Islam vs. Islamists

PBS’ Islamist Apologists Muzzle Muslim Moderates

After the Center for Public Broadcasting spent $675,000 of taxpayers’ money for Martyn Burke to create ‘Islam vs. Islamists’, Washington’s PBS affiliate, WETA, led the effort to remove the documentary from the ‘America at a Crossroads’ series. WETA’s President and CEO is Sharon Percy Rockefeller, the wife of Senator John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV of West Virginia. In a recent Human Events interview, Martyn Burke explained how WETA influenced PBS’ decision:

Q: A lot of people don’t realize that documentaries are not meant to be balanced and neutral — they always have a point of view. So what is the slant or agenda of “Islam vs. Islamists”?

A: One of the absolutely growing elements of hysteria from WETA within PBS was that we have a point of view. We said, “Of course we have a point of view.” Our point of view — based on the research, based on the reporting and the discussions with all these world-class reporters that we had engaged on this topic — was that there is a large community of moderates within the Muslim world who are afraid to speak up and we’re showing why. It’s because of the attacks of the Islamists.

What PBS/WETA attacked us on was they wanted us, in our opinion, to become virtually apologists for the Islamists, those who are the fundamentalists in this world. Basically, the attitude of this one small group — and again I have to say within WETA — was that the Muslims we were portraying as the moderates were in some way, in their view, not true Muslims because they were Westernized; they believed in democracy, which by the way the Islamists do not and will openly say that.

But they (the group within WETA) felt that the Islamists … somehow represented a truer strain of Islam. We said that is not the case as we have found it. And it became a sort of battle, with them saying to us, “Well, you control this. It is your film, but” – and it was a huge, capital-letter “But” – “if you do not do what we want, we will throw you out of the series.”

PBS apparently believes there are no real “moderate Muslims” in the U.S., just like there is no “Global War on Terror” according to Rockefeller’s party.

Liberal Washington power broker Anne Wexler is WETA’s Vice Chairman. Her USA*Engage team lobbies to stop, stall, and water down trade sanction legislation, such as with Iran. In 1998, the Wexler Group lobbied to de-fang legislation that imposed sanctions against nations that persecuted people for their religious beliefs.

Senator Rockefeller is a leading critic of the Patriot Act. His name appeared in the December 2005 New York Times article that revealed the classified NSA program that monitors communications in and out of the United States when one or more of the parties is suspected of having ties to terrorism. The left contends that both infringe upon free speech, people’s privacy, and the right to be protected from unreasonable searches. Conversely, his wife heads the PBS affiliate that silenced a documentary about moderate Muslims who spoke out against the Islamists and WETA’s Vice Chairman hinders legislation that attempts to end religious persecution abroad.

The canning of ‘Islam vs. Islamists’ probably does not signal a convergence of America’s vast, left-wing conspiracy with radical Islam. More likely, elite liberals think terrorism is manageable yet moderate Muslims are out of control and must be crushed.