Wednesday, May 02, 2007

PBS Bias and Suppression of Moderate Muslims

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. on Townhall:

In recent weeks in this space, I have chronicled the saga of an effort to answer that question. It took the form of a 52-minute documentary I helped produce for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s “America at a Crossroads” series. The film, entitled “Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center,” features compelling stories of anti-Islamist Muslims who have had the courage to stand up to co-religionists who are using faith to accomplish political ends.

Unfortunately, what has happened to “Islam vs. Islamists” can only compound this perception. The Public Broadcasting Service and its Washington flagship station, WETA, refused to air this film. While a number of explanations have been given for that decision – including demonstrably false claims that the documentary was not submitted on time, was too long, was unfinished, the officially stated reason is that it was: “flawed by incomplete storytelling, a limited focus that does not adequately corroborate the film’s conclusions, and a general lack of attention to the obligation of fairness, which requires that viewers have access to additional context and relevant information about a complex subject.”

It is bad enough that the public airwaves were used to disseminate only one rendering of the state of Islam in the West – and a highly misleading one, at that. The process whereby the voices of anti-Islamist Muslims were silenced by PBS and WETA was also characterized by egregious behavior, some of which would typically evoke howls of outrage from American liberals.

PBS has yet to adequately explain (even to Congress) why the film was not aired. It seems that the American public can be saturated ad nauseum with American troop deaths, and public scandal, but the question of Islamic ideological in-fighting is taboo.

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