Opposition grows to religious freedom nominee

More than 1,800 people have signed a petition asking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to “reconsider” his appointment of Zuhdi Jasser, a prominent critic of U.S. Muslims, to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

“How can an individual who supports the curbing of Muslim civil and religious liberties at home be trusted as a ‘commissioner’ to review and analyze violations of religious freedoms abroad?” the petition writers ask in their appeal.

Jasser, a physician in Phoenix, Ariz., and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, has angered many Muslim Americans for his work with groups they say demonize Muslims, and for supporting policies that they say infringe on their civil liberties.

Jasser narrated “The Third Jihad,” a documentary widely considered to be Islamophobic, and sits on the board of The Clarion Fund, which funded the film, and has received funding from organizations with anti-Islamic sentiments. He has also defended the New York City Police Department against attacks that it spied on Muslims, and testified on Capitol Hill on the problem of Muslim “extremism” in the U.S.

The petition is sponsored by www.Islamophobiatoday.com.

Ray Kelly Resignation Called For By Muslims Angered By Anti-Islam Movie

NEW YORK — Muslim groups are calling for New York’s police commissioner to step down because of his appearance in a film they say puts their religion and its adherents in a bad light.

About 20 activists held a news conference on the steps of City Hall on Thursday and criticized Ray Kelly for giving an interview to the producers of the movie “The Third Jihad.”

The movie uses dramatic footage to warn against the dangers of radical Islam and shariah, or Islamic law. Muslim groups say it encourages Americans to be suspicious of all Muslims.

“Terrorism is an evil that must be eliminated, but one cannot fight wrong with wrong,” said Talib Abdur-Rashid, a Muslim cleric.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday he stood by Kelly and the commissioner’s spokesman, Paul Browne. Activists had also demanded Browne’s resignation.

However, the mayor said Kelly would have to redouble his outreach efforts to Muslims.

“Anything like this doesn’t help credibility, so Ray’s got to work at establishing, re-establishing or reinforcing the credibility that he does have,” Bloomberg said.

NYC Mayor Defends Kelly, but Says Anti-Muslim Film Caused Damage

As his administration faces a firestorm over a video shown to hundreds of police officers that depicted Muslims as extremists, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg conceded on Thursday that the episode had damaged relations between the city’s Islamic community and the Police Department.

While the mayor defended the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, who has apologized for the showing of the film to officers, he acknowledged that Mr. Kelly would have to work harder to improve trust among Muslims. The video, called “The Third Jihad” was shown for months to officers receiving anti-terrorism training.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasts use of controversial movie during NYPD training sessions

NEW YORK — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Tuesday that whoever decided to show a film depicting American Muslims as extremists to nearly 1,500 city police officers “exercised some terrible judgment.”

Bloomberg said police have stopped showing officers “The Third Jihad,” a 72-minute movie that has been branded inflammatory by some Muslim organizations and was produced by a conservative group called the Clarion Fund.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that New York police used “terrible judgment” in showing counterterrorism trainees a documentary-style film that says Muslim extremists are masquerading as moderates to destroy America from within.

Mr. Bloomberg said that neither he nor the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, had known at the time that the film, “The Third Jihad,” was being shown to officers. Speaking to reporters after testifying here at a state budget hearing, Mr. Bloomberg said that the film had not been shown at the Police Academy.

“It was done someplace else and as soon as they found out about it they stopped it and took it down,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “Somebody exercised some terrible judgment. I don’t know who. We’ll find out.”

When the screening of the film for some officers was first revealed last year by Tom Robbins of The Village Voice, the Police Department’s main spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said it had been screened “a couple of times.”

In Police Training, a Dark Film on U.S. Muslims

Ominous music plays as images appear on the screen: Muslim terrorists shoot Christians in the head, car bombs explode, executed children lie covered by sheets and a doctored photograph shows an Islamic flag flying over the White House.

“This is the true agenda of much of Islam in America,” a narrator intones. “A strategy to infiltrate and dominate America. … This is the war you don’t know about.”

This is the feature-length film titled “The Third Jihad,” paid for by a nonprofit group, which was shown to more than a thousand officers as part of training in the New York Police Department.

The film is called The Third Jihad. It is 72 minutes of gruesome footage of bombing carnage, frenzied crowds, burning American flags, flaming churches, and seething mullahs. All of this is sandwiched between a collection of somber talking heads informing us that, while we were sleeping, the international Islamist Jihad that wrought these horrors has set up shop here and is quietly going about its deadly business. This is the final drive in a 1,400-year-old bid for Muslim world domination, we’re informed. And while we may think there are some perfectly reasonable Muslim leaders and organizations here in the U.S., that is just more sucker bait sent our way.

“Americans are being told that most of the mainstream Muslim groups are moderate,” says the narrator, “when in fact if you look a little closer you’ll see a very different reality. One of their primary tactics is deception.”
“This is the true agenda of much of Islam in America,” a narrator intones. “A strategy to infiltrate and dominate America. … This is the war you don’t know about.”

This is the feature-length film titled “The Third Jihad,” paid for by a nonprofit group, which was shown to more than a thousand officers as part of training in the New York Police Department.