The head of the Ohio Hispanic Coalition says Columbus has a large stake in potential changes to immigration law. Joseph Mas says the city has a larger undocumented population than other Ohio cities.
CAIR Ohio Asks Communities to Reject “Obsession” DVD
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Nearly two weeks ago, subscribers to the Columbus Dispatch and more than five dozen other newspapers in several key electoral states received a copy of a DVD titled “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.”
Produced well before this presidential campaign began, “Obsession” uses images from 9-11 and other terrorist attacks to raise questions about Muslims.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations Ohio this week spoke before Columbus City Council and held a news conference to ask the community to reject messages in the DVD “Obsession.”
“The images are graphic and horrifying. They’re meant to play on fear and ignorance and create histeria. It’s a propaganda piece that seeks to blur the line between violent radicalism and mainstream Islam,” says CAIR-Ohio President Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin.
Standing behind Mobin-Uddin as she speaks at the CAIR0-Ohio office are representatives of the Methodist church, The Ohio Council of Churches, the Columbus Community Relations Commission, the NAACP, the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio and an Islamic leader.
She says watching the video”Obsession” frightened her. 28 million copies of the DVD were distributed as a paid advertisement in newspapers just seven weeks before the election. She says copies of the DVD are now being mailed to homes.
Among those receiving the DVD in her mailbox is Zerqa Abid who describes herself as a very active Muslim Democrat. She says she received two copies of the DVD at her home in Hilliard. Each was addressed to a previous owner of the house
“It tells me that it has especially been targeted to the non-Muslim neighbors. And we are the only one on the street being Muslim. And it’s a very nice, peaceful neighborhood in which all of us, we help each other,” says Abid.
Abid says she knows many of her neighbors, but not all, and worries about the safety of her seve year old daughter. Abid says retaliation is possible, if not on her street, somewhere in Columbus, as a result of the messages in the DVD Obsession
“There are people who are very naive who can get confused, or they can get emotional. Maybe there is somebody who has relatives or somebody who actually was victim of 9-11 or any other episode,” says Abid.
Nationally, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has asked the Federal Elections Commission to investigate Clarion Fund, the DVD’s distributor. On its website, Clarion Fund says it is a 501-c-3. For more than 50 years, 501-c-3′s have been prohibited by law from taking part in political campaign activity.
For more on this story, go to npr.org, Morning Edition for Peter Overby’s story titled: “Charity Floods Swing States with Anti Islam DVD.” That report aired Friday, September 26th, 2008.