In the past year and a half, two of the Islamophobic fear mongers featured in Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West -- the politically useful anti-Muslim documentary currently being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers -- have been invited to speak at U.S. Military Colleges.
In February 2008, Walid Shoebat, along with his fellow self-proclaimed ex-terrorists turned fundamentalist Christians, appeared at the U.S. Air Force Academy's 50th Annual Academy Assembly. In June 2007, Brigitte Gabriel, founder of the American Congress for Truth and author of Because They Hate, delivered a lecture at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC).
The following quotes are all from the question and answer segment of Brigitte Gabriel's lecture at the JFSC.
In answer to the question, "Should we resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation?," Gabriel replied:
"Absolutely. If a Muslim who has -- who is -- a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day -- this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America."
As part of her answer to this same question, Gabriel asserted that a Muslim's oath of office is meaningless, giving the following reason:
"A Muslim is allowed to lie under any situation to make Islam, or for the benefit of Islam in the long run. A Muslm sworn to office can lay his hand on the Koran and say 'I swear that I'm telling the truth and nothing but the truth,' fully knowing that he is lying because the same Koran that he is swearing on justifies his lying in order to advance the cause of Islam. What is worrisome about that is when we are faced with war and a Muslim political official in office has to make a decision either in the interest of the United States, which is considered infidel according to the teachings of Islam, and our Constitution is uncompatible [sic] with Islam -- not compatible -- that Muslim in office will always have his loyalty to Islam."
The next question came from a soldier who introduced himself as Muslim who has been serving in the U.S. Army for the past 19 years. He asked Gabriel if she was a member of Hasbara Fellowship. Gabriel not only answered that she was not a member, but asked, "What's Hasbara Fellowship?" Gabriel is currently listed as a speaker on the official website of Hasbara Fellowships as a member of the organization's Speakers Bureau, and has been since 2005.
Here's what Gabriel had to say about terrorists entering the U.S. from Mexico:
"Those Al Qaeda members and Hezbollah members who are coming into the United States, they are immediately going from the Mexican border into the major cities where there is large Islamic concentration in the United States, such as 'Dearbornistan' Michigan..."
And, on the Islamic community in the U.S. and racial profiling:
"We need to see more patriotism and less terrorism, and especially on the part of the Islamic community in this country, who are good at nothing but complaining about every single thing instead of standing up and working with us in fighting the enemy in our country.
And, finally, Gabriel's advice to Americans who see a mosque being built in their community:
"I tell them, if you see a mosque being built in your community, and you are worried about suspicious activities happening in the mosque, go down to city hall. Find out who owns the deed to that mosque. Is it a Saudi foundation? Is it names of some Islamic sheik outside of the United States of America? Write those names down. It's public information -- for free. Write the information down. Come home. Call the F.B.I. in your local community. Turn the names to the F.B.I. and the F.B.I. can start checking. Are these people on the most wanted list? Do they have links to terrorism? This is how we can help our government as citizens..."
Brigitte Gabriel's lecture was part of the JFSC's Islam elective, a course open only to American military and national security personnel. Foreign students attending the college, which include students from Islamic allies who would obviously be appalled and outraged by the likes of Gabriel, are not allowed to take this course.
Just as appalling and outrageous as Gabriel's JFSC lecture was the February 2008 appearance of the "three ex-terrorists" at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The three members of this traveling anti-Muslim sideshow, paid $13,000 to speak at the 50th Annual Academy Assembly on the topic "Dismantling Terrorism: Developing Actionable Solutions for Today's Plague of Violence," are Walid Shoebat, Zachariah Anani, and and Kamal Saleem. Shoebat, who appears in Obsession and sells the film on his website, has also spoken at Tim LaHaye's Pre-Trib (Pre-Tribulation) Research Center conferences and John Hagee's Christians United for Israel (CUFI) events. Zachariah Anani is a Lebanese-born Canadian citizen who claims to have killed 223 people while a Muslim terrorist. Kamal Saleem, under his real name, Khodor Shami, worked for Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network for sixteen years, was hired by James Dobson's Focus on the Family in 2003, and founded Koome Ministries in 2006 to "expose the true agenda of [Muslims] who would deceive our nation and the free nations of the world."
The claims of the three ex-terrorists about their exploits as Muslim terrorists have long been questioned by academics and terrorism experts who have found a plethora of unlikelihoods and outright impossibilities in their stories. The most obvious question, of course, is why, if their stories are true, haven't these three self-proclaimed terrorists, who have been traveling the country for years admitting to numerous killings and other terrorist acts, not been deported or jailed. Well, apparently, even our government's terrorist hunters don't believe these guys. According to a New York Times article about the trio's appearance at the Air Force Academy, "A spokesman for the F.B.I. said there were no warrants for their arrest."
After demands by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) for equal time to counter the anti-Muslim screed of the three ex-terrorists, the Air Force Academy eventually allowed MRFF founder and president, and Academy graduate, Mikey Weinstein, and two MRFF Advisory Board members, Islam expert Reza Aslan and former Ambassador Joe Wilson, to speak to (deprogram) the cadets.
In addition to Obsession cast members Brigitte Gabriel and Walid Shoebat speaking at U.S. military colleges, Gregory Ross, the film's co-writer and director, stated in an interview that the film is being used by the U.S. Navy. According to Ross, who is also Communications Director for Clarion Fund, the organization that produced the film and is now funding the DVD newspaper insert scheme, "I know that the U.S. Department of the Navy uses the film and that it has also been shown on Capitol Hill on many occasions in order to education politicians."
Given the current massive distribution of Obsession, and Gregory Ross's statement that the film is being used by the Navy, MRFF is asking those in the military, or working on or near military bases, to be on the look-out for any screenings or promotion of this film by the military. If you see this happening, or even suspect that it's happening, please email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately and let us know about it.