About a year ago, controversy arose after it was reported that the New York Police Department had shown an anti-Muslim film during officer training. In response, an official at first denied that the movie had been shown, then said it had been viewed only "a couple of times."
A year later, however, documents obtained through a state Freedom of Information Law request paint a very different picture, according to The New York Times. The newspaper reports that the film, titled "The Third Jihad," ran "on a continuous loop" and was shown to "at least 1,489 police officers, from lieutenants to detectives to patrol officers."
The revelation that the film was viewed by so many within the department comes at a time when New York law enforcement finds itself in a difficult posture with the city's large Muslim population, seeking to both uncover potential terror plots and fend off accusations that police are too zealous in their investigations.
The main theme of the film, The Atlantic Wire notes, is that most Muslims in the West, including the U.S. are out to destroy Western society through a third jihad.
The Atlantic magazine website describes the opening of the film this way:
"It starts with footage of protesters burning American flags and an American-accented preacher lauding suicide bombers as heroes, and then gets into some real scare tactic imagery such as an Islamic flag flying over the White House.
It remains unclear who approved the showing of the film, the Times says, noting that large portions of the documents provided the Brennan Center were blacked out. A spokesman for the department said it had no plans to correct any false impressions that the film may have left on police officers.
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