Obsession: Radical Islam War Against the West

Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West is a 2005 documentary about the purported threat of Islamism to Western civilization. The film shows Islamic radicals preaching hate speech and seeking to incite global jihad . It also draws parallels between World War II’s Nazi movement and Islamism and the West’s response to those threats. [1]

Wayne Kopping of South Africa co-wrote and directed the film. Raphael Shore , a Canadian – Israeli , co – wrote and produced the film, and is the founder of The Clarion Fund , the film ‘s distributor. The movie received praise from conservative HAS media personalities Such As Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity , [2] aims others Criticized it as Islamophobic with a political agenda, and for ict association with pro-Israeli groups.

Segments of the movie were broadcast on CNN Headline News and in several specials on Fox News . The movie was also screened on 30 college campuses and Capitol Hill . The unusual distribution of 28 million free Obsession DVD as an insert in over 70 newspapers Predominantly in swing states before the 2008 United States presidential election, garnered much attention with 5 newspapers Refusing to distribute the DVD. National Public Radio reported that it was unclear as to who funded Clarion’s distribution of the DVD. [3]


The movie begins with the following statement: [4]

This is a film about radical Islamic terror. A dangerous ideology, fueled by religious hatred. It’s important to remember most Muslims are peaceful and do not support terror. This is not a movie about them. This is a film about a radical worldview, and the threat it poses to us all, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

The Middle East Media Research Institute and the Palestinian Media Watch .


The following people were interviewed in the movie: [5]

  • Nonie Darwish – Egyptian-American human rights activist
  • Alan Dershowitz – American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator
  • Steven Emerson – American journalist and author
  • Brigitte Gabriel – American Journalist, author, and activist
  • Martin Gilbert – British historian and author
  • Caroline Glick – American-Israeli journalist
  • Alfons Heck – was interviewed as a member of Hitler Youth
  • Glen Jenvey – British journalist
  • John Loftus – American author, form US government prosecutor and train Army intelligence officer
  • Salim Mansur – Indian-Canadian columnist
  • Itamar Marcus – Israeli political activist, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch
  • Daniel Pipes – American writer, political blogger
  • Tashbih Sayyed – Pakistani-American scholar, journalist, and author
  • Walid Shoebat – Palestinian immigrant to the United States, interviewed as a militant PLO
  • Khaled Abu Toameh – Israeli Arab newspaperist and documentary filmmaker
  • Robert Wistrich – Professor of European and Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Khaleel Mohammed

Khaleel Mohammed, an associate professor of religious studies [6] at San Diego State University and the only Islamic Studies Professor Interviewed [7] Discussed the meaning of jihad and Its misuse by extremists. [8] Mohammed later distanced himself and apologized for his participation claiming he had believed the film would be “used objectively, focusing on (the) fanatics who seek to spread violence” rather than Islam itself.


Wayne Kopping co-wrote, directed, and edited the film. [9] Raphael Shore co-wrote and produced the film. [9] Shore, a Canadian-Israeli film writer, producer, is also founder of The Clarion Fund . [10] Kopping and Shore previously collaborated on Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East . Brett Halperin, named as production manager, is an alias according to Shore. [11] [12]

Executive producer Peter Mier, an alias for an unnamed Canadian Jewish businessman, provided about 80 percent of the film’s $ 400,000 budget, according to Raphael Shore. [11] [12] According to IRS documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting , financial support for the film came from Castello Limited . [13] In 2008, Donors Capital Fund , a nonprofit donor-advised fund , granted $ 17.7 million to The Clarion Fund. [14] [15]

Promotion and screenings

The film was being promoted via the internet by HonestReporting and Later Through Campus and Washington, DC screenings and later DVD distribution by the Clarion Fund . HonestReporting, a media watch organization run by Ephraim Shore, the twin brother of Obsession producer Raphael Shore, was involved in the initial Internet-based promotion of the film. [16] During production in 2005, HonestReporting promoted the film as one of its projects. [16] Later when the film was released, HonestReporting promoted the film on its website describing it as an “affiliate” project. [16] The group, in an interview with The Jewish Week, says it was not involved in the film’s production.[16]

CNN Headline News has shown segments of the movie. [17] Fox News has shown and hosted on its website segments of the film. [18] Seven times in November 2006, Fox News showed a one-hour special incorporating segments from the film. [19]

The major campuses include Hofstra , Pace , USC , UCLA , NYU , [17] and McGill . [20] [21]

In December 2006, US Representatives Eric Cantor (R-VA), Chief Deputy Majority Whip , and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) co-sponsored a screening of the film on Capitol Hill. citation needed ] Cantor’s cousin and Wasserman’s make up, Daniel Cantor Wultz , was killed in an attack by an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber. [22]


Following the failure of traditional film distributors to pick up Shore’s films, The Clarion Fund retained a non-exclusive agreement to distribute Obsession , Relentless and The Third Jihad . [16] [17]

The film was first distributed to college campuses in 2007 and in September 2008, the Clarion Fund, in cooperation with the Endowment for Middle East Truth , [23] distributed 28 million DVDs of the film by mail, [24] and in newspaper advertising supplements , predominantly in swing states. [17] [25] The timing of the release and the distribution of $ 50 million, stimulated controversy and speculation about who distributed the film. [26] [27] The Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a complaint about the distribution with the Federal Election Commission . [28]

The film was included in the first issue of the publication “The Judeo-Christian View”, which was sent to priests and pastors in churches and synagogues in the United States. [8] [29] [30]

The DVD was also distributed to all 30,000 members of the Republican Jewish Coalition . [31]


Newspapers distributing the DVD included The New York Times , The Charlotte Observer , The Miami Herald , The Raleigh News & Observer , [32] The Chronicle of Higher Education , [11] and The Oregonian . [33] [34] The New York Times distributed approximately 145,000 DVDs in their national edition to Denver , Miami , Tampa , Orlando , Detroit , Kansas City , St. Louis , Philadelphia , and Milwaukee. [35] According to a News & Observer blog post, whether the advertisement should be accepted, publisher Orage Quarles made the “ultimate decision”. The newspaper’s vice president of display advertising noted, “Obviously, we have distributed other product samples, whether it’s cereal or toothpaste.” [36]

Refusals to distribute

Many of the newspapers distributing the DVD publié également Articles about the film, Including The Morning Call [37] of Allentown, Pennsylvania , The Charlotte Observer , [38] and The News & Observer [39] of Raleigh, North Carolina . The St. Louis Post-Dispatch , [40] the Detroit Free Press , The News & Record of Greensboro, North Carolina , and The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Ohio . [41] [42] News & Record president and publisher Robin Saul said: “We did not meet our advertising standards.” We were told it was educational, “It was fear-mongering and divisive.” [43] [44] The John Robinson editor wrote: “As a journalist, my default position is to provide people with more knowledge, however, rather than less. But this was a paid advertisement featuring one side of an inflammatory issue. ” [43]

New Films International acquired the film for international distribution. [45]


Conservative media praised the film. [46] Glenn Beck described “Obsession” as “one of the most important movies of our lifetime”. [47] Emmett Tyrrell of CNN wrote that “Obsession,” is “one of the most riveting films about the civilized world”, [48] while Kyra Phillips encouraged CNN Newsroom viewers to see the movie an incredible education “. [46] Additional endorsements were published on Fox News , [49] on Townhall , [50] in National Review ,, [52] in The Times Gazette (OH) [53] and on conservative radio programs such as The Rush Limbaugh Show . [54]

Criticism and controversy

The film’s depiction of radical Islam and Islamists was criticized as Islamophobic. The film is controversial with the airing of the film, while several times the State University of New York at the request of Jewish groups. Students attending the screenings at New York University were commissioned by IsraelActivism.com with photographs of the event forwarded to Hasbara Fellowships , an organization that offers students to Israel and trains them to be pro-Israel activists on college campuses. The forwarding of names was criticized for stifling dissent and intimidating people. [17]

Think tank researcher Jennifer Bryson gives the film a mixed review, saying that while it does show, “Islamist radicalism poses a serious threat to the freedoms of constitutional democracy, the film largely ignores potential solutions and a host of moderate Islamic voices that have gone unheard. ” [55]

The film has been criticized for portraying Islam as a threat of religion on the destruction of Western civilization, interspersing incendiary commentary with images of Nazis and suicide bombing indoctrination. [56] The Jewish Telegraphic Agency wrote: “Producers of the documentary insist that it only targets a radical minority among Muslims; however, a number of the interviewees in the documentary on the record as describing Islam as inherently prone to hegemony.” [57]

Jack Moline , the Spiritual Leader of the Agudas Achim Congregation , described Obsession as “the protocols of the learned elders of Saudi Arabia.” Aish HaTorah has been criticized by Rabbi Moline over its close links with The Clarion Fund. [16] [58] On the matter of the shared staff between Aish HaTorah and the Clarion Fund, Moline said, “It is distressing to me that they [Aish HaTorah] would continue to have someone who has promulgated such awful, awful stuff sitting on their board or staff. ” [16]

In Dearborn, Michigan , local religious leaders called a free screening of the documentary on September 11, 2008 a divisive publicity stunt. [59] Joe Wierzbicki [60] of the King Media Group, [61] Russo Marsh & Rogers, [62] and the Our Country Deserves Better PAC , [63] said: “There is a problem with an acceptance of radical Islam. Dearborn more so than anywhere else I know of, “according to the Detroit Free Press , quoting Wierzbicki as a spokesman for a California-based public relations company hired to promote the film. [59] Wierzbicki later said Right Reel, specify ]a distributor of conservative films, hired him. [64]

The Council on American-Islamic Relations for the Federal Election Commission to investigate the Clarion Fund’s DVD distribution claiming that it was an attempt to influence the 2008 US Presidential Election. Patriot News , AP cited Patriot Newsof Harrisburg, Pa. reporting “that a Clarion Fund Web site ran a pro-McCain article before it was pulled down notice and was taken down.” Ari Morgenstern, spokesperson for Middle East Truth, denied that it was intended to influence the election result. Gregory Ross, Spokesperson for the New York-based Clarion Fund stated: “We are not telling people who we are, we are just saying no matter who gets in office, the American people should know radical Islam is a real threat to America We do not feel radical Islam is getting its fair share of press. ” [65]

The Endowment for Middle East Truth with support for promoting the film. [66]

After a show on November 13, 2007 at the University of Florida , the Gainesville campus was rocked by controversy over the film. A forum entitled “Radical Islam Wants You Dead” was sponsored by Law School Republicans, prompting Patricia Telles-Irvin, the University’s vice president of student affairs, to call for apology for “promoting a negative stereotype.” [67] Faculty and community members were split over the situation’s inherent free speech issues. In a December 13 opinion editorial, the Tampa Tribune criticized Telles-Irvin’s criticism on constitutional grounds and called for Patricia Telles-Irvin’s replacement. [67]

See also

  • Criticism of Islam
  • Criticism of Islamism
  • Islam: What the West Needs to Know
  • Radical Islam: Terror in Its Own Words
  • Fitna
  • Iranium


  1. Jump up^ “Obsession: Islam Radical War Against the West” . IMDb.com. 2011 . Retrieved February 11, 2011 .
  2. Jump up^ “Obsession – Radical Islam War Against the West – What people are saying” .
  3. Jump up^ “Some Answers On Clarion, And Still Some Questions” . National Public Radio .
  4. Jump up^ “Terrorism: Looking for context” . The Florida Times-Union . Jacksonville, Florida. 2008-09-17 . Retrieved 2011-05-15 .
  5. Jump up^ “Interviewees” . Obsession the movie . 2008 . Retrieved October 8, 2008.
  6. Jump up^ Mohammed, Khaleel . “Welcome to Prof. Khaleel Mohammed’s Web site” . San Diego State University . Archived from the original on July 8, 2008 . Retrieved October 13, 2008 .
  7. Jump up^ “Khaleel Mohammed, PhD” . obsessionthemovie.com. 2008 . Retrieved October 13, 2008 .
  8. ^ Jump up to:b “Swing states Targeted with” anti-Muslim propaganda ” ” . Observers. France 24 . October 13, 2008 . Retrieved October 13, 2008 .
  9. ^ Jump up to:b “The Filmmakers” . Obsessionthemovie.com. 2008 . Retrieved October 12, 2008 .
  10. Jump up^ “Clarion Fund: National Security Through Education” . New York City : Clarion Fund. 2008 . Retrieved 2008-10-29 .
  11. ^ Jump up to:Shatz c , Adam (October 9, 2008). “Short Cuts” . London Review of Books . Retrieved October 3, 2008 .
  12. ^ Jump up to:b Berman, Daphna (June 28, 2007). ” ‘ Obsession’ stokes passions, fears and controversy” . Haaretz . Retrieved October 7, 2008 . But Mier and Halperin are just aliases, Shore says.
  13. Jump up^ Kabat, Rebecca (July 23, 2007). “Clarion Fund Correspondence with Internal Revenue Service” (PDF) . Center for Investigative Reporting . Archived from the original (pdf) on 2008-10-10 . Retrieved October 10,2008 . The movie ‘Obsession’ was produced by Castello Limited.
  14. Jump up^ Elliott, Justin (November 16, 2010). “Mystery of who funded right-wing” radical Islam “campaign deepens” . Salon . Retrieved February 21, 2015 .
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  16. ^ Jump up to:g Sarah Posner. Aish HaTorah’s New ‘Obsession’ . The Jewish Week . October 29, 2008.
  17. ^ Jump up to:e Arenson, Karen W (February 26, 2007). “Movie’s View of Anger’s Islam Stirs on Campuses” . The New York Times . Retrieved October 14,2008 .
  18. Jump up^ “Documentary Portrays Islamic Extremists” Call to Arms Against the Free World ” . Fox News Channel . November 3, 2006 . Retrieved September 14, 2008 .
  19. Jump up^ Akhavi, Khody (March 26, 2007). “Film on” Radical Islam “Tied to Pro-Israel Groups” . Inter Press Service . Retrieved October 15, 2008 .
  20. Jump up^ “Taking Liberties” . Montreal, Quebec, Canada. February 9, 2006 . Retrieved October 17, 2008 .
  21. Jump up^ Smajovits, Daniel (November 30, 2006). “Obsession screened to full house at McGill” (pdf) . The Jewish Tribune] . B’nai Brith Canada . Retrieved October 17, 2008 .
  22. Jump up^ Cantor, Eric ; Wasserman Schultz, Debbie (December 5, 2006). “Reps, Cantor, Wasserman Schultz Statement on Capitol Hill Screening of ‘Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West ‘ ” . United States House of Representatives . Retrieved October 18, 2008 .
  23. Jump up^ Gharib, Ali; Clifton, Eli (September 24, 2008). “Neo-cons, Ex-Israeli Push Diplomats Islamophobic Video” . Inter Press Service . Retrieved October 7, 2008 .
  24. Jump up^ Cassidy, Carrie (September 11, 2008). “DVD raises awareness, its source says” . The Patriot-News . Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: PennLive.com . Retrieved October 18, 2008 .
  25. Jump up^ Jackson, William E., Jr. (September 13, 2008). “Delivering Propaganda, As If It’s Toothpaste” . Editor & Publisher . Nielsen Business Media . Retrieved October 18, 2008 .
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  27. Jump up^ Anonymous campaigns play to fears of votersThe National September 18, 2008
  28. Jump up^ Laughlin, Meg (2008-09-26). “Senders of Islam movie ‘Obsession’ tied to Jewish charity” . Tampa Bay Times . Archived from the original on September 10, 2016 . Retrieved 2016-08-24 .
  29. Jump up^ http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/every-usa-church-synagogue-gets/story.aspx?guid={1A4EE358-1ACF-454F-838B-EB6BCEC260F9}&dist=hppr
  30. Jump up^ http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=9231
  31. Jump up^http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c37_a13850/News/National.html
  32. Jump up^ Mitchell, Greg ; Strupp, Joe (September 13, 2008). “Newspapers Deliver Millions of ‘Terror’ DVDs to Subscribers – In ‘Swing States ‘ ” . Editor & Publisher . Nielsen Business Media . Retrieved October 29, 2008 .
  33. Jump up^ ” ‘ Oregonian’ Distributes ‘Muslim Terror’ DVD – After Mayor Asks It to Chorus” . Editor & Publisher . Nielsen Business Media. September 28, 2008 . Retrieved October 3, 2008 .
  34. Jump up^ Graves, Bill (September 28, 2008). “Critics call DVD insert unfair hit on Islam” . The Oregonian . Oregon Live. Archived from the original on October 8, 2008 . Retrieved October 6, 2008 . I could find no reason to reject this.
  35. Jump up^ Gharib, Ali (September 19, 2008). “Anti-Islam Targets Movie” Swing State “Voters” . Inter Press Service . Retrieved October 12, 2008 . The documentary, despite an initial disclaimer that the material covered applies only to radical Islamists and not all Muslims ….
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  37. Jump up^ Drobnyk, Josh (September 13, 2008). “Is DVD a wake-up call or propaganda?” . The Morning Call . Allentown, Pennsylvania . Retrieved September 14, 2008 .
  38. Jump up^ Funk, Tim; St. Onge, Peter (September 13, 2008). “Muslims rap DVD ad in Observer” . The Charlotte Observer . Charlotte, North Carolina.
  39. Jump up^ Shimron, Yonat (September 13, 2008). “Controversial film on Islam delivered nationwide” . The News & Observer . Raleigh, North Carolina: The McClatchy Company. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008 . Retrieved October 14, 2008 .
  40. Jump up^ Townsend, Tim. “Post-Dispatch refuses to distribute DVD offensive to American Muslims” . stltoday.com . [St. Louis Post-Dispatch] . Archived from the original on April 18, 2009 . Retrieved September 22, 2008 .
  41. Jump up^ “The Papers” . Obsession For Hate . Hate Hurts America. 2008 . Retrieved October 8, 2008 .
  42. Jump up^ Jesdanun, Anick (October 4, 2008). “Newspapers get complaints for DVD ad on Muslims” . Associated Press . Retrieved October 7, 2008 . The Detroit Free Press, The Plain Dealer of Cleveland and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also declined to carry the ad.
  43. ^ Jump up to:b Robinson, John (September 21, 2009). “Why we did not distribute” Obsession ” ” . The Editor’s Log . Greensboro, North Carolina: Greensboro News & Record . Retrieved October 12, 2008 .
  44. Jump up^ Mitchell, Greg (September 15, 2008). “One Newspaper Refuses to Distribute Islam Terror DVD” . Editor & Publisher . Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved October 13, 2008 . The longtime editor, John Robinson, explained his reasoning in a column yesterday.
  45. Jump up^ “Obsession (Islamic Radical War Against The West)” . New Films International. 2007. Archived from the original on May 8, 2016 . Retrieved October 23, 2008 .
  46. ^ Jump up to:b “Official website” . Obsessionthemovie.com. 2008 . Retrieved February 10, 2011 .
  47. Jump up^ “Glenn Beck – CNN headline News” . 2008 . Retrieved February 10,2011 .
  48. Jump up^ “Emmett R. Tyrrell, CNN.com: Hollywood’s blind spot” . 2006 . Retrieved May 15, 2011 .
  49. Jump up^ “Documentary Portrays Islamic Extremists” Call to Arms Against the Free World ” . Fox News . November 3, 2006 . Retrieved February 10, 2011 .
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  51. Jump up^ “New Censors’ Obsession” . 2008 . Retrieved February 10, 2011 .
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  53. Jump up^ ” ‘ Obsession’ is required viewing” . 2008 . Retrieved February 10, 2011 .
  54. Jump up^ ” ‘ Obsession’ – on radio programs” . 2008 . Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  55. Jump up^ Islam: Obsession Reorientationby Jennifer S. Bryson, November 11, 2008, Public Discourse, The Witherspoon Institute. Summary reads:As the recent film “Obsession” points out, Islamist radicalism poses a serious threat to the freedoms of constitutional democracy. Purpose “Obsession” largely ignores potential solutions and a host of moderate Islamic voices that have gone unheard.
  56. Jump up^ Varela, Ileana (September 16, 2008). ” ” Obsession “DVD Raises Concerns Over Propaganda” . WFOR-TV . Miami, Florida: CBS Television Stations. Archived from the original on September 20, 2008 . Retrieved October 12, 2008 .
  57. Jump up^ “Islamic Council wants probe of ‘Obsession ‘ ” . Jewish Telegraphic Agency. September 25, 2008. Archived from the original on September 28, 2008 . Retrieved October 8, 2008 .
  58. Jump up^ Rabbi Raphael Shore, the executive directory of The Clarion Fund is a full-time employee of Aish HaTorah. Ephraim Shore “heads Aish’s operations in Israel”. Two of the three Clarion Fund directors are members of the Aish executive committee. Elke Bronstein who signed the mail for the DVD bulk mailing works for Aish Discovery, which produces films for Aish HaTorah. Clarions mailing address is the same address as Aish HaTorah International, a fundraising arm of Aish HaTorah. St Petersburgh Times
  59. ^ Jump up to:b Warikoo, Niraj (September 11, 2008). “Critics Slam Screening of Muslim Documentary Today” . Detroit Free Press . Freep.com. Archived from the original on September 19, 2008 . Retrieved October 7, 2008 .
  60. Jump up^ Overby, Peter (September 26, 2008). “Charity Floods Swing States With Anti-Islam DVD” . Morning Edition . National Public Radio . Retrieved October 7, 2008 . Wierzbicki, the movie promoter, also works for two political organizations.
  61. Jump up^ “Joe Wierzbicki – Director of Public Relations” . King Media Group . Retrieved October 7, 2008 .
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  63. Jump up^ “Board Members and Staff” . Our Country Deserves Better PAC. Archived from the original on September 1, 2008 . Retrieved October 7,2008 .
  64. Jump up^ Overby, Peter; Evans, Will (October 7, 2008). “Some Answers On Clarion, And Still Some Questions” . The Secret Money Project . National Public Radio . Retrieved October 10, 2008 . He said he was hired by Right Reel, a distributor of conservative films, but he expressed the opinion that Right Reel was the ultimate funder of the screening.
  65. Jump up^ Gorski, Eric (September 23, 2008). Muslim group seeks probe of radical Islam DVD . Associated Press . Retrieved October 7, 2008 .
  66. Jump up^ “Think tank quits ‘Obsession Project ‘ ” . Jewish Telegraphic Agency. October 2, 2008. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008 . Retrieved October 14, 2008 .
  67. ^ Jump up to:b “Suppressing Speech On Campus Hurts University’s Prestige” . The Tampa Tribune . Tampa, Florida. December 13, 2007 . Retrieved October 17,2008 .

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