“Obsession,” a film about “radical Islam’s war against the West,” is controversial both in its content and also because of its timely promotion just after the seventh anniversary of September 11, 2001, and weeks before the 2008 US presidential election. The film itself does not mention the presidential campaign and was actually produced back in 2006 by The Clarion Fund, a non-profit, making it illegal for the organization to take choose sides in campaign politics. On NPR critics of the film claimed producers and promoters of “Obsession” attempted to sway voter opinion in favor of John McCain.
In the wake of the pro-democracy protests in Tahrir Square, many Western observers are dismayed by the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Dr. Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, joins us to talk about what the Brotherhood’s leadership means for the future of Egyptian democracy.
Pop Goes Islam
With Mubarak gone, Ahmed Abu Haiba no longer has to worry about the infamous SSIS (Egypt’s Secret Police), but his 2-year-old Islamic music channel’s future is anything but certain. Haiba’s Cairo-based 4Shbab TV aims to instill Islamic values in Arab Muslim youth around the world, but some conservative Muslims think that its programming is polluting young minds with “inappropriate” presentations of makeup-wearing women in music videos. A few key Gulf-based financiers have responded to these criticisms by divesting from the channel. A popular Arab sheik even accuses Haiba of promoting “American Islam.” Continue reading