I received an unexpected invitation via email from another politically active friend Len, for a screening of a film called, "The Third Jihad," at the Muvico Theater in Boca Raton. I threw myself together in a matter of minutes (was planning to watch football in my sweatpants and tee-shirt), to arrive at the theater 1/2 before showtime at 6 p.m.
First, when I pulled into the driveway, I nearly had a heart attack before realizing that the two "terrorists" wearing masks and standing on the corner, were actually other activists urging people to wake up about Obama. I can't remember the exact words printed on the banner they were holding, but it was something to the effect that Obama's sympathies are with those who wish to do us harm. Scary, but effective.
As I entered the lobby, I inquired at the customer service desk as to the proper locale for the film, from a young male clerk, who appeared to be in his late-teens. He'd been chatting it up with another male peer, who immediately took offense to my choice of movie, calling out to me as I headed in that direction, "Third Jihad! Do you even know what that's about?" By the tone of his voice, I could tell it wasn't a genuine inquiry. "I know all about it pal," I shot back. "But it sounds like maybe you should join me!" (He didn't accept my offer)
Anyway, I was elated (imagine that) to discover a long line of theater-goers, snaking around the velvet ropes and spilling into the lobby. Skeptical as to how many folks in this town would actually take an interest, it was a pleasant surprise. Further, I'd pondered how many in attendance would already be members of the choir, and thus on-board with the whole Global Jihad resistance and McCain-Palin.
It turns out many were choir members, but a few I spoke with were still on the fence (although quite nervous) about a President Obama. In other words, still winnable. A prime example: the nice group of elderly Jewish women I socialized with during the 30-minute wait. I must admit, they had me right after hello, when they all guessed my age as 27, exhibiting honest expressions of sheer disbelief when I admitted my actual (ahem!) age. But I digress.
While most of these women held very liberal views on social issues (no shock there), which for them translated into a distrust of Sarah Palin, none were comfortable pulling the lever for Obama. Rather than engage them on Palin, argue the federalist point on abortion (should be voted on by the people of each state, not activist judges) and defend her record as an executive, I decided to simply listen and observe the political pulse. To be fair, I bumped into other couples who admitted that like mine, theirs was really a vote for Palin, more than McCain (you betcha, folks!).
Once seated waaaay up front in the neck-crimping section, I listened as a member of the Florida Security Council gave a brief introduction of the film. Mark, you will be happy to learn that Mike Tranchina is a member of this organized group, which seeks to educate Floridians about the terror threat. This gentleman (whose name escapes me) informed us that, due to very high demand, Boca Raton was the only city so far to require two screenings. Presented free of charge to anyone wishing to see it, the movie is drawing big crowds all over America, but Boca in particular. I sure hope that's a good omen for November.
Anyway, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a moderate Muslim-American and US Navy veteran, narrates the film, which also includes heavy-hitters like Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, Rudy Giuliani, Senator Joe Lieberman, Dr. Walid Phares, Melanie Phillips and Mark Steyn, just to name a few. It's a chilling recounting of Jihad's history and its spine-tingling plans for the future. Please, go to the official site to view the trailer and obtain more information.
The real "fireworks" however, occurred after the show, when an angry (God love him) Adam Hasner stirred the crowd to action, urging us all to become involved citizens (hey, we're doing our part at Palin-Drone, Adam!). During Q & A, someone asked him if he worried about "backlash" from the moderate Muslim community (why doesn't anyone ever ask why the moderate Muslims aren't "backlashing" against their radical counterparts?). A resolute Hasner replied forcefully, "I don't care," meaning if moderate Muslims complain about the movie, that's just "too bad." By the way, the film is extremely careful to make the distinction between radical Islamists and peaceful Muslims like Drs. Jasser and Phares, who are both featured prominently.
However, an Imam in the crowd, a member of their anti-Jihad group, went ballistic, misinterpreting Adam's words to mean he didn't care if moderate Muslims were hurt or injured by others as a result of this effort. Remember all of that worry after 9/11? That somehow, us "rustics" were going to engage in a "jihad" of our own against Muslims? I wanted to scream up to that Imam, "Hey, buddy, if it didn't happen after the worst attack on American soil, what makes you think it would now?" That's the MO of the radicals, not Americans; it has been sufficiently proven time after time. Our real problem is that we're tolerant to the point of self-imposed extinction.
And yes, the film berates Europe for its capitulation of its culture and legal framework to Sharia Law. Let me tell you, it is downright scary what's happening on the Continent. But as someone notes in the film, America is only a few paces behind (how's that for some good news?). The film ends with Bernard Lewis uttering a simple, but profound and ominous warning: Wake up, America!
I second that motion with every fiber of my being, especially after tonight.
UPDATE: A commenter who was also in attendance berated me for "misrepresenting" the question about "backlash" addressed to Adam Hasner. I can honestly respond that from where I was sitting (and Hasner was right in front of me), the question came across as worry about peaceful Muslims having a backlash against this movie. That's what I heard and I am fairly certain that's what Hasner heard as well.
More to the point: After viewing such a disturbing, well-sourced film about the real threat of radical Islam that seeks to destroy us all, a more appropriate question might have been: "Why don't more peaceful Muslims speak out against this horror?" Drs. Jasser and Phares are two such people. The film makes a distinction between these honorable men, their moderate Muslim brethren, and radical Jihadists. Remember the worry about alleged "backlash" against peaceful Muslims after 9/11? Unfounded, since it NEVER HAPPENED. People are so quick to believe bad things about Americans when the actual problem is that we bend over backwards not to "offend" people. What a question, especially in light of the impending dangers we all face if we don't wake up to this threat!
UPDATE 2: Here's a partial video of the section of the film focusing on Iran.
And here's the trailer: