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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

God's Warriors


I hope all of you have marked off time this week to view CNN’s new documentary ‘God’s Warriors’, hosted by Christiane Amanpour. The series examines Jewish, Muslim and Christian’s who have made it their mission to place religion back in everyone’s daily life and into the seats of power. The documentary delves into what has compelled each faith’s more fervent followers to become extremists.

“There are millions of people around the world who feel that their faith is being ignored-pushed aside-and they are certain they know how to make the world right,” Amanpour says. “We cannot and should not ignore them. And, with this report, we’ve tired to explain them.”

Christiane Amanpour has received numerous awards for her work, including the Paul White Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association, two George Foster Peabody Awards, Courage in Journalism Award and a number of Emmys and DuPont awards.


I found the first entry in the series, Jewish Warriors, by far the most interesting. It was really a mini history lesson of the struggles and successes of the Jewish people. This documentary takes us on a tour of the Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and how those settlements came to be. Jewish Warriors also shows us excellent historic footage of the Six Day War. There is moving footage of Jewish soldiers after they recaptured the Wailing Wall and the story of two soldiers who fought side by side in this battle.
And the Evangelical Zionist movement in the United States is examined as well. Personal stories and struggles in this documentary help Christiane tell the story of the Jewish Warriors and tell it in a very compelling manner.


From the Netherlands to Egypt, the United States to Iraq and Iran, God’s Islamic Warriors chronicles the struggles of Muslim fundamentalists.
As with Jewish Warriors I found such new and interesting information in Muslim Warriors. This part of the Warriors series starts in present day with the recent London bombings and proceeds back in history to the beginning of the jihad movement. This movement is credited to Syed Qutb, author the jihadist’s bible “Milestones”. He came to the United States to study in the late 1940’s and said of his experience “This great America, what is it worth in the scale of human values?” And also “American’s are loosing their souls.” His book, written in the 1950’s, inspired Muhammad al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden to take up the current day violent jihad. His preachings have turned large segments of Islam from a religion into a political movement. This movement began in earnest in the 1970’s with the Iran hostage situation.
Something in this segment that caught my eye was the interview of Rehan, the young Muslim American from Islip, Long Island, who has decided to live her adult life as a devout Muslim, veil and all. She mentions that American’s are so concerned with ‘Who has the better car, who has the better house, who has the better purse’. Then we see Ms. Rehan out shopping and she’s carrying a Louis Vuitton purse (or knock off). Obliviously Rehan still has some all American values somewhere deep down!

I saved the Christian Warriors segment for last because I knew it would be aggravating for me to watch, and it did not disappoint. These are ‘my people’ so to speak but aside from Greg Boyds and Jimmy Carter, I couldn’t identify with a single Christian profiled. When I heard the late Jerry Falwell put the fault of 9/11 directly on the abortionists, I was sickened. Christianity is about kindness and tolerance of your fellow man and trying to turn the other cheek. Not hatred, scheming and manipulation of those sitting in a congregation. I would hope that all Christians would embrace former President Jimmy Carter’s philosophy as to separation of church and state. He said a President is to represent all people of this country, not just those whose religion agrees with your own. It’s ironic that President Carter’s term in office was limited to 4 years because of the rise of the Islamic fundamentalists and the taking of the Iranian hostages.

These are a few of my impressions after watching 6 hours of God’s Warriors. I hope you will take the time to watch this very interesting and important series and learn that each of the world’s major religions has zealots who speak the loudest, but not necessarily the truest, when representing their fellow man.

Here is the latest update on when CNN will be showing God's Warriors, including the repeat episodes:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
8:00pm – 9:00pm CNN: Special Investigations Unit – Growing Up Diana (Premiere)
9:00pm – 11:00pm CNN Presents: GOD’S JEWISH WARRIORS (Premiere)
11:00pm – 12:00am Anderson Cooper 360˚

Wednesday, August 22, 2007
12:00am – 2:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S JEWISH WARRIORS
2:00am – 3:00am Anderson Cooper 360˚
3:00am – 5:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S JEWISH WARRIORS
5:00am – 6:00am Anderson Cooper 360˚
9:00pm – 11:00pm CNN Presents: GOD’S MUSLIM WARRIORS (Premiere)
11:00pm – 12:00am Anderson Cooper 360˚

Thursday, August 23, 2007
12:00am – 2:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S MUSLIM WARRIORS
2:00am – 3:00am Anderson Cooper 360˚
3:00am – 5:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S MUSLIM WARRIORS
5:00am – 6:00am Anderson Cooper 360˚
9:00pm – 11:00pm CNN Presents: GOD’S CHRISTIAN WARRIORS (Premiere)
11:00pm – 12:00am Anderson Cooper 360˚

Friday, August 24, 2007
12:00am – 2:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S CHRISTIAN WARRIORS
3:00am – 5:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S CHRISTIAN WARRIORS
Saturday, August 25, 2007
9:00pm – 11:00pm CNN Presents: GOD’S JEWISH WARRIORS
11:00pm – 1:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S MUSLIM WARRIORS

Sunday, August 26, 2007
1:00am – 3:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S CHRISTIAN WARRIORS
9:00pm – 11:00pm CNN Presents: GOD’S JEWISH WARRIORS
11:00pm – 1:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S CHRISTIAN WARRIORS

Monday, August 27, 2007
1:00am – 3:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S MUSLIM WARRIORS

3 comments:

Sapphire said...

Fantastic write up Phebe - as someone who has studied theology I have been wating for these week since I first heard about it and from your write up it looks like it will not disappoint

Great work Christiane on another fantastic job

Sapphire said...

Ok now that I have watched all three parts of the series, I think Christiane and CNN have done an absolutely amazing job bringing us this series that examines the world's three major religions.

Congrats to Christiane and CNN for a job very well done!!!!!!!

stolmit said...

Great synopsis of this report. Glad I found your blog. I agree, Christiane did a remarkable job detailing God's Warriors. I've watched repeated segments.