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Toledo Blade sells out Toledo's Muslims

Author: Editor in Chief/Monday, May 26, 2008/Categories: Opinion

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Toledo Blade sells out Toledo's Muslims
The Toledo Blade, and many newspapers across the country, sold out and distributed a hate mongering DVD titled Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West for a few bucks. These DVDs were sent to swing states to scare people into voting for McCain. 

The plan clearly backfired. The Toledo community, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and many others came together and denounced the hate filled DVD and vowed to continue to work together to help improve the great city of Toledo, Ohio and work toward the betterment of society. The Toledo Blade has a had a longstanding wonderful relationship with Toledo's Muslim population. 

For years, they have worked together, covered many stories, and are intimately aware of each others doings. To agree to distribute such a divisive DVD with no credibility is really a shame. Shame on the Toledo Blade. 

One newspaper in Greensboro, North Carolina opted out of distributing the DVD. The Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina said, "No Thanks". The paper turned away the money and refused to distribute the DVD to it's readership. The editor, John Robinson, explained, "Many newspapers across the country distributed a controversial DVD today about Islam . . . I asked our publisher about it. He said it was divisive and plays on people's fears and served no educational purpose . . . As I've said on other occasions about news decisions, just because you can publish doesn't mean you should." 

If only The Blade had editors that actually edited. Local Muslims feel betrayed by the newspaper that has been their ally for so many years. The city of Toledo has a storied history and a large Muslim population. Toledo is the first large city to have an Arab American mayor. Many of the staff and editors for the Blade have been Arab Americans. Arab Americans have helped build Toledo since the late 1800s when the first few generations arrived. 

Toledo is home to the second mosque ever built in he United States. Muslims in Toledo have played vital roles as financial advisers, academicians, professors, physicians, lawyers, small business owners, bakeries, taxi drivers and many other profession vital to Toledo's economic growth and development. 

Local area Muslims held a press conference and denounced this divisive DVD and the Blade's decision to distribute it. They commented that they feared a backlash and further unwarranted hate crimes. 

Unfortunately, the damage has been done, but slightly further south. In Dayton, Ohio, only 2.5 hours south of Toledo, a "chemical irritant" was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. 

This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain's supporters has led to -- Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil. Just what we needed. Fellow Americans gassing each other. 

Who is responsible for the mass mailing of these DVDs? Who is the Clarion Fund that funded this 2 year old DVD? Is it the McCain campaign? Is it one of the 527 political organizations that can run wild and do what they want? 

Ohio is the only state where the Muslim vote actually matters. This DVD has infuriated Muslims in Ohio and will send them flocking to the Obama campaign.

The ultimate swing voters have swung.

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