Attorney General Bill McCollum met behind closed doors Tuesday with leaders from the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles angry over his having shown a film to employees during office hours that the council's leaders call "anti-Muslim propaganda."
Both sides emerged saying the meeting was "positive." McCollum also has agreed to form a new Muslim-American advisory group in the attorney general's office.
"He didn't apologize, but I think he understands our perspective and that's something he didn't have before," said Salam Al-Marayati, the council's executive director.
McCollum e-mailed 500 employees last month, urging that they attend a screening of the film Obsession. The film's subtitle is "Radical Islam's War Against the West." The film includes depictions of terrorist attacks and is seen as inflammatory by many Muslims.
The invitation went out a month after McCollum blasted a University of Florida administrator, saying that she had "chilled free speech" when she questioned the film's accuracy and criticized campus organizers for displaying a poster that said, "Radical Islam Wants You Dead."
Said Rabbi Steven Jacobs of Los Angeles, who took part in the meeting with McCollum Tuesday,
"This film just adds to the hysteria at a time when we need scapegoats. We in the Jewish community know about that, and certainly Muslims in America know about that. This is our challenge together."