The film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda,” refers to the terrorists as Islamists who viewed their mission as a jihad. The NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who narrates the film, speaks over images of terrorist training camps and Qaeda attacks spanning decades. Interspersed are explanations of the ideology of the terrorists, from video clips in foreign-accented English translations.
The documentary is not even seven minutes long, the exhibit just a small part of the museum.Even though it's quite obvious who was responsible for the abomination that occurred on 9/11- not Christian or Hindu or Buddhist extremists but Muslim extremists- people are balking at how the film broaches the subject of Islam.
The museum has refused to back down after various panel groups, including some interfaith clergy, recommended making changes to the film. The one Muslim imam involved resigned back in March.
“The screening of this film in its present state would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum,” Sheikh Mostafa Elazabawy, the imam of Masjid Manhattan, wrote in a letter to the museum’s director. “Unsophisticated visitors who do not understand the difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims may come away with a prejudiced view of Islam, leading to antagonism and even confrontation toward Muslim believers near the site.”
According to Joseph C. Daniels of the museum:
“From the very beginning, we had a very heavy responsibility to be true to the facts, to be objective, and in no way smear an entire religion when we are talking about a terrorist group."What people are taking offense to, apparently, is the use of "Islamist" and "Jihad". Critics want the film to refer to it as "al-Qaeda-inspired terrorism," not Islamic terrorism. Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington explains why
“The terrorists need to be condemned and remembered for what they did." “But when you associate their religion with what they did, then you are automatically including, by association, one and a half billion people who had nothing to do with these actions and who ultimately the U.S. would not want to unnecessarily alienate.”More on the story here.
The majority of violence around the world is being perpetrated by Muslims. Yes, extremists, but Muslims nonetheless. You can't pussyfoot around that, and you can't whitewash the facts. It's the truth. I think most intelligent people realize that mostly radical extremists are responsible for the bloodshed, but there are a heck of a lot of them around these days.