Rep. West to screen controversial film on ‘Ground Zero mosque’
By Jordy Yager – 08/02/11 11:22 AM ET
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is planning to screen a controversial film on Capitol Hill about attempts to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero in Manhattan.
The film, “Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mosque,” was produced by the conservative Christian Action Network (CAN) and has begun to garner criticism from such groups as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The 45-minute film is largely focused around a series of interviews conducted with survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and members of their family. The interviews, according to CAN’s website, delve into the feelings they experienced last summer when a group proposed building an Islamic center blocks away from where the World Trade Center towers once stood.
Efforts to build the Islamic center, which was set to include a swimming pool and a mosque among other amenities, were the focus of nearly every news agency last summer and brought a slew of politically charged arguments from members of Congress.
CAN attempted to get permission to show the film in New York City parks over the week leading up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but it was denied out of concern for the content.
According to CAN’s website, West plans to host the event during the week Congress returns from recess, on Sept. 8 in the Rayburn House Office Building.
This will not be the first time a controversial film about Muslims has been shown on Capitol Hill. In 2009, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) hosted the controversial Dutch filmmaker Geert Wilders and showed his movie, “Fitna,” which many Muslims have designated anti-Islamic. Following an anti-screening campaign by the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association, no members of Congress reportedly showed up to watch the film.
West came under fire last year for commenting during a conference that terrorists were fulfilling mandates laid out by the Quran.
A spokeswoman for West did not immediately return a request for comment.