Letter: Local Muslims Criticize Paper's Inclusion of 'Obsession' DVD

September 28, 2008

Author: M. Saeed Dar

Source: The Daily Reflector


I am writing to you on behalf of the Eastern North Carolina Muslim Community to express our deep displeasure with your decision to distribute several thousand DVDs titled, “Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West,” on Monday, Sept. 15. Your decision to distribute the DVD promotes religious hatred and bigotry. I question The Daily Reflector's journalistic wisdom in allowing distribution of such venomous material along with its newspaper.

Perhaps the response might be “Freedom of Speech.” But to avoid potential religious conflict and to promote social harmony, the media must take responsibility for what should be published or broadcast. The dangers of hate spread by extremists are obvious because they attempt to ignite religious hatred and animosity instead of genuine efforts to learn from each other based on what we believe and where our faiths take us.

Therefore, first and foremost, this decision has undermined the integrity of The Daily Reflector as a credible source for trustworthy news and constructive dialogue. This is because it clearly shows that our local newspaper is quickly ready and willing to sell out on its journalistic ethics and values for the appeal of a pleasing advertisement offer.