The publishers of a new periodical for Christian and Jewish leaders have sent out over 325,000 copies of a highly controversial DVD on radical Islam's war against the West.
According to the people behind The Judeo-Christian View, the periodical's first issue was sent by U.S. mail to rabbis, priests and pastors in "every" Jewish and Christian congregation in America, each with a copy of the documentary "Obsession."
The recently re-released DVD, which has already drawn intense national attention for its distribution last month through more than 70 mainstream newspapers, including The New York Times, features an hour of actual footage from Arabic TV rarely seen in the West, interviews with former terrorists, as well as undercover footage showing suicide bomber initiations, the indoctrination of young children into hate and violence, secret jihad meetings and public celebrations of 9/11.
Dr. O'Neal Dozier, general publisher of The Judeo-Christian View, said the "Obsession" DVD went out with the publication's first print edition to all U.S. congregations of Judeo-Christian heritage as a donation to the Clarion Fund, Inc., which recently came under fire for distributing the film to 28 million U.S. households.
"It's an award-winning movie on DVD that will both enlighten and perhaps terrify you at the same time," he says. "In any case, it is must-viewing for anyone who cares about the future of Israel, the USA, and a free and tolerant West."
While some have touted the documentary as a "must-see" for revealing what many in the West are unaware of, critics say "Obsession" does not clearly distinguish between radical Islam and mainstream Islam.
"Few would disagree that Al Qaeda and its imitators are ruthless enemies that the United States must deal with forcefully," Ahmed Rehab, strategic communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), wrote in a column appearing in The American Muslim.
"But 'Obsession' is not an honest critique of violent radicalism," he continued. "Instead, it is a propaganda piece that seeks to cast a wide net of suspicion against Muslims by blurring the line between violent radicalism and mainstream Islam."
Critics are also wary of the timing of the documentary's Sept. 18 re-release, which came less than two months before the upcoming presidential elections.
Gregory Ross, director of communications for the Clarion Fund, however, said the timing of re-releasing the movie is meant to coincide with the 9/11 anniversary and that the intention was not to sway voters to either candidate.
Still, some think otherwise.
"It was a political ploy," Nadeem Salem, a financial adviser and member of the Muslim community in the city of Toledo, Ohio, told the Toledo Blade.
"[The aim is] to create hatred and fear of Islam and Muslims, making them a false national security threat among the general public."
Whether or not there are political motives behind the DVD's recent re-release is debatable. But what's certain is that it's being used as a political tool by some, such as supporters of the newly launched Judeo-Christian View.
Supporters of the new publication, who are strongly opposed to the election of presidential hopeful Barack Obama, claim that the Illinois senator's policy to liberalize abortion, "combined with his effort to kill a bill that would protect babies who survive abortions, tends to gut the USA's moral standing to condemn jihadic use of Muslim children as suicide bombers."
"[B]oth are horrific cases of child sacrifice that support a Culture of Death and demonstrate utter contempt for the Judeo-Christian Culture of Life," they say in a joint statement featured in the first issue of The Judeo-Christian View.
Furthermore, the signers say, "[f]ull embrace of homosexual unions by our nation and the next administration would tell violent Islamists that the infidel USA has expressly rejected once-shared Abrahamic, Mosaic and Christian teaching regarding 'sodomy.'"
"[M]ilitant Islamists would murder our fellow Americans for sexual error, as well as us for offering them hope and forgiveness," they exclaimed.
Clerical signers of the recent statement include, among others, Rabbi Herzel Kranz from The Jewish Center of Silver Spring, Maryland; the Rev. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Father Frank Pavone, Roman Catholic head of Priests for Life; Dr. James M. Hutchens, Brigadier General and Deputy Chief of US Army Chaplains (Ret.); and Rabbi Yehuda Levin of the Rabbinical Alliance of America of Torah Loyal Jews and The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada.
While the publication's inclusion of the "Obsession" DVD and its supporters' stance against "flagrant 'gay integration' of our overseas military" may paint them as anti-Islam and anti-gay, they say they reject "bigotry against peaceful Muslims," racism, and "any kind of hatred, mean-spiritedness or gay-bashing."
They also expressly reject discredited claims that Obama, whose father was Muslim, is today a Muslim.
According to publisher Dozier, the next issue of The Judeo-Christian View will be on "The Free Exercise of Islamic Violence."