CAIR Asks FEC to Probe Anti-Muslim DVDs Sent to Swing States

Washington, DC:  A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group Sept 23 announced that it has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) over the distribution of an anti-Muslim film to 28 million homes in presidential election swing states.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is urging the FEC to investigate whether the Clarion Fund, a shadowy non-profit organization that distributed DVDs containing “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” is really a front seeking to help Sen. John McCain win the US presidential election. (No information about a board of directors, staff or even a physical address is offered on the fund’s website.)

In its complaint to the FEC, CAIR wrote in part:

“The Clarion Fund recently financed the distribution of some 28 million DVDs containing the film ‘Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West’ in what many political analysts describe as ‘swing’ states in the upcoming presidential elections. Those same analysts say the distribution of the ‘Obsession’ DVD was designed to benefit a particular presidential candidate, namely Sen. John McCain…

To read the entire FEC complaint, click here.

There is at least one report of a person who received the DVD also getting an automated phone call asking that person to watch the film and then “keep it in mind when you go to the voting booth.”

“American voters deserve to know whether they are the targets of a multi-million-dollar campaign funded and directed by a foreign group seeking to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria as a way to influence the outcome of our presidential election,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Awad said CAIR has received numerous complaints from those who were sent the DVD in newspapers delivered to their homes and has recorded at least one report of an anti-Muslim bias incident directly resulting from the DVD distribution.

SEE: Ohio Muslims Fearful After DVD Released in Newspapers

Some newspapers, including the News & Record in North Carolina and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, have refused to distribute the DVDs.

SEE: Post-Dispatch Refuses to Distribute DVD Offensive to American Muslims

Interfaith leaders such as Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, have spoken out against the distribution of “Obsession” in swing states. In a statement, Gaddy also called for an FEC investigation: “…when a cynical attempt is made to influence our nation’s presidential election by stoking fear of one religious group we believe the media along with public officials, such as the Federal Election Commission, must establish who is trying to influence our politics through religious bigotry.”

SEE: Statement of Rev. Welton Gaddy On the Distribution of the Anti-Muslim Film “Obsession” in Newspapers

An editorial in the Palm Beach Post outlined the apparent political motivation behind the Clarion Fund campaign:

“Distribution of the DVD…was timed with the post-Labor Day start of presidential election season. About 95 percent of the papers that contained the DVD are in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and New Hampshire.

“Notice a pattern? Right, those are the swing states that most analysts believe will determine the election. The issue on which polls consistently show John McCain ahead of Barack Obama is national security. One way to make voters worry less about the economy and more about national security would be to send out a DVD that opens with clips of 9/11 and includes scenes of Muslims chanting ‘Death to America!’”

SEE: The Secret Cell Helping McCain (Palm Beach Post)

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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