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Friday, January 26, 2007

What Is That Saying...

... about people who protest too much?
Western movies from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" to "Aladdin" promote negative stereotypes of Muslims by casting them all too often as villains, a British Muslim pressure group said on Thursday.
uh... um... if the costume fits... (btw- I absolutely love the fact that al-Reuters refered to the Islamic Human Rights Commission as a "pressure group. whoever wrote that is now out of a job, I'm sure. Can we start calling CAIR that?)
The report pointed the finger of blame as far back as the 1981 blockbuster "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in which "the cultural stereotypes and scenarios are patently obvious" as veiled women hurry through the bazaar to snake-charming music.
Wow. Maybe the cultural stereotypes of the 1930s (which is when it was set). Was that how life was in Cairo in the 30s? If not, prove it.
The 1998 film "The Siege" starring Bruce Willis and Denzel Washington was accused of reinforcing "the monolithic stereotype of the Arab/Palestinian/Muslim being violent and ready to be martyred for their cause."
In case you didn't see it, the US captures a suspected terrorist, and his little peace-loving friends began a wave of terrorist attacks. Not all Muslims were portrayed as evil- just the bad guys.

Disney's cartoon was criticized for describing Aladdin's homeland as "barbaric."
Oh, come on. This cartoon was set how many hundreds of years ago? There is a reason the Christians fought the Muslims in the Crusades back then, and I don't think it was because Saladin was such a calming influence. (yeah, yeah... he was known for his chivalry... but he actually wasn't quite as nice as his PR machine would have you believe. Read this some time.) What's really sad is that, if you go to many Muslim communities in most Mulsim countries today, you'll see a very similar scene (except for the music- that's not allowed in some places).

I did a quick search, just to see if there really aren't any Muslim heroes out there. I found these guys, but I think they'd only reach a select market, considering the fact that Noora doesn't wear a burkha. The Muslim heroes of today, unfortunately, are the suicide bombers.

Looking back through Hollywood's history, we can see some trends in "villians." During the late 3os and early 40s, the bad guys were usually Nazis. (Come to think of it, they were the real bad guys in Raiders, not the Muslims.) In the 70s and 80s, the Ruskies became the ultimate nemesis. With the Cold War over in the 90s, Hollywood had to find the next new evil. Sorry, guys, but y'all are walking charicatures of the ultimate evil.

The solution to this little PR problem is quite simple, and yet impossible. If the Muslims don't want to be seen by the rest of the world as the bad guys, then they have to change their own image. No more blowing people up. Beheadings have to stop. Embrace the peace they claim is so central to their religion.

Am I holding my breath? Nah... I told you it was impossible.

Later, gang. I think I'm going to watch Aladdin again.

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