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Published on October 5th, 2008 | by Eli Clifton


From Clarion: A Protocols of the Elders of Islam?

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A Guest Post by Eli Clifton:

The past month has brought great scrutiny upon the elusive Clarion Fund–the funders of a nationwide distribution of Obesssion: Radical Islam’s War Against the West. Despite the increased attention, Clarion may be pushing for their own “October Surprise” in a brand new documentary released Sunday.

Clarion, on which we have published a recent investigative piece, is the surprisingly well-funded group that emerged in recent months to disseminate anti-Muslim propaganda in the run-up to the November election.

The film, The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America seems, perhaps even more explicitly than Obsession, designed to stir up a climate of fear in the United States in the weeks before the presidential election.

So what is The Third Jihad about exactly? The trailer on its websites says very little, but the brief synopsis tells us more than the film makers may have hoped.

On October 3rd the synopsis reads as follows:

“After the FBI releases a radical Islamist manifesto describing how to weaken America from within, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim American and former physician to the US Congress, decides to investigate. The Third Jihad is about what he discovered.

How is radical Islam operating inside the West? Is a subversive “cultural jihad” underway? How does radical Islam plan to bring America to its knees? What is the endgame?”

And a couple of weeks ago the synopsis mentioned an “infiltration”, a “dominating of North America” and “destroying Western civilization.”

On September 21st the synopsis read:

“The Third Jihad focuses on an FBI-discovered secret document—the manifesto of the American Muslim Brotherhood. It describes the ‘grand jihad’ goal of destroying Western civilization from within by infiltrating and dominating North America.

The film reveals the agenda of the radical Muslim leaders in America and provides viewers with an impressively crafted look at the immediate dangers posed.”

Ah, secret, recently uncovered documents. A “goal of destroying Western civilization from within.” A grand conspiracy organized by a globally networked religious minority. Sound familiar yet? Could be because it’s echoing one of the most influential and persistent conspiracy theories of all time. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The Protocols, which first emerged in 1903, detailed the sinister Jewish plan for world domination. A proven forgery, the document played important roles in the rise of Nazism and during the Great Depression. Still published today, the Protocols, widely available on the internet, serve as a playbook for anti-Semites seeking to portray Jews as pulling the strings of global power through their business, cultural and political influence.

Daniel Pipes, who appears in Obsession, writes the following observations about the Protocols in his book: Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From.

“The great importance of the Protocols lies in its permitting antisemites to reach beyond their traditional circles and find a large international audience, a process that continues to this day. The forgery poisoned public life wherever it appeared; it was “self-generating; a blueprint that migrated from one conspiracy to another.” The book’s vagueness — almost no names, dates, or issues are specified — has been one key to this wide-ranging success. The purportedly Jewish authorship also helps to make the book more convincing. Its embrace of contradiction — that to advance, Jews use all tools available, including capitalism and communism, philo-Semitism and antisemitism, democracy and tyranny — made it possible for the Protocols to reach out to all: rich and poor, Right and Left, Christian and Muslim, American and Japanese.”

So it looks as if The Third Jihad has taken a lesson from one of the most influential pieces of anti-Semitic propaganda ever produced. Clarion seeks to tell us that a secret document, authored by Muslims, details the systematic way in which Muslims plan to “infiltrate” and “dominate” Western civilization and destroy it from within.

One hundred and five years after the Protocols of the Elders of Zion first appeared, it is amazing to see the same ideas, paranoia, conspiracy-mongering, distrust and racism manifest themselves in such a blatant manner.

Here is a trailer for The Third Jihad:

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About the Author


Eli Clifton is a reporting fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute who focuses on money in politics and US foreign policy. He previously reported for the American Independent New Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.

16 Responses to From Clarion: A Protocols of the Elders of Islam?

  1. Look, the CIA spent decades breeding and grooming people who would ‘rear their heads’ (as Sarah Palin puts it) and breathe threats full of fire and brimstone against ‘America and the West’ on demand. They are our Goldsteins, to borrow Orwell’s famous hate figure. This ought to be utterly obvious, even to the tired-sounding keyboard warriors who earn their probably rather low pay by visiting blogs like this and parroting the Pentagon line.

  2. There’s a remarkable circularity to the reasoning about the “reality” of the document. All of the sites that are referred to as authorities on its authenticity are pushing the same hysterical “anti-Jihadi” tack. As Rev. Daniel points out, the fact that the document exists, or even that it has been entered into evidence in a legal hearing, has nothing to do with its authenticity as a guide for anyone’s actual behavior.

    It’s time for people to stop circulating these distortions and to work on building strong connections between ALL the diverse religious groups and communities that make our nation strong.

  3. avatar CosmoReaxer says:

    I don’t know anything about these documents, and I don’t want to defend them, but it is possible that these documents do not have much attention paid to them, in the same way that most fringe ideas do not have much attention paid. Unfortunately, the fringe here is willing to act in a dangerous manner.

    To build on my original point from Obsession, the majority of Muslims do not seek to convert or kill non-believers, and in fact they are frightened of the radicals, as well. That’s a big reason why you might not hear about things like this. Especially in Muslim countries, or in Muslim satellite cities in Europe, there is pressure not to call attention to the problem. We must take that into account as well.

  4. avatar scott says:

    look the confusion about this article has more to do with translation than anything. I am not an expert in Arabic, but I do know and am familiar with the language of Quran/Muslims.

    Quite simply, the global gov’t alluded to is more than likely, “ummah.” Ummah, mean the community of Muslims. I am a member of this community by marriage. One way we access this community is by offering to buy an animal for someone who can’t afford it in some remote stricken land for the Eid feast that comes two months after Eid al-Fitr. Another is that we shop at Halal stores.

    Halal meat is often cheaper than conventional stores–ironically they charge more for liver than tenderloin. It is leaner, younger and better treated and slaughtered with some compassion.

    The term Ummah is quite familiar with all Muslims. It simply means the Muslim community. Here we speak of the Dallas Ummah, the American Ummah, the Global Ummah. We do hope and work for a world where any Muslim may pray, and work without conflict.

    I am not sure if I consider myself a Muslim or not. I find the question absurd actually, but to completely believe in the Golden Rule. As an ascriber to this principle, I hope anyone may be free to practice their faith freely, so long as they don’t seek to impose on me. If building small sinks on the floor in airports and other large public facilities really rankles you then I don’t know what to say. I don’t find that too onerous.

    And don’t be threatened by people who simply want to be allowed to practice their faith without being bothered or bothering others. Remember the words of Voltaire, “I may not agree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.”

  5. avatar Lee Kaplan says:

    The film Obsession begins in the first ten minutes showing the number of terrorist attacks and murders committed by Islamic fundamentalist groups like al Qaida and Hamas since 1979. It is quite shocking–and all true. Meanwhile, instead of Muslim groups like CAIR (a Hamas front) condemning such attacks without qualifications, we have the continual whine of picking on Muslims. Whine away all you like. Until Islamic leaders virutlently oppose terrorist groups instead of making excuses for them, instead of blaming Israel for everything and the Jews, and instead of fronting for Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the America public will not be fooled by false claims of victimhood. The new Holy Land trial shows the financial jihad of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood so trying to hide these facts only makes CAIR show its true colors. CAIR has praised Hassan al Banna, a founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and avowed Nazi ally. Finally, those of you in California, please come hear Walid Shoebat speak at UC Berkeley on Wed, October 29th for a truer perspective on all these discussions. Nobody in America has committed pogroms on Muslims, and Obsession in no way is like the Protocols of Zion. In fact members of CAIR have said they were true in the past. Shoebat will speak at Wheeler Hall on the UC Berkeley campus at 7:15 pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. For more info go to http://www.shoebat.com or http://www.3xterrorists.com or http://www.berkeleygop.com. Advance reserved seats available.

  6. avatar Lee Kaplan says:

    Why is my comment awaiting moderation? So it can be censored?

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