Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
NYPD Draws Ire for Anti-Muslim Film
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tom Robbins at the Village Voice reported the NYPD screened an anti-Muslim film "The Third Jihad" to police earlier this month at a required counter-terrorism training.
Police spokesman Paul Browne told us the film "was not screened or used for cadets. It was reviewed by instructors at our counter-terrorism bureau and rejected." But the Voice quotes Browne saying it was shown "a couple of times when officers were filling out paperwork before the actual coursework began."
Chair of the New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Zead Ramadan said he brought the screening to the attention of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly last September after a police cadet had attended a viewing of the film. Ramadan said he approached Kelly during an Eid celebration at Gracie Mansion. The commissioner, said Ramadan, was surprised to hear about the movie.
"He looked at me like I had two heads," said Ramadan. "My problems are two-fold: Who the hell are these instructors? And why didn’t the NYPD audit what’s to be shown to their cadets and officers?"
Ramadan said his fear is that "cadets then hit the streets thinking any hijabi woman might blow herself up on the streets." An unnamed officer quoted by the Voice said he was stunned by the film.
"After it was over, I was thinking, 'What was that?' " said a cop who saw the movie at a training facility used by the department in Coney Island. "It was so ridiculously one-sided. It just made Muslims look like the enemy. It was straight propaganda."
The 72-minute film was produced by the Clarion Fund, which was also behind "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West." The trailer for the "The Third Jihad" can be found below.