Los Angeles’ Museum of In-Tolerance, named in honor of Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, is now steeped in Muslim hatred. Rabbi Marvin Hier, its current leader, has endorsed the Iran yellow star hoax. Now, he’s actively promoting one of the most Islamophobic films ever produced, Third Jihad.
The Clarion Fund is listed as the sponsor of the film, though its creators (including Rabbi Raphael Shore) are affiliated with the pro-settler Aish Hatorah, a group based in Israel. Clarion appears to be little more than a domestic shell organization designed to enable the producers to claim the film was made in the U.S.
Third Jihad features Zuhdi Jasser, who though he professes to be Muslim, seems to detest almost everything about his religion, especially anything that remotely hints of Islam existing in a political context. Jasser runs a one man Muslim organization which is characterized in an IPS story thus:
American Islamic Forum for Democracy…according to its website, is a non-profit which seeks to “intellectually stand against the religious fanatics who exploit the religion of Islam for a nihilistic, anti-American anti-Western war.”
Jasser makes common cause with Muslim haters like Daniel Pipes and other Jewish neocons. Years ago, he was active in CAIR but that relationship turned sour. Now he detests everything to do with the national Muslim organization and takes every chance he can to attack it. Third Jihad provides him all the opportunity he needs.
In the film, he purports to have discovered a radical Muslim version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion:
“The Third Jihad” is largely based on a document the producers say the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) discovered in 2003. The film’s creators purport the document is a “’Grand Jihad Manifesto’ authored by the Muslim Brotherhood in North America, according to the promotional materials.
“The 15-page document outlines goals and strategies for the infiltration and domination of America from within,” says the release. “Among the strategies discussed is the establishment of ‘moderate’ groups, mosques and Islamic centers across North America in an effort to strategically position Islam so that it might weaken western culture and promote the implementation of Sharia Law.”
CAIR wrote a letter of protest to Rabbi Hier about the profound insult that this film poses to all American Muslims. But Hier has about as much sensitivity to the concerns of Muslims as a deaf person would have to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
The Wiesenthal Center screenings were co-sponsored by another extremist group, the American Freedom Alliance. One look at its website makes you realize you’re visiting territory so far off the right side of the universe it might as well be Pluto. Here’s but a taste:
The American Freedom Alliance is a non-political, non partisan, movement of concerned Americans which identifies threats to western civilization. The organization promotes networking, activism and education in the following six areas:
* The Islamic penetration of Europe
* The collapse of academic freedom
* The identification and sources of media bias
* The growth of radical environmentalism
* The necessity for missile defense
* The dangers presented by the global governance movement
IPS notes that the Washington, D.C. screening of the film was promoted and documented by the International Free Press Society, which also heavily publicized the U.S. speaking tour of far-right Dutch Muslim hater, Geert Wilders. He himself produced an anti-Muslim film screed, Fitna, which I jokingly called here “Dutch for garbage.” Even the ADL has labelled Wilders “inflammatory” and Britain has refused him entry. Both Wilders and some members of IFPS have been linked to the Belgian neo-fascist group, Vlaams Belang.
All in all, this is a nice set of bedfellows with whom the Clarion Fund and the Museum of Tolerance are sleeping. But Rabbi Hier and Raphael Shore should remember what happens when you lie down with dogs…
I find it sad to report that just as Wilders spoke to synagogue audiences during his tour here, Detroit’s Temple Israel also screened Third Jihad. Someone should ask Rabbi Joshua Bennett what he was thinking when he invited these hatemongers into his shul.
The brutal truth of the matter is that instead of awakening the world to the danger of radical Islam, films like this actually promote Islamophobia and are conducive to an atmosphere that provokes violence against American Muslims.
H/t to Aziz Poonawalla.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.