I love the Sunday paper and all that surrounds it; sleeping in, freshly ground coffee, bagels with cream cheese, the Travel section, the ‘funnies’ and the delicious stretch of a long Sunday morning. Here in Evergreen, Colorado we have a unique Sunday paper, a joint agreement production between two distinct and often rival papers; the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post and it really combines the best of the two publications each and every weekend.
On Sunday, September 14th, I pulled the paper out of its sleeve and something fell to the floor. We often get sundry samples: detergent, perfume, granola bars, etc. I usually love the little item tucked in my paper. Not this Sunday. I was horrified. A DVD copy of the film, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” came into my home and the homes of my friends and neighbors unbidden.
The images on the DVD: Men masked in their Kufiyyahs, a child holding a weapon, an apocalyptic image with shreds of what looks like an American flag. Islamaphobic imagery and language that is so offensive to me. I cannot imagine how Muslim families, smack in the middle of Ramadan, must have felt last Sunday.
The film was, as I later discovered, delivered in Sunday papers, to more than 20 million homes, in battleground states. It was funded by the Clarion Fund. I cannot find anything about the fund, their staff, Board of Directors or funders. I do know, however, that their film draws a bead on America’s fear, its racism and its religious anxieties. I do know that its timing and its geographic selections were intentional. I do know that their film is designed to create a climate that is dangerous.
My copy of “Obsession” will go where it belongs, wrapped in the garbage scraps and thrown away. And I will contact every one of my neighbors and encourage them to do the same. I will also offer them information about religious liberty in this country, as well as real information about Islam and our Muslim neighbors.