The Oregonian: Enjoy Dead Bodies & Anti-Islam Propaganda With Your Sunday Paper

Jake Oken-Berg

Yesterday morning The Oregonian inserted a DVD called “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against The West” into every copy of its Sunday paper. The Oregonian was paid an undisclosed amount of money by The Clarion Fund to run the “paid advertisement.”

I watched the film on YouTube last week. Here’s a quick summary so you don’t have to give yourself an anxiety attack:

Within the first five minutes the film shows US Airlines flight 175 plowing into the World Trade Center south tower, dead bodies being pulled from the Madrid train bombing, and lifeless, partially-clothed kids being carried out from the Beslan School Massacre in Russia. All scored with a haunting soundtrack.

The next 45-minutes contains quotes, clips, and images of Muslims declaring their intent to kill all Westerners and make Islam the dominant religion across the world.

The film suggests that 10-15 percent of Muslims support militant Islam, that Islam is a mostly violent religion, and that the “Radical Islamic” movement is comparable to Nazism – information that is not supported by numerous Islamic and Muslim scholars. The film provides no historical context on the underpinnings of Islam nor any suggestions for reducing radical violence (besides directing viewers to “take a stand”).

Interspersed throughout the DVD are comments from a rotating cast of five or so “experts” who reaffirm that the information I’m viewing is accurate and that I should be angry and afraid. Very afraid.

I am afraid. Not about being blown up by a “Radical Islamist” suicide bomber. I was already aware of the threat of zealots who kill in the name of religion or freedom. And if I wasn’t, I definitely got the idea by the first two minutes of this DVD. I guess the next 50 minutes were for emphasis?

No, I’m afraid that the work that has gone on in Oregon and numerous other places across the country to build bridges and understanding between the Islamic community and other religions will be eroded.

Just this month, Oregonians brought Mustafa, a six year-old Iraqi boy to our state to receive life saving treatment after a U.S. airstrike in Fallujah severed his left leg, hip, and bowel. His visit has created and strengthened connections between many religious and cultural groups. Will the distribution of this film weaken those bonds?

I am afraid that anti-Muslim sentiment and violence will increase in our community just as it did after September 11. The federal government reported a 17-fold increase in the amount of hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. from 2000 to 2001 – numbers that do not account for the increased verbal abuse and harassment faced by Muslim-Americans.

I am also afraid that The Oregonian thought it was appropriate to send out this “advertisement” in return for cash.

Several media outlets, community groups, and people including The Good Faith Coalition, The Portland Mercury, Kari on Blue Oregon and Mayor Tom Potter raised and reported on the numerous objections to this DVD in advance of The Oregonian distributing it. The Oregonian could have refused the DVD like the Greensboro, N.C. News & Record did calling the film "fear-mongering and divisive."

But The O sent out the film anway. Now Fred Stickel, The Oregonian’s publisher, is hiding behind “free speech” arguments. In Sunday’s paper he said:

I've always felt we have an obligation to keep our advertising columns as open as possible. Our acceptance of anything -- our acceptance or rejection -- does not depend on whether or not we agree with the content. . . . There is a principle of freedom of speech involved here. I could find no reason to reject this.

The issue is not free speech. Constitutional law experts can correct me, but my understanding of the first amendment and hate speech is that The Oregonian is within its rights to publish or distribute this type of material.

The issue is whether The Oregonian should have distributed this material since it is clearly propaganda and the film’s purpose is to push a point of view using fear, half truths and graphic images.

Would The Oregonian distribute an hour-long anti-Semitic DVD celebrating the Holocaust as long as the group paid enough? Would The Oregonian put out a film by a racist group purporting to give information on the inferiority of non-white races? Would The O accept a graphic movie from an anti-war group showing the bloodied bodies of American soldiers?

If Fred Stickel and The Oregonian editors are going to say this is simply a matter of free speech, they owe our community an explanation of where they draw the line for future advertisements.

It is one thing for a nutty group to produce a film and send it directly to my mailbox. It is quite another to have Oregon’s only statewide newspaper insert the DVD in its Sunday edition for a fee. With The Oregonian’s declining readership and advertising revenue will the paper now be accepting any and all material as long as it gets paid enough?

The Oregonian editors also owe us an explanation of why they are willing to spread propaganda that may be Constitutionally protected, but will surely raise the level of harassment and threats against Muslim-Americans in Oregon.

I hope you will join me this morning (Monday) at 10 a.m. in front of The Oregonian (1320 SW Broadway) at a protest organized by many of our community’s leaders to demand such an explanation.

  • Merritt MacArthur (unverified)

    Actually, somebody ought to organize a rally in front of your house to demand an explanation as to why you haven't read the history of the Middle East since 1899 — in which the liberation of Egyptian women became a rallying cry the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood, a backlash against the unveiling and freeing of women with the rights-based constitutions of Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Egypt et al. Someone should demand that you read "The Al Qaeda Reader" by Raymond Ibrahim. Someone should demand that you compare the rights of women in the Middle East in 1955 and the rights they have now, as they are beaten into cover by radical Islamist groups who only PUNCTUATE with attacks on the West their jihad against their own people.

    You have a problem with Obsession? Really? Then you are buying your own PR, because here is the truth as Ayman Al-Zawahiri sees it:

    As for the principle of equality regarding rights and duties among the citizens of democracies, this makes for a number of situations — all of them blasphemous. We have indicated these before, and among them are:

    [A.] No limit to apostasy [which, under shari’a law, earns the death penalty], since the Constitution [of the United States] declares freedom of religion; likewise abolition of jihad against apostates.

    [B.] Abolition of jihad in the way of Allah — that is, [Offensive] jihad against infidelity and blasphemy — since the Consitution has established freedom of religion.

    [C.] Abolition of the jizya and the dhimmi conditions applied to those who are not Muslim — since there is no difference between citizens, due to the fissure created by the premise of equality, rights, and obligations.

    [D.] Abolition of man’s dominion over woman. The Most High said, “Men have authority over women, for Allah has made the one superior to the other” [Qur’an 4:34]. But in a democracy, women have the right to emulate the dignity and legal status of men. Such are the fruits of “equality” — the essence of democracy: for man’s domination over woman contradicts the concept of equality. Like we said, the principles of democracy confront the commands of the sharia in direct opposition.

    — Ayman al-Zawahiri, The Bitter Harvest: The Muslim Brotherhood in Sixty Years, quoted in The Al Qaeda Reader [Ibrahim, p. 135].

    Now, I will suggest one book for you to read before you run right out and make an absolute total fool of yourself — and/or sell out the rights your wife and daughter and granddaughters will have in this world — as you may be selling what you don't realize you're selling. Of course, it won't affect you. You're male.

    The arrogance of Americans goes two ways: (1) They either feel that everything in the world is their fault (the arrogance of the Democrats), or (2) they feel responsible for everything in the world that goes right (the arrogance of the Republicans). The net effect of this is that both are solipsistic, and neither really recognized the fact (though Republicans are more likely to claim they believe it) that other peoples have other ways of thinking and their own agendas — agendas THAT DO NOT REFLECT WHAT YOU WANT, SAY, THINK OR DO. If you want a measure of how afraid Muslims are to stand up to these guys, note that more than 85% of them do not agree with the terrorists but on 1% of them have anything whatsoever to say about it, and many of them are actually in this film, at great peril to their lives.

    Not also that none of the Muslims you know (or that I know, since I'm married to one) are afraid for their lives. They can taunt, demand, sue, and libel people, and not one of the so-called "Islamophobes" has ever threatened them. But for simply free speech based on fact, Daniel Pipes has to have guards to speak at public events, Robert Spencer's life is threatened on a daily basis and the lives of his children have even been threatened, Steven Emerson (who with Pipes predicted a 9/11-style Islamist attack in the April 2006 Boston Globe) has to live in a secret location, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali had a threat to her life impaled to the body of Theo Van Gogh with a 9-inch knife after Mohammad Bouyeri shot him 8 times with a Serbian special-issue pistol and then slit his throat to the spine, nearly beheading him.

    Your particular brand of brain-slain evil lies in the fact you actually think you know something (ignorance is an intellectual sin of omission) and are willing to gamble the fate of women, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Buddhists, Christians, atheists, and agnostics to make Leftist supposedly "morally superior" hay while the sun (you think) shines. It isn't shining. Where your head is, the sun never shines.

    Notes: Ibrahim, Raymond. The Al Qaeda Reader. New York: Broadway Books, 2007.

  • Mertitt MacArthur (unverified)

    Oh, one more thing, dearie. As of this morning there have been 11,955 Islamic terrorist attacks since 9/11. Those aren't PEOPLE dead, those are ATTACKS in which there have been multiple deaths and injuries. This does not include attacks against women singularly or in groups. These are bombings, beatings, beheadings, and the like. They have been carried out against the peoples of five religions in no fewer than 22 countries. They are ALL religio-politically motivated, and they are jihad. Period. They are backed by multiple Qur'anic surah and ahaditha, using abrogation and the concept of Dar ul-Islam v. Dar ul-Harb as justification for taking life and land.

    In the last week, Sep 20 - Sep 26

    Number of attacks: 52 Dead Bodies: 284 Critically Injured: 582

    Since 9/11 there have been hundreds of thousands killed and injured, but only 6 attacks have actually been carried out against Western targets. Punctuation. Meanwhile the Leftist press in the United States won't report it, and "mouths" like you won't read anything before you hop on your soapboxes and pretend you are so very spiritually superior.

    So the people around the world trying to withstand a vicious onslaught of debased violence to incarcerate and completely control their women and take from all non-Muslims basic civil and humanitarian rights not only have to stand their ground alone, they have to put up with being called Islamophobes by the likes of you.

    But what the hell do you care? You care not at all. And in the end, my friend, you may wind up like the man in Afghanistan who support the Taleban until they took power. When they did they forced his wife out of her job as a doctor and slapped a burqa on his 13-year-old daughter. So what did he do? He walked that girl across the Hindu Kush mountains to get her out of Afghanistan so she could have a life. He left his wife there in the care of their three sons, who claimed that the father and girl had been killed in a lorry accident. It was only after Afghanistan was restored to any semblance of freedom that he was able to go get them and bring them to the United States.

    But he won't talk about it, because a friend of his who defied the imams and mullahs was killed in Riverside, California after speaking out.

    So, you think you're such a big man for your "position" and you're going to go "defend Muslims."

    If you want to help Muslims, help the ones who have their backsides on the line and who get their lives threatened every day. They stand for the vast majority who are too afraid to speak and have to put up with the radical imams trained in Pakistan and Saudi every Friday at prayers they have BETTER attend so they don't get their names on a list somewhere.

    And go have a look at the history of CAIR and the ISNA before you pander to them. You're in over your head already.

    Now, this is all the time I have to spend on your free education.

    But please do continue it. Since you can write, I assume you can read. Google the Jakarta Post and the Arab News and Pakistan Daily so you can get some REAL information.

  • BOHICA (unverified)

    The DVD is in an envelope to be mailed today with a notice of cancellation.

    Merritt MacArthur, Religion has been the excuse for radical extremists since time immemorial. Whether it be Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Animists, or whatever. Remember the Klan were "Christians" as were the Generals in Argentina, Chile, and Guatemala. On the BBC's World news last night, there was a story about "moderate" tribal leaders joining with the Pakistan military to fight the Taliban in the border regions. They don't want these nutcases any more than the rest of us. Most of those killed by the radical Muslims you are so afraid of are themselves Muslim.

    I do not live in fear of "radical extremists" of any stripe. My greatest concern is the knee jerk reaction of small minded petty men who rise to power and the pawns they sacrifice. Pawns that fall for their line of patriotic bull shit.

    Propaganda by any other name is fear mongering.

    "The powers in charge keep us in a perpetual state of fear: Keep us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded. Yet in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real...." ---General Douglas MacArthur
    "The solution to terrorism is not going to be found in bullets. It's not going to be found in precision ordnance or targeted strikes. It's really going to be found in changing the conditions. It's going to be found in establishing a global safety net that starts with security and goes to economic development and political development and the kinds of modernization which let others enjoy the fruits of modernization that we as Americans enjoy." ~ Gen. Wesley Clark, October 17, 2001, Annual Lecture sponsored by the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy at Temple University.
  • Don Beal (unverified)

    When considering the Muslim "terrorists" who would do violence to us remember the 18 million Christian fundamentalists who fervently wish for war in the Middle East in order that Jesus will return and slay billions of nonbelievers. Now, who by comparison is a "terrorist".

  • Mertitt MacArthur (unverified)

    Ah, yes, the "historical" argument, which goes: Because in other times other religions have done it, it's fine to ignore the fact that radical Islamism is a problem now, with global ambitions.

    General Wesley Clark, fired by Bill Clinton over a direct refusal to obey orders while he was head of NATO, has been rehabilitated for reasons unknown to any intelligent observers of the facts of his case. So to quote him goes nowhere with me.

    Actually, the solution to radical Islamism is NEITHER war (which I do not advocate) NOR appeasement. It is a clear and present danger, and the fact that Islamists as "warming up" on Muslims, to get them solidly in line before they launch the final war, should not warm the cockles of your heart. The ultimate aim is not only the control of Muslims, the appropriation of a woman's womb wealth for the numbers that will be necessary and her sexuality (including FGM, which is mandatory in Shafi'i Sunni Islam ... but of course your knew that), and the subjugating of all non-Muslims, it is the imposition of shari'a law to replace all democratic models of government and the destruction of all rights-based consitutional equality. Read first post, the part from Uncle Ayman.

    Your argument assumes that a Muslim life is OK to lose so you don't have to "get involved." Never be without your mirror. You'll suffer withdrawal.

  • DonBeal (unverified)

    I wrote a letter to the Oregonian complaining that the Unnamed sponsors of this dvd(Clarion Group)can get their message out while Democracy for America cannot get it's ad asking for John McCain's Health because of his four bouts with melanoma, on any television network. I won't hold my breath that it will be published.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    The Oregonian and its sponsors need to feel some pain for this blatant attempt to incite the kind of hatred. (Exhibit A- Merrit McArthur) that resulted in a room full of children and infants in a Mosque in Dayton, Ohio being gassed. A direct consequence of this DVD being floated in that community, the kind of hate mongering enabled and promoted by the Oregonian and their sponsors.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    In 2006, the Central Oregonian newspaper in Prineville OR refused to let some local Democrats run an advertisement about Rep. Greg Walden, discussing his ACTUAL voting record (versus what Walden said it was), that contained the words "speaks with forked tongue". It was censorship of advertising on the micro level.

    Now, the State's largest newspaper, and the only one with real Statewide influence, says it can't censor an advertisement.


    I compare and contrast these two incidents, and all I can conclude is that both the Oregonian and the Central Oregonian are true advocates of "yellow" journalism.

  • Irishspacemonk (unverified)

    I have a couple of suggestions. First, after writing the Oregonian, voicing displeasure in their blatant distribution of hate-mongering propaganda you should: Cancel your subscription to the Oregonian, 2) boycott reading the Oregonian, and 3) write a letter to one advertiser that published in the Oregonian this last Sunday, whose products you use, and explain that you'll be no longer using their product. The only pressure media moguls like Fred Stickel understand is money - from advertisers.

  • BOHICA (unverified)
    General Wesley Clark, fired by Bill Clinton over a direct refusal to obey orders while he was head of NATO.

    Clark was stabbed in the back by General Hugh Shelton and Secretary of Defense Cohen in order to get General Joseph Ralston another 4 Star posting so he wouldn't be forced into retirement. Ralston, who was Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs at the time would not be promoted to Chairman due to a past extramarital affair. Bill Clinton was furious when he found out Shelton and Cohen had fucked over Clark.

    You also fail to understand that as head of NATO, Clark had head of State status and did not have to "follow" orders, from Bill Clinton. Only as SACEUR was General Clark under the authority of Clinton.

  • Murphy (unverified)

    Macathur --

    “Actually, the solution to radical Islamism is NEITHER war (which I do not advocate). . . .”

    Why on earth not? I mean, if they’re as bad as you think they are, if the Moslem world is the terrible threat you and others of your sort suggest it is are, you (and your children) really ought to down at the recruiting station right now enlisting to go fight those dirty A-Rabs, right?

    Not only that, you ought to also be advocating a draft, since clearly our continued existence is wholly dependent upon destroying Islam, this is going to be a real juicy war, and we’ll need all hands on deck.

    So your explicit rejection of war as the “Final Solution” to this problem reveals you (if you actually believe your rhetoric) as a coward.

    Meanwhile, Moslem children are gassed in a Mosque in Dayton. Of course, it was pepper spray, not Zyklon-B, so I guess there’s always a bright side, eh?

  • Tinaf (unverified)

    The issue is not free speech. Constitutional law experts can correct me, but my understanding of the first amendment and hate speech is that The Oregonian is within its rights to publish or distribute this type of material.

    Actually, there may be a question whether this hate speech DVD is protected speech or not (if one accepts that the 1st Amendment is not absolute), because the intent of the producers and distributers is to irresponsibly inflame ignorant passions with the predictable result being violence, and to evade Federal Election laws.

    In either case, the O's advertising policies would, or at least should, be that the O wouldn't take this kind of illegal speech masquerading as advertising. SInce the O took money to participate this, we should be asking state and federal prosecutors to investigate whether the O's ownership, management, and staff had intents which violated any laws. This may not be a clear-cut First Amendment case, although it could provoke a long overdue national debate on what has happened to protection to the First Amendment.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    I actually think Merritt MacArthur ought to be taken serious, which is not to say that I agree with him. The core of his argument, it seems, is that there are whacked-out extremists who wish to impose a particular repressive ideology on everyone. I would say that is absolutely true. I would just add that SOME of these whacked-out extremists are "radical Islamists". We have the same sort of problem here in the US with the Christian Dominionists, who want to see society remolded to favor Christians and impose a rigid, harsh morality on everyone.

    A book that I found very thought-provoking was The Trouble with Islam by Irshad Manji, a Muslim Canadian woman. She wrote a feminist critique of Islam from the inside and calls for Islam to accept people like her (a lesbian).

  • Eric Parker (unverified)

    Stickel lets the DVD go to the public, yet when it comes to the sports pages, he will not let them publish "braves" and "indians" or "redskins". The Atlanta Braves are just Atlanta to the Oregonian...ect...ect...

    What A hypocrite. He would be a lier if he called himself a Christian.

  • Ten Bears (unverified)

    Is it a bad time to point out that all members of the jew/muslim/christian cult bow down to the same damned dawg?

    Animals, bow down to gods; Human Beings, do not.

  • Montedoro (unverified)
    <h2>The naive Jake Oken-Berg write: "information that is not supported by numerous Islamic and Muslim scholars." How can he make such a statement when it is obvious that he has never read any Islamic scholars? He is so wrong! The greatest Islamic scholars say that violent, offensive jihad to conquer the world is part and parcel of Islam. Here are just a few:</h2> <h2>Abul Maududi: "The greatest sacrifice for God is made in Jihad, for in it a man sacrifices not only his own life and property in His cause, but destroys those of others also." He also said: "The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam. Any nation or power that gets in the way of that goal, Islam will fight and destroy."</h2> <h2>Yusuf Qaradawi: "Islam came to be followed, not to follow; to be dominant, not subordinate."</h2> <h2>Sheik of the Mecca mosque: "The meaning of the term 'terror' used by the media... is Jihad for the sake of Allah. Jihad is the peak of Islam. Moreover, some of the clerics ... see it as the sixth pillar of Islam. Jihad --whether Jihad of defense of Muslims and of Islamic lands such as in Chechnya, the Philippines, and Afghanistan, or Jihad aimed at spreading the religion -- is the pinnacle of terror, as far as the enemies of Allah are concerned. The Muhajeed who goes out to attain a martyr's death or victory and returns with booty is a terrorist as far as the enemies of Allah are concerned... Jihad is the peak of Islam... Jihad, oh believers, is an integral part of our religion. The word 'terror' is used to damage this mighty and blessed foundation." -- Sheikh Wajdi Hamza Al-Ghazawi, Al-Manshawi Mosque, Mecca, October 6, 2001.</h2>

    Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law: "Jihad means to war against non-Muslims. .. The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus, is such Koranic verses as "Fighting is prescribed for you " (Koran 2:216) "Slay them wherever you find them" (Koran 4:89) "Fight the idolaters utterly" (Koran 9:36) and such hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: "I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah..." AND: "The Caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians...until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax..." and "The caliph fights all other people until they become Muslim."

    <hr/> <h2>Ayatollah Khomeini: "Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those who say this are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter their armies.... Islam says: whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! the sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other Koranic psalms and Hadiths urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim."</h2>

    Ibn Khaldun: "In Islam the jihad is prescribed by law, because it has a universal calling and is supposed to convert all of humanity to Islam, be it of their own free will, or by force";

    "Obsession" takes great pains to distinguish between "radical Islam" and Islam, in general. In fact, that is an error because "radical Islam" grows out of the same Koran and sayings of Muhammad that all of Islam grows out of. Everyone should see "Obsession"! Also, everyone should read Brigitte Gabriel's new best-selling book: They Must Be Stopped.

    In the meantime, ignoramuses like Oken Berg should stop writing about Islam.

  • Peter Miller (unverified)

    The Oregonian's coverage of the Middle East has always been slanted. It fails to cover Israel's ongoing settlements and the protests by Palestinians and Israelis against it. It fails to total up the civilian casualties run up by our policies as it does for U.S. soldiers. It fails to publish full editorial viewpoints opposed to their pro-Israel position. It fails to report on the many wonder activities of local activists on their trips to the Middle East. Jack Ohman, unfortunately, depicts Arabs as wild eyed crazies. The Oregonian did not cover the Portland AIPAC meeting that had a Fox news Analyst promote war with Iran to Oregon Democrats.

    Perhaps The Oregonian's appeal to free speech is an opportunity to force The Oregonian to finally provide good journalism in its coverage of the Middle East.

  • Tinaf (unverified)

    Montedoro and MacArthur clearly are in the psychotic lunatic fringe who need mood-stabilizing meds and perhaps a period of confinement and observation because in their distorted view of the world they present a clear danger of harm to others and themselves. They are seriously mentally ill if they are genuine in their unhinged ravings here, they are attempting to subvert our system if they aren't, and the goal should be to determine the truth and react accordingly.

    Back to reality, if the goal is serious steps to take action against the O's promulgation of inflammatory hate speech for profit (and because maybe some of the decision makers agree with the DVD), one should also avoid visiting "", the online presence of the O. This drives their click rates down and has at least as much of a wake-up effect as canceling a subscription. It would be interesting to hear people's reaction to letting advertisers know they have made a big mistake associating with the O (Thom Hartmann, opportunist that he is, conveniently stayed away from that question in his show this morning.)

    Also, it seems quite apropos to be asking candidates from both sides: Smith, Merkley, Walden, Wu, Schrader, Kroger, Brown, Bradbury, and so on down the hierarchy of elective office for a statement of their view about what the O has done. I don't think anybody is holding their breath for even that small show of courage as these people work through this stage of the campaign where they are whoring for the O's endorsement.

    Finally it would be appropriate to ask Kari, Jeff, and the rest of the rogue's gallery here to express their opinion about either the silence of these officials or the specifics of any statement they might issue. Again, not something I think anybody in touch with reality is going to expect.

    Finally joel dan wallis, there is a difference between understanding and reacting appropriate to reality, and in anyway giving attention or credence to the psychotic world view being put forth as part of a process to subvert the American political system by internal and external interests. It seems you are honestly struggling to make that point, I'd offer that sometimes directness is the best approach.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    "Obsession" takes great pains to distinguish between "radical Islam" and Islam, in general. In fact, that is an error because "radical Islam" grows out of the same Koran and sayings of Muhammad that all of Islam grows out of. Everyone should see "Obsession"!

    Yas, yas, and the Bible also contains a great deal of verbiage about smiting unbelievers and whatnot. "Radical fundamentalist Christianity" grows out of the same Bible that all of Christianty grows out of.

    Ignorance and tribalism know no bounds. The Muslim world has them in spades, and so do we.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    After subjecting my spouse yesterday to a rant about the "Obsession" DVD--about the way it was transparently being marketed in swing states to scare and propagandize the electorate, and about the bogus "free speech" framing being advanced by The Oregonian--I put the down on my desk because I intend to try to watch it. Yes, I may need a bowl to barf into, but I will try. Just as my spouse watched McCain's and Palin's convention speeches because she wanted to know "what we are up against".

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    After subjecting my spouse yesterday to a rant about the "Obsession" DVD--about the way it was transparently being marketed in swing states to scare and propagandize the electorate, and about the bogus "free speech" framing being advanced by The Oregonian--I put the down on my desk because I intend to try to watch it. Yes, I may need a bowl to barf into, but I will try. Just as my spouse watched McCain's and Palin's convention speeches because she wanted to know "what we are up against".

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)

    The DVD struck me as oddly familiar.

    Throughout Bush's Presidency, I've been struck by the delicious irony that 9/11 forced the Christian Theocracy and the Muslim Theocracy into war with each other, when Bush and Bin Laden are in reality soulmates.

    I had always assumed that right wing religious leaders would one day join forces against "secularism", against knowledge, against science, against women and other uppity chattels who wanted self-determination. Their agendas are identical but for their choice of Holy Book.

    The silver lining of 9/11 and Operation: Colossal Screwup is that that scenario is no longer likely.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    If I recall correctly, Michael Scheuer, who wrote "Imperial Hubris" under the pseudonym of "Anonymous" and was head of the bin Laden unit at the CIA, said that two of the reasons for al-Qa'ida attacking on 9/11 included our support of the Likud-Kadima abuses of Palestinians and the presence of U.S. troops on what Wahabbists claim was holy land in Saudi Arabia. These affronts do not justify 9/11, but they do suggest Americans are not in a position to adopt a pious posture while decrying the sins of others.

  • Tinaf (unverified)

    After we get a little perspective about the reality of extremism and href="">violations of human rights, I'd repeat the next place to get a vital little dose of reality is to ask those who ask for our votes to give us straight answers of their opinion of what the O has done and Stickel's transparently false rationalizations. It's a bit eyebrow raising that Kari's passion seems to be focused on just letting the O know what you think.

  • Tinaf (unverified)

    One of the links in that last post was mangled, here's a corrected version:

    After we get a little perspective about the reality of extremism and violations of human rights, I'd repeat the next place to get a vital little dose of reality is to ask those who ask for our votes to give us straight answers of their opinion of what the O has done and Stickel's transparently false rationalizations. It's a bit eyebrow raising that Kari's passion seems to be focused on just letting the O know what you think.

  • (Show?)

    I'm not sure I understand what Tina's obliquely-stated point is... but rest assured that my concern about this is not limited to "letting the O know what you think."

    I want to repeat and restate my earlier post -- the question for Fred Stickel now is: Will he denounce the video? Will he do something good with the money?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    Offending people and making enemies continues in the Afghan-Pakistan area. This from Chalmers Johnson:

    "In the past year, perhaps most disastrously, we have carried our Afghan war into Pakistan, a relatively wealthy and sophisticated nuclear power that has long cooperated with us militarily. Our recent bungling brutality along the Afghan-Pakistan border threatens to radicalize the Pashtuns in both countries and advance the interests of radical Islam throughout the region. The United States is now identified in each country mainly with Hellfire missiles, unmanned Predator drones, special operations raids, and repeated incidents of the killing of innocent bystanders.

    "The brutal bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, on September 20 was a powerful indicator of the spreading strength of virulent anti-American sentiment in the area. The hotel was a well-known watering hole for American marines, special forces troops and CIA agents. Our military activities in Pakistan have been as misguided as the Richard Nixon-Henry Kissinger invasion of Cambodia in 1970. The end result will almost surely be the same."

    TomDispatch has the complete article.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)

    I wonder if the right-wing loonies posting on this thread realize that every time a BlueOregon page is viewed, BlueOregon gets money. Kari may not like the tone of some of the posts, but I'm sure he likes the traffic.

  • meg (unverified)

    Most Islamists are also against Drugs, Alcohol, public Nudity, Homosexuality, Bikini's or any revealing clothing, most things Liberals are all for.

    Yeah so why are you defending them?

  • CosmoReaxer (unverified)

    Merritt MacArthur is right on. I see him bringing a number of historical facts to the table. I see Jake Oken-Berg with a knee-jerk reaction.

    To call it "anti-Islam propaganda" is itself propaganda. I mentioned in another thread this morning than the movie explicitly sets Islamic radicals apart from the greater Muslim population. If Oken-Berg denies this after watching the movie then he simply is not reviewing the movie with an eye to objectivity. It is impossible that he watched this movie with an open mind.

  • RW (unverified)

    Joel Dan: "Ignorance and tribalism know no bounds. The Muslim world has them in spades, and so do we."

    First: Language! Assumptions! Concepts! Please watch it! Tribalism is not necessarily ignorance! Sheesh!

    Second: “So do we”. Speak for yourself non-pagan pantheistic idolator (Dobson’s lengthy terminology to clarify to this flocks who we Traditionalists who pray sum out to be…. ). It feels like your world is comprised of dualities end to end! Dem/Repub; liberal/conservative; progressive/troll; Islamic/Christian.

    Creates a sense of whiplash impending!

  • (Show?)

    Fred Stickel says: I've always felt we have an obligation to keep our advertising columns as open as possible. Our acceptance of anything -- our acceptance or rejection -- does not depend on whether or not we agree with the content. . . . There is a principle of freedom of speech involved here. I could find no reason to reject this."

    A Constitutional scholar he ain't.

    He does violence to the Bill of Rights to use it as false cover for an irresponsible business decision.

    If he "could find no reason to reject this," then where is the line? What kind of obscenity would they reject? Will we be seeing ads for pornography in the Oregonian? Oh wait. Sex is obscene and incitement to violence is free speech. I guess I knew that. Or is it a question of who might be offended? He can protest all he wants that their decisions do not depend on whether or not they agree with the content, but the message that they are comfortable being identified with the content of this DVD is inescapable. They own a means of distribution and they made it available to hate mongers.

    Anyone who might want to buy access to the Oregonian's distribution system in the future should keep a copy of this statement around just in case.

  • Chris #12 (unverified)

    Wow--some scary shit on this thread!

    Does anyone have any examples of the Oregonian refusing a liberal-left-progressive advertisement? I know other outlets regularly do so, but I can't remember the O doing it. But if they did, it might be a good time for a little lawsuit. Or if they do so any time in the future.

  • (Show?)

    Kari, Tinaf's point isn't hard to get. He/she (if you're right in parsing it a Tina F.) is saying we should ask officials and candidates to take stands against what The Oregonian did.

    There are direct political reasons for this, but in addition, to the extent that officials & candidates may take out ads or publish op-eds in The Oregonian it seems at least somewhat analogous to the calls to boycott O advertisers (which I don't think you have made, though others have).

    At the press conference/protest organized by Center for Intercultural Organizing this morning, I saw Sho Dozono, and Sue Hagmeier, along with a wide variety of other people; there may have been other officials, ex-officials or candidates I don't recognize by face.

    I counted 100 people on my side of the crowd; if they were equally distributed participation was at least 200, if not, it was minimum 150.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    Most Islamists are also against Drugs, Alcohol, public Nudity, Homosexuality, Bikini's or any revealing clothing, most things Liberals are all for.

    Yeah so why are you defending them?

    That's absurd. I haven't read anything in this thread that amounts to defending repressive Islamist ideas. What I HAVE read is (i)disgust at The Oregonian's rank hypocrisy and bogus "free speech" claims, (ii)a great deal of concern, supported by empirical evidence, that Muslims here in the US will again become targets of hate crimes on account of, amongst other things, the "Obsession" DVD.

    Ms. Whetstine: Actually, I have the opposite of a dualistic world view.

  • DanOregon (unverified)

    The biggest problem is the lack of transparency of the group furnishing the DVD. Their readers have no idea who the source of the material is or how credible it is. And the Oregonian cashed their check anyway. Times must be very tough at the O.

  • Jonathan Radmacher (unverified)

    Looks like MacArthur and Montedoro (if they're different) are more trolls than anything else.

    As for the solution? Take it out of the wrapper, toss the paper in the new blue recycle rolling bin, and the CD in the garbage. It's not really that much different than what we all used to do with AOL CDs that seemed to arrive monthly.

  • macmccown (unverified)

    during the evening of 9-11 and several days later ... i found myself in the deep south (alabama to be specific) standing in front of the only muslim business in a smallish rural town. i was "witnessing" with several other like minded people ... we were there to be seen by those who would respond in hatred and violence ... targeting fellow villagers only because of their religion and their skin color. in other words, people like macarthur and montedoro ... who would gleefully become what they profess to hate. ah bigots ... i admit, i can never understand them.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    macmccown's comment brings to mind the mindset of many people after the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was blown up. Almost everyone "knew" it was the work of Muslims or Middle East terrorists.

  • saxaboom (unverified)

    I watched the DVD and a lot of it was primary footage of various Arab networks and Muslim cleric speeches.

    If the subtitles match the audio - then I consider what I viewed as hate speech.

  • Torrid Joe (NOT) (unverified)

    [Fraudulent comment deleted. -editor.]

  • Michael (unverified)

    An argument to restrict newspaper advertising is to book burning what intelligent design is to creationism.

    It’s just the current effort to put a pretty face on something ugly: substituting one narrow view for the multifaceted pursuit of truth.
    The first mask of the people who want to curtail freedom is to say, “It’s not censorship because it’s not government.”  It’s not government because repressive forces don’t currently have enough power.  Portland’s mayor supports curtailing newspaper expression but can’t get it done.  Once the repressive forces are in a position to do it, they will declare they know what is best for the less educated, starting with what ideas to restrict.  For examples, review the last 2,000 years of human history.
    Putting economic pressure on a newspaper because you do not like the ideas it promulgates or rousing public ire against someone whose ideas you disagree with is the essential groundwork for book burning.
    Look again at the people who want to restrict freedom.  They are not poor.  It’s an economic elite who uses clever rhetoric like “It’s not free speech; it’s hate speech.”  People are cancelling their subscription to the daily newspaper because they can afford other more expensive forms of information.
    Let’s stamp out this conflagration while it is still an ember.

    Good news! It’s banned books week:

  • Jim (unverified)

    Not sure if what the Oregonian did had anything to do with Christian -v- Muslim, but it sure had something to do with getting the message back on "Terror!" - the Republican Party's mantra. Remember, "It's the economy, stupid"? Well, we'll be hearing a lot more about Terror! from the Republicans in the next few weeks. That is the only message they have.

  • rw (unverified)

    Joel DW: good to know, interested to see it. Was commenting on the simplified text that no doubt was contributed on the run, but was dualistic and simplified in a way that used "tribal" as a negative.

    The James Dobson riff was a riff only, no offense intended to you.

  • rw (unverified)

    From The New Yorker - some media worth enjoying during this campaign season --

    [it's time I learned that hyperlink/video embed trick, I know]

  • Bjorg (unverified)

    Jake, While I agree with the need to denounce personal attacks on people on the basis of religion, you will agree there is a real problem with political Islamic supremacism.

    This year, Islamic countries managed to slip through a measure contradicting the UN charter which defends freedom of expression. They want you to be silent whenever an Islamic state discriminates on the basis of Sharia. They want you to be powerless to defend anyone within their countries who needs your help.

    This is of the greatest importance to us all.

    You are doing a great disservice by diminishing the importance of the freedom of expression issue vis a vis Islam and the right to criticize it.

    <h2>First they will suppress the journalists, then the intellectuals, then the political leaders, then everyone.</h2>

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