Islam: What The West Needs To Know

Islam: What the West Needs to Know is a 2006 documentary film produced by Quixotic Media. According to the producers, the film is an examination of Islam and its violence towards non-Muslims.

It features discussions using passages from religious texts and includes commentaries by Robert Spencer, Serge Trifkovic, Bat Ye’or, Abdullah Al-Araby, and Walid Shoebat.

The film premiered at the American Film Renaissance Festival in Hollywood on January 15, 2006, and had a limited theatrical release in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta in summer 2006. The film had caught attention mainly through its distribution via web.

Islam: What the West Needs to Know argues that Islam is a violent religion bent on world domination. The documentary uses passages from the canonical texts of Islam as its source material. It is presented in six parts:

1. There Is No God But Allah and Muhammad Is His Prophet: In the first part, various commentators argue that Islamic violence stems from the teachings and examples of Muhammad and that the Qur’an prescribes and sanctions violence against non-Muslims.

2. The Struggle: In the second part, according to the teaching of the Quran, Walid Shoebat defines the word “Jihad" to mean the struggle to impose Allah’s will over the earth, resulting in holy war against the non-Muslim world to bring it under the rule of Islam.

3. Expansion: In the third part, Bat Ye’or describes the expansion of Islam through conquest and presents historical evidence of enslavement and massacres of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and Hindus by Muslim invaders.

4. War Is Deceit: In the fourth part, Robert Spencer and Serge Trifkovic discuss the Islamic principle of Taqiyya, Islamic dissimulation, which, the lecturers argue, enjoins Muslims to deceive non-Muslims to advance the cause of Islam.

5. More Than a Religion: In the fifth part, the documentary asserts that “Islamic law governs every aspect of religious, political, and personal action, which amounts to a form of totalitarianism that is divinely enjoined to dominate the world, analogous in many ways to Communism”.

6. The House of War: The final part covers the division of the world into Dar al-Islam (“the house of Islam” or “the house of peace”), the land governed by the Islamic law, and Dar al-Harb (“the house of war”), the land of non-Muslims. According to the film, Muslims are enjoined to bring the Dar al-Harb under the control of Islam. The film argues, “Muslims in Western nations are called to subvert the secular regimes in which they now live in accordance with Allah’s command.”

Some have considered the film to be thought-provoking and important, with the Gwinnett Daily Post describing its message as “mind-blowing”.Other reviewers criticised the film as being inaccurate, simplistic and biased and even propagandist against Islam. The Chicago Tribune's reviewer, Michael Phillips, describes it as a “deadly dull anti-Islam propaganda piece”, The Washington City Papers review, Louis Bayard, argues that “If [the directors] Davis and Daly had a little imagination, they might see that the devil they’re chasing isn’t Islam but fundamentalism, which assumes many forms.”

A film review by The Charlotte Observer, which does not accept or reject the film’s thesis, is summarized on the back cover of the video wrapping with the phrase, “…if their central thesis is true – and it’s worth considering – then this is the most horrific film of the 21st century so far.”

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Intelligence Squared U.S.: Is Islam “A Religion Of Peace”?

Is the rise of terrorism and violence justifiably traced to the teachings of Islam, or is this call to war a twisted interpretation of the true Muslim faith? Most of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are moderates who see Islamic terrorism as a violation of their sacred texts. Is it wrong to let a radical minority represent authentic Islam? Has fear blinded us to its lessons of tolerance and peace?

Nigeria: Boko Haram’s Attack On Christians

Christians across Nigeria are becoming the victims of increasing violence at the hands of the extremist militant Islamic group Boko Haram. They preached a doctrine of rejection of all things western. They receive training from groups outside of Nigeria like the Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab in Somalia. Entire families have been forced to flee their villages, leaving their property and lives behind. Men, women and children are being murdered, girls and women raped, and children kidnapped.

Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against The West

The movie begins with the following statement:

"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 film about them. This is a film about a radical worldview, and the threat it poses to us all, Muslim and non-Muslim alike."

Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West is a 2005 documentary film about the perceived threat of radical Islam to Western civilization. The film makes use of extensive Arab television footage depicting 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.

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 has received praise from some personalities in the media such as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, but others criticized it as Islamophobic with a political agenda, and for its 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 DVDs as an insert in over 70 newspapers predominantly in swing states before the United States 2008 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.

The film uses many images from Arab TV, provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute and Palestinian Media Watch.

The following persons were interviewed in the movie:

Khaleel Mohammed, an associate professor of religious studies at San Diego State University and the only Islamic Studies Professor interviewed discussed the meaning of jihad and its misuse by extremists.Mohammed later distanced himself and apologised 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.

According to the documentary’s website, the film was received enthusiastically. Glenn Beck (CNN) described “Obsession” as “one of the most important movies of our lifetime”.Emmett Tyrrell (CNN) wrote that “Obsession,” is “one of the most riveting films about the struggle the civilized world faces”, while Kyra Phillips encouraged CNN Newsroom viewers to see the movie which according to her “provides an incredible education”. Additional endorsements were published on Fox News, on Townhall, in National Review,in Front Page Magazine,in The Times Gazette (OH)  and on conservative radio programs such as The Rush Limbaugh Show, the highest-rated talk radio show in the United States.

The films depiction of radical Islam and Islamists was criticized by others as Islamophobic with a political agenda. Initially supplied to college campses for free screenings, the DVD ignited controversy with 30 airing the film while several declined including the State University of New York at the request of Jewish groups. Students attending the screenings at New York University were required to register with with photographs of the event forwarded to Hasbara Fellowships, an organization that brings students to Israel and trains them to be effective pro-Israel activists on college campuses. The forwarding of names was criticised for stifling dissent and intimidating people.

The DVD was released to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks with a large targeted distribution just before the 2008 United States presidential election which was seen by many as an attempt to influence the election. The timing of the release and the unrevealed funding for the distribution, estimated to have cost around $50 million, has stimulated controversy and speculation.

The film has been criticized for “portraying Islam as a threatening religion bent on the destruction of Western civilization, interspersing incendiary commentary with images of Nazis and suicide bombing indoctrination”.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 are on the record as describing Islam as inherently prone to hegemony.”

Rabbi Jack Moline, the Spiritual Leader of the Agudas Achim Congregation, a Conservative synagogue in Alexandria, Virginia, 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. On the matter of the shared staff between Aish HaTorah and the Clarion Fund, Rabbi Moline was quoted as saying “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.”

The left-wing group Hate Hurts America, launched a campaign against the film titled “Obsession for Hate,” calling it a “classic work of hate propaganda, thinly disguised as a critique of radicalism, that attempts to subliminally demonize Muslims and their faith wholesale.”

In Dearborn, Michigan, local religious leaders called a free screening of the documentary on September 11, 2008 a divisive publicity stunt.Joe Wierzbicki of the King Media Group, Russo Marsh & Rogers, and the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, said: “There is a problem with an acceptance of radical Islam in Dearborn more so than anywhere else than 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. Wierzbicki later said Right Reel, a distributor of conservative films, hired him.

The Associated Press reports that the Council on American-Islamic Relations has asked 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. As evidence of inappropriate political bias on the part of The Clarion Fund, AP cited Patriot News of Harrisburg, Pa. reporting “that a Clarion Fund Web site ran a pro-McCain article before it attracted notice and was taken down.” Ari Morgenstern, a spokesman for Middle East Truth, said targeting swing states was designed to attract media attention, but is not meant to influence the election result. Gregory Ross, spokesman for the New York-based Clarion Fund stated: “We are not telling people who to vote for, we’re just saying no matter who gets in office, the American people should know radical Islam is a real threat to America. We don’t feel radical Islam is getting its fair share of press.”

The Endowment for Middle East Truth withdrew support for promoting the film.

After a showing 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”. 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.

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


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The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision For America

"This is not a film about Islam. This is a film about the threat of Radical Islam. Only a small percentage of the world’s 1.3 Billion Muslims are Radical.”

The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision For America is a 2008 documentary film about the perceived threat of radical Islam in the United States. The filmmakers contend that radical Islamists are engaging in a “multifaceted strategy to overcome the western world,” to “infiltrate and undermine our society from within”.

The film was directed by Wayne Kopping of South Africa and Erik Werth, and produced by Erik Werth and Raphael Shore, a Canadian-Israeli, with financing from the Clarion Fund. It is narrated by Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim American.

Raphael Shore, producer of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, and founder of the Clarion Fund is the producer of The Third Jihad. The film was directed and edited by Wayne Kopping, who was also the Director, Editor, and Co-Writer of Obsession.Co-Directing and Co-Producing the film was Erik Werth, an Emmy-nominated television producer at Dateline NBC and former advisor to senior government officials. The film is narrated by Muslim American Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser.

The film uses video clips from American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, As-Sahab media production house of the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN), Al-Aqsa TV and other non-specified news outlets.

The film contains excerpts of speeches by Islamic organizations and terrorist groups, includes interviews with government officials, interspersed with footage of terrorist attacks, human rights violations, and growing support of jihadist movements. A distinction is drawn between radical Islam and Islam as a whole.

Persons interviewed in the film include: former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Director of the American Center for Democracy Rachel Ehrenfeld, founder and president of the Alliance of Iranian Women Manda Zand Ervin, former Jammaa Islameia terrorist Dr. Tawfik Hamid, British columnist and author Melanie Phillips, Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University Bernard Lewis, former CIA operative Wayne Simmons, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Walid Phares, head of Masjid Al Islam mosque in Washington, DC Imam Abdul Alim Musa, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, former CIA Intelligence Expert Clare Lopez, FBI Assistant Director for Public Affairs John Miller (journalist), President of the National Ten Point Leadership Foundation Rev. Eugene Rivers, journalist and author Mark Steyn, former CIA Director during the Clinton Administration Jim Woolsey,and Police Commissioner of New York City Raymond Kelly.

In January 2011, The Village Voice reported that the film was being used to train New York Police Department officers during required counterterrorism training. One officer who viewed the film at an NYPD training facility stated “It was so ridiculously one-sided, it just made Muslims look like the enemy. It was straight propaganda”. Members of the City Council, civil rights advocates, and Muslim leaders objected to the Department’s use of the film.Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said that it “never should have shown to officers,” stating “it was reviewed and found to be inappropriate.”

In January 2012, the New York Times reported that documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act indicated that 1,498 officers viewed the film during the period it was used for training.Police Commissioner of New York City Raymond Kelly, who was interviewed in the film, later stated he considered that decision a mistake and called the film “objectionable.”

Fox News Channel Hannity & Colmes showed a preview of the documentary live on December 22, 2009.The Third Jihad received endorsements from former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, U.S. Senator John Kyl, U.S. Representatives Trent Franks and Sue Myrick, among others.

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The Islamic Conquest Of India [Full]

Muslim conquests on the Indian subcontinent mainly took place from the 12th to the 16th centuries, though earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into modern Afghanistan and Pakistan as early as the time of the Rajput kingdoms in the 8th century. With the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate, Islam spread across large parts of the subcontinent. In 1204, Bakhtiar Khilji led the Muslim conquest of Bengal, marking the eastern-most expansion of Islam at the time.

Prior to the rise of the Maratha Empire which was followed by the conquest of India by the British East India Company, the Muslim Moghul Empire was able to annex or subjugate most of India’s Hindu kings. However, it was never able to conquer the Hindu kingdoms in upper reaches of the Himalayas such as the regions of today’s Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan and the extreme south of India such as Travancore.

Like other societies in history, South Asia has been attacked by nomadic tribes throughout its long history. In evaluating the impact of Islam on the sub-continent, one must also note that the northwestern sub-continent was a frequent target of tribes from Central Asia who arrived from the North West. With the fall of the Sassanids and the arrival of the Caliphate's domination of the region these tribes began to contest with the new power and were subsequently integrated into it giving rise to Muslim dynasties of Central Asian heritage, generally Turkic - Persians. In that sense, the Muslim invasions of the 10th century onwards were not dissimilar to those of the earlier invasions in the History of Central Asia during the 1st through to the 6th century. What does however, make the Muslim invasions different is that unlike the preceding invaders who assimilated into the prevalent social system, the Muslim conquerors retained their Islamic identity and created new legal and administrative systems that challenged and usually superseded the existing systems of social conduct and ethics. They also introduced new cultural mores that in some ways were very different from the existing cultural codes. While this was often a source of friction and conflict, it should also be noted that there were also Muslim rulers, notably Akbar, who in much of their secular practice absorbed or accommodated local traditions.

The first incursion by the new Muslim successor states of the Arab World occurred around 664 CE during the Umayyad Caliphate, led by Al Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah towards Multan in Southern Punjab, in modern day Pakistan. Muhallab’s expeditions were not aimed at conquest, though they penetrated only as far as the capital of the Maili, he returned with wealth and prisoners of war. This was an Arab incursion and part of the early Umayyad push onwards from the Islamic conquest of Persia into Central Asia, and within the limits of the eastern borders of previous Persian empires. The last Arab push in the region would be towards the end of Umayyad reign under Muhammad bin Qasim, after whom the Arabs would be defeated by the south Indian Emperor Vikramaditya II of the Chalukya dynasty and the Rajputs like Nagabhata of the Pratihara Dynasty at the Battle of Rajasthan in 738, and Muslim incursions would only be resumed under later Turkic and Central Asian mongol dynasties with more local capitals, who supplanted the Caliphate and expanded their domains both northwards and eastwards.

It took several centuries for Islam to spread across India and how it did so is a topic of intense debate.

Conversion Theories

Considerable controversy exists both in scholarly and public opinion as to how conversion to Islam came about in Indian subcontinent, typically represented by the following schools of thought:

  1. That Muslims sought conversion through jihad or violence
  2. That the bulk of Muslims are descendants of migrants from the Iranians or Arabs.
  3. Conversion was a result of the actions of Sufi saints and involved a genuine change of heart.
  4. Conversion came from Buddhists and the masses of conversions of lower castes as they were the vulnerable and enticed by uniformity under Islam. (See Indian caste structures.
  5. Conversion was a combination, initially by violence, threat or other pressure against the person followed by a genuine change of heart.
  6. As a socio-cultural process of diffusion and integration over an extended period of time into the sphere of the dominant Muslim civilization and global polity at large.
  7. That conversions occurred for relief from the jizya, the tax only imposed on non-Muslims.
  8. That conversions occurred for non-religious reasons of pragmatism and patronage such as social mobility among the Muslim ruling elite

The Islamic Conquests Of West Asia, North Africa, And Southern Europe

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Arab conquests - an extraordinary period in the 7th and 8th centuries when the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula conquered the Middle East, Persia, North Africa and Southern Europe and spread the ideas of the Islamic religion.

In 632 the prophet Muhammad died and left behind the religion of Islam among a few tribes in the Arabian Desert. They were relatively small in number, they were divided among themselves and they were surrounded by vast and powerful empires.

Yet within 100 years Arab armies controlled territory from Northern Spain to Southern Iran and Islamic ideas had begun to profoundly refashion the societies they touched. It is one of the most extraordinary and significant events in world history that began the slow and profound transformation of Greek and Persian societies into Islamic ones.

But how did the Arab armies achieve such extensive victories, how did they govern the people they conquered and what was the relationship between the achievements of the Arabs and the religious beliefs they carried with them? ***

Hugh Kennedy
Amira Bennison
Robert Hoyland

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The Truth Of The Islamic-Conquest Of Spain

Was the Islamic-Conquest of Spain a nice, friendly event?


The Truth About Orthodox-Judaism [Part Six]

Interview with Yaron Yadan, former head of an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva (religious seminary) in Israel.

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The Truth About Orthodox-Judaism [Part Five]

Interview with Yaron Yadan, former head of an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva (religious seminary) in Israel.

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The Truth About Orthodox-Judaism [Part Four]

Interview with Yaron Yadan, former head of a ultra-Orthodox yeshiva (religious seminary) in Israel.

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The Truth About Orthodox-Judaism [Part Two]

Interview with Yaron Yadan, former head of an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva (religious seminary) in Israel.

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The Truth About Orthodox-Judaism [Part Three]

Interview with Yaron Yadan, former head of an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva (religious seminary) in Israel.

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The Truth About Orthodox-Judaism [Part One]

Interview with Yaron Yadan, former head of an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva (religious seminary) in Israel.

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Israeli Incitement To The Rape & Genocide Of Palestinians

David Sheen gave testimony on incitement to racism and violence by top Israeli political, religious & cultural figures leading up to and during Israel’s 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip (Operation Protective Edge)