A decision by The Charlotte Observer and other newspapers to distribute as paid advertising a DVD about Islamic fundamentalism brought objections Friday from Muslims, who condemned the documentary as “hate speech.”
The DVD – called “Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West” – was inserted in about 200,000 copies of today's Observer.
More than 70 other U.S. newspapers, including two other McClatchy newspapers, The (Raleigh) News & Observer and Miami Herald, also are including the DVD in their deliveries.
According to reports in the Huffington Post, 28 million copies of the film are being delivered this week. The DVD has already been inserted into copies of The New York Times distributed in Midwestern states. This weekend and next, it is slated to be distributed in many newspapers in the electoral battleground states of Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and Colorado, in addition to North Carolina.
Muslims interviewed by the Observer charged that the distribution, less than two months before Election Day, is a ploy by the New York-based Clarion Fund to assist GOP presidential candidate John McCain, who leads Democrat Barack Obama in polling on national security issues.
“This is political maneuvering by those who believe noise is more important than clear thought,” said Ahmed Rehab, spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group. “It is a shoddy and pathetic attempt to scare people into voting a certain way.” (MORE)