NY police chief apologises over ‘Third Jihad’ film

The film called `The Third Jihad` was shown to New York police department`s officers during training and featured a brief interview of Raymond Kelly.

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2012, 23:36 PM IST

New York: Under fire over his appearance in
an anti-Muslim film shown to his officers during training, New
York`s police chief has apologised and conceded that it was
inflammatory and "should not have been shown".

The film called `The Third Jihad` was shown to New York
police department`s officers during training and featured a
brief interview of police commissioner Raymond Kelly.

The film and Kelly`s presence in it outraged Muslim civil
rights groups who demanded his resignation.

Following the outrage Kelly has apologised to the Muslim
community, and said when the content of the film was brought
to the attention of the department, the film was withdrawn.

He himself characterised the film as "inflammatory" and "a
little much" but played down played down his involvement in
the film, saying he often sits for interviews. He, however,
conceded that the film "should not have been shown" to New
York City officers.

"I saw it Tuesday for the first time. I think it is
inflammatory," he was quoted as saying on NY1 television.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) had
sought Kelly`s and Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne`s immediate
resignation for taking part in production of the "blatantly
bigoted and hate-filled film vilifying the American-Muslim
community".

The film claims that "much of Muslim leadership here in
America" aims to "infiltrate and dominate" the United States.

The 72-minute film also shows Muslims shooting Christians
in the head and conveys a message that the community cannot be
trusted. It also shows a doctored photo of an Islamic flag
flying over the White House, car bombs exploding, executed
children lying covered by sheets.

"The decision to take part in the film, as well as show
the film to nearly 1,500 NYPD cadets raises serious concerns
about Kelly`s ability to serve and protect minority groups in
New York City," the ADC had said.

Kelly placed responsibility for the decision to show the
film on a sergeant, whom he did not identify.

"A sergeant, I think well meaning, took this film and put
it in a loop in a room that was outside of the training area,"
Kelly told reporters at Police Headquarters.
The ADC said Kelly had "lied" to the community by
initially denying any involvement in the film.

ADC President Warren David said the residents of New York
deserve "transparency, honesty, integrity" and not a leader
like Kelly who lacks all these qualities.

Browne had initially said Kelly had not given an interview
for the film and that a clip featuring the police commissioner
was lifted from an old interview. He later said he had helped
arrange Kelly`s interview for the filmmakers.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg sought to defend the police
commissioner but said Kelly would have to work harder to
regain the trust of the Muslim community.

Kelly however played down calls for his resignation
saying "You don`t make everyone happy."

The film was played on a continuous loop for officers in
a waiting area outside a counterterrorism training course in
2010.

About 1400 officers saw the movie.
Kelly said a "sergeant" had put the film on in a room
that was outside of the training area.

In the interview in the film, Kelly speaks about the
general threat of a nuclear or biological terror attack on the
city but does not criticize Muslims.

He said he has to do several interviews a day and his
brief appearance in the film was one of the interviews he had
given.

He said he did not know the movie would turn out to
be so controversial.

The Police Commissioner added the department`s
counterterrorism division as a practise approves the material
that is shown during training programmes, but in this instance
the film "was never approved" by the division.

PTI