Filmmaker Eric Allen Bell learned firsthand of U.S. media bias toward Islam. Bell, taking a break from his work in Hollywood, had moved to Murfreesboro, TN. He found himself in the middle of a controversy that continues today.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was planning to build a 53,000 square foot mosque on some farmland on the outer edge of town. Bell, not a fan of religion as he describes himself, felt the controversy was one of fanatical Evangelicals bullying peaceful Muslims who simply wanted to build a place of worship. When he learned of an anti-mosque parade planned for the community, he decided to make a documentary to illustrate what he believed to be typical Christian intolerance. This documentary was to be titled “Not Welcome.”
The dominant liberal, mainstream media picked up on his project and soon he wrote several pieces for Michael Moore and others. He returned to California to show a short version of his documentary attempting to gain additional support to finish the project. He found someone who promised they would back him to finish the movie. The documentary on the Murfreesboro mosque would be used to focus on what he considered America’s “religious lunatic fringe” ignoring any serious investigation into the Muslims.
Around this time he returned to Tennessee and while in a taxi driven by an Egyptian cab driver, his views began to change. It began when he asked the driver, a Coptic Christian, how he felt about the fall of Mubarak. The cab driver replied he was concerned because he feared for his family back home. He said if the Muslims took control, it would become very dangerous for his family. After this conversation, Bell took a fresh look at Islam. He began to read reports from authors like Robert Spencer and Frank Gaffney, and he did his own independent research, which verified this newly discovered information for him. Indeed, this fear is especially well founded when considering how the most ancient of Christian populations is being driven from their homes in many nations in the Middle East including Iraq and Egypt. This is a good example of an Islamist government taking over from a Sunni, secular government and then systematically persecuting Christians.
Bell’s change of perspective did not endear him to his former supporters as he soon discovered as he began to share his findings with them. They told Bell his judgment was unsound and unclear and suggested he step away from the project. He was even told to make the documentary the way it was originally planned painting a strong negative perspective on Christians or to return the money. To his credit, he decided to stick to the truth.
In January of 2012, he wrote three articles for Daily Kos. The first was called, “Loonwatch.com and Radical Islam” asserting Loonwatch was “fundamentally a radical Islamic front for terrorism, spreading distorted information about the reality of rapidly spreading Islamic fundamentalism – through lies of omission.” The next day Loonwatch.com called Eric Bell the “Loon at Large.” All three articles were ultimately met with cries of Islamophobia and “hate speech.” The attacks were not on the truth of the information he presented, rather they were personal attacks no his character. His final article called, “Are You in Favor of Human Rights?” led to him being banned from Daily Kos.
Unfortunately, Eric Bell’s experiences are not unique, as we have seen recently with the personal attacks against Rep. Michele Bachmann.
PRAYER FOR MEDIA:
- Pray that more members of the press will have their eyes open to the truth and have the strength to stand up to the personal attacks.
- Pray that Americans will stop tolerating personal attacks by journalists and demand that media outlets present facts without prejudice.
- Like Eric Bell, pray that American Muslims will begin to question the Islamist agenda and those that claim to speak for them. Pray that as they question they will come to know the truth about the system of Islam and come to know the one who is the Truth, Jesus Christ.