New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has lashed out at the use of an explosive anti-Muslim film during the training of NYPD officials saying it shows “terrible judgement” on part of the police.
“Somebody exercised some terrible judgement,” Bloomberg said in Albany. “I don’t know who. We’ll find out.”
The 72-minute film titled ‘The Third Jihad’ has been seen by at least 1,489 police officers,including lieutenants,detectives and patrol officers in the New York Police Department (NYPD) during training in 2010.
Bloomberg said neither he nor police commissioner Raymond Kelly was aware that the film was being shown to officers.
The film had not been shown at the Police Academy,he said,adding,”It was done someplace else and as soon as they found out about it they stopped it and took it down.”
The film,which says that few Muslim leaders can be trusted,also includes an interview with Kelly.
Police Department’s spokesman Paul Browne had initially said Kelly’s interview clip had been lifted from old footage.
But later Kelly acknowledged through Browne that he had personally cooperated with the filmmakers,a decision the commissioner now describes as a mistake.
Browne said he had recommended in February 2007 that Commissioner Kelly be interviewed for the movie. The film also includes interviews with former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.
“Commissioner Kelly told me today that the video was objectionable,” Browne said,”and that he should not have agreed to the interview five years ago,when I recommended it.”
The film was shown on a “continuous loop” for three months to a year to officers receiving anti-terrorism training. It is narrated by Zuhdi Jasser,a Muslim doctor and former American military officer in Arizona and states that few Muslim leaders can be trusted.
It includes scenes of violence by Muslims and says there were “3 jihads: One at the time of Muhammad,a second in the Middle Ages and a third that is under way covertly throughout the West today. This is the 1,400-year war,” the film claims.
Civil rights advocates and Muslim leaders have expressed concern about the film being shown to police officials saying the police department has “trampled on civil rights,blurred lines between foreign and domestic spying and sown fear among Muslims.”