'Obsession' — Ask the Filmmakers!

Through the eyes of radical Islam, American culture is evil, immoral and oppressive. Why do they hate us, what are they planning, and can they be stopped?

The new documentary, "Obsession: The Threat of Radical Islam," goes inside the world of Muslim extremists.

This documentary is sure to provoke many questions, and the filmmakers want to hear from you!

Once you've had a chance to watch the special, send your questions and comments — Director Wayne Kopping and Producer Raphael Shore will post their answers on FOXFan.com.

E-mail your question

Visit the movie's website

Answers From Raphael Shore (Producer)

I am inclined to join a group for the purpose of educating Americans about the threat before us. They need to know. Is there an organized group with such a mission? Your help is appreciated, and thank you for your film. — Dave

Raphael Shore: Hi, Dave. Obsession has recently begun a campus initiative, which seeks to nurture awareness and activism on North American college campuses. For more information on getting involved, you can contact campus@obsessionthemovie.com. Additionally, the "8 things you can do" section of our website lists a number of other organizations focused on different aspects of the crisis.

There are several groups in America actively working to help educate people about the threat and other issues related to the crisis. One of these is Daniel Pipes organization: The Middle East Forum. http://www.meforum.org/about.php.

Once you make the money you need to off the film, would you consider providing copies of it to American schools and universities for educational purposes? Perhaps a foundation could be set up to provide the financing? You must get your message out to a broader audience, particularly youth.

The next generation needs to know the truth about who our enemy is. Enough with fighting over PlayStations. The future is very grim if our nation does not wake up to the threat of Islamic fascism.

Thanks for your great service to America. — Cindy

Raphael Shore: We would be happy to do this. As of now, we need funds to make this happen. Now that people are beginning to awaken to the problem, it will take a number of years to redress the inaction that allowed it develop. “Obsession” is currently planning a number of initiatives — including one on campus — that will help educate more people on the issues, and encourage a public debate on ways we can respond. If you, or others you know, are interested in sponsoring various projects, feel free to contact us at donate@obsessionthemovie.com or donate directly at www.obsessionthemovie.com .

I would like to know who funded this special? I noticed that you did not answer that question. Why the secret? You may have a good reason for not answering that question, but at least explain why. — William

Raphael Shore: At the recommendation of a number of experts we worked with in making the film, many of the individuals and organizations who helped make this film possible requested anonymity. Tragically, we've seen numerous times the response of the radicals to those who openly expose or disagree with them.

Steve Emerson received numerous threats following the release of his film "American Jihad." Effigies of the Pope were burned around the world in response to a recent speech quoting a Byzantine Emperor. A series of cartoons in a Danish newspaper resulted in deadly riots around the world. Dutch Filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was stabbed to death in a Dutch street because he made a film deemed offensive to Islam. The Iranian death edict against Salman Rushdie has not been lifted. Many moderate Muslims fear to speak out, out of risk to their own physical well being, such as in the Gaza strip, where 'collaborators' with Israel are executed. This is the situation we find ourselves in today.

Do you have plans for sequels to "Obsession,” especially documenting Islamic clerics speaking in the U.S? Do Islamic schools in U.S. teach those children to hate Jews, Americans, and America, too?Anonymous

Raphael Shore: Yes, we are currently in pre-production on a new film that will further address how this crisis affects all of us. One of the best films made to date, which documents the infiltration into America, is "American Jihad," by Steven Emerson. Certainly, most Muslims in America are peace-loving people, who love their country, and raise their children with their values of tolerance and respect. However, there are a number of schools on North American soil, which have been found to be inculcating their students with hatred.

A recent article by Daniel Pipes documents several of them, including "an investigation by the New York Daily News in 2003 [which] found that books used in the city's Muslim schools "are rife with inaccuracies, sweeping condemnations of Jews and Christians, and triumphalist declarations of Islam's supremacy." Additionally, a number of mosques have also been found to be disseminating hatred among their congregants. For information on the infiltration into U.S. mosques, one great source is a recent report by the Center for Religious Freedom: Saudi Publications On Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques.

Hello. This program may be an eye-opening one for the American audience, but I and my community have been going through this and have been on the receiving end for the past two decades. Why is there no mention about Kashmir (in India) in this documentary, and what's your opinion about what's happening there? Thanks, Vijay

Raphael Shore: We hope our dearth of references to attacks upon the Indian state isn't understood as implying that we feel they are insignificant. Quite the opposite. We are well aware of the tragic situation many Indians have lived through in Kashmir and elsewhere in the country. In fact, we are currently testing an online map which reflects many of these attacks. We hope to have this map functional in the next few weeks. (You will be able to see it at www.WorldUnderFire.com).

There are several reasons we chose not to include Kashmiri attacks in the film. One reason is that many people in India are aware of the threat they are confronting. The need to educate Europeans and Americans of what they are confronting was far more pressing. A second reason is that if the film were to address every country where Radical Islamist violence is occurring, it would be several hours in length.

How do you wake up the world and find common purpose with those Muslims who do not share Jihadist beliefs?

Raphael Shore: One way to become proactive is by starting a "shared values" campaign, encouraging peaceful coexistence among the diverse peoples in our global (and local) communities with a joint stand against radical Islamic terror. Most of us share many of the same ideals. By raising awareness about the beautiful things we have in common, we can stand firm against threats to those ideals. You can also bring speakers to your community and engage others in a healthy debate, or organize a peaceful rally or vigil on the issues of shared relevance to you. Interfaith activities are also a great way to find common purpose with those Muslims who do not share Jihadist beliefs.

Thank you for your film. Since 9/11, I have read numerous books by Muslim and non-Muslim authors. What you depicted confirms what I have read. I have two questions.
1: Based on your knowledge and experiences, what is the best way for the non-Muslim world to respond to the Muslim threat?
2: How do we identify the Muslims who don't support the extremists, and how can we use them to combat the jihadists?

Raphael Shore: We need to develop a pre-emptive national security policy. World leaders need to stop promoting the dangerous policies of appeasement that have allowed countries like Iran to get to the brink of producing nuclear weapons. Free speech is clearly something that needs to be preserved, but we have to be careful when the right is abused as an opportunity to incite others to violence. Additionally, citizens and elected officials need to be educated about the issues. It's important to be aware that grassroots activities are an important way of influencing national policy. On the local level, there are other ways to become proactive. For more information, feel free to check out our "What You Can do Page" at www.obsessionthemovie.com.

Regarding your second question: Many Muslims are just as upset as Christians, Jews, and Buddhists, when they see the extremist viewpoints being promoted by jihadists and Radical leaders. It might be enough to simply approach Muslims in your community, and invite them to be part of bridge-building projects to help promote our shared ideals. You can post an ad in your local community bulletin, inviting people to be part of such a project.

I really appreciated the "Obsession" special on FNC this evening.
1. What can be done to defuse the radicals, or is it too late?
2. Is there any chance the "moderate Islam members" would challenge the radicals? It is as big a threat to the Islam religion as a whole as it is to the Western world. In spite of their numbers, an all-out war against Islam would be worse than the Crusades.

Raphael Shore: It's not too late. That said, the world is clearly in a very difficult place. They are at war with us. The problem didn't arise overnight, and it won't go away overnight. The strength of showing films like "Obsession" is that they can help open a dialogue, and provide the necessary exchange of ideas to help find a long-term solution. One basic thing we can all do now is to support public policy initiatives aimed at limiting the infiltration of Radicals into our communities. For more information on other things we can do, check out the "what we can do page" at www.ObsessionTheMovie.com .

No one suggests it will be easy for moderate Muslims to remove the radical element in their midst. But, the world has seen other threatening groups uprooted from its midst. Crusaders have not tromped through Europe and the Middle East in centuries. We don't hear much these days from the Khmer Rouge. Hitler and Mussolini are dead and gone. It won't be easy. But, if moderates and others are willing to stand up to the threat, there is hope.

I read and speak Arabic. In the Arabic Koran, there are over 300 verses that declare "jihad" — killing and conquering all infidels. A Muslim told me that the Koran is perfect and it is to be believed and followed in its entireity. If Muslims follow the Koran, aren't they bound by the Koran to carry out its instructions; or do some Muslims not believe everything in the Koran? Wouldn't this make them infidels? This confuses me after reading the Arabic Koran and then watching your show on FOX News. What do you think? Thanks, Jim in Detroit

Raphael Shore: According to Islamic scholars, the Qur'an cannot be understood without secondary sources. One of these is the Sunnah (the example of Mohammed). One form of Sunnah is known as hadith (the sayings of Mohammed). According to Professor Shahul Hameed, "It is impossible to understand the Qur'an without reference to the Hadith; and it is impossible to explain a hadith without relating it to the Qur'an… Hadith, in practical terms, explains, clarifies, and paraphrases the Qur'an. If we reject the Hadith, we may misread the Qur'an; so Hadith is central to a proper understanding of the Qur'an." Within the context of these sources, there is room for interpretation. Take, for example, the word "jihad," which means "struggle." There are those who say that jihad means a struggle with others, to force them to submit to Islam by the sword, if necessary. Others say it refers to a struggle with oneself, to become a better person (this is discussed in "Obsession"). Another example of differing interpretations is homicide bombing. Many Radicals support this, and promote it as a quick route to paradise, while other clerics interpret the texts as strongly forbidding it under the prohibition against suicide. A great resource for more information is www.IslamOnline.net .

Answers From Wayne Kopping (Director, Editor, Co-writer)

While watching this film, the one thing that stood out to me is that the commentators kept referring to "radical Islam," while the Jihadists referred to themselves as Muslim. Could it be that political correctness is getting in the way here? I believe so, and I think this is dangerous. — R.B.

Wayne Kopping: Unlike Jihadists, most Muslims are peaceful believers of their religion. Therefore, the more accurate term for a Jihadist is Radical Islamist (also known as Islamic Fundamentalist or Islamofacist). Radical Islamists believe that strict Islamic law (the sharia) is the only legitimate way to regulate human life. As a result, Western freedoms and culture are viewed as enemies. Their religious mission is to force America and other Western nations to live under Islamic law. How do they aim to do this? A primary strategy is to use terror.

How can we find out how many Muslims in the U.S. are radical? — Barbara (Hot Springs, AZ)

Wayne Kopping: There are roughly 1.3 billion Muslims in the world (21%). The population figures for American Muslims are debatable. Estimates range from 1.1 million to 7 million. It is difficult to say what percentage support violence against America. Interestingly, we have not found any surveys of Muslims in the U.S. regarding their feelings toward America. In Europe, the Pew Global Attitudes Project asked Muslims if they support suicide bombings. Here are how many who responded "sometimes" or "rarely":

French Muslims 35%
Spanish Muslims 25%
British Muslims 25%
German Muslims 13%

Radical Islamist terrorist groups around the world have tens of thousands of members and supporters, according to the U.S. State Department's annual list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

Within the United States there are mosques being used to preach hatred for America, as well as provide training for terrorists. How can we stop these activities within a country where government protects religious freedom and the terrorists use the American system of government against itself?

Wayne Kopping: Several notable Muslim clerics have recently condemned certain actions by radical Islamists. If this trend continues, it could lead to more active involvement of mainstream Muslims in reclaiming their religion from violent extremists. A Muslim reformation would be very effective in reducing terrorism. What can we all do? Be aware of what's going on in your community. Contact Congress to support proactive law enforcement and military policies. Other ideas can be found on www.obsessionthemovie.com .

The NSA issue of revealing contacts was one very good way to keep track of foreign phone calls. We should also secure the border, but isn't it too late because terrorists are already here? Also, recently, I read that our State Dept. allowed 15,000 student visas from Muslim countries. Why? — N.J. (Reno, NV)

Wayne Kopping: Improving border security is an important part of preventing terrorism. Fortunately, the Secure Fence Act was just signed into law by President Bush. The law authorizes hundreds of miles of additional fencing along our southern border and increases the use of advanced technology like cameras, satellites, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Since 2001, the Bush administration has doubled spending to enhance border security.

Another key part of border security, as you mention, is visa control. One of the things that makes America great is that we are an open country that welcomes international visitors — even from Muslim countries. It is also important to prevent terrorists from gaining entry into the U.S. using visas, as some of the 9/11 terrorists did. To help prevent this, the U.S. State Department is testing a new program called US-VISIT. At U.S. consular offices overseas, the visa holder's fingerprints and photographs are digitally scanned. These biometrics are checked against a database of known criminals and suspected terrorists. When the visitor arrives in the U.S., the same biometrics are used to verify the person is the same person who received the visa overseas.

How could I identify a member of radical Islam as opposed to a peaceful Muslim if they are trying to "blend in" until it's their time to strike us again? — Linda (Okeana, OH)

Wayne Kopping: As we state several times in the film, the majority of Muslims are not "radical." Therefore, one should not make the mistake of assuming every Muslim man or woman you meet is a potential terrorist.

It's advisable to listen closely to what those in the Islamic community are saying and how they are saying it!

We all agree that, here in the West, we have a right to free speech — and that one does not necessarily have to agree with the policies of the country and its government. However, when free speech becomes hate speech, and one hears comments similar to the hate speech we feature in "Obsession," one may have cause for concern.

Be an aware and informed member of the community. If you notice any overtly suspicious activity, contact the FBI at tips.fbi.gov/ .

Where can I find more information about this subject?


Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America (2005) by Walid Phares
Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America (2004) by Kenneth R. Timmerman
American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us (2003) by Steven Emerson
The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror (2003) by Bernard Lewis

Web Sites

For a list of online resources, go to: http://www.obsessionthemovie.com/links.htm

For additional clips of propaganda in the Arab & Iranian media:

Answers From Raphael Shore (Producer)

What can I personally do about this? I write letters but I feel they fall on deaf ears. I pray and truly hope our nation's politicians step out of their ivory towers and stop playing their political games and take this seriously. — Diana

Raphael Shore: One of the most common reactions that people have after watching the film, "Obsession: Radical Islam's War against the West" is, "What can we do about it?" and I certainly empathize with this sentiment. When we became clear on this problem of radical Islam, we decided to make a film. I think that the most important thing that can be done for America and for the West is to educate our people to the fact that there is a threat. For that reason, one of the most important things that we can do, is to spread this message through purchasing the film at www.obsessionthemovie.com and creating your own screenings, and by giving it to your friends, or by disseminating books and literature and web links so that people can be informed. America can win this war that has been imposed on it, only if it is clear that there is a war going on. Then we'll have a chance to have the willpower necessary to come up against this determined enemy.

What can people do? Here are some more ideas:

There are six practical things that you can do. There are many other things that can be done, but this is a start. We would like to hear from other people their ideas of what can be done, so we can build up the website and offer more opportunities for people. Email us at activism@obsessionthemovie.com

Another way to help: the film "Obsession" has had some difficulty being received by the Hollywood world, primarily because it is such a "hot potato," and "PC" is uncomfortable with much of the discussion the movie addresses. Therefore, it has been a grassroots effort to get the film to where it is today, and it is with the help of individuals who have contacts with the media, with politicians, with people who can give financial support, that we have come to where we are. We have received tremendous assistance and support. If you can offer any assistance in those areas, please email help@obsessionthemovie.com You can also go to obsessionthemovie.com/donate where you can donate money that will help get "Obsession" seen throughout the world.

Greetings, Have you received "threats" for having spoken truth about the radical Islamic message?

Raphael Shore: Thank God, we have not received threats. We have been careful to be respectful of the Islamic religion and differentiate between Islam and the political/religious movement of the radical Islamists. In no situation in the course of the film do we profane Islam and we are careful to state on many occasions, in the beginning, middle, and end of the film that we believe that the great majority of Muslims are not radical. Therefore, we believe that this film should not be something that would cause Muslims to be upset. On the contrary, we encourage moderate Muslims to speak up and make their voice be heard together with ours: to say that the radical Islamists do not represent true Islam. We must work together, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to confront the terror threat to our civilization.

Thank you very much for presenting this film. I can't even begin to imagine the hours it took; it must be staggering. — Claudia

Raphael Shore: Thank you very much for your appreciation. This film took over a year to prepare and a tremendous amount of research and scholarly advice was brought into making the film, so that we were sure of our facts and positions. It was a labor that was done in order to help the free world gain clarity of the serious threat that is being presented to it today.

You should know that you have only seen part of "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" on FOX News. To see the full 60-minute pre-release DVD, you can order it now at www.obsessionthemovie.com for $19.95. And the full film will be in theaters in January.

Why do otherwise intelligent Americans, Britons, Europeans refuse to confront the peril?

Raphael Shore: Well, that is a great question and very much at the center of what this film "Obsession" discusses. There is a very human and very natural desire to live in comfort. America is a very comfortable society, Europe is a very comfortable society, and most people want to live and enjoy their life and not be bothered by enemies and threats. Before World War II in the 1930's and even in the 1920's, Adolf Hitler was very clear on his aims and goals; nevertheless, the world chose the path of appeasement in the hopes that the problem would go away. They hoped that if they would just feed the monster a little bit that he would be satiated and would disappear, because the alternative meant war. So instead of fighting earlier, they fought later, once the monster had developed a very large appetite. The result was over 30 million people dying in WWII.

Had the free world chosen to fight Hitler earlier on, and taken him at his word and be serious about the threat, then we would have been spared millions of deaths. Today we face a very serious threat from radical Islam. It is a different kind of a war, it is a war that we're not used to. It's hard for us to recognize it as a war in the traditional sense, but radical Islam is very determined, vocal, and articulate in describing their aims for bringing the world under Islam. They should be taken seriously, as the historian Martin Gilbert says in our film. But most people do not want to give up the comfort of their daily life until it has been forced upon them, until they have no choice. That is the main reason why we're not confronting the peril.

The second reason, which is related to the first, is that our inner desire to ignore threats that upset our comfort runs deep in the media and politics, so most people are not being given the facts. "Obsession" is trying to start a change towards education, so people can learn the facts and make their own choices.

Why haven't we seen this months ago? What are your plans for greater circulation, and further programs? Your message urgently requires broad exposure. Congratulations on a compelling documentary. — M.N.

Raphael Shore: "Obsession" was completed some months ago, and we started out by presenting it in film festivals. It won the Liberty Film Festival Award for Best Feature Documentary Film (which, by the way, will be taking place November 10-12 in Hollywood, California), and it appeared in about five other film festivals subsequent to that.

We then started a search for distribution, and we found that the topic was so "non-PC" that the main distribution houses were a bit scared of picking up on the film. We have been in serious discussion with many of them, but nothing has crystallized to date. Our plans include a theatrical release in January in any case, and following the theatrical release the film will be available in the retail market. Until then, a pre-release version of "Obsession" is available for $19.95

Airing "Obsession" is a great public service for America! Is it true you cannot get theatrical U.S. distribution because of threats from Muslims?

Raphael Shore: No, this is not true. We have not received threats from Muslims, this has not been the reason we have had difficulties arranging a major distributor. We do believe that there is a fear factor involved in the fact that the film has not been picked up. I should add that "Obsession" has received more critical acclaim and more media exposure than any documentary in recent history, and yet at the same time has not landed a major distributor! This would suggest that the fear factor is probably an element.

How can we get a copy? I think this special report should appear on every station in the U.S. — David (Grand Rapids, MI)

Raphael Shore: You can get a copy of the "Obsession's” "pre-release" cut, which is an hour length, at obsessionthemovie.com. At the website, you can also see a number of short clips from the film.

In addition, on googlevideo.com you can see the 12-minute version of the film, which has now come into the Top 100 list for the second time. Please feel free to forward these links to your family and friends.