Several years ago, in response to criticism from conservatives regarding the lack of political balance in the documentaries aired on public television, the Corporation For Public Broadcasting (CPB), to its credit, instituted an attempt at diversity, in the form of a program series entitled "America At the Crossroads." Among the documentaries selected by CPB to be broadcast in the first Crossroads increment was "Islam vs. Islamists: Voices From the Muslim Center," a documentary about courageous Moslems who speak out publicly against the extremism of Wahabism and other fanatic Islamist movements. Frank Gaffney, President of the Center for Security Policy (photo at right) is one of the executive producers of this documentary.
Unfortunately, CPB turned over the Crossroads project over to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and its flagship stations (including Washington's WETA) for execution, and what was executed ws "Islam vs. Islamists." PBS has refused to air the program, and has made clear that the reason it will not do so is its objections to the content and point of view of the program. Frank Gaffney's account of this outrageous attempt at censorship by a publicly funded agency appears today in Jewish World Review. Among the conditions that PBS sought to impose in order to get the program aired, acccording to Gaffney, were:
"insisting that yours truly be removed as one of the film's executive producers; allowing a series producer with family ties to a British Islamist to insist on sweeping changes to its 'structure and context,' changes that would have assured more favorable treatment of those who are portrayed vilifying and, in some cases, threatening our anti-Islamist protagonists; and hiring as an advisor to help select the final films an avowed admirer of the Nation of Islam — an organization whose receipt of a million dollars from the Saudis to open black Wahhabi mosques is a feature of our documentary."
Many conservatives oppose as a matter of principal the use of public funds to make any television program. But everyone, including principled conservatives, should raise their voices in protest over the high-handed attempt by PBS to muzzle the voices of Moslem centrists opposed to the highjacking of their religion by Islamist fanatics. Call your Senators and Congressional Representatives, and demand that "Islam vs. Islamists" be aired!