Exclusive Interviews With M. Zuhdi Jasser and Bo Persson
A new unique look at terrorism and anti-Semitism is the topic of a new documentary that will be featured in film festivals during the summer and fall months. “Watching the Moon at Night” is the first movie of its kind to tie modern day terrorism to anti-Semitism, warning Jew and non-Jew that you can become a victim anytime, anywhere.
The film was invited to be screened in the Swedish Parliament, in the European Parliament and has been screened in festivals and other venues in more than a dozen countries.
Filmed in six countries, the film focuses on the victims’ experiences and presents them together with the views of world experts in this field.
“This powerful and persuasive film refuses to hide behind political correctness in forcing attention on a growing danger. Very powerful and well done.” Alan Dershowitz about “Watching the Moon at Night”.
Director Bo Persson spent years thinking about how to address the issues of anti-Semitism and terror. “The terror attack against the Israeli athletes in Munich 1972 was a wake-up call for me when I was very young,” he said, adding, “I felt that sooner or later I will address the issues of contemporary terrorism and anti-Semitism. Walter Laqueur, the prominent historian, became a friend and a mentor and our dialogues provided references and inspiration for what became “Watching the Moon at Night.”
Many of you know of Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser’s work as President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. He is also author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam” www.aifdemocracy.org. He is also a guest contributor on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and other media outlets. In an exclusive interview, we discussed the film, current events and Trump.
Why do you think the movie is different than other films on anti-Semitism?
Most films often separate the conversation about anti-Semitism from the one about Islamist inspired terrorism. Bo artfully and powerfully connects the two for the first time in a way that becomes obvious to the viewer and has long been known to those of us working in the field. Watching the Moon at Night will bring its viewers closer to understanding how and why Islamist supremacists (theocrats) cannot help themselves but reveal their anti-Semitism — a litmus test for those less informed about how to expose Islamists. Bo also looks at solutions which many documentaries have not done. He also gave voice to groups like our American Islamic Forum for Democracy and all Muslims who are seriously battling against the theocrats (Islamists) within the House of Islam for reform and modernity. He understands that 1439 years of Islamic history cannot be over-generalized to one viewpoint or the other. There must be a space for discussing and understanding the trajectory of Muslim history and what Muslims may do or should do with the dominant interpretations of their faith traditions.
How did you get involved in this project?
I had the pleasure of meeting Bo during a conference we both attended in Europe. I believe it was the Oslo Freedom Forum. When he described his film project to me in which he wanted to connect the dots of global anti-Semitism and global Islamist-inspired terrorism, I knew he was way ahead of the curve in understanding what the world faces regarding the threat. Supremacists whether theocratic or racially driven share a bigotry and exploitation of minorities and Jewish communities have felt the brunt of this throughout their history. Bo’s documentary, “Watching the Moon at Night” provides an invaluable service about the centrality of the litmus test which is anti-Semitism.
*Walter Laqueur, who left his native Breslau for Palestine on the day before Kristallnacht 1938
*French Philosopher André Glucksmann,
*Historian Robert S. Wistrich from Jerusalem
*Lawyer Anthony Julius from London
*Dan Alon, the Israeli athlete who survived the Munich massacre in 1972
*Juliette Bergman, who survived the attack at the World Trade Center on September, 11, 2001
*Arnold Roth from Jerusalem, the father of Malki Roth, killed in the Sbarro massacre in 2001
*President of Russian Memorial, Sergei Kovalev
*Writer and Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky
*Anthropologist Joanna Tokarska-Bakir
*Journalist Kostek Gebert from Warszawa
*Iranian Philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo
*US Ambassador for Combating Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal
*Canadian-Israeli Psychologist Henry Abramovitch
The late Nobel Prize Winner, Wisława Szymborska, contributed her own poems to the film, and reads them herself.
From Jerusalem to New York, from Algeria to Paris “Watching the Moon at Night” gives a voice to the victims of terrorist attacks in recent years with great courage. These men and women reflect on their personal stories while analyzing the political circumstances that claimed the lives of their loved ones.
For additional information and screening updates: