Dozens of protestors gathered in front of The Oregonian building Monday morning to denounce the inclusion of a DVD they perceive as anti-Islam propaganda in the Sunday edition of the newspaper.
The DVD, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” was produced by a New York nonprofit called the Clarion Fund and was distributed as paid advertising in The Sunday Oregonian.
Muslims and scholars of Islam in Oregon and across the country denounce the DVD as divisive Muslim-bashing propaganda designed to foment fear among Americans, bolster support for Israel and sway the presidential election in candidate John McCain’s favor.
Fred Stickel, publisher of The Oregonian, said the newspaper is treating the DVD as it does other paid advertising or product inserts.
On Monday, protesters hoisted signs reading, “My obsession is love and respect for all,” and “Hate DVDs? Not in our town.” One protester held up a copy of Monday’s Oregonian with the word, “canceled” in red letters.
Ned Rosch of Southeast Portland said he was a longtime Oregonian subscriber – until Sunday. He said he has cancelled his subscription over the DVD’s inclusion with his newspaper. He said by circulating the DVD, the newspaper is promoting a destructive stereotypes.
“It’s not helpful,” said Rosch. “The last time I checked, the First Amendment does not cover hate speech.” (MORE)