Muslims say that a documentary that’s going to be shown at the National September 11 Memorial Museum called “The Rise of al Qaeda” is offensive and shouldn’t be shown in its current form.
“The screening of this film in its present state would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum,” said Sheik Mostafa Elazabawy, the imam of Masjid Manhattan, in a letter to the museum director, The New York Times reported.
The big problem?
The documentary uses the term jihad, and some Muslims say its context in the film paints a negative picture of their faith, Fox News reported.
“Unsophisticated visitors who do not understand the difference between al Qaeda and Muslims may come away with a prejudiced view of Islam, leading to antagonism and even confrontation toward Muslim believers near the site,” the imam said, in Fox News.
The Times said the film spans seven minutes, and it includes images of terrorist training camps.
The Muslim reaction comes by way of an interfaith panel that was formed to view and critique the movie. But museum officials have defended the documentary, saying it stays true to facts and does not sideswipe the Muslim faith as a whole.
“From the very beginning, we had a very heavy responsibility to be true to the facts, to be objective and in no way smear an entire religion when we are talking about a terrorist group,” Joseph Daniels, the president of the group that’s overseeing the memorial and the museum, told The Times.
• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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