The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

See no evil

You’ve all seen the cartoon. Three monkeys sit side by side, with hands covering mouth, ears and eyes, respectively—speak, hear, and see no evil. As time passes, it appears that the Left has adopted the same position, especially where Islamist ideology is concerned.

In their view, political correctness and misguided multiculturalism restricts any negative discussion of Islamofascism. In fact, even relatively mild criticism is to be avoided, lest Islam as a whole become tarnished by the discussion. So outrages that would bring wails of outrage from the Left if practiced by any other group are simply ignored. At best, they receive a quick mention (e.g., the true reasons behind Daniel Pearl beheading or the brutal murder of Theo van Gogh) and are expeditiously forgotten.

But what about the eyes and ears? That brings me to a story in today’s Arizona Republic concerning a cancelled PBS documentary entitled “Islam vs. Islamists” that was scheduled to appear on PBS’s America at a Crossroads series.
The producer of this taxpayer-financed documentary on Islamic extremism claims his film has been dropped for political reasons from a television series that airs next week on more than 300 PBS stations nationwide.

Key portions of the documentary focus on Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser of Phoenix and his American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a non-profit organization of Muslim Americans who advocate patriotism, constitutional democracy and a separation of church and state.

Martyn Burke [the folm's producer] says that the Public Broadcasting Service and project managers at station WETA in Washington, D.C., excluded his documentary, Islam vs. Islamists, from the series America at a Crossroads after he refused to fire two co-producers affiliated with a conservative think tank.

"I was ordered to fire my two partners (who brought me into this project) on political grounds," Burke said in a complaint letter to PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supplied funds for the films.

Burke wrote that his documentary depicts the plight of moderate Muslims who are silenced by Islamic extremists, adding, "Now it appears to be PBS and CPB who are silencing them."

It is possible that the documentary is blatantly biased, but PBS’s actions don’t pass the smell test. A letter (pdf file) written by the film’s producers to PBS defends the film and makes a compelling case that Left-leaning, pro-Islamist bias on the part of PBS’s reviewers were pivotal in the publicly-funded network’s decision not to run the film.

But then again, maybe it’s significantly more innocent. Maybe it’d just the three monkeys doing what they do best.