Islamic Advocacy Groups Seething About “24”
If you saw the first episodes of the new season of Fox’s anti-terrorism drama 24, it wasn’t hard to predict that all the usual Islamic advocacy groups would soon be seething, whining about victimhood, and organizing media campaigns to shut down anything approaching realism in the depiction of Islamic terrorism: Muslims protest reprised role as terrorists in Fox series ‘24’. (Hat tip: Robert Bidinotto.)
I’m only surprised that it took them a few days. I guess they have a lot on their plates right now, with all the victimhood campaigns going on.
“The overwhelming impression you get is fear and hatred for Muslims,” said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. She said Thursday she was distressed by this season’s premiere. “After watching that show, I was afraid to go to the grocery store because I wasn’t sure the person next to me would be able to differentiate between fiction and reality.”
She said the group had a conference call Wednesday with Fox executives to protest the current plot line and request more positive portrayals of Muslims on the show, but was not promised anything. …
The current season began with Muslim terrorists waging an 11-week campaign of suicide bombings across America, culminating in the detonation of a suitcase-sized nuclear bomb in Valencia, Calif., about 26 miles north of Los Angeles. Estimated death toll: 12,000.
Watching the show’s characters talk about detonating a nuclear weapon a few blocks from where she works unnerved Sireen Sawaf, an official with the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council, and a self-described “huge ‘24’ fan.”
“It’s a great show, and I do realize it’s a multidimensional show that portrays extreme situations,” she said. “They have gone out of their way to have non-Muslim terror cells. But I’m concerned about the image it ingrains in the minds of the American public and the American government, particularly when you have anti-Muslim statements spewing from the mouths of government officials.”
Engy Abdelkader, a member of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee from Howell, N.J., launched a campaign Wednesday to encourage Muslims offended by the program to complain to Fox. “I found the portrayal of American Muslims to be pretty horrendous,” she said. “It was denigrating from beginning to end. This is one of the most popular programs on television today. It’s pretty distressing.”
And the Associated Press deliberately sought out the seething, whining reactions, apparently arranging ahead of time to view the show with someone they knew would be offended:
Sohail Mohammed, a New Jersey immigration lawyer who represented scores of detainees caught up in the post Sept. 11, 2001 dragnet, watched the episode depicting the nuclear attack with an Associated Press reporter. “I was shocked,” he said. “Somewhere, some lunatic out there watching this will do something to an innocent American Muslim because he believes what he saw on TV.”