This spring, the Obama administration threatened to veto the 2013 Defense Authorization Act. Of all the reasons given for the threat, the objection to granting thePurple Heart to Pvt. Andy Long stands out as strange. That is, unless you know the story.
On June 1, 2009, Pvt. Long was killed outside an Army recruiting office in Little Rock by Carlos Bledsoe, who had become Abdul Hakim Mohammed after converting to Islam. Since then, we, the fathers of Carlos and Andy, have been trying to tell our story so that other parents do not experience our tragedy.
Carlos grew up in a loving, church-going family. There's a picture of Carlos at his high school graduation with a huge smile on his face, ready to go off to Tennessee State University for college. He looked forward to becoming a businessman and joining the family owned tour company in Memphis.
One month ago, the Tennessee Freedom Coalition and ACT! for America hosted a world premier of a new documentary, Losing Our Sons. You can watch the trailer here. The film was produced by Americans for Peace and Tolerance, with financing and support by Andy Miller and theTennessee Freedom Coalition.
Losing Our Sons is very personal. It is specific and avoids overgeneralizations, so it's a great DVD to share with those friends of yours who are still not quite sure if Islam is a religion of peace. Because it's so personal and specific — only talking about facts and events — there's really nothing in this film to argue with.
Charles Jacobs and the team at Americans for Peace and Tolerance have produced a stunning film of Melvin Bledsoe's important story about the tragic outcome of his son's Islamization while at Tennessee State University - the murder of Army recruiter, Pvt. William Long at a Little Rock mall in July, 2009. The film is entitled, "Losing our sons- The Nashville Connection". The film portrays the riveting and important story of his son's conversion to radical Islam via the Nashville connections -Tennessee State University, the Islamic Center of Nashville, and the Al Farooq Mosque - that sent Carlos to terrorist training in Yemen. The APT film team captures the transformation of a son who grew up in Memphis in a happy American Baptist home that venerated Martin Luther King only to be transformed into a Jihadi who venerated death as a Jihad for Allah following the barbaric example of his Messenger Mohammed.
It is, in my view, the defining exchange of our time. It took place, not inappropriately, on Pearl Harbor Day of 2011, at one of the joint House-Senate hearings called by New York Congressman Peter King and Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman to examine the radicalization of American Muslims. As seen in the You Tube video, Congressman Dan Lungren of California poses a simple, straightforward question to a witness, Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Stockton. “Secretary Stockton,” he asks, “are we at war with violent Islamist extremism?”
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Americans for Peace & Tolerance