Was it CAIR or the NY Times that encouraged people to say negative things about the 9/11 Museum film about the Islamic attacks on NYC?

Muslim Brotherhood front group CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) and it’s interfaith leftist dhimmis have been seething since they were not able to force the Museum to take out all references to “Jihad” and “Islamic terrorism” in the 7-minute film about al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks.

NY Times  After the vivid audio recordings, diagrams and personal artifacts that take visitors minute by minute through the Sept. 11 attacks, and before the images of recovery workers combing through rubble, a small section of the National September 11 Memorial Museum is devoted to explaining Al Qaeda and terrorism.

A seven-minute video installation narrates a summarized history of Al Qaeda, opposite a series of brief explanatory panels about the group’s ideology and its attacks. On a recent weekday, some visitors stopped to watch the film in its entirety, but others only paused briefly. Some read the text panels, one of which explains that Al Qaeda represents a tiny fraction of the world’s Muslims; many people did not.

In April, the video, “The Rise of Al Qaeda,”became the center of a controversy over how the museum should talk about Islam in reference to the attacks. An interfaith group of New York clergy members argued the film failed to sufficiently differentiate between terrorism and Islam, and asked for changes. Now that the public has access to the museum, some visitors say they agree.

David and Cathy Kelly, from Sydney, Australia. “I think a little bit more could have been made about that, that there were Islamic people killed who were Americans. They also said the rest of the museum could have done more to fill out the picture of Islam and were among several visitors who worried Muslims would not feel welcome.

David and Cathy Kelly, from Sydney, Australia. “I think a little bit more could have been made about that, that there were Islamic people killed who were Americans. They also said the rest of the museum could have done more to fill out the picture of Islam and were among several visitors who worried Muslims would not feel welcome.

Comparing it with the approach the museum uses to describe the attacks themselves — threading together the perspectives of survivors, witnesses and rescue workers to provide a multidimensional picture — visitors to the museum on a recent day described the museum’s treatment of Islam and terrorism as “clinical” and “light.” One woman, visiting from California with her daughter, characterized it as “an afterthought.”

While some said that was fine, others said they wanted more.

Last Thursday, among 20 people who had just gone through the museum, there was consensus that the museum did not come across as anti-Muslim. It provided them with basic information about Islam and Al Qaeda. But many said there was not enough explanation to enrich their perspective or teach them more than they already knew. Most worrisome, some said they thought a Muslim might feel uncomfortable visiting.

Jane Soria, from San Francisco, with her son Adrian Cabreros. “I think they should have talked about Islam more, just so people understand that there is a difference between Islam and people who do terrorist attacks but who also happen to be Islamic.”  “They just sort of said that the people from Al Qaeda wanted to have a more Islamic state, but it was hard to distinguish, to separate Islam itself. It kind of gives Islam a bad vibe.”

Jane Soria, from San Francisco, with her son Adrian Cabreros. “I think they should have talked about Islam more, just so people understand that there is a difference between Islam and people who do terrorist attacks but who also happen to be Islamic.” “They just sort of said that the people from Al Qaeda wanted to have a more Islamic state, but it was hard to distinguish, to separate Islam itself. It kind of gives Islam a bad vibe.”

Advocates seeking changes in how the museum portrays Islam, meanwhile, are now pushing for the resignation of a museum board member, Debra Burlingame, who helped design museum programming even though she holds controversial views about Islam. Hundreds of people have signed an online petition calling for her dismissal.

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On Fox News  recently, Ms. Burlingame, whose brother was an airline pilot killed on Sept. 11, was asked to respond to a message she posted on Twitter: “When are citizens going to rise up and demand the govt acknowledge that Islam is a transnational threat, that govt denial is killing us.”

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“They think you are an Islamophobe,” the Fox News host, Megyn Kelly, said. “I am hard pressed to deny it,” Ms. Burlingame responded. “There’s no such thing as an irrational fear of Islam or Muslims when we know that virtually 80 percent of terror attacks in the world are committed by radical Muslims.”

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The museum has continued to stand behind Ms. Burlingame. “We are honored to have her serve on this board,” Joseph C. Daniels, the museum and memorial president, said in a statement.

At the museum itself, the controversy over the treatment of Islam has centered on the terminology used to describe Al Qaeda. The interfaith panel contended that using religion-related terms like Islamist and jihadist to describe the terrorists could lead people to believe that the group’s violent, radical beliefs were indicative of the wider religion.

Ron Speedbey, 68, a retired New York City police officer from Queens, and his friend Ben Schwecke, 67, a disabled veteran, had also missed the part of the museum devoted to Al Qaeda. The exhibits they did see “did not really make clear that this is a fringe organization that really has corrupted much of the Quran,” Mr. Schwecke said. Mr. Schwecke suggested that the museum should find a local imam and let him do a brief film for the museum “about this is who Muslims really are.”

Ron Speedbey, 68, a retired New York City police officer from Queens, and his friend Ben Schwecke, 67, a disabled veteran, had also missed the part of the museum devoted to Al Qaeda. The exhibits they did see “did not really make clear that this is a fringe organization that really has corrupted much of the Quran,” Mr. Schwecke said.
Mr. Schwecke suggested that the museum should find a local imam and let him do a brief film for the museum “about this is who Muslims really are.”

Discussion of Islam in the museum is almost entirely within the context of terrorism. The first sentence visitors see when they enter describes the Sept. 11 attacks as the work of “an Islamist extremist network.” The video states that Al Qaeda is a “fringe of radical Islam” and describes Osama bin Laden as someone who saw his efforts “as a jihad, a struggle to defend Islam.” The video, which is narrated by the NBC News anchor Brian Williams, is tightly focused on Al Qaeda’s history and does not show images of Islam not related to terrorism. The only Muslims who speak are Qaeda leaders.

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