We recognize that there is a strong need for national security. However, what motivated us to make this film was a deep concern that the FBI was using untrained and unregulated informants to create the illusion of safety, rather than the essence of it. We were also troubled by the fact that these tactics have harmed the broader Muslim community.
The cumulative effects of FBI surveillance and entrapment in communities of color have been devastating. Mosques have reported declines in membership as individuals choose to worship at home rather than risk monitoring. Imams have expressed reluctance to discuss the complexities of jihad, a frequently misunderstood tenet of the Islamic faith, for fear that their words may be misconstrued. Many Muslims are wary of donating to Islamic charities, both domestic and foreign, for fear of raising government suspicions. And on campuses across the country, Muslim student associations have banned discussions of politics, terrorism and the “war on terror.”
It is unthinkable that a diverse and vibrant American community inundated with agents provocateurs should be prevented from engaging in vigorous and open dialogue. It is also unconscionable that $1.2 billion of our tax dollars are being funneled every year into homeland security programs, with little to no oversight. Our hope is that in highlighting the collateral damage of the FBI's actions, we can generate the public sympathy and anger necessary to embolden policy makers to support analysis, and substantive reforms.