Memorial Film On September 11 Attack Turns Controversial

Find out Memorial Film On September 11 Attack Turns Controversial

A short documentary film intended to reminisce what happened in September 11, 2001 is now a hot issue in the United States. Millions of Muslims and other religious sects are campaigning to ban the film, claiming that it reduces all Muslims into a single Islamic extremist group, the al-Qaeda. However, the movie producers maintained that the accusation is untrue. They insist that there should be no reason why the public showing of the film be forbidden.

This six-minute, 45 second film entitled “The Rise of al-Qaeda” is a story that traces the origin of the group, from its formation during the war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan in mid-1980s up to the conceptualization and realization of the 9/11 attack which happened in New York. Thousands of people of different races died, especially those who were working an the World Trade Organization building. Many implicated the bombings to terroristic groups such as al-Qaeda.

Memorial Film On September 11 Attack Turns Controversial
Memorial Film On September 11 Attack Turns Controversial.
Photo Credit:Wikimedia

Narrated by Brian Williiams, a NBC news anchor, “The Rise of al-Qaeda” is planned to be shown in May 21 at the Memorial Museum in New York City. Prior to public viewing, the film producers have consulted to Islamic leaders for feedback. In response, the New York Disaster Interfaith Services led by Peter Gudaitis pronounced the film as anti-Muslim. Members of the panel believe that it promotes a bad impression to all Muslims as if they are all members of the al-Qaeda. They wrote a letter asking for the revision or elimination of some offensive scenes.

Furthermore, Muslim leaders cited some misunderstanding of Islamic teachings portrayed in the film. For instance, it associated 9/11 attack to the Islamic concept of ‘jihad’, implying that it is a violent terrorist act against non-Muslims. Rather, ‘Jihad’ stands for a holy war within oneself such that every Muslim resists the evil voice which prevents them in obtaining a holy life. Hence, the film, according to Sheikh Mostafa Elazabawy, the head of Masjid Manhattan, would surely insult Muslims not only in the country but those in other parts of the world who would watch the film.

However, in a separate public statement, Michael Frazier, the museum spokesman, said that “The Rise of al-Qaeda” does not portray generalize Muslims as bad individuals. In fact, there are also images in the document showing how innocent Muslims suffered.  Moreover, makers of the film admitted that the task of doing such film is burdensome since they needed to balance what to show, a proof that the perception of Muslims was taken into consideration while making the film.

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