About 70 protesters gathered outside The Oregonian Monday morning to reprimand the newspaper for distributing an hourlong DVD, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” as paid advertising in its Sunday editions.
In a brief news conference, speakers characterized the DVD as Muslim-bashing propaganda promoting fear, hate and division.
“It is a moral obligation of a newspaper in a community to inform, not misinform,” said the Rev. Chuck Cooper, director of ministries of Micah’s Village, a progressive Christian community near Clackamas.
“Obsession” conflicts with Oregon values of equity, diversity and inclusion, said Kayse Jama, executive director of the Center for Intercultural Organizing in North Portland, which organized the demonstration with help from The Good Faith Coalitiom and other faith and human rights groups.
The Oregonian distributed the DVD because it has an obligation to make its advertising as open as possible under the principle of free speech, Publisher Fred Stickel said. Newspapers generally accept all advertising that is not illegal or blatantly immoral.
Kudos to the Oregonian for supporting free speech.