PRODUCER: PBS DROPPED 'ISLAM VS. ISLAMISTS' ON POLITICAL GROUNDS
The producer of a tax-financed documentary on Islamic extremism claims his film has been dropped for political reasons from a television series that airs next week on more than 300 PBS stations nationwide.
Key portions of the documentary focus on Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser of Phoenix and his American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a non-profit organization of Muslim Americans who advocate patriotism, constitutional democracy and a separation of church and state.
Martyn Burke says that the Public Broadcasting Service and project managers at station WETA in Washington, D.C., excluded his documentary, Islam vs. Islamists, from the series America at a Crossroads after he refused to fire two co-producers affiliated with a conservative think tank. . .
In the making of Islam vs. Islamists, Burke's co-producers were Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, and Alex Alexiev, the non-profit organization's vice president. Both men are neo-conservatives who have written on the threat of "Islamofascism" to the free world.
Before filming began last year, Burke says, Bieber asked him, "Don't you check into the politics of the people you work with?"
Bieber said PBS was concerned that the Center for Security Policy is an advocacy group, so its leaders could not produce an objective picture. Because of that, he suggested that Gaffney be demoted to adviser.