Denise Dennis of the Huffington Post reports:
This past Sunday, in presidential-election swing states across the country, the New York Times came bundled with a dvd of the documentary “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” a controversial film on the threat Islamic terrorism. The documentary is set for release to retail outlets this week — the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — but has been shown at college campuses for nearly a year now, presented largely by Jewish student organizations and as part of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, the national “conservative campus protest” organized and sponsored last fall by conservative author David Horowitz’s Freedom Center.
…Aimed at voters in the battleground states the week of September 11, the film is more than a scare tactic or a campaign ploy. It smacks of classic propaganda, boosted through this clever marketing deal by association with the authority of the New York Times brand. The point is to frighten viewers and, it seems clear, to frighten American voters across the country in order to raise security concerns ahead of all other issues in the election.
The website for “Obsession” states:
Obsession does not blame terrorism on Islam. Rather, the film explores the justification that terrorists themselves give for their actions. Islamic fundamentalists believe that they need to save their countries and their fellow Muslims from the immorality and evil of the West. Suicide bombers act in the name of Allah, as clearly documented in suicide videos left behind by the bombers. Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who is slowly purging his country of Western influences, openly encourages ‘martyrdom,’ and is obsessed with the coming of the Messiah. Terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad have all couched their rhetoric in religious ideology.
This video was the root of a scandal in Florida, in which Attorney General Bill McCollum emailed 500 state employees this past February, urging them to go see a screening of the movie to understand “the terrorist threat to Florida and the West by radical Islam,” a move that was greatly decried by American Muslims.