people.
They formed an alliance to establish a global network to
form an army to fight the Evil-World to come and to serve
for the glory of Jerusalem, the city of GOD!"
The website is now restricted to certain individuals, but
we see from archives around the web from that time that they
went on to declare that,"Since then, many people came and
went and we have been around in the world. But in 1998 we
established ourselves on the internet. Using it as a portal
for our global community. This network is what we now call
Such a strange mission statement and language is indicative
of the folly and fantasy world in which the so called
"experts" in this film live. It is a strange motley crew of
extreme right wing Zionists and evangelical Christians
united in Islamophobia.
Now a days Jenvey seeks to portray himself as an objective
analysist but the facts speak otherwise. He claims
"modestly" "to be the real life hero who nailed terror
Chief Abu Hamza." This seems to be his claim to fame for
which he is lauded by fellow Islamophobes.
All of these self-declarations are uncorroborated by
independent sources. His claim also that Abu Hamza was
involved in terrorist activity is inflated as the only
tthing that Abu Hamza was convicted of under the Terrorism
act was posession of an "Encyclopedia of Jihad."
Jenvey under the alias of "Pervez Khan" set up a false
website called IslamicNews which he wished to use as a
method to expose extremist: some would call his method
entrapment. The site posed as an extreme Islamic site that
collected material from around the world that promoted
violence and also linked to violent groups.
The website went through a radical change, revealing its true
intent in september 2002 it changed from an extreme violent
Islamic website to: "We've changed our mind about this
whole terrorism thing. Jehad is crap!"
The website goes onto state that the task of distinguishing
"authentic islam from the counterfeit image presented by
the 'Islamists'is being carried out by a few brave non
Muslims such as Daniel Pipes and Steve Emerson."
It continues on and states that: "Israel belongs to the
Jews - because Allah gave that land to them - why, because
the Philistines won't act like decent human beings - and
only decent humans deserve their own country. If the
Philistines don't like it, they should just find somewhere
else to live. Except no other country on earth wants to
have them because they are not acting like decent human
beings. And Kashmir belongs to the Indians - for the same
Under his alias Pervez Khan, Jenvey posted a Message from Hell in
which he stated: "We made it to Paradise! Now we will meet
Allah and be fed grapes, and be serviced by 70 virgin
women, and...It seems here in paradise... there are only big
fat grey haired toothless women. and rent boys! Its very
hot down here in paradise and run by a man called the
devil! Better known as cheekey devil! Im off to pub later
to get a skin full of beer.... its hot but the beers good!"
A professor of European and Jewish studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he believes that anti-Zionism is the same as anti-Semitism. As he stated in his article, “Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism,” “Anti-Zionism has become the most dangerous and effective form of anti- Semitism in our time," he argued.
A historian by profession, his credibility has been questioned by his fellow historians. Israeli historian Benny Morris described him as a “propagandist” while another historian Tom Segev criticized him for the notable and inexplicable “absence of figures from Arab sources” in his book “The Story of Israel.”
In an exclusive statement for obsessionforhate.com, Dr. Khaleel Mohammed, the only Obsession
interviewee who is an Islamic Studies Professor, delivers a new lethal blow to the film's credibility, exposing what many already knew:
“Sadly, it would seem that I have allowed myself to be used. I gave an interview to the makers of “obsession” wherein I explained the meaning of Jihad, and its misuse by extremists. I understood that the film would be used objectively, focusing on fanatics who seek to spread violence. I am aware that there is a disclaimer at the beginning of the film that says it is not about Islam in general, but only about extremist interpretations.
"But the material from some of the speakers gives the lie to the disclaimer: many of them are not experts, or have used the mantle of academic qualifications to purvey hate. That their alarmist drivel should be mixed with my whittled down interview proves that the intent of the film is not to educate, but to mislead. The free distribution of the film to voters in particular districts shows the political chicanery that is the motive, and the secrecy about the financing of the distribution only underlines the evil intent in circulating this vile piece of propaganda.
"Evidence seems to indicate the involvement of Aish ha-Torah in this dishonest enterprise. I find that particularly distressing, because any Jewish organization ought to realize what the film seeks to do: they demonize an entire community to the point where a government takes action to further beleaguer its citizens and resident aliens simply because of their religious identity. This bigotry over religion and identity is precisely what caused the Shoah — and it is sad that those who ought to have learned what hate can engender should seek to imitate Nazi propagandism.
"Yet — for all the nefarious intent of the distributors of the film — I must also accept culpability for allowing myself to be so used. I still oppose many of the traditional interpretations of Islam—but that has nothing to do with the film Obsession. I cannot stand by silently and allow my participation in such satanic demonization of innocents. I apologize to my fellow Muslims for appearing in such a film. I apologize to my Jewish teachers and friends-- who have warned me time and again about falling into such a situation—for not heeding their counsel. And I expect now that those who support the film will make me their target. But again: I am no diplomat, and I love a good fight. I am obsessed with the truth. Let’s get it on. “
Other Obsession Pundits:
More Information, Coming Soon
The Clarion Fund
The Clarion Fund, a shadowy group with no listed officers, no known office space, and unpublished financial disclosure forms (form 990) financed the massive distribution of the Obsession Hate DVD, numbered at some 28 million copies. There have been speculative reports suggesting links between Clarion and Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas Jewish-American magnate, who is known to have personally passed out copies of the DVD, as well as with Aish HaTorah an educational and advocacy group based in Jerusalem. Neither report has yet been confirmed. Clarion seems to be reveling in the secrecy. But it is a matter of time before the facts become clear.
Regardless of who or how it was financed, the American people have a right to know. [UPDATE]