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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Disaster Averted?

    3’hellip;2’hellip;1’hellip; and the film reel did not roll. The event ‘Armageddon’ hosted by the Chabad Student Club of Stony Brook University did not show its intended film, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against The West. A possible disaster may have been averted.

    Obsession is a documentary film. The film aims to portray Islamic Radicalism as a worldwide threat to the way of life of’ most non-Muslim people, in particular the Western world.

    On the film’s website, the trailer, clips from the film and several post-production interviews with the filmmakers can be viewed. Some of the footage on the website shows scenes from the film that likens the global jihad movement to Nazi propaganda efforts.

    Many Muslim students on campus were’ disgusted’ by the film’s showing. The Muslim Student Association here on campus was asked to co-sponsor the event. Adam Osman, the president of the MSA viewed the film prior to making a decision. ‘I was sickened by the one-sidedness of the film and its portrayal of a marginalized Muslim minority as a majority,’ Osman said.

    Rabbi Adam, who organized the event, went into detail as to what the motive of the event was. According to the rabbi, the event itself was set up to be a venue to inform the campus community about biblical prophecies of Armageddon, and that students here on campus should foster a friendly environment for the Messiah to come. The Messiah is a prophesized Toranic/Biblical savior of mankind. According to Jews, the Messiah has yet to come.

    According to Rabbi Adam, the Messiah will only come to the world when it is in a state of peace – a state the world is currently far from. Rabbi Adam went into further detail about both the Toranic prophecies and the current political affairs around the world. The Rabbi stated that there is a prophecy that declares ‘the destruction of Israel will come with the rise of Iran.’

    The Chaplain of the MSA, Sister Sanaa, persuaded Rabbi Adam not to show the film. She was successful in her attempt. MSA member Abdul Rahman Mirza served as an emissary and thanked the rabbi on behalf of the MSA for not showing the film.’ Several students angrily stomped out of the auditorium. Mirza stated in his address, ‘The Jewish people, more than others, are a group of people who would understand the outcome of prejudices and hate crimes caused by stereotypes.’

    After the Rabbi’s lecture, there was an open floor. A student brought up a question about Kahanist Jews and Kahanist ideology – the Jewish equivalent of violent religious radicalism. The rabbi addressed the question by saying that ‘the Kahanists are few and they are extreme.’ He went on to say that ‘nobody respects them’ and referred to them as ‘Jewish Jihadists.” There was laughter in the audience.

    Though the rabbi’s intent was for the film to serve as a vehicle to demonstrate how radicalism is a growing force that is contributing to the coming of Armageddon, it raises the question as to why such a potentially disruptive and inciting film would be shown, especially if the message of the event was to foster friendship on campus.

    Feliks Khantsis, a student, said ‘I’m glad that the movie wasn’t shown. The detriment caused by the film would have outweighed its benefits.’ Another student, Max Wolfson, said he believed that the film was ‘propaganda for Evangelicals.’

    Despite the film, the rabbi’s message of peace and friendship was genuine. Many Muslims on campus were thankful that another anti-Islamic stereotype wasn’t propagated. The message of peace and friendship was well-received by the audience.

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