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The Agenda Behind Honor Diaries

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The Agenda Behind Honor Diaries

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When reviewing films like Honor Diaries it is imperative we know the figures behind their creation and distribution — from producers and writers to the organizations which sponsored and helped in the shaping of the films. This assessment goes beyond researching the backgrounds of those interviewed and helps us examine the presence of political agendas and ulterior motivations. Honor Diaries certainly lives up to its purpose of being “more than a movie” as we come to find that those working behind the scenes use the films theme, that of women’s rights abuses, as a way in which to obscure their involvement in histrionic anti-Islam campaigns; they continue to push their Islamophobia, this time with a semblance of legitimacy.

Producer and Writer: Paula Kweskin, who took part of the University of North Carolina’s 2009 screening of  The Case for Israel: Democracy’s Outpost, a documentary by Alan Dershowitz, and wrote an article for the Jerusalem Post with Eugene Kontorovich, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, claiming that Israel no longer occupies the Gaza Strip and in 2011 called humanitarian flotilla’s headed to Gaza part of a “political war to demonize Israel“. Kweskin was also a legal researcher for the right-wing, pro-Israel NGO Monitor, and as stunning as this may sound, is an attorney specializing in international humanitarian and human rights law.

Producer and Writer: Alex Traiman, director of the “bomb Iran” film Iranium, written and distributed by pro-Israel organization Clarion Fund (now The Clarion Project) is a resident of the illegal Israeli settlement of Ulpana in Beit El, “a colony of about 6,000 [Israeli] settlers“, and a defender of illegal settlements in the West Bank, or what he calls “Samaria“.

Executive Producer: Raphael Shore is the founder of The Clarion Project (formerly Clarion Fund), a pro-Israel nonprofit organization which aims to “educate people about the inherent dangers of Islamic extremism” and which was behind the production and distribution of Islamophobic films such as Crossing the Line: The Intifada Comes to Campus, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, Iranium and The Third Jihad.

From Media Matters:

According to a Center for American Progress report, the Clarion Project is funded by three of the seven top anti-Islam and anti-Muslim think tanks and organizations in the United States, including the Donors Capital Fund, Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker foundations and charitable trust, and Anchorage Charitable Foundation and William Rosenwal Family Fund. The Center for American Progress describes these donors as the “lifeblood of the Islamophobia network in America,” and the report tracks how these donors use their money to support groups like the Clarion Project to “spread a deliberately misleading messages about Islam and Muslims that is fundamentally antithetical to our nation’s foundation and principals of religious freedom.

Executive Producer and Expert: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, prominent Islamophobic ideologue. During an interview with Rogier Van Bakel for the November 2007 edition of Reason magazine she had the following to say about Islam:

Reason: Should we acknowledge that organized religion has sometimes sparked precisely the kinds of emancipation movements that could lift Islam into modern times? Slavery in the United States ended in part because of opposition by prominent church members and the communities they galvanized. The Polish Catholic Church helped defeat the Jaruzelski puppet regime. Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes?

Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.

Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?

Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.

Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?

Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

Reason: Militarily?

Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.

One prominent sponsor of Honor Diaries is Steve Emerson, founder and executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), an organization which brags of being recognized as “the world’s most comprehensive data center on radical Islamic terrorist groups.” IPT is also behind the film Jihad in America: The Grand Deception and has published unashamedly racist, Islamophobic articles such as the following, written by one Dr.Reuven Berko:

All the evil storms of history visited upon humanity did not expose to the people of Europe (who today host well-established enclaves of radical Islam in their midst) even the surface of the slaughter and injustice carried out by Muslims in the name of Islam, “the religion of peace,” against Jews and Christians. Europe is still influenced by the fantasies of Lawrence of Arabia, captivated by the specious charms of the Arabs and Islam and unaware of the catastrophe that will be visited on the world as soon as the Islamist genie is let out of the bottle, making the World Trade Center look like three minutes of “coming attractions.”

The Museum of Tolerance, the educational arm of California-based human rights organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, is also listed as a sponsor of Honor Diaries. In 2005 plans for the construction of The Museum of Tolerance and Human Dignity in occupied Jerusalem were announced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Marvin Hier. The Museum would be built atop the ancient Mamilla cemetery, a Muslim burial ground. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has already begun bulldozing the cemetery.

So now the question remains — should those who are actively participating in activities which further discriminatory policies and give an air of authority to acts of violence carried out against marginalized, multidimensional groups be allowed to take part in campaigns which allege to “inspire viewers to learn”?

Honor Diaries is a 60-minute reminder that the age of pre-packaged, documentary-style propaganda, meant to influence behavior and opinion against “them”, is far from over.

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  • Erik Morris

    It amazes me how some Muslims will flat out deny atrocities like this even happen. It amazes me even more when they say “show me proof” You want proof huh? Learn to use google you will find all the proof you need, Islamic nations treat women worse than a wild animal. Islamic nations have launched a war on Christians . I have seen it first hand, I have seen it on video, I have heard the stories of others. The only people that “want proof” are the same ones that will get the proof and deny that said “proof” is legit.

  • 1DrM

    Another product of the broken American school system.

  • 1DrM

    This coming from a Hitchtard trying to spin for Hirsi Magan. You’re a vile hypocrite.

  • Nathan VanSickles

    I’ve started a good conversation with lynchpin branching off from my earlier comments. Feel free to join us and add to the conversation.

  • Nathan VanSickles

    Let me start by providing a bit of my background so you understand me as a person first. I’m a 35 year old married father of 3. Im part Native American and part German. My grandfather was a priest in the episcopal church for 50 years, and that’s what I was raised. My entire family going back several generations was either involved in the military or medical based professions. I am a patriotic American, believing in all civil rights for all citizens regardless of background. So that’s me in a nutshell.

    I must admit that I had only watched the 3 minute video from Dearborn Mich until tonight, when I watched the full hour long unedited version. I am appalled by several things that occurred up there. First and foremost, that group of “Christians” was there solely to provoke the Muslims. That’s obvious. The pigs head on a stick was not only meant to offend, it was just plain stupid. Second, although they were being inappropriate, they are protected under the first amendment to their freedom to be in the public park as well, and the police had no right to force them to leave or threaten them with arrest. The throwing of objects obviously didn’t hurt them as I saw no real projectiles in there, but that was still a crime but while watching I was struck by the lack of adults. If I ever caught one of my children acting like that toward anyone, for any reason, I would have snatched them up a delivered an ass beating. All in all, there wasn’t a single innocent party involved, Christian, Muslim or law enforcement. That was sickening.

    The question about living next door to Muslims I guess I will answer hypothetically speaking since I don’t have Muslim neighbors. And since I already explained everything about why I currently don’t trust Muslims I will just be honest. If I was looking to purchase a home and found out it had Muslims next door, I really don’t think I would buy it. I feel guilty saying that, but I really thought about this before I answered and as explained before, my post 9/11 self is not very educated when it comes to Islam except for what I see in the media. For instance, we hear a lot about Muslims being encouraged to lie to gain the trust of Americans. It makes sense when talking to others who have the same opinions but explaining it to a Muslim, I sound pretty stupid.

    The Muslim cleric videos I have no idea how to post. I watch many on YouTube and Facebook and they say horrific things about Americans, infidels and women. And when I referred to the Pope I didn’t mean the new one specifically. As I’m not Catholic I don’t really follow him much.

    The Afghanistan issue with Russia I was referring to was in the 1980’s when the Soviet Union invaded them. The world watched as the red army slaughtered the muslims, and we finally started shipping weapons, food, money and units over to help. One of the Afghan soldiers we trained was Osama bin Laden. 15 years later he engineered 9/11 and when the war on terrorism started we found they were still using weapon systems we gave them. That’s the history I was talking about.

    I pose a few questions to you as a Muslim… I’m told that the Jewish, Christian and Muslim God are one in the same, and that the beginnings of all our paths are the same. That Islam recognizes Jesus Christ as a prophet and the only real difference between us is we see Jesus as the son of God whereas you don’t and the prophet Muhammad is just your religions version of the Savior so to speak… is this so? Does the Koran really call on all Muslims to lie to Christians and does it call for the death of all non believers?? If none of that is true and Islam is truly a religion of peace, where does radical Islam, jihad and sharia come from?

    Why do Muslims get offended to the point of rioting and killing when Muhammad or Allah is made fun of in cartoons or shown in a satirical light in video? As a Christian living in America, we frequently see Jesus Christ made fun of or used in cartoons with stupid dialogue. Its just part of life in a country with freedom of speech.

    Lastly on this round, are you married or have kids? If so how does your significant other feel about portrayals of and treatment of Muslim women around the world, and can you please explain why women are forced to cover their entire bodies? I gotta be honest, if I ever tried forcing my wife, who is Irish Catholic by the way, into covering herself or being my submissive, she would use my ass as a football.

    Well I look forward to your reply, as well as others if they wish to open actual dialogue… also feel free to ask me whatever you wish to know. Take it easy

  • Just_Stopping_By

    “Keep in mind I’m actually trying to have a discussion and not just argue here.”

    Okay, I will take you up on that and assume that you are sincere.

    Let’s start with what you said in your first post, with emphasis added: “…since 2001 all we see is terrorism, women being raped and then tortured and stoned for ‘adultery’, children being married off at 8 years old and non muslims being beheaded on camera while a few wackos stand around yelling Allah Akbar…”

    So, my sincere question is whether that is really all you see when you look at or see images about Islam. If that is really all you see, then are you saying that you do not see the hundreds of millions of Muslims who just live their ordinary lives, generally being good people concerned with friends and family and just getting by in this world? And, if so, what does that say about the media, because I assume that what you see is base don the media and that you are not viewing all of the things you list personally. If you are relying solely on the media and the Internet, of course you are going to get an overdose of the most sensational and violent things out there: “if it bleeds, it leads.” If you accept that one can characterize a religious, ethnic, or national group based on hyped media coverage, then how can you object if others characterize Christians (you say you are one) or Americans (or whatever your nationality) as Crusaders who use drones, waterboarding, and anti-Islam films and propaganda all in a desire to take over the world?

    Now, an alternative is that you know that there is no religious, ethnic, or national group where all you see is that type of violence or wrongdoing. But, if so, then surely you can understand how that type of exaggeration you used would not be at all conducive to having a discussion rather than starting an argument.

    I’ll even go further and try to push a dialogue further. I will state that just like among all other groups, you will find both the violent and the peaceful among Muslims. You will also probably find an excess of some negative and some positive practices among any large group, including Muslims. I haven’t reviewed the data, but perhaps some group has more child marriages and less alcohol-related violence while another has more gun violence but fewer armed insurrections. If someone is willing to make fair comparisons among religious, ethnic, or national groups, noting the good and bad among each, that might be interesting. But, if they single out one group as just a cancer where “all we see” is the bad, arguing that their religion or ideology allows us to characterize them is inherently violent, then perhaps we are at such different starting points that a dialogue may not even be possible.

    Thoughts?

  • Nassir H.

    If you really want to know why Muslims are not fond of this film, you should be asking a different question: “why don’t you like this movie about Muslims made by people who hate Muslims?”

    I hope that, even for you, the answer is not difficult.

    Also, I have noticed that when people try to defend Islamophobia, they list off atrocities done by Muslims in the name of Islam, real and imagined. In your case, the story about “women being raped and then tortured and stoned for adultery” seems completely fabricated. Please try to substantiate it, because I don’t think you will be able to.

    The fact is that many Muslims, both men and women, stridently oppose many of the problems you’ve alluded to, and at the same time recognize that works like Honor Diaries are cynical pieces of propaganda made by people who clearly have history of demonizing Muslims and their religion. A quick search on Twitter will give you numerous examples.

  • Nathan VanSickles

    Any reason that muslims are always so quick to call everyone who shows the true nature of islam “liars” and ” frauds”??? If someone could seriously and calmly explain to me why we shouldnt be critical of islam when since 2001 all we see is terrorism, women being raped and then tortured and stoned for “adultery”, children being married off at 8 years old and non muslims being beheaded on camera while a few wackos stand around yelling Allah Akbar I would love to have serious dialogue… but reading these comments all I see is more hatred. Seriously someone commented where is the proof the one girl was circumsized?? Proof?? How fucked up is that? So please, any honest peaceful Muslim out there that would like to have a real conversation let me know…

  • Nur Alia binti Ahmad

    When I first read this article, I thought this was a big production going to be in major theaters. When I read the webpage, all I see is something like evangelical Christian selling, you know ‘donate 25 USD and get a CD kind of thing.
    I wanted to write them and ask if they had any practicing Muslim women also speaking, and giving a counter point to their argument. I would have certainly have liked to have a hardy discussion with one of the people who support the film about the position of women in Islam.
    I wrote a letter to one of the persons I thought would be accepting of me, and my story, but they said I was ‘atypical of the way Muslim women are treated’ and that my story would not be welcomed. They did offer to send me a CD, so that women like me could see how Muslim women are treated in Islam.
    You know, since a Muslim woman would not know how a Muslim woman is treated in Islam. 🙂

  • Peeper

    Let’s all hail, the US country with its high rate of rape, sexism,and the world’s largest porn industry to elevate women to better gender relationship. lol.

  • JD

    Yup that is why…

    Every year in US , 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is
    murdered by her current or former partner.

    One in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her
    lifetime in America

    Every year across the country , 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner.

    Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men

    Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic
    violence.

  • 1DrM

    Troll. We understand gender relations just fine, and we also understand that you liars for the degenerate scum that you are.

  • AS

    Glad someone is finally publicizing this stuff. Muslims treat their women so awfully. They are truly pitiable (women especially but men too) since they don’t understand honest and positive gender relations.

  • 1DrM

    I said the same thing years ago. No reason to become a word from fraudster Hirsi Magan.

  • Rizwan

    Eden: a sex slave’s story

    “When I was taken to the storage unit and I saw the other girls, I was just shocked.” She says. “It was like a giant factory of children. And I literally thought I was in a different country because I was so Americanised that I thought it can’t be here.”

    But when she became a Madam she learned about the scale of the operation and the so-called respectable people who were her customers.

    “I learned about the corruption – there were politicians, judges, police officers that would buy a girl and pay the agency to keep quiet,” she says. “It scared me so much that I decided I need to run away.”

    http://investik8.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/eden-a-sex-slaves-story/

  • Rob Saunders

    Every time I go to remind myself that Ayaan Hirsi Magan is a member of the human race, the vile pool of pus comes out with yet another reason to expel her from it.
    Has anyone ever seen the slightest shred of evidence for this serial liar’s contention that she underwent genital mutilation in her youth? After all, she claimed to be a Somali asylum seeker fleeing a forced marriage when she was strolling into the Netherlands from the leafy suburbia of Nairobi where she had been living in a UN compound for decades. She made up all the rest of her history (oh, and don’t forget the false name) so why would the tug-at-the-heartstrings please-feel-pity-for-my-plight FGM not be equally fictitious? I’m not advocating that she open her legs and share all on Youtube, but a report from an actual doctor would be interesting.

  • Anonymous

    And I found a unicorn yesterday

  • Peeper

    culture is no excuse for abuse? So culturally muslims are abusive to women?

  • mindy1

    But the film will still be objective and tell both sides/sarcasm

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