Monday, June 27, 2005

Disinformation in "Muslims in America"

Morgan Spurlock had aired a television show looking at trying to understand different types of people in the U.S., but don't expect any objectivity from the show. 30 Days , Spurlock's series on Fox cable channel F/X sought to document the changing views of individuals who are placed in a radically different environment for thirty days. The show was entitled "Muslims in America" and looked to see what happens when a "fundamentalist Christian" is asked to live and worship as a Muslim. BBC News reported this as one of Spurlock's favorites:
"We took a fundamentalist Christian from my home state of West Virginia, somebody who is very pro-war, pro-'us versus them,' that when you hear Muslim the only thing he thinks of is a guy standing on a mountain with an AK-47," Spurlock said.
The man leaves his wife and children at home and goes to live with a Muslim family in Dearborn, Michigan, home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the United States.

"He dresses as a Muslim, eats as a Muslim, he prays five time a day, he studies the Koran daily, he learns to speak Arabic, he works with an imam, a Muslim cleric, to learn the history of Islam, what are the five pillars, why are they important." And the transformation this guy goes through in 30 days is "miraculous, it's incredible," Spurlock said.
This all sounds interesting, but the main problem comes in when you find out that the "documentary" is nothing of the sort. The show's producers had the outcome determined even before they started shooting, according to Debbie Schlussel, a reporter and commentator who specializes in fundamentalist Islam.

In her blog Schlussel writes, "When I met David Stacy, I was amazed at how ignorant and uninformed he was. This newly-inducted 'expert' on Islam never heard of Wahhabism--the extremist Sunni strain of Islam that now dominates the religion. He was unfamiliar with terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. He did not believe me that Hezbollah murdered hundreds of U.S. Marines and civilians in Beirut and elsewhere. He seemed mystified to learn that President Bush shut down American Islamic charities, like the Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, for funding Hamas and Al Qaeda. He hadn't a clue about taqiyyah, the Koranic principle allowing deception of non-Muslims."

Schlussel then writes, "Spurlock planned the outcome of this 'immersion' show and he found the perfect tabula rasa in Stacy. Spurlock also found the perfect 'experts' and 'key members' of Detroit's Islamic community to propagandize their easily swayed dupe.

"Paul Findley is listed as an 'expert' consultant for the show. A non-Muslim with no special knowledge of Islam, Findley's real expertise is having been an anti-Israel congressman who was defeated when he was targeted by Jewish groups. Another 'expert' is Muqtedar Khan, a faux moderate professor with close ties to Muslim extremist group, Al Muhajiroun, as documented by Militant Islam Monitor."


  1. I'd imagine that learning the whole nuances of the religion from 30 days of living as a Muslim would be a little hard to ask. (If he's American, why doesn't he know about the bombing of Marines in Beirut, Marines who were of course helping a murderous and illegal Israeli occupation and whose deaths lie on the shoulders of Sharon and Reagan as well as the Islamic resistance? Seems like an interesting question).

    I wonder if a new Christian would hear about the brutality of the Crusades or the American bombing of South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I wonder if they would know of Paul's interesting position regarding the proper role of people versus the state expressed in Romans. Christian atrocities.

    (By the way: I'm Buddhist. You Middle Eastern religions and your one-god-rules-all attitude don't bother me.)

  2. Thanks, Antz, for your attempt at reason. However, your diatribe was full of incomplete and generalized innuendo; nothing of a thoughtful, intellectual analysis. Most of the rest were merely attempts, also.

    First, remember that not all who call themselves Christians are truly followers of Christ. Second, not everyone who claims Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism or any other world religion are true adherents to the core of their faith. So, the question we must ask to judge a faith (and no, all religions are not compatible, as they all make exclusive claims) ought to be: "How does a true disciple of any faith live out the tenets of his belief?"

    So that we don't get distracted by pointing out who best represents any religious faith, let us instead then go to the founder of that faith. Look at the life of Siddhartha Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus. (Since there is no historically recorded individual responsible for the 300 million + gods of the Hindi systems of faith, take your pick of the leader of a sect.)

    I'll admit to not knowing too much about Buddha, except that he is really just one of those Hindu sect leaders - one who rebelled against the caste system inherent in Hinduism. Mohammed's life includes many points easily criticizable (like a 9-year-old wife, a career start as a caravan raider and the blood of thousands on his hands). Judaism's starts were in the hands of men like Abraham, a liar, Moses, a murderer, King David, an adulterer/murderer/liar, etc.

    All these truths show that these religions, however inspired, were in the hands of men. Christianity, in Jesus' hands, gives the only glimpse, if you can receive it, of a life lived perfectly and a love shown sacrificially. No other "founder" of a faith has ever performed the miracles done by Jesus, lived perfectly as did Jesus, claimed to be God as did Jesus, or gone to his own death in order to save all of mankind from the disease we all know we suffer from.

    Jesus' words, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me," should speak to us that Jesus made a very exclusive claim. Either you accept the testimony about him and are forced, by logic, to follow him with abandon, or you simply deny him, as many do, and argue about the other faith groups as to which one would best suit you.

    God leaves the decision up to you. Don't make the mistake of making generalizations about history and persons you never knew and cannot know. Get to know the One who promised he would never leave us nor forsake us. You will be faced with the same choice we all are: Jesus was either true in claiming Lordship (as God in the flesh), or he was crazy or a big liar, in which case he should be disregarded. Don't change him to suit your own belief. Take him for who he said he was.

    Then follow him so that others don't question Jesus because of your example.