I was tempted to attend the screening last week of In Good Faith, the Building of a Mosque and a Community, a "documentary" by Boston College student Matthew Porter, '09. But Camille Paglia was at Harvard the same night, and Camille won out for me. Solomonia went to the screening though and gives his two cents here.
According to Sol, although Porter calls himself a journalist, the documentary (mockumentary?) was anything but even-handed. The Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) comes off as the good guys, Citizens for Peace and Tolerance (CPT) comes off as the bad guys. BC professor Hale of CPT was portrayed negatively because he didn't "engage in dialogue" with the ISB.
Hmmm, did the ISB "engage in dialogue" before suing Professor Hale and sixteen other people, media companies and citizens groups? No, no they did not. As Sol says, the film's treatment of BC professor Hale is worse than shameful:
"This ill-use of a fine man, Dennis Hale... moves the film into something worse than simple naive fantasy. It now picks up where the ISB left off its work of personal destruction against those who would criticize."
Walid Fitaihi, the on-again/off-again ISB trustee, who is single-handedly responsible for much of the concern about the ISB leadership, is not mentioned in the film. Sheikh Ahmed Mansour, a Muslim who criticized the reading material he found at the ISB mosque in Cambridge and was subsequently sued by the ISB, is not mentioned in the film. Neat trick, that, Matthew.
"Had the film stuck to the story of Muslims in America, told through the story of a mosque and community, we may have just had a silly piece of propaganda, not worth much, least of all a lengthy review.... But because it purports to address the very serious legal and cultural matters involved, does so in such a distorted and dishonest manner, and continues the personal attacks that made the ISB's lawsuits so damaging in the first place (all for the sake of dialog don't you know), it turns itself into something much worse."