Week of May 17, 2015
Segment 1: The Muslim Brotherhood in America
Former journalist Steve Emerson is the founder of The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Their mission is to investigate the operations, funding, activities and front groups of Islamic terrorist and extremist groups in the United States and around the world. He's also the executive producer of the documentary film called "Jihad in America: The Grand Deception." It focuses on the influence of The Muslim Brotherhood - an Islamist organization founded in Egypt - in America. Steve Emerson says that organizations created by or inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood enjoy considerable influence within the United States. But critics- Muslim and non-Muslim alike- say that engaging these organizations poses a danger.
"The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent of Al Qaeda, as it is the parent of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and every Sunni terrorist group. The Muslim Brotherhood is really the ideological origin of all these violent groups."
Segment 2: A Stand Against Religious Intolerance
Qasim Rashid's book The Wrong Kind of Muslim: An Untold Story of Persecution & Perseverance was rejected by American publishers because they feared the Islamist backlash. It's the story of religious persecution and bigotry in Pakistan against Ahmadiyya Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Shia Muslims and atheists. Qasim Rashid has taken a stand for freedom of conscience. He showcases the people caught in the snare of Pakistan's blasphemy laws and the brave individuals refusing to be cowered.
"Don't be afraid of the other. Engage people of different faiths. Engage people who have different ideologies. Learn from them."
Week of May 10, 2015
Segment 1: Putting Soldier Stories to Opera
Composer David T. Little wanted to know what combat was like. He recorded interviews with veterans of five wars and set their stories to an opera called, Soldier Songs. The full-length multimedia event traces the shift in perception of war from the age of 6 to the age of 66. The abstract character moves through the three phases of life: Youth (playing war games) Warrior (time served in the military) and Elder (aged, wise, reflective).
"It's probably most important just to listen. Because if you can do that, you can get to a level of ... I mean you're never gonna fully understand. But you can approach understanding."
Segment 2: House to House Combat in Fallujah
Former Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, House to House: An Epic Memoir of War entered a house in Fallujah and took on six Jihadists alone. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the Second Battle of Fallujah and was nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award. *This interview was recorded in November, 2007.
"The reality hits me. War isn’t glorious. This is horrible. And there’s no way you’re going to leave this. Either you’re going to lose your life, or you’re going to lose your innocence, you’re going to be changed forever. There’s no way you can leave a close-quarter battle like that and be the same person."