Security risks force Channel 4 to cancel screening of Islam: The Untold Story

11 September 2012


Due to the attack on the US Embassy in Libya which resulted in the killing of the US ambassador, and widespread Muslim fury over the provocative anti-Islamic movie, The Innocence of Muslims, Channel 4 has decided to cancel screening of the documentary Islam: The Untold story.


Although the documentary was much more subtle in its criticism of Islam, some Muslims considered it to be insulting to Islamic values. According to the reports the director of the documentary has also received threats. Thus, Channel 4 has cancelled screening of the documentary to avoid violent backlash.

Was There Really a Post-9/11 Backlash Against Muslims?

Over at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin complains that “most of the mainstream media still takes it as a given that there is an ongoing and brutal post-9/11 backlash against Muslims in America that fuels discrimination against followers of Islam.” I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the backlash characterized as “brutal” in the mainstream media, or that anyone has bothered to actually quantify media coverage on the subject. It would be helpful to have links to the specific coverage Tobin is complaining about. But I am among those who thinks that Muslims face both informal prejudice and are discriminated against by the state, while Tobin says “there is virtually no evidence for this assertion and much empirical data to argue for the opposite conclusion.”

He goes on to cite census data showing that the number of Muslims in America is growing, up 1.6 million in the 10-year period that ended in 2010. “Is it possible or even likely that Islam would be thriving in the United States if it were not a society that is welcoming Muslims with open arms and providing a safe environment for people to openly practice this faith?” he asks. “The answer is an obvious no.” Before concluding he offers three additional arguments to consider:

  • “Every new survey about American society continues to show there are no obstacles to Muslim advancement or systematic ill treatment.”
  • “Those who make these false claims argue that law enforcement activities seeking to root out Islamist support for terrorism either abroad or at home constitutes a form of discrimination. But such actions, such as the New York Police Department’s surveillance of mosques or community centers where Islamists have congregated, are reasonable reactions to a real threat that deserves the attention of the authorities, not the product of arbitrary bias. Nor do they threaten the vast majority of Muslims who are hard working, law-abiding citizens.”

“America is not perfect, but it is a far safer place to practice Islam, or any other faith, than almost all Muslim countries, where religious-based discrimination is commonplace and dissent is ruthlessly wiped out. The backlash myth may die hard, but it remains a myth.”

Nation of Islam leader, Farrakhan, condemns killing of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi

CHICAGO — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Tuesday said the killing of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was “an assassination” and predicted the U.S. was unprepared for the looming backlash from his overthrow.

During an interview with a Chicago radio station, Farrakhan laid Gadhafi’s death at the feet of the U.S., Great Britain and France. Gadhafi was killed last week, two months after being ousted following a 42-year reign that turned his oil-rich country into an international pariah and his own personal fiefdom.

Farrakhan also noted that the people now claiming leadership of Libya are advocating Islamic Sharia law, something that he contends the U.S. has opposed.

Profiling Multicultural Tensions in the Netherlands

14 August 2008


The New York Times provides a profile of Dutch multiculturalism and anti-Islam sentiment this week. In the wake of the tragedy in Norway and the sympathies killer Anders Behring Breivik with the anti-immigrant right in the Netherlands, attention has focused on “the sometimes violent European backlash against Islam and its challenge to national values” whose origins the article places in the Netherlands. The article cites tensions in multicultural Amsterdam neighborhoods, the emergence of populist politicians such as Geert Wilders who say “what many people think and don’t want to say”, and the increasing tendency for asking “Who am I? Where am I really from? Can I be Dutch?” amongst those living in the country.

Searching for a radical solution to Islamic extremism

The Toronto Star – June 26, 2011

Mubin Shaikh, a police insider who infiltrated a group plotting in 2006 to blow up Toronto’s downtown, along with Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, a 37-year-old Somalia-born Canadian who has experienced the frontlines of Mogadishu’s relentless war and Kamran Bokhari, a Pakistan-born, U.S.-raised and -educated analyst with an American private sector intelligence firm, attended the Summit Against Violent Extremism (SAVE) in Dublin, Ireland.

Co-sponsored by the Council of Foreign Relations and the Tribeca Film Festival, the summit has been designed to probe why young people turn to violent extremism.
90 “formers” — past members of violent groups ranging from neo-Nazis to Islamic extremists to Latin American street gangs — will come together with a hodgepodge of academics and analysts from around the world. They will join the “survivors” — victims of violence or terrorist attacks.

Bokhari believes there is general reluctance in Canada, both within Muslim communities and at the federal government level, to talk openly about the problem. Shaikh’s grievances have been more public. After the Toronto 18 case, he says, he wasn’t prepared for the backlash from many Muslims who regarded him as a traitor.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently announced a new, five-year program to combat terrorism while commemorating the 26th anniversary of the Air India bombing. The $10-million initiative will focus on anti-terrorism research and conferences, a press release stated.

American Muslims search for identity 10 years after Sept. 11

An audience of 150, a mix of Muslims and others at the Round House Theatre in Silver Spring, meet Fazal’s alter ego, a brash but flirty character who relishes asking the kinds of questions most young Muslims wouldn’t dare pose to parents:

Why must she and her father stay in separate rooms at a party at the mosque? If a woman must cover her hair in front of men who are not part of her family, how about a lesbian — must she wear a hijab in front of all women?

“Why do I have to be the ambassador for Islam? Why do I have to represent Pakistan when I’ve only been there twice?” Zed demands in her one-woman show, “Headscarf and the Angry Bitch.”

Zed is a child of 9/11, an in-your-face Muslim who rocks out yet still covers. Born in Libertyville, Ill., Fazal grew up in a home that was liberal by Muslim standards and conservative in the eyes of her Christian friends. Her family wasn’t much for going to mosque, but some parental rules rendered Fazal and her sisters different.
But in the aftermath of Sept. 11, she became uncomfortable with her father’s decision to go on local TV to try to explain that Islam was a religion of peace. She grew exasperated over having to somehow prove her patriotism to strangers and angry when her dad’s name temporarily popped up on a no-fly list because it was similar to that of some bad guy.

In the past 18 months alone, U.S. Muslims have felt compelled to explain — to themselves and their non-Muslim neighbors — the Fort Hood, Tex., massacre, the attempted bombing of Times Square, the backlash against a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero, and sting operations that led to the arrests of alleged Muslim proto-terrorists from Portland, Ore., to Ashburn.

The more Muslims feel singled out, the more they focus on painful divisions in their own ranks, between young and old, native and newcomer, secular and devout, militant and moderate. Two-thirds of this country’s Muslims are immigrants, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center, hailing from scores of countries.

“In the ’60s and ’70s, we built mosques only to pray,” the imam says. “In the ’80s and ’90s, we built schools to educate our children. Now we are building cemeteries because we want to die in America. We are saying, ‘We are here. This is home.’ ”

Somali-born teen held in Oregon car-bomb plot

Federal law enforcement officials arrested Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, and accused him of plotting to bomb the square during a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon. The charges against Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a Somali-born 19-year-old who was caught in a federal sting operation, are testing tolerance in a state that has been largely accepting of Muslims.

Many questions remain about the extent of Mr. Mohamud’s connections to Islamic extremists, whom investigators say he wrote to and plotted with, as well as about the apparent contradictions in his personal life, as a studious, friendly teenager and a young man seeking to wage jihad within his adopted country.
Many Muslims in Oregon worried that they would face a backlash. And on Sunday, local Muslim leaders emphasized that the case was an isolated incident. Portland Mayor Sam Adams said Sunday that he beefed up protection around mosques “and other facilities that might be vulnerable to knuckle-headed retribution” after hearing of the bomb plot. The move followed a fire Sunday at the Islamic center in Corvallis, a college town about 75 miles southwest of Portland, where suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud occasionally worshipped, prompting an FBI arson investigation and concern about the potential for more retaliation.

Anti-Islam Strategy was “Not Decisive” According to Ex-FPÖ Leader

28 September 2010
The former leader of the Styrian branch of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), Leopold Schöggl, has called the anti-Islam strategy used by the FPÖ as “not decisive” for the FPÖ’s success in the recent Styrian elections. In Schöggl’s opinion, it was especially federal-level politics which led to a backlash against the main parties, as well as large numbers of votes from neglected youth and a return of protest votes from the Communist party. According to Schöggl, though the anti-Islam rhetoric was not the main factor, he nevertheless admitted that it was a cunning election strategy.

FPÖ Election Results Unimpeded by Minaret-Game Controversy

26 September 2010
Despite the legal proceedings begun by the state prosecutor concerning an anti-minaret video game used by the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) during the recent Styrian election campaign, the FPÖ has not suffered any negative backlash. To the contrary: the FPÖ received almost 11% of the vote in the recent elections, and have consequently gained a seat in the state legislature. Another indication of the success of the anti-Islam strategy could been seen by a present the Styrian FPÖ leader, Gerhard Kurzmann, recently received from two deeply pious Christians: a magnificently adorned cross, placed in a blue case [the FPÖ’s official colour is blue].

There’s No Place for Racism in Miss USA

After winning the Miss USA pageant on May 16, Lebanese immigrant Rima Fakih has since experienced a flood of backlash from critics who say that because she’s Muslim, she doesn’t accurately represent America — and that her ties with a terrorist nation make her title undeserved. In particular, Fakih has received conservative backlash over her name — which a few Hezbollah officials allegedly share. Radical pundits like columnist Debbie Schlussel have fueled an absurd rumor that Fakih is a terrorist, which birthed the unoriginal nickname “Miss Hezbollah.”