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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Raleigh: N&O delivery of "Obsession" DVD a new low

Posted by on Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 9:21 AM

On Saturday, the N&O delivered a fear-mongering DVD with the morning newspaper as if it were a Wheaties product sample. "Obsession: Radical Islam's War on the West" is a political tract with a martial soundtrack and a clear message: The Muslims are out to get us. (But, someone says at the outset, most Muslims are OK. Then various "experts" thump, thump, thump the message home that we'd better get them before they us.)

New Raleigh calls out the N&O's decision to deliver this "product sample" and, in effect, stamp it suitable for family viewing. Newspapers don't accept every ad they're offered; on the other hand, they shouldn't reject advertising based on the political viewpoint it expresses. So what's a paper to do? The answer is, exercise the same judgment you use every day: Is the advertising accurate? Or is propaganda, 50 days before an election?

UPDATE: The Triangle Interfaith Council writes to the N&O, and it's not complimentary. The letter's below:

"It is with great displeasure that we write this letter to the News & Observer.  We have always had high expectations of your newspaper.  We never imagined that it would lose its objectivity for the sake of mere financial revenue gains. Muslims have been living with and among us for a long time and we find the comparison of their Religion or ideology to Nazism quite outrageous.

The Triangle Interfaith Alliance has worked hard over the past years to build bridges and promote dialogue among people of different faith communities, and over the years, many Muslims have served on our Board of Directors and have been a part of the TIA body. The distribution of the Obsession video with your paper on Saturday October 13, 2008 is an explicit act of provocation against Muslims, especially following so closely on the anniversary of September 11th. Actions such as this serve only to perpetuate destructive myths spread by certain hate mongers and this is totally contrary to our mission.

This DVD offers a one-sided, biased and negative view of the great religion of Islam disguised under the umbrella of "Freedom of Speech".  Spreading fear and insecurity is not a good example of freedom of speech.

William Bingham, President

William Bingham, President

Triangle Interfaith Alliance

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