Gazan “journalists,” news media,
and random individuals handy with cell phones are so proficient at taking
pictures of the victims of Israeli “aggression” that they ought to be
hired by Hollywood. At the drop of a drone, they’re there to pass off
heartstring-pulling photos of dead Gazan children, who were not yet old enough
to throw rocks at Israeli civilian cars, or don suicide vests, or kidnap
Israeli soldiers or teenagers, or sneak into Israeli settlements to slaughter
whole families with razors and butchers knives, or riot in the West Bank.
Many of the photos they send West and which
are gobbled up by the news media also show weeping fathers cradling dead sons
in their arms, either in the street or in a doctor’s office, or a bunch of guys
carrying a flag-draped casket purportedly holding the body of a dead child,
surrounded by an angry and fist-shaking weeping mob.  
These on-the-spot recorders of Israeli
“atrocities” are the Muslim paparazzi of pity, Islam’s
ambulance-chasing ghouls. The pictures they take are either staged,
filched or recycled
from other
theaters
of Mideast conflicts, or too outrageously phony to be believed –
except by Western “journalists” and news editors, such as the one of
a boy leaping over the body bags of children supposedly and recently killed in
the Syrian Houla massacre by bombs or rubber bands, except that the bags
contain the
bones
of people found in a desert near Bagdad.  Broadcast by the BBC in 2012, the photo dates
to 2003.
The Telegraph story of May 27th,
2012, “Syria
massacre in Houla condemned as outrage grows
,” quoted the photographer,
Marco di Lauro for Getty Images, who took the picture in 2003:
“One of my
pictures from Iraq was used by the BBC web site as a front page illustration
claiming that those were the bodies of yesterday’s massacre in Syria and that
the picture was sent by an activist.  Instead
the picture was taken by me and it’s on my web site, on the feature section regarding a
story I did In Iraq during the war called Iraq, the aftermath of Saddam.
“What I am really
astonished by is that a news organization like the BBC doesn’t check the
sources and it’s willing to publish any picture sent it by anyone: activist,
citizen journalist or whatever. That’s all. “
Well, he shouldn’t be so astonished. The
BBC, which has maintained an anti-Israel grudge for a long time, wouldn’t
really be concerned about the strength of any attribution.  When it comes to pushing propaganda, it has
never been too fastidious in checking sources. Fantasy and bias overrule facts.
We want this to be evidence of
Israeli brutality. The BBC isn’t the only news outlet that’s in a hurry to
condemn or indict Israel or dictators its editors don’t at the moment happen to
like. There is our own CPB or PBS – and MSNBC, and CNN, and ABC and CBS, and
NBC itself.  Anything that will help
convey the idea that Muslims are always the victims of someone’s policies or
Israeli cruelty.
Hamas, Al Queda, Fatah, Hezbollah, the
Muslim Brotherhood, and other blameless, “peace-loving” Islamic
outfits must also retain the services of Photoshopping experts to doctor
pictures for special propaganda purposes. Given half a chance, and if they
thought they could get away with it, their “unverified sources” for
photographs taken by Muslim “journalists,” they would probably stoop
to passing off doctored pictures of the D-Day landings as waves of Muslims wade
ashore, attacking Israel from the Mediterranean, appropriately garbed with
keffiyahs and carrying Palestinian flags.
Muslims, and especially Gazans, after all,
are a peace-loving people more put upon than guilty or complicit in the
atrocities they commit on Jews and infidels. Aren’t they?
Speaking of doctored images, Muslims also claim
to be victims of how they’re portrayed in Western movies.
Even before 9/11, they were muttering to
themselves about the depiction of Muslims as grungy conspirators of mayhem in
the West and even in Islamic countries. They resented the standard portrayal of
dehumanized stereotypes.  The Middle East
Quarterly carried a lengthy article by Daniel Mandel in the Spring 2001 issue,
Muslims
on the Silver Screen
.”
Does Hollywood
dehumanize Muslims and Arabs? Many writers and organizations think so. They
assert that racial and ethnic stereotyping that has been otherwise abandoned by
the cinema continues to apply to these groups. Columnist Jay Stone, for
instance, observes that it “appears we’re down to one group, the Arabs….Hala
Maksoud, president of the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, in a
complaint to NBC regarding an episode of the television series, The West
Wing
, asserts that “Arabs remain fair game for the entertainment
industry in this country.”
The result has been
vigorous lobbying and public criticism to sensitize moviemakers to these
distortions, then stop them. Faced with a barrage of criticism, the powers that
be in Hollywood—who do not consider themselves qualified to test the validity
of these complaints—usually concede to their critics. For example, The Sum
of All Fears
, a thriller by Tom Clancy, has as its villains a group of
Muslim terrorists who conspire to detonate a nuclear device at the Super Bowl
in Denver.
However, following
objections from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the director
of the movie derived from the book, Phil Alden Robinson, substituted European
neo-Nazis for Muslims. Robinson explained in a letter addressed to CAIR that he
had “no intention of promoting negative images of Muslims or Arabs”
and went on the wish the group his “best” in its efforts to combat
discrimination. Evidently, the lobbying works.
The main complaints cited by Mandel in the
article are that Islamist violence is distorted,
that Islamist terrorism is invented,
and that Muslims and Arabs never appear in sympathetic
roles.
One question Mandel doesn’t ask is: What
else are Muslims known for? It certainly isn’t for winning Nobel Prizes in
physics or medicine. When was the last time a Muslim-authored novel hit the New
York Times bestseller list – aside from Salman Rushdie’s? Where is the Muslim
counterpart of, say, Jerry Seinfeld or Dean Martin? How many Muslim women have
won the Miss World, Miss America, or Miss Universe beauty contest?
About the only time one hears about Muslims
is when they’ve blown themselves up somewhere, or blew up a lot of people, or
when they’re attacking Israel, or when CAIR or some other Muslim advocacy group
whines about the derogatory, “profiling” image of Muslims in films,
and just general, noisy demonstrations against Israel or the U.S.  If one walks like a duck, sounds like a duck,
and looks like a duck, where’s the distortion?
If you behave like a yahoo, then you must be a yahoo. Ergo, stereotyping is
eminently justified.
The claim that Islamic terrorism carried
out by Muslims is “invented” is fantastically delusional and patently
false, not when the tally of Islamic terrorism since just 9/11 has reached 19,200. That tally doesn’t include the
thousands of acts of terrorism committed by Muslims before 9/11 (plane hijackings, bombs on planes,
massacres of foreigners
such as the one Luxor in 1997, and so on).
What sympathies
do Muslims elicit from non-believers? I can’t think of anything, except for a
vague disgust with them and their “religion,” which is totalitarian
in character, nihilist in its essentials, and pathetic in practice, from the
prayer rituals to the dietary restrictions to the traditional garb.
Mandel also itemizes and discusses what
CAIR and other Muslim “advocacy” groups claim are the possible
motives behind Hollywood’s negative portrayal of Muslims and Arabs: that Hollywood
is in sync with U.S. government policies; and that Hollywood furthers Zionist
policies. The first claim is also fantastic; the U.S. government has been
pro-Islam for decades, and Obama’s blatant patronization of Islam is only the
latest manifestation of that policy. The second claim is linked to the first;
the U.S has for decades pressured Israel to surrender to Palestinian demands to
negotiate, negotiate, negotiate itself into Islam-managed oblivion.
Mandel discusses several movies that CAIR
and other Islamic complainants have focused on over the years: True Lies,
Executive Decision, The Siege, Three Kings, and Rules
of Engagement
, and The Delta Force, and drills holes in each
complaint about those movies. He ends his essay with:
Other…criticisms do
not hold water. The depiction of Muslims and Arabs is variable and not
necessarily insensitive or untruthful. Action films depicting Arab and Islamist
terrorists reflect observed reality that accords with the knowledge and
experience of the viewing public and are not to be condemned on that account.
Accusations of a hidden government orchestration of popular sentiment lack any
proof and stem from a conspiracist agenda. To accept these criticisms would be
to demonize the U.S. government and Jews while valorizing Islamism and
terrorists. Such an agenda is deeply hostile to civilized values.
That’s putting it mildly. Such criticisms
are inimical to civilized values, and intended to obviate those values.
Moving up the calendar, Slate, for once, in
May 2002, ran an interesting article by Reihan Salam, “The
Sum of All PC: Hollywood’s reverse racial profiling
.” It more or less
contradicts the claim that Hollywood goes out of its way to demonize Muslims
and Islam.
The threat of
al-Qaida terrorist attacks is currently scaring America stiff. But you’d be
hard-pressed to find Muslim terrorists in any of today’s blockbuster action
movies, which instead offer such uncontroversial bad guys as killer aliens and
abusive husbands. Why is Hollywood shying away from al-Qaida-like villains?
Movies have always
relied on politically relevant villains, from Russian spies to South African
apartheidniks to Serbian ethnic cleansers. Tom Clancy’s much-loved Jack Ryan
series is the gold standard….
But in the
about-to-be-released film version of The Sum of All Fears, based loosely
on Clancy’s 1991 novel of the same name, Paramount pulled a switcheroo.
Clancy’s original baddies were a motley crew of unreconstructed German
Communists, a Sioux convict, and—the stumbling block—Hamas-like Palestinian
terrorists opposed to the peace process. Long before Sept. 11, these were
replaced with slickly dressed, easy-to-hate European neo-Nazis.
Though a staple of
political thrillers since the days of the Ayatollah Khomeini, Muslim terrorists
on-screen have been dwindling in numbers since the mid-1990s. Since then,
groups like the American-Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee
and the Council on American-Islamic Relations  have condemned
movies like 1994’s True Lies and 2000’s Rules of Engagement, both
of which featured violent, fanatical Muslims….
Salam reports that CAIR was demanding that
the producers excise villainous Muslims
from the script of The Sum of All Fears even
before the script had been completed, and substitute more acceptable villains.
Which the director, Phil Alden Robinson, did, settling on – wait for it – neo-Nazis!
Robinson bowed and scraped and displayed his best face of dhimmitude in a
letter to CAIR:
“I hope you
will be reassured that I have no intention of promoting negative images of
Muslims or Arabs, and I wish you the best in your continuing efforts to combat
discrimination.” Ben Affleck, the new Jack Ryan, has applauded the
decision, arguing that “the Arab terrorist thing has been done a million
times in the movies.” (As opposed to the neo-Nazi thing?)
And remember, Nazis are never brown, black,
or yellow. There are always white. Except, perhaps, for President Barack Obama.
If Bill Clinton was the “first Negro president,” then Obama is a
fascist – and a racist – looking for a devoted, no-questions-asked-or-permitted
following.
Salam ends his short piece with a
flip-floppy advisory:
But Americans have
demonstrated that they can separate a small, violent minority from the vast
majority of peace-loving Arabs and Muslims, and a little realism in the movies
wouldn’t change that….
Salam misses the point that Muslims aren’t
necessarily Arabs (or he doesn’t stress it enough), and that Islam can’t be
divorced from being a Muslim. Sooner or later, Muslims must all wage violent
jihad, or adopt a stealth policy of getting directors like Robinson to help sabotage
our “miserable house” with our own hands. Even if they’re just
blocking traffic while they pray or demand halal
meals for their kids in school or in prison.
Further on in time is a Guardian article of
January 25th, 2007, “From
Aladdin to Lost Ark, Muslims get angry at ‘bad guy’ film images
;
Crude
and exaggerated stereotypes are fuelling Islamophobia, says study.”
Popular films
ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to children’s cartoons are depicting
“crude and exaggerated” stereotypes of Muslims and perpetuating
Islamophobia, according to a study published today. A report by the Islamic
Human Rights Commission argues that films as diverse as The Siege, a portrayal of a terrorist attack on New York starring
Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis, the Disney film Aladdin and the British comedy East is East have helped demonize
Muslims as violent, dangerous and threatening, and reinforce prejudices.
The study, titled
The British media and Muslim representation: the ideology of demonization,
argues that Hollywood has a crucial role in influencing how the public views
Muslims.
A survey conducted
as part of the research revealed that Muslims in Britain felt negative images
of their faith on the big and small screen had consequences in their daily
lives. Those interviewed “found a direct correlation between media
portrayal and their social experiences of exclusion, hatred, discrimination and
violence”.
Apparently all the efforts of Hollywood to
present sympathetic and undistorted and un-invented aspects of Muslim existence
since the Middle East Quarterly article in 2001, have been for naught. Muslims
are still dissatisfied.
As well as deep
unease with big screen portrayals, the research also found a perception of
“unashamed bias” in the media against Muslims, with 62% believing the
media to be Islamophobic and 16% describing it as racist. Only 4% considered
its representation “fair”. The authors call for more power for cinema
censors to be able to curtail or even decline certification of
“objectionable material”, as well as more effective media watchdogs
and increased responsibility in coverage of issues involving Muslims on the
part of newspapers and television. The report, part of a series produced by the
commission – a research and campaigning body – with the backing of the Joseph
Rowntree charitable trust, is significant in that it seeks to provide a direct
voice for the Muslim community in Britain.
Well, if you ask a Muslim if he’s unhappy
with how he’s treated and perceived in a country he wants to adopt Sharia law,
in which all non-Muslims must defer to Muslim law and
“sensibilities,” and to sanction all the brutal, primitive
“traditions” of Islam, he’s likely to join the majority and answer,
Yes, British (or American) culture is Islamophobic and I’m demonized.
The Guardian article also discusses Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Siege, East is East (a British television series), Executive Decision, and House
of Sand and Fog
. One film that exercised Muslims’ sensitivities in Britain
and in the U.S. over negative portrayals of Muslims was Disney’s Aladdin.
The cartoon Aladdin
faced protests on release in 1993 because its opening song referred to a place
where “they cut off your ear if they
don’t like your face
“, forcing Disney executives to edit out the
lines. Today’s report says: “Rather than portray the Arab culture and
Islamic religion in a positive or neutral light, the producers associate it
with harsh punishments and oppressive practices.
The report queries
why a children’s cartoon describes Aladdin’s homeland as “barbaric”,
and notes that “good Arabs” including Aladdin are given American
accents while the rest of the cast have “exaggerated and ridiculous Arab
accents”.
Not barbaric? Nothing is cut off one’s face
if it isn’t liked in an Islamic culture? Why, that’s so Islamophobic, it’s a
tissue of lies! Really? Here’s
evidence to the contrary – and this is aside from the countless instances of
whipping, sentences of death for adultery, female genital mutilation, and being
treated like chattel, in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and even in
Britain and the U.S.  Don’t judge: It’s
not your culture. But Western culture
is evil, and must be destroyed, or made to submit to Islam. Only we Muslims (and
other Third Worlders) have a right to judge.
Finally, in the Daily Mail report, there is
this odd statement that goes against everything we know about British and
American Muslims:
There was
widespread agreement among more than 1,100 Muslims questioned by researchers
that media reports involving Muslims in Britain are “selective, biased,
stereotypical and inaccurate”, with Muslims generally considered as
“others” and outsiders.
But that’s
the way they want it. They want to be “separate from but equal to”
the host country – until they completely vanquish it and call it a part of the
global caliphate. This is the general Muslim attitude in Britain, Europe, and
the U.S.
We come to the most recent article about
Hollywood and Islam, Oliver Williams’s Gatestone piece of July 10th,
Hollywood,
Islam, and Political Correctness
.”
Williams discusses many of the same movies
as Mandel and Salam. One deserves special attention, Roland Emmerich’s 2112, another disaster film.
Similarly, during
production of the film 2012 the director Roland Emmerich had considered demolishing
the Grand Mosque in Mecca
on screen but was persuaded not to. In the film,
which depicted a global apocalypse, the obliteration of the Sistine
chapel and St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and the Christ the Redeemer
statue in Rio de Janeiro is vividly rendered while Middle Eastern landmarks are
spared. Emmerich stated, “We have to all, in the western world, think
about this. You can actually let Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would
do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have … a fatwa… so I kind of left
it out.”
Emmerich, the newly inducted dhimmi, slinks
away, afraid to face Islam.
Emmerich went on to
direct White House Down. The
New Republic
was accurate in saying it resembled 24 re-written
by Noam Chomsky. Jamie Foxx played a souped-up action-man Obama about to bring
peace to the world by pulling American troops out of the Middle East. Evil
American patriots violently take over the White House in order to launch a
nuclear strike against Iran.
Well, who else but “evil American patriots”
would commit such a dastardly crime? Muslims? Nawh! Besides, that would be
“racial profiling,” even though Islam is not a “race.” But
it’s de rigueur to profile whites, as
racists, as gun-clingers, as Tea Party patriots. For the Left, whites are the
default perpetrators.
And here is the Cujo Meme:  It is a cinematic
analogy of how our State Department and Hollywood perceive Islam and Muslims,
perceptions mirrored in their treatment of Muslims and Islam (and also of
illegal immigrants), in film and at the negotiation tables.  
Muslims are just like friendly, docile St.
Bernard dogs. But, bitten by the rabid bats of Islamophobic distortions, persecution,
isolation, lies, discrimination, and attitudes of moral superiority by
Westerners, the lovable dog goes mad and occasionally goes on a rampage against
its tormentors.   
It’s a tragedy that some people lose their
lives in such incidents, but, who can blame the killers? They have legitimate
grievances that have not been addressed with any sincere understanding or
compassion. The hegemony of Western “civilization” must be challenged
and dissolved if there is to be “peace.” If there’s violence, it’s
all our fault, not that of those going on rampages. Can one really morally
judge dogs infected with rabies?
But Islam is basically a good dog. See?
It’s that simple. This has been the contextual premise of our foreign policy
for a long time, and Hollywood’s, as well. Muslims and Islam are not to be
toyed with or bothered. The Cujo Meme
won’t be challenged by those infected by it. They’re Lost Boys (and Girls). The
only reward for engaging these people in argumentation is the venomous spittle
of their replies splattering in one’s face.
The Cujo
Meme carries the death-guarantors of multiculturalism, subjectivism, political
correctness, and critical theory boiled down to an operative ideology designed
to combat independent minds and individualism and reason. The Cujo Meme is based on altruism:
Surrender your values in the name of peace; if you refuse, you are a heartless
warmonger. Or a racist.  Man bites dog,
gets infected. Or, dog bites man, infecting the man.
If anyone in the State Department had any
movie-making skills, they’d produce movies that would be in sync with what Hollywood’s
put out for years.
And if anyone in Hollywood had diplomatic
skills (not that the actual practitioners have many), our foreign policy is
exactly what we see today.
Gazan “photo journalists” are
adept at faking reality, just as Hollywood is when it comes to politics, and
just as our foreign policy is when dealing with reality. After all, as they say
in Hollywood and Foggy Bottom, mind creates reality, and if there’s to be
“peace” in the world, our minds must be in sync.