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Old March 2 2011, 12:13 AM   #208
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Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

Forbin wrote: View Post
All true, but the fact remains that Al Queda et all ARE still out there and still trying to screw with us.
Actually al-Qaida has always been primarily focused on overthrowing secular regimes in the Mideast. They only targeted us because we backed those regimes, and because we made a convenient scapegoat to stir up hatred against. And if anything, recent events in the Mideast have demonstrated just how marginal al-Qaida has become, since they've played no role in the ongoing rebellions and demonstrations beyond watching them ineffectually from a distance and issuing statements pretending that the largely secular uprisings have anything to do with what they stand for. Our fear of the threat from al-Qaida is far greater than their actual threat to us, and this 2-parter did a good job of demonstrating that -- while also acknowledging that people like Fallon do play an important role in making sure they don't become a bigger threat.

But it seems lately that if the entertainment industry dares make a terrorist in a TV show (or movie) an Islamic type, cries of racism and profiling and such immediately arise.
Which is because there's a dearth of portrayals of Arabs or Muslims as anything other than terrorists. That's the real problem. Even when Arab or Persian actors like Tony Shalhoub or Sarah Shahi get starring roles as TV protagonists, they never get to play their own ethnicity, and heaven forbid they get to play Muslims, because our culture is so ignorant about Islamic culture that it can't comprehend the idea of a heroic Muslim (even though many American sports heroes have been Muslims, like Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal). It is not "PC" to condemn that as wrong. It is simply fair.

There was a time when criticisms were made about the tendency to stereotype black characters as criminals, addicts, or servants, and those were valid criticisms at the time, because there weren't enough positive portrayals of black characters to make it fair. These days, there are plenty of positive images of black characters in the media, so it's no longer seen as a problem when some black characters are portrayed as criminals. It's understood that it's not about their race.

So if you want to see the "Arab terrorist" trope presented without being criticized, then work toward a media culture that has enough positive images of Arabs and Muslims to balance it out. You're focusing on the wrong end of the issue.
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