A Muslim cleric has lashed out at a documentary to be shown at the National September 11 Memorial Museum when it opens next month, arguing the film makes all Muslims seem like terrorists.
The seven-minute film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda” calls the 9/11 terrorists “Islamists” and uses the word “jihad,” which has the cleric and other members of an interfaith advisory group worried that visitors with leave the museum with a prejudiced view of Islam, The New York Times reported.
“The screening of this film in its present state would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum,” Sheik Mostafa Elazabawy, the imam of Masjid Manhattan and a member of the interfaith group, wrote in a letter to the museum’s director.
“Unsophisticated visitors who do not understand the difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims may come away with a prejudiced view of Islam, leading to antagonism and even confrontation toward Muslim believers near the site,” said Elazabawy, who resigned in protest.
The film – narrated by NBC news anchor Brian Williams – explains the roots of Al Qaeda during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the ideology of the terrorists behind the deadly attacks, which killed roughly 3,000 Americans.