'The Third Jihad' Producers Reply to New York Times Articles
Documentary recently pulled from NYPD counterterrorism training; Times articles filled with innuendo and inaccuracies
The New York Times has sharply criticized the New York Police Department for using the critically-acclaimed documentary The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision for America in counterterrorism training.
In response, film producer Raphael Shore has issued the following statement:
"We regret that the film has been taken out of the counterterrorism training program of the NYPD. The New York Times stories are proof positive that the Clarion Fund's high-quality and impactful documentaries touch very sensitive nerves.
Those that have blasted the film are attempting to stifle an important debate about the internal state of the Muslim community in America, and whether politicized Islam and indoctrination pose tangible security threats.
We hope that individuals will acknowledge the inaccuracies presented by the New York Times, and the effects that organizations like CAIR have on the fine line between political correctness and honest debate.
We invite the general public to watch and judge the documentary for themselves. The Third Jihad is now being made available for free viewing online at www.thethirdjihad.com."
According to the New York Times, nearly 1500 officers, "from lieutenants to detectives to patrol officers" reportedly were shown the film during a period of between three months and a year.
The story of the film's usage by NYPD was first reported by the Village Voice a year earlier, and police stopped using the film when pressure was asserted by local Islamic organizations. Pressure continued until the New York Times propelled the year-old story to front-page news yesterday.
CAIR is taking credit for the "investigation" which led to the New York Times' coverage, with a press release demanding that the NYPD install Muslim-sensitive materials in their training curriculum to offset what they consider to be an 'Islamaphobic' film.
What CAIR and the New York Times failed to clearly address, is that The Third Jihad is narrated by a devout Muslim, who has a significant record of serving the United States of America, as a medical officer in the US Navy and as an attending physician to the US Congress.
The beginning of the film states in bold letters that, "This is not a film about Islam. It is about the threat of radical Islam. Only a small percentage of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims are radical."
The film's message urges the Muslim community to look within itself to root out the indoctrination that affects a minority of Muslims.
The documentary is founded on credible evidence presented by the FBI of a "Manifesto" published by radicals calling for the implementation of extremist ideology-both violent and politicized-within the United States.
It is no surprise that CAIR does not like the content of the film. CAIR is singled out in the film for its direct ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, open support for Hamas, and links to terror financing.
CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest ever terror-financing trial in US History.
As a result of these designations, the FBI has formally ceased all ties with CAIR-as should the NYPD and New York Times.
The NYPD is well aware of the threats that emanate from Islamic radicals.
In the preface to a landmark 2007 NYPD Intelligence Division Report entitled "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly writes, "New York City continues to be the one of the top targets of terrorists worldwide. Consequently, the NYPD places a priority on understanding what drives and defines the radicalization process."
The Third Jihad takes an in-depth look at the process of radicalization and indoctrination taking place on American soil.
It is clear that senior members of the NYPD saw value in the film, as did employees of the Federal Homeland Security department, who first gave the DVD of the film to the NYPD.
The Third Jihad features exclusive interviews with some of the nation's leading counterterrorism experts including former Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, former Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey, former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
According to the New York Times, Paul J. Browne, the Police Department's chief spokesman said, "that filmmakers had lifted the [Kelly] clip from an old interview."
This is the first of several inaccuracies to appear in the New York Times' account.
The makers of The Third Jihad conducted a nearly 90-minute exclusive interview with Commissioner Kelly specifically for the film on March 19, 2007. Previously unreleased bonus clips of Kelly's interview are currently available at www.thethirdjihad.com.
Responding to a letter by film producer Raphael Shore, Browne then corrected the record in the New York Times follow-up article. "I recommended in February 2007 that Commissioner Kelly be interviewed," he said.
Browne recalled that the film's interviewer, "asked to speak to the commissioner for a cable film on 'foiled terrorist plots and the current threat matrix.'"
Several other inaccuracies appear in the article. For example, the New York Times notes that the film includes a doctored photo of the White House with an Islamic flag atop. But the photo is one of many pieces of documented footage from Islamist sources. Yet the New York Times implies that the filmmakers were the ones to manipulate the photo.
The New York Times also inaccurately quotes the film by stating: "'This is the true agenda of Islam in America,' a narrator intones." But the actual quote from the film is: "This document shows the true agenda of much of Muslim leadership here in America."
The article intentionally omits that this narrator is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim.
The rest of the New York Times' coverage focuses on character assassination. While CAIR and others label the film Islamophobic, it is ironic that the film's detractors continuously point out that the film's producer has ties to Jewish organizations. The article inaccurately claims that Raphael Shore simultaneously works for Aish HaTorah.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg questioned the judgment of that those who permitted the usage of the film. However, Bloomberg's predecessor Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who is also interviewed in the film, has praised the documentary calling The Third Jihad, "a wake up call for America."