Click here to return to the
Source: New Zealand Islamic Website
Findings of the Muslim Experts under the auspicious
of the Crescent International.
“Jihad In America”
2. Who is Emmerson ?
3. Why the showing of the video in South Africa would be disastrous ?
4. Fact – Checking Steven Emmerson.
5. More on Emmerson’s agenda.
6. Non Muslim journalists opinion on Emmerson.
For two months executives of the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) told the thousands of Muslims and Arab Americans who called, faxed and wrote to their offices to wait until they saw “Jihad In America” before passing judgement on the program. Community members around the country have now seen “Jihad” and many believe their worst fears have been realized.
From beginning to end, “Jihad In America” and its producer, Steven Emmerson, offered nothing but distorted snippets of fiery rhetoric, unsupported allegations and spurious juxtapositions to build a case against the Muslim Community in America.(And by implication Muslims in general)(emphasis added)The film was portrayed as factual and educational, while it contained many factual errors. The most obvious error was defining Jihad as “Holy War.” The film also alleges that law enforcement agencies failed to do their job in protecting the American public. Muslims believe law enforcement agencies in this country are doing their jobs.
We see this document as just another aspect of the recent trend towards anti Islamic “McCarthyism” by the media. In terms of the potential hate crimes, it is now “open season” on Muslims in America.
 Emmerson has mixed fact with fiction and made outrageous allegations against the Muslims without offering proof. For instance, in the video he shows target practice at a shooting range but shows no faces. He alleges that these are Muslims. Why do Muslims need to target practice in the USA when they could do it far more easily in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan ? Besides nobody, not even Americans can use big sophisticated weapons on these ranges. They are all regulated by the government.
 He uses clippings from Islamic conferences and then he alleges that these people are planning terrorist activities in the US. You would have noticed that right in the beginning of this video, he makes a disclaimer that he is not accusing all Muslims of being bad; only a small group of them, yet he proceeds to accuse the Muslims in general.
 In the conferences representatives from Algeria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan are presented as “terrorists.” In Algeria, The Islamic Salvation Front won a democratic election but the Junta robbed them of the rights. What should they do ? Surrender to the Junta ? Is the struggle for democratic rights a problem for America ?
 Muslims have a problem with the Zionists, the alien invaders of Palestine. They have forcibly taken the land from the Palestinians. The Palestinians are entitled to fight their oppressors and liberate their land. This right is recognised even by International Law.
 Emerson tries to confuse the viewer that the Palestinian’s struggle against Israel is actually a war against the USA. He tries to convey the massage that the people fighting against Israel also hate the USA and therefore planning “terrorist” attacks in the USA, using the bogey of the world trade centre bombing.
The world trade centre (WTC) bombing as well as the July 1994 bombing of the Jewish Centre in Buenos Aeries, Argentina need some elaboration. The entire case against the world trade centre accused was based on speculation. There was no direct evidence. Also, The fact that the security of the world trade centre was contracted out to a company run by Israeli immigrants to the USA who had come only 6 or 7 years ago was never mentioned. Nor were any of the employees of the security company – ATLAS SECURITY – ever interviewed, at leats in court, why ? It was their job to maintain security in the building. There are surveillance cameras that monitor the movement of all people and vehicles entering the building. Why were these records not brought out ? Who drove the van that allegedly carried the bomb, in the building ? There is no proof that any of the men that were convicted in the world trade centre case were ever in the building.
In the trail of Shaikh. Umar Abdel Raman and others, it has now come to light that a former Egyptian military intelligence officer, Emad Salem, was recruited by the FBI. He admitted in court that he told the FBI that he (Salem) made the bomb that blew up the building. Also, that he had a contract with the FBI for $1.06 million to trap these people. This he admitted in court and is on record.
Further, there is no discussion of a mysterious character, one Josie Hadas whose name surfaced momentarily after the WTC blast and then it was hushed up. Who was Josie Hadas ? Was she a Mossad agent ? Why was this aspect not explained fully ? One of the accused on the WTC bombing, Muhammad Salameh, said that he had rented the van at the behest of Josie Hadas who had ask him to move some stuff for her. Salameh said that Hadas was his landlady. The van was stolen the same day that it was rented – February 23 – three days before the blast. Salameh had reported the theft of the van to the rental company the same day !
One of the men convicted in the WTC case, Ahmed Ajaj, was reported by the New York Times (November 1994) to be innocent. The paper tried to trace his journey to Pakistan before his arrival in the USA and interviewed a number of people who knew him. They said that Ajaj was not involved in the jihad in Afghanistan.
He was arrested at New York airport when he was caught with a false Swiss passport. From his luggage they found a manual for making bombs. This manual while taken into possession of the USA customs, was cited by the prosecution as “evidence” that Ajaj was planning to make bombs and this was also used to make the bomb that blew up the WTC. The manual and Ajaj remained in custody from September 1992 and was still in USA immigration custody when the explosion occurred.
The New York Times reported that the manual as well as some clothes Ajaj was carrying belonged to a Jordanian who was martyred in Afghanistan. Ajaj was going to send these things to the person’s family from the USA because parcels from Pakistan are strictly monitored by the Jordanian and other Arab regimes and never get to the right people.
 After initial allegations against Iran by a disgruntled Iranian who had escaped from Iran after cheating on some business deal, there has been no proof of who caused the Buenos Aeries explosion. In fact the Argentinean government had to apologies to Iran for making these false allegations and the judge who made the allegations was dismissed from his job. Yet Emerson tries to convey the impression that Muslims did it. This is an utter lie.
 Emmerson also misuses the statements of various Islamic activists about the situation in Afghanistan to create hysteria in the minds of the American public. All speeches quoted by Emmerson related to the struggle against the Soviet army on Afghanistan. It was the same jihad that was financed by the USA to the tune of $3 billion. These people who came to the USA on fund raising activities were all allowed by the USA government.
Emmerson uses partial statements from them – ” Jihad means shedding of blood, killing, etc..” without revealing that they are talking about Afghanistan and fighting against Russia, not America.
2. Who is Emmerson ?
For ten years he was closely aligned with the right wing Likud Party in Israel. Since the victory of the Labour Party of Yitzak Rabin (July 1992) Emmerson found himself on the wrong side of Israeli politics. Presently he is the Executive Producer of the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS)-USA. This video was his way to crawl back into the good books of the Israeli government. This was a favour that he tried to do for them by saying to the Israeli government that I can be useful to you in your propaganda campaign.
Emmerson’s so called expertise on terrorism was exposed when he claimed on April 19 1995, immediately after the explosion in Oaklahoma city, that this had the markings of the Middle Eastern “terrorists.” He spoke these words of wisdom on the CBS(Columbian Broadcasting Systems) TV and proclaimed that the perpetrators intent was deadly. It sure was, but the perpetrators were not Muslim ! A good old, home grown American marine sergeant, Timothy McVeigh, is the prime suspect in the Oklahoma City bombing case.
3.Why the showing of the video in South Africa would be disastrous ?
After the video was shown in the USA, Attacks against Muslims increased. A number of Mosques have been fire bombed. Muslim children at school and women in Hijab out shopping have been harassed and taunted. In the Aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, One Muslim women in Oklahoma City had miscarried when unknown people attacked her house and broke windows by throwing stones. Within two days of the Oklahoam City bombing, there were at least 200 incidents of violence against Muslims.
Emmerson has a Zionist agenda. He is busy serving the interests of the Israeli government. The Palestinians have a problem with the Israeli government. The Muslims of South Africa have no problem with the South African government nor do they wish to see racially motivated attacks starting here. Emmerson’s video serves no useful purpose as far as South Africa is concerned.
Projecting Muslims as “terrorists” is exactly the same as the apartheid regime portrayed the ANC as a “terrorist” organization. South Africa has bid farewell to that oppressive era. It is a multi – racial society where racial harmony is of paramount importance. Instead of building bridges of understanding, Emmerson’s propaganda video plays on peoples’ fears by misrepresentation and innuendo.
It would be a great disservice to all the people of South Africa if such a scandalous video was shown.
( By courtesy of Crescent International – Brother Zafar Bangesh.)
4. Fact – Checking Steven Emmerson.
It is extremely difficult to assess the veracity of mush of Steven Emmerson’s reporting, since it relies so heavily on anonymous sources. His most recent work, the CBS “documentary” “Jihad In America” (11 April 199), is no exception.
“Jihad In America” funded by the right wing Carthage and Bradley Foundation, alleges a wide spread U.S. based Islamic terror network. Despite a few events ( ” The overwhelming majority of Muslims are not members of militant groups”), the document paints Muslims as dangerous “others.”
Much of Emmerson’s “proof ” is sourced to anonymous officials; Eg., “FBI officials have confirmed the existence of several command centres and communications posts. – like this Texas hamburger stand.” Sometimes sweeping allegations are hardly backed up at all; “Our investigation has uncovered more that 30 groups that fund radical Islamic activities and operate under tax exempt status.” Most of the groups turned up by this unspecified “investigation” are not named.
When one can check the source that Emmerson cites. it does not always lend credence to his claims. When he appeared on WBAI’s Radio Broadcasting (12/ 5/ 94), the host of the programme noted that, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations, a Muslim Community School in Maryland that was mentioned in “Jihad In America” had been vandalised shortly after the show was aired. Emmerson demanded, “Did you check with the Montgomery County Police Department to verify the report of vandalism ? because I did and in fact they never received a report.”
But in a Feb., 18 letter to the New York Times, Emmerson made reference to the same vandalised attack. “Maryland police revealed that Islamic students at the Mosque were responsible.” He claimed. He did not indicate how the police could close a case that had never been reported to them.
(Fairness And Acuracy IN Reporting) (FAIR) took Emmerson’s advice and checked with the Montgomery County Police. “I don’t have any information of anybody that did it.” Sgt Frank Young the department’s chief press liaison, told us. Officer Robin Xander, Who took the police report, said she suspected that the vandals were students, but said that they could have been from a number of schools.
After FAIR pointed to these discrepancies in a letter published in the New York Times (3/ 4/ 1995), Emmerson produced yet another version of the vandalism attack (New York Times, 3/ 11/ 1995) – again without indicating that any other version had existed.”Maryland Police officers… told me students at the school were likely responsible,” Emmerson now claimed. (emphasis added)
On One of the few of Emmerson’s claims that could be independently checked, his position shifted continually as the facts emerged: from non – existent attack on a Muslim school, to an attack perpetuated by Muslim students, to an attack that may have been committed by Muslim students.
It’s this sort of slippery use of evidence that makes people wary of Emmerson’s reporting.
(By courtesy of FAIR)
5. More on Emmerson’s agenda:
Prior to its airing on PBS, Emmerson screened “Jihad In America” for officials at the New York head quarters of a major national Jewish organization. He wanted their public endorsement of the film to increase pressure on the Clinton administration for tougher laws to combat Arab terror.
While the Jewish leaders weren’t shy about using the film to press Clinton for laws to increase Federal police powers, they did not want to be publicly identified with the video, for fear of harming “intergroup relations,” according to one official. “People were concerned then and now it looked like all Arabs are blamed for a very small portion of Muslim fundamentalists who engage in terrorism, that it pointed the finger at the entire Arab community, that it made generalizations.
The Israeli government was less concerned about stereotyping Arabs. Emmerson gave a sneak preview for Israeli officials in Washington, who had long complained that Hamas was being run from bases in America. Emmerson’s film not only helped them press their case with the administration – that Islam is our common enemy – but it also helped to rehabilitate Emmerson with the Labour government. Labour was angry with Emmerson for helping the Likud undermine the peace process. Yossi Ben Aharon, Yoram Ettinger, and Yagil Carmon are former high ranking Likud government officials whom Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin dubbed the Gang of Three after the trio started lobbying on Capitol Hill against the Israeli – PLO accord and against sending USA peace keepers to the Golan Heights “In order to undermine any chance for peace with Syria.” says a prominent Israeli journalist. Carmon, who was Likud Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin’s adviser on terrorism, and Ettinger, who was Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s man in the Israeli Embassy, stay in Emmerson’s apartment on their frequent visits to Washington. Carmon was credited as an advisor on Emmerson’s documentary.
Ignoring his role in creating mass hysteria against American Arabs, Emmerson warns in an Op – Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal six days after the Oklahoma City bombing that unless the pendulum swings back to the days when the FBI was able to infiltrate legal political organizations, Radical Islam will prevail. Apparently being a terrorist experts means never having to say you’re sorry.
(Robert. I. Friedman. Investigative reporter for New York)
6. Non Muslim journalists opinion on Emmerson.
It was not just Muslim Journalists who found fault with “Jihad In America.” Writes Ibrahim Hooper (Washington)
Non – Muslim Commentators such as terrorist expert Tony Cooper have called the program “propaganda.”
In a commentary on the program in the St Louis Post-Dispatch Professor Jack. G. Shaheen author of “The TV Arab” said “Jihad” is a perilous television progamme, pandering to stereotypes that feed collective hatreds.”
Reese Erlrich, a media critic and journalism instructor at California State University at Hayward, said “Rather than illuminating a serious issue, the document uses McCarthyite techniques to attack a range of legal, political and religious groups.”
(Ibrahim Hooper is national communications director for the council onAmerican-Islamic Relations(CAIR), a non-profit,Washington-based Islamic advocacy organization).
PBS refused Muslim and Arab American leaders to preview the document and went on to screen it against the American Muslims’ advice to abstain, resulting in the various assaults on Muslims and their property. NNTV is presently showing the same type of arrogance, contrary to the Interim Constitution and the SABC Religious Broadcasting Policy. It is therefore in the interest of Muslim public safety and fair and acurate broadcasting that we need to ensure that “Jihad In America” is permanently removed from the National TV circuit.
Click here to return to the Home Page